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K-12 Technology

Decipher Code, Collaborate Across Cultures, Evaluate Tech Tools & More

Otterbox 6-15-16

Let's Protect Potential Together

With technology, access to knowledge is everywhere. Students carry entire libraries in their backpacks and hundreds of textbooks in their back pocket. However, technology doesn’t matter much when it has a broken screen or buttons. That’s where OtterBox helps. OtterBox UnlimitEd is a protective case engineered specifically for technology used in the K–12 environment. Count on OtterBox UnlimitEd to protect your technology investment and the learning potential of every student.

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Grants, Competitions, and Other "Winning" Opportunities

Think Beyond Traditional Measures of Success – Be the New ROI Expert

Success in K–12 doesn’t necessarily correlate with traditional ROI. Measuring nonfiscal returns can reveal a clearer value of the investment. The value of student achievement, teacher development, and school effectiveness, for example—not just the financial bottom line—better define the success that is crucial to an improved outcome for all. With this in mind, it’s time for schools to look beyond traditional ROI when it comes to investing in school administrative solutions. Become the expert on redefining measures of success and determining how best to help your district to succeed. Download the complimentary white paper Redefining District ROI: Return on Value as the New Benchmark.

Click Here to Download Free White Paper

STEM Video Game Challenge

Presented by E-Line Media and the Joan Ganz Cooney Education Center, the National STEM Video Game Challenge encourages middle school and high school students to work as individuals or in teams to design and make original, playable games or written game design documents about any subject. Judges will evaluate the games based on three game design criteria (engaging gameplay, innovative/creative vision, and well-balanced gameplay). A variety of resources, including lesson plans to help teach game design concepts, are accessible online. Many prizes will be awarded to students, including a cash award, mentoring opportunities, and lifetime access to Game Mechanic, among other prizes.

Deadline: August 15, 2016

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Plus: New this year, National Geographic is bringing the spirit of exploration to video gaming and sponsoring a new prize stream called Nat Geo Explore. This prize is open to any eligible design document or playable game submission that thematically expresses the spirit of exploration and adventure. Winners’ games and game design documents will be featured on the National Geographic Education website, which reaches more than 1 million visitors a month. Winners will also receive National Geographic merchandise. Students can visit the Nat Geo Explore web page for inspiration as they build their games for the special Nat Geo Explore prize stream of the contest.

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Click Here to Visit Nat Geo Explore Web Page

Every Kid in a Park Program

This summer fourth graders and their families will have free access to any of the national parks, waters, and lands through the National Park Service Foundation’s Every Kid in a Park program. To participate, students simply download a free summer pass that is good until August 31. Teachers can use the free Activity Guides to provide engaging end-of-year activities that teach students about the parks, land conservation, and more.

Deadline: Ongoing until August 31, 2016

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Download Free Activity Guides

Plus: As part of the National Park Service Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program, Every Kid in a Park transportation grants seek to remove barriers to accessing the nation’s public lands and waters, with a special focus on underserved and urban communities.

Deadline: Ongoing

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Website Design Contest

An initiative of the Give Something Back International (GSBI) Foundation, Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) provides an opportunity for primary and secondary school students from different countries to work with and learn from students in those other countries, as they collaboratively design and build a website around a thought-provoking theme of their choice. GVC’s Website Design Contest aims to enhance abilities required for the 21st century, such as cross-cultural communication, collaboration, social responsibility, and technology skills. A panel of international judges will evaluate students’ final work for content, presentation, collaboration, and “helping focus.” The helping focus encourages students to demonstrate achievement of a helpful objective, such as personal, social, and environmental responsibility, or support for a worthy cause. The winning primary and secondary teams will each receive $1,000. A GSBI scholarship/sponsorship will be given on behalf of each school to a needy, disadvantaged student on the first-, second-, and third-place primary and secondary teams.

Deadlines: Acceptance of applications, July 1–September 25, 2016; close of applications and registrations, September 30, 2016; announcement of participating teams, October 1–3, 2016; work period, October 1, 2016–March 31, 2017; teacher feedback, April 25, 2017; final judging and awards, May 1–3, 2017

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Fruits and Veggie Grants

Launched in 2014 by Chef Ann Foundation and superfoods company Healthy Skoop, the Project Produce program helps schools increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables and provides nutrition education through engaging lunchroom learning activities. Project Produce’s Fruits and Veggie Grants for Schools are intended to help create experiential nutrition education opportunities in the school cafeteria. The one-year $2,500 grants support food costs to incorporate fruit and vegetable tastings into the school’s nutrition program. Schools are encouraged to use local produce, when possible. Lunchtime-based projects are preferred because they offer access to all students (school lunch diners and students bringing meals from home). Proposals for projects scheduled after the school day or on the weekend should demonstrate how the projects will target the full school enrollment and help encourage vegetable and fruit consumption in school meals. Schools with 50 percent or higher free and reduced eligible enrollment are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants will find this grant opportunity on GetEdFunding, a free database sponsored by CDW•G of thousands of funding opportunities for educators.

Deadline: Ongoing, depending on available funding

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Click Here to Visit GetEdFunding

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Resource Roundup

Not All Carts Are Made Equal

LapCabby understands that the type, size, and volume of devices connecting to your network are ever increasing. That’s why LapCabby has a clever storage solution for any device. Meet the LapCabby team at ISTE 2016 where they will unveil LapCabby Lyte, a new space-saving and cost-effective range of products designed to deliver secure, flexible, charging, and storage solutions—for any device. In addition to Lyte, LapCabby will have its full range of products at Booth 2952, including static, portable, desktop, and travel solutions. From Chromebooks to netbooks, laptops to tablets, and everything in between—no matter the device, there is a LapCabby to suit your needs. And with every product, you’ll always receive the unit fully assembled, as well as the LapCabby lifetime warranty.

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eBook Linking Movement and Achievement

Sponsored by Ergotron, Sit, Stand, Move! explores the role of low-level physical activity on the musculoskeletal, psychosocial, cardiovascular, and metabolic health of students, as well as the connection of these health factors to academic performance. This free ebook presents the research linking movement and student achievement, grant resources for including height-adjustable and mobile student desks in the learning environment, classroom layouts for enhancing learning, and student activities.

Click Here to Sign Up for Access to Free eBook

Research on Best Edtech Tools

Digital Promise, the congressionally authorized nonprofit charged with “accelerating innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn,” has developed a tool to help educators and edtech developers sort through relevant research on the best educational technology tools to advance goals around student learning. The research is organized into 12 broad topics that include subjects such as student motivation, reading and science instruction, language and math learning, and special education practices. For the busy teacher with little time, Digital Promise has summarized the most salient research about a topic and provided citations to the research for further investigation. Each topical page lists other research studies and includes links to blogs or additional resources. The research is organized into two forms of data visualization that allow users to see whether research about a topic overlaps with other research on the topic, and if so, how often the overlapping occurs. The “network view” is meant for exploration and is more interactive, whereas the “chord view” helps to show the gaps in research.

Click Here to Explore Research Map

Tool for Creating Interactive Videos

As the end of the school year approaches, teachers may be looking for a way to create an audio slideshow of highlights of the school year. Wideo offers an easy way to create audio slideshow videos. Users can insert interactive buttons into each frame and then hyperlink the buttons to any web page they wish. For example, teachers may want to provide links to examples of students’ work or information about places visited on a school field trip. Or they may want to include a link in a closing slide with information about summer learning programs for students.

Click Here to Sign Up to Create Videos

Storyboard Tool for Budding Filmmakers

Generator, a free resource from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, gives budding filmmakers the training and tools to make their own short films. Through inspirational videos, step-by-step process guides, and the Storyboard Generator, students can create and save a detailed storyboard as they get a full understanding of what it takes to make a movie.

Click Here to Access Free Film Production Resources

Guides to Classic and Contemporary Literature

The LitCharts service provides guides and summaries of more than 300 titles of classic and popular literature. Students can view the LitCharts guides online or download them as PDFs. The online version of the guides features background information on a book’s author, a color-coded list of themes in the book, a plot summary, and a character list and summary. An interactive, thematic Chart Board visualizes all of the book’s themes and plot points on one page. The Chart Board is a wheel of chapters, with each wedge in the ring representing a chapter, and each row extending from the wedge representing a part of a chapter. The colored boxes in each row indicate which themes are “active” in that chapter. After clicking on a chapter number and colored box, students will see a short summary of that section of the book followed by a link to read more. The color coding makes it easy for students to follow a theme through the book.

Click Here to Access Free Interactive Literature Guides

Curriculum for Using Film in the Classroom

TeachWithMovies (TWM) is a collection of lesson plans and curriculum materials (English, social studies, science, health, mathematics, the arts, and more) in which movies are employed to inspire, inform, and motivate students. TWM is more than just a collection of curriculum materials, however; it’s also a system for using film in the classroom. TWM has questions, assignments, and an essay concerning the devices used in film that teachers can adapt to any movie. The historical and artistic merit of each recommended film has been carefully assessed. A Subject Matter Index lists films by curriculum area. The films are also indexed by appropriate age, title, social-emotional learning topic, and other categories. Learning Guides for each film describe the film’s benefits and possible problems. A Helpful Background section includes additional discussion questions, assignments, and links to the Internet.

Click Here to Access Free Film Resources

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Professional Learning Plus

Online Graduate Degrees and Certificates in Education

Penn State World Campus has more than 20 graduate education programs, recently ranked sixth in the country by U.S. News & World Report. These highly flexible online programs are designed so you can customize your education plan to meet your professional development goals. Whether you’re fulfilling professional development requirements, earning a certificate, or working toward a master’s degree, the programs allow you to study at times and locations that suit your busy schedule.

Click Here to Explore Program Options

Webinar on Grant Writing

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) on July 12, 2016, the GetEdFunding community on will host Part 3 of a free, three-part grant-writing webinar miniseries titled “You CAN Win Grants for Your School,” sponsored by CDW•G. In this free miniseries, the presenter reviews and dissects the eight typical sections of a proposal so participants will come away feeling equipped and confident to begin their winning grant-writing journey. In Part 1 of this miniseries, the presenter offered insider tips and techniques for writing the first three sections of a foundation grant proposal: Executive Summary; Description of the School; Need for the Project. Part 2 provided insider tips and techniques for writing the next two sections of a foundation grant proposal: Description of the Project; Project Management Plan and Timeline. In this third and final webinar, the presenter will offer insider tips and techniques for writing the last three sections of a foundation grant proposal: Evaluation of the Project; Project Budget; Appendices. This webinar will be helpful for both teachers and administrators. Participants’ questions will be answered during the live, interactive session, and the webinar will be recorded and archived for members of the GetEdFunding community to access after the event.

Click Here to Join GetEdFunding Community

Click Here to Register for Free Webinar

Click Here to Visit GetEdFunding Website

Webinar on STREAM in the Classroom

At 3 p.m. (ET) on July 19, 2016, the Amazing Resources for Educators community on will host a webinar titled “How to Connect Science, Technology, Engineering, Robotics, Arts, and Math in the Classroom,” sponsored by, In this webinar, the presenter, a library media specialist and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, will explore how STREAM teaching can create meaningful learning for students. Her presentation will address how to approach STREAM as a way of thinking through learning; how to provide all students with opportunities to discover unique ways of making learning connections—despite individual economic backgrounds—with STREAM; how to connect students’ experiences with those of other students, while sharing and showcasing their learning adventures and discoveries with others; as well as how to include STREAM thinking activities in the classroom and create learning adventures by using #Skypeclassroom. The webinar will be recorded and archived for members of the Amazing Resources for Educators community to access after the event

Click Here to Join Amazing Resources for Educators Community

Click Here to Register for Free Webinar

Click Here to Visit Quill Website

Live Video Discussion Groups

Edchat Interactive offers online professional learning opportunities via live video discussions. Sessions include a five- to 10-minute presentation on a concept, after which participants break into small video-chat groups for discussion. The small groups then present their findings to all participants. This interactive format incorporates social learning and reflection into the learning process, which facilitates deep learning and greater engagement.

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Mobile Learning Journey

LanSchool Has Simplified Device Management

Mobile learning in the classroom takes advantage of electronic devices that offer portability. Students can be more engaged in learning when using the latest technological gadgets. LanSchool helps you monitor and engage your students no matter what device they are using. LanSchool has apps and tools for students and teachers for iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Android mobile devices. LanSchool has you covered for all the devices in your classrooms, labs, and school district.

Click Here for Latest Spec Sheet

Click Here to Learn More About LanSchool

3D Modeling Software

Blokify, noquo’s 3D modeling software for the iPad and iPhone, enables children aged 6–8 to create toys they can play with virtually or physically via 3D printing. Children can build “blok”-based models in free form or through a guided building experience. After completing their models, children can print them in 3D, with one-click wireless printing, and take the fun from virtual to physical play. They can also save their models for endless customization and share their ideas and creations with others. Cost: $3.99

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

African American History and Culture

While the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is under construction, students can explore the building from the palm of their hand. Regardless of where they are located, the View NMAAHC augmented reality app lets students see NMAAHC before it’s built. Users on the National Mall in Washington, DC, can choose the “View Live on the Mall” experience and see a model of the NMAAHC building at the construction site at Constitution Avenue and 14th Street. If they’re not in Washington, DC, students can explore several immersive experiences by choosing “View from Iconic Locations.” They will then have a 360-degree view that includes a rendering of the museum. This augmented reality app is currently available for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. Cost: Free

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Click Here to Visit Google Play

Plus: In the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, an executive decision that freed slaves in the rebel states on January 1, 1863. Although it did not free all of the enslaved, the Emancipation Proclamation affected people across the country—men and women, young and old, enslaved and free. Designed for the iPad, the Smithsonian Institution’s Changing America: To Be Free takes students beyond the well-known stories of emancipation to gain insight into this profound moment in the lives of so many different people. Students can search, sort, and read personal responses to the Emancipation Proclamation across the northern, southern, and border states from men and women of all ages. Cost: Free

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store


STEM Student Advisory Group

The White House has launched a website to gather feedback from students about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The website, KidScienceAdvisors, was created after a student asked President Barack Obama if he has a “child science advisor.” “We should have a kid’s advisory group that starts explaining to us what’s interesting to them and what’s working, and could help us shape advances in STEM education,” the president replied. The White House is inviting youth from around the country to submit ideas on important science, innovation, and technology issues.

Click Here to Visit Website

Cryptology Project for Improving Math Skills

The CryptoClub Project in the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago develops classroom and web-based materials to teach cryptography and related mathematics to middle school students in informal settings. During a typical session, students are introduced to a cipher (method of encrypting) and then practice it through games and activities that involve secret messages. In some activities, students move around—for example, in a treasure hunt, they follow a trail of encrypted clues around the school to find a hidden treasure; and in a relay race, teams run back and forth, competing to be the first to gather and decrypt the parts of a secret message. In other activities, students sit quietly and think deeply about patterns that might help to break a code. In addition to cryptography, CryptoClub applies mathematics topics from the middle school curriculum, such as decimals and percentages, division with remainder, common factors, and negative numbers. It also applies pre-algebra skills, such as pattern recognition and problem solving. CryptoClub offers many opportunities for students to develop the mathematical habits listed in Standards for Mathematical Practice from the Common Core State Standards.

Click Here to Visit Website

Lively Science Podcast

How does memory work? Will our descendants be human or machine? What’s the origin of humor? The Big Picture Science radio show and podcast ponders these questions daily and expounds on them weekly. Produced at the SETI Institute in Menlo Park, California, this one-hour radio magazine engages the public with modern science research through lively and intelligent storytelling. Big Picture Science takes on big questions by interviewing leading researchers and weaving together their stories of discovery in a clever and off-kilter narrative style, revealing science as an adventure.

Click Here to Visit Website

STEM Mentors to Inspire Young Women

Million Women Mentors (MWM) supports the engagement of 1 million science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) mentors (male and female) to increase the interest and confidence of girls and women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. MWM is an initiative of STEMconnector in collaboration with 60-plus partners reaching more than 30 million girls and women, 45-plus corporate sponsors, and 35-plus state leadership teams. MWM’s website provides a wealth of freely downloadable resources to assist those interested in becoming STEM mentors, including Elements of Effective Practices for Mentors, How to Build an Effective Mentoring Program, and The Wisdom of Age – Handbook for Mentors.

Click Here to Search for Mentoring Opportunities

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Worth-the-Surf Websites

Calling All LanSchool Fans!

Visit LanSchool at ISTE at Booth 1732 to win a free limited edition T-shirt. LanSchool wants to hear about your favorite LanSchool feature(s) and how they help you make the most of technology in your classroom. Answer a quick survey and get a #LanSchoolFan T-shirt for sharing your opinion. LanSchool values your input, which will help shape the future of LanSchool’s products. And while you’re at ISTE, help LanSchool celebrate its 30th birthday! Follow LanSchool @LenovoSoftware for its latest ISTE announcements.

Click Here to Learn More About LanSchool

Tactile Timeline Exploring Freedom

The Knotted Line is an interactive, tactile laboratory for exploring the historical relationship between freedom and confinement in the geographic area of the United States. Paintings, digital collages, videos, audio, charts, and text encourage students to think about the complex issue of freedom in America as it relates to various groups throughout history. Teachers can freely access The Knotted Line curriculum online or download it as a PDF. The curriculum includes nine online Workshops—for example, “Defining Power, Developing Language,” “Media Analysis Basics,” and “Making Media Critically”—as well as two research and creative media Projects—“Flipping the Script: Making History with Media” and “Historical Fiction Time Travel.”

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Timeline

News Stories at Students' Levels

Tween Tribune, a news site hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, provides K–12 students with articles selected by professional journalists on current events and trending topics. Recent news stories include “This is how much water you waste when you throw away food,” “What would you include in your own little library?” and “The science behind nature’s patterns.” The news stories are organized by grade range (K–4; 5 and 6; 7 and 8; 9–12) with Lexile levels, as well as lesson plans filtered by topic, grade level, and Common Core State Standards. Some articles in each grade range focus specifically on technology—for example, “Would you let a robot operate on you?” and “How does night vision technology work?” Tween Tribune also provides articles in Spanish.

Click Here to Visit Website (English)

Click Here to Visit Website (Spanish)

Primary Sources on the History of Childhood

Children & Youth in History provides teachers and students with access to sources about young people around the world, from the past to the present. Developed by a team at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University, and the University of Missouri–Kansas City, the website provides access to information about the lived experiences of children and youth from multiple perspectives, as well as changing notions about childhood and adolescence in past cultures and civilizations. The materials on the site address such questions as, What was it like to be a child or adolescent throughout history? How is childhood defined? How has it changed, and how has it remained the same? What factors have shaped childhood, and how did children shape history, society, and culture? The website has four key features: a Primary Source Database with 350 resources, along with guidance on how to use those sources critically and tools for annotating and organizing the sources; 60 Website Reviews that focus on online resources for studying and teaching about childhood and youth in world history; 11 Teaching Modules that provide historical context, teaching tools, and strategies for teaching with sets of primary sources drawn from the Primary Source Database; and 25 Teaching Case Studies that model strategies for using primary sources to teach the history of childhood and youth.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: How does one study the history of young people? What can primary source documents reveal? What limitations do they pose? What light can the history of young people shed on the past? Students’ Guide to “Reading” Primary Sources on the History of Children & Youth serves as a resource to finding and interpreting (“reading”) primary sources about young people from ancient civilizations to the present. The guide is freely accessible online.

Click Here to Access Free Guide


Big Deal Media provides timely, relevant resources in a rapidly changing educational environment created with insight and attention to detail by seasoned educational publishing professionals and practicing K–12 educators.

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K-12 Technology

« June 15, 2016

In this Issue:

· Let's Protect Potential Together

Grants, Competitions, and Other "Winning" Opportunities

· Think Beyond Traditional Measures of Success – Be the New ROI Expert
· STEM Video Game Challenge
· Every Kid in a Park Program
· Website Design Contest
· Fruits and Veggie Grants

Resource Roundup

· Not All Carts Are Made Equal
· eBook Linking Movement and Achievement
· Research on Best Edtech Tools
· Tool for Creating Interactive Videos
· Storyboard Tool for Budding Filmmakers
· Guides to Classic and Contemporary Literature
· Curriculum for Using Film in the Classroom

Professional Learning Plus

· Online Graduate Degrees and Certificates in Education
· Webinar on Grant Writing
· Webinar on STREAM in the Classroom
· Live Video Discussion Groups

Mobile Learning Journey

· LanSchool Has Simplified Device Management
· 3D Modeling Software
· African American History and Culture


· STEM Student Advisory Group
· Cryptology Project for Improving Math Skills
· Lively Science Podcast
· STEM Mentors to Inspire Young Women

Worth-the-Surf Websites

· Calling All LanSchool Fans!
· Tactile Timeline Exploring Freedom
· News Stories at Students' Levels
· Primary Sources on the History of Childhood

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