4 apps for Earth exploration, chemical reactions, and more

This round-up ensures you won’t miss any of our weekly highlighted apps

july-appsEach week, we feature a new App of the Week on our website and in our newsletters. These apps are for students or educators and offer a range of uses.

But one thing is certain: educators and students are using apps now more than ever.

Here’s a round-up of the apps we’ve featured over the past month. Check back each Monday for a new App of the Week. And don’t worry–if you miss one, you can find a summary of recent apps at the end of each month.

1. Create a chemical reaction

Name: ChemCrafter
What is it? ChemCrafter lets you build your own lab to run fun and creative experiments.
Best for: Science students
Price: Free

(Next page: 3 more apps)

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Start the school year off with new furniture

Back-to-School Giveaway from OFM

OFM, an office and school furniture manufacturer, distributor, and wholesaler, announced today it is kicking off a brand new back-to-school giveaway aimed at teachers and other educational staffers. The winner will receive 20 colorful Rico Student Stack Chairs to start the 2014/2015 academic year off with a new classroom. Contestants can enter to win the “Sit Down and Learn Giveaway” simply by liking OFM’s Facebook page–www.facebook.com/ofminc–and sending an eMail to sitdownandlearn@ofminc.com with “learn” in the subject line along with a one-word description of the chairs their students currently use, for instance dirty, old, broken, worn, uncomfortable, etc.

Deadline: Aug. 15, 2014

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$1K for tuition, plus tech, for motivated college students

VIZIO Back-to-School Success Contest

This contest gives college students the opportunity to share a story of determination to further their education. Whether they worked two jobs through school, overcame a learning disability or were the first in their family to graduate and go on to college, many students have a special story of perseverance and success. In this unique contest, students across the country are encouraged to visit http://www.VIZIO.com/student to upload a video or photo essay detailing a personal story of determination, telling VIZIO why they should win the grand prize. The winning student will receive a VIZIO prize package, including a 40″ E-Series Smart TV, a new 2.1 Sound Stand perfect for bringing rich audio to the dorm room, $1,000 toward tuition, money for books and be able to help VIZIO give back to a local Boys & Girls Club in their college town.

Deadline: Aug. 19, 2014

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Innovative projects could get $1K

Toshiba America Foundation Grants For Grades K-5

Do you teach in an elementary school classroom? Do you have an innovative idea for improving math or science instruction in your classroom? Is your idea project based learning with measurable outcomes? What do you need to make learning math and science fun for your students? K-5 grade teachers are invited to apply online for a $1,000 Toshiba America Foundation grant to help bring an innovative hands-on project into their own classroom.
With a Toshiba America Foundation grant, elementary teachers can bring their best new teaching ideas to life.

Deadline: Oct. 1, 2014

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$1K awards for youth runners

Kids Run the Nation Fund Grants

In 2007, the RRCA developed the Kids Run the Nation Fund to assists running clubs, events, and schools that are interested in implementing or currently have a youth running program. Since 2007, the RRCA has granted a total of $95,000 to deserving youth programs around the US, along with donating thousands of copies of Kids Run the Nation program guides and kids booklets. This small grant program (20-30 grants of $500-$1,000 each) is funded by restricted contributions from RRCA members, individuals, foundations, and corporations. One hundred percent of the money raised is restricted to the grant fund and no portion of contributions to the Kids Run the Nation Fund are used for administrative expenses. Grants are awarded on an annual basis through an application and selection process overseen by a volunteer selection panel. Running clubs, events, or other organizations with the IRS 501(c)(3) designation are eligible to apply. Elementary and middle schools that provide an organized after-school running programs are eligible as well.

Deadline: Oct. 1, 2014

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The top ways digital tools transform learning

Annual survey highlights how students, teachers leverage digital tools to change education

digital-learningDigital tools are often touted for their ability to have a transformative effect on teaching and learning, and an annual survey reveals just how deeply these tools continue to impact education.

Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans shared some of the latest Speak Up Survey data during an exclusive edWeb webinar. The annual survey focuses on digital tools, emerging technologies, professional development, digital citizenship, STEM, and administrators’ challenges.

“We have a strong belief that today’s students should be well-prepared for the future, and digital tools can help ensure that they are prepared,” Evans said.

When it comes to district administrators’ views on solutions that can most transform teaching and learning, their top motivating factors include enhancing teacher effectiveness (58 percent), integrating 21st century skills into curriculum (49 percent), and leveraging technology more effectively (46 percent).

(Next page: Digital learning for students and teachers)

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Common Core assessments just got a little easier

Educators have a new assessment resources for Common Core implementation

ccss-assessmentA new free solution directly addresses the Common Core implementation challenges looming ahead for K-12 schools and districts around the country.

Edulastic is a web-based formative assessment platform that helps teachers prepare and deliver effective Common Core curricula by simultaneously improving the assessment creation, assignment, and grading processes.

The Common Core’s rigorous standards present significant new challenges to teachers by asking them to ensure every student is mastering a wide range of skill sets. To help students meet the new standards and practice using critical thinking to solve real-world problems, teachers will find value in delivering personalized instruction that is based on formative assessments. By providing existing assessment content for free, alongside rich question authoring options, teachers have access to empowering resources in one place—making teaching and formative assessments easier.

Edulastic helps educators achieve their Common Core curriculum objectives in several ways:

  • Provides meaningful homework solutions and daily assessments for evaluating and supporting student mastery of Common Core standards.
  • Enables teachers to craft standards-aligned formative assessments with highly interactive, freeform questions defined by Smarter Balanced & PARCC.
  • Offers free curated content that includes thousands of standards-aligned questions crafted by other teachers.
  • Provides insights into student proficiency at an aggregate and individual level, enabling teachers to identify areas where a student needs personalized instruction, intervention or remediation.
  • Facilitates the adoption of benchmarked standardized assessments through a collaborative evaluation process that can be applied across districts and within broader learning communities.

Edulastic allows teachers to use day-to-day assessment insights to shape learning outcomes. By giving teachers a new level of pedagogical ownership, Edulastic uses homework and in-class assignments as the basis for continuous and comprehensive evaluations.

“We’ve placed an emphasis on making it easy for teachers to create, share and adopt proven assessment strategies,” said Madhu Narasa, CEO of Edulastic. “We want to accelerate student learning—and help relieve stress associated with assessments and the Common Core implementation process—while delivering timely and useful information for students, educators, parents, and policymakers.”

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5 TED Talks that delve into education

These TED Talks highlight promising and inspiring concepts

TED-JulyEvery educator needs some inspiration now and then, and these days, such inspiration can be found online in just a few seconds.

The internet brings inspiring and motivational speakers and experts to anyone with a connection and an internet-ready device.

TED Talks are some of today’s most popular examples of the internet’s power to expand learning opportunities to all.

Each month, we’ll bring you a handful of inspiring TED Talks. Some will focus specifically on education; others will highlight innovative practices that have long-lasting impact. But all will inspire and motivate educators and students alike.

Did you miss our most recent TED Talks features? You can find them here:
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/04/18/ted-talks-tech-134/
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/05/27/may-ted-talks-893/
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/24/june-ted-talks-673/

(Next page: 5 inspiring TED Talks)

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