Grants and Other Funding Opportunities
Host an Educational Technology ConferenceeInstruction partners with schools and districts through a professional development grant program giving local organizers a $3,500 grant to host an educational technology conference. The conferences are one- to two-day events designed to offer sessions on a variety of instructional technology tools and pedagogical best practices to help educators integrate technology into their curriculum. The conferences are geared toward those interested in enhancing the teaching and learning of mathematics, science and other subject areas through the use of interactive technology solutions.
Help Children Learn Through Constructive PlayThe LEGO Children’s Fund provides grants for collaborative programs involving early childhood education that is directly related to creativity, and technology and communication projects that advance learning opportunities. Typical awards are between $500 and $5,000. Grant seekers must complete an eligibility quiz and be approved and invited to submit a grant proposal.
Deadlines: Quarterly; next round: December 28, 2010 (eligibility quiz); January 15, 2011 (applications for grants awarded in March 2011)
Make a Difference in Math and Science EducationThe Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) is accepting applications for its KSTF Teaching Fellowships, which support America’s best teachers of high school mathematics and science at the critical early juncture of their career. The award consists of $150,000 in tuition assistance, monthly stipends and support for summer professional development; regular meetings, online discussions and a structured mentor relationship for each fellow. Applicants must have a strong background in mathematics or science and demonstrate a commitment to teaching high school science and mathematics in the United States.
Deadline: January 12, 2011
Awards, Competitions and Other “Winning” Opportunities
Promote a “Can-Do” CultureWho has inspired your students to believe they can do anything? Has the person made a difference in students’ lives or community? That’s how a Can Do Hero is defined. Each month I Am a Can-Do Kid will choose one Can Do Hero from the nominations submitted and feature them on the organization’s Web site. Both the Can Do Hero and the nominator will receive a $100 scholarship for use toward their education.
Encourage Reading for EnjoymentSix Flags and Discovery Education have launched the Read to Succeed program, which encourages K–6 students to read for enjoyment outside of school. Students who complete six hours of recreational, nonschool-related reading can earn free admission to a participating Six Flags theme park, and teachers whose classes complete the program also can earn a free ticket. To encourage classroom participation, teachers will be provided with suggested reading lists, multimedia resources and cross-curricular lessons related to themes found in popular children’s books. Beginning in January 2011, teachers will be able to create virtual classroom reading clubs and manage student hours online on the secure Read to Succeed Web site.
Deadline: Ongoing, beginning in January 2011
Get Students Thinking Critically About Community IssuesC-SPAN’s StudentCam is an annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think seriously about issues that affect our communities and our nation. Students are asked to create a short (five- to eight-minute) video documentary on a topic related to the competition theme: Washington D.C.—Through My Lens. The competition is open to all students in grades 6–12. Students may compete individually or in teams of up to three members. All documentaries must contain C-SPAN footage that relates to the chosen topic. Seventy-five student prizes and 11 teacher prizes, totaling $50,000, will be awarded in two separate categories: Middle School and High School.
Deadline: January 20, 2011
Free and Inexpensive Resources
Encourage Respectful Use of Digital MediaA new, free digital literacy curriculum helps to teach fourth- and fifth-graders how to use the Internet responsibly. The curriculum was produced by Common Sense Media, which has a similar curriculum for middle school students that is being used by about 10,000 schools nationwide. The curriculum includes a focus on Internet and security, privacy and responsible digital behavior; and uses print, video and interactive components as well as real-life stories to deliver lessons on the subjects. Cyberbullying is a major focus of the curriculum, which is based on ethics findings of the GoodPlay Project from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Create a Teen-Driving Safety UnitToyota Teen Driver is a free online destination for educators, students and parents that promotes responsible driving for teens, both at home and in the classroom. In addition to parent-focused resources, the Web site offers a digital curriculum, including lesson plans, activities and discussion starters, for students in grades 9–12. Using these resources, educators can help inform students about the dangers of distracted driving, enable them to drive safely and encourage their friends to do the same.
Plus: Create an innovative teen driving safety unit plan for your students, and your school could win a visit from Toyota Driving Expectations or driving simulators for your school to keep!
Develop Cultural AwarenessEach year, December is filled with holidays, celebrations complete with a variety of gift giving traditions and—to the glee of students and educators alike—school vacations. Before departing to enjoy the break from school, take the opportunity to discuss with students ritual gift giving across cultural holiday traditions. The Gift of Holiday Traditions: Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas, a free resource from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will help students understand how numerous cultures contributed to popular holiday traditions.
Mobile Learning on the Move
Tweet with ColleaguesThe Twitter4Teachers wiki was created to help educators easily connect with other educators on Twitter. Check out the list of educators on the pages and feel free to add your Twitter name to the appropriate page. If you feel a subject area is missing and you think a page needs to be added, tweet or e-mail your suggestions or comments to the author of the wiki: email@example.com or ghartman on Twitter.
Help Teens Address Destructive IssuesFor the past 10 months, father–son duo William and Eric Nidiffer have been working with the Southern Nevada Community Gang Task Force to produce a comprehensive iPhone application designed to educate adults about the top 20 issues teens face and provide them with the resources for finding help. The app, called Destructive Issues, debuted November 13, 2010 and is free to those with an iPhone or iPod. The app prompts users to enter an awareness or response section, guiding them through education- or resource-related menus. The awareness section explains 20 issues teens face, such as cyberbullying, gangs and depression, and includes a question-and-answer page and a series of scenarios explaining the pros and cons of choices teens make—for instance, why a teen might be inclined to join a gang. Once users understand the issues, the response side of the app bridges the process of identifying a problem and finding a solution. It includes a prevention section with tips for parents, teachers and others, an intervention section describing how to help someone with a destructive habit and a resource list of national hotlines, Web sites, organizations and other places for getting help.
Increase Vocabulary, Improve ComprehensionA North Carolina businessman and lyric tenor in the North Carolina Opera offers recorded vocabulary lessons that are available via cell phone through his company, Urban Planet Mobile. In the SAT/GRE Remix mobile learning course, students listen to recorded voices reciting definitions of some 300 words that commonly trip up the SAT test-taker. Examples include ebullience, scintillating, verdant, obsequious, copious, deleterious, undulate and adumbrate. Other products include Urban English and TOEFL advanced vocabulary lessons.
Get Students Fired Up About STEM CareersChange the Equation (CTEq), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving science and math education, has launched a contest among some of the world’s most innovative companies to prove how cool jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can be. The STEM is Cool! contest challenged these companies to produce brief videos featuring an employee or group of employees who use STEM in exciting or unexpected ways. The 18 video submissions present jobs that require STEM as fun, fascinating and capable of changing the world. View the videos on the initiative’s YouTube Channel; then vote for your favorite videos by selecting “Like.” Voting on the videos will end on December 19.
Investigate the Reasons for SeasonsIn the Mystery Class global game, students search to uncover the secret locations of ten “mystery” sites hiding around Earth. To guide the investigation, students track changes in day length at the mystery sites and at their hometown, and use other “clues” along the way. As they take this journey, students unlock the essential questions behind the reasons for seasons and the dramatic changes in day length that result. The game starts on January 31, 2011. Find information for observing Earth’s daily and seasonal cycles as well as lessons, activities and journals on the game’s Web site.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Learn About Energy in a High-Tech WorldThe interactive Oil Refining: A Closer Look gives students an opportunity to learn how oil is transformed from its “raw” state to more useable forms. An introductory movie offers background on how petroleum came to exist in the first place and why it can be used as a source of energy. Students then can run the distillation and treatment processes that change crude oil into everything from gasoline to roof tiles.
Watch the Growth of the International Space StationIn this International Space Station (ISS) Assembly diagram, students can watch the Space Station come together, piece by piece, from 1998 until 2008. The links at the right of the diagram will take students to information about each stage of the Space Station’s growth.
Attend Macworld’s 2011 Educator TrackDon’t miss the professional development opportunities at Macworld 2011 in San Francisco. The event, co-produced by Computer-Using Educators (CUE) and IDG, is offering a discounted registration to attend. For $105 (regularly $400), you’ll get access to giveaways and a full day of dedicated Educator content led by CUE Ed Tech “rock stars” on January 29, 2011, along with the other Users Conference sessions and the latest products and announcements on the expo floor on January 27–29. To take advantage of the discount, register using CUE promo code MWCUE9.
Deepen Your Understanding of Primary SourcesThinking Like a Historian is an online seminar series for K–6 educators sponsored by Primary Source. Through online resources about immigration history, educators will learn how to incorporate and use primary sources in the elementary classroom. By exploring materials from the Library of Congress collection and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, they will deepen their understanding of primary sources and consider how elementary students can benefit from their observation and analysis. This three-week online course will take place from January 12 to February 2, 2011. The registration fee is $125.00. To register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites
Share Writing, Connect with ReadersA literary Web site for teens called Figment provides an online venue for students to write, read and share original fiction they create on their computers or mobile phones. A staff writer and a former editor at The New Yorker launched a prototype of the site in June and teamed with libraries, schools and literary groups to recruit student participants.
Answer Subject-Area Questions, Compare ResponsesDare to Compare invites your students to test their knowledge against other students around the world. Students simply select a grade and subject (civics, economics, geography, history, math or science) and the number of questions they want to see (more than 600 are currently in the database). Then they click the button Show Questions and see how their responses compare.
Discuss Books While ReadingDescribing itself as “part online bookstore, part social network,” and “the world’s first truly social e-reading platform,” Copia has launched a platform designed to bring together book buying, reading and discussion. You can write notes, highlight text and bookmark important pages, and your friends can follow along and respond back. Take the guided online tour.
Apply Academics to the Real WorldNeed in Deed: Connecting the Classroom with the Community provides activities and resources that encourage classrooms where “students apply academics to real-life problems—asking questions, conducting research and working together.” Through a yearlong project, students gain an understanding of the practical applications of schoolwork—reading, math, social studies and science—as they use these skills to make positive, productive responses to challenging issues of concern to them in their schools and communities.
Share Ideas About Teaching Writing in a Digital WorldThe National Writing Project’s Digital Is Web site is a collection of ideas, reflections and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world. You’ll find resources for 21st Century Skills, Collaboration, Digital Literacies, Digital Tools, Digital Video Composition, English Language Learners and more.
Create an Imaginary CityIn My Imaginary City, artists use their imaginations to create scenes and places that are not real and that might never exist. If your students could invent their own imaginary city, what would it be like? Invite them to explore My Imaginary City, an interactive created by the Tate Museum in London.
Learn About the Latest Educational IssuesedWeb.net, a professional social network for the education community, now brings you Education Talk Radio—interviews with innovative educators and industry leaders from all walks of education. Hosted by Larry Jacobs, Education Talk Radio takes you behind the scenes to hear about what’s happening inside American’s schools and colleges—and the latest issues, challenges and opportunities facing educators and administrators.
Click Here to Join edWeb Community
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· Share Writing, Connect with Readers
· Answer Subject-Area Questions, Compare Responses
· Discuss Books While Reading
· Apply Academics to the Real World
· Share Ideas About Teaching Writing in a Digital World
· Create an Imaginary City
· Learn About the Latest Educational Issues