Thursday, May 31, 2012

Adam Savage: Permission to Make

From KQED Mind/Shift - "MythBusters host Adam Savage has a thing or two to say about the importance of tinkering — even if that means it gets messy.

“If you don’t get a chance to fail, if you don’t get a chance to try things and not get them right the first time, and you keep on doing it until you do get that specific kind of success, then you become so risk-averse that you in fact get an allergy to trying new things. And that is the worst thing we can do to kids.”

At Maker Faire last weekend, Savage spoke about how the “maker culture” is the engine that will fuel kids’ love for — and excelling in — math and science.

Here’s to that maker spirit!"

For Young Readers, Print or Digital Books?

"Print or digital? Adults grapple with which is the best way to read — not only for themselves, but especially when it comes to their kids. Whether or not parents prefer print books over interactive e-books for their kids, the question is, what’s actually better for them?"

Read the entire KQED Mind/Shift article...

How to Identify Mysterious Images Online

Can’t figure out the source of an image you found online? There’s an easy trick you might not know about — and it’s an essential tool for citing sources...

Read entire blog post from KQED Mind/Shift...

Note from Nathan:  The KQED post shows how to search for images using Google.  There is another wonderful image identification tool you should explore as well - TinEye - Reverse Image Search -

New Free iOS Application Available from Classroom of the Future

You’re stuck on the moon or relocated to Mars. How are you going to survive for months or possibly years without resupply?

This is the challenge you face in the Bioregenerative Life Support System Simulator, or BLiSS Sim, the first science education app developed by the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future at the Center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W. Va. Using information from NASA’s Bioregenerative Life Support System research, you can plan a plant-based, Earth-like solution for oxygen, water and food production.

The free BLiSS Sim app is available for download from the iTunes Store at

BLiSS Sim uses a game format to engage youth and adults in the challenges of supporting humans in space or extreme environments on Earth. Players learn how four plant types -- wheat, potatoes, soybeans and lettuce -- can be grown and harvested to supply human oxygen, water and food needs. Anyone interested in plants, human space travel or planning biological sustainability here on Earth will want this free app based on NASA’s advanced life support research.

To learn more about BLiSS Sim, visit the website.

iTunes Store is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries.

National Space Biomedical Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute, or NSBRI, seeks solutions to health concerns facing astronauts on long-duration missions. This research also benefits patients on Earth. The NSBRI is soliciting applications for its Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

The NSBRI's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program provides support for postdoctoral fellows in any U.S. laboratory carrying out space-related biomedical or biotechnological research. Funding is for a two-year period with an option for a third year of support. Applicants must prepare proposals with the support of a mentor, and all proposals are evaluated by a peer-review panel.

Applications are due June 8, 2012.

For detailed information on the application process, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

2012 National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program

National Community College Aerospace Scholars, or NCAS, is an interactive, online learning experience featuring engineering career possibilities. It is highlighted by an on-site experience where selected students are encouraged to study mathematics, science, engineering or computer science by interacting with engineers at NASA.

The only cost to participants is a $30 registration fee. NASA covers travel, food and lodging. NCAS is open to community college students throughout the United States. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have access to the Internet.

Applications are due June 6, 2012.

For more information and to apply online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

"My American Landscape" Contest

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the United States' Landsat Earth-observing Program, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey are holding a contest that will offer winners customized satellite views of changing local landscapes.

All U.S. citizens are eligible to enter the "My American Landscape: A Space Chronicle of Change" contest. Winners will be announced on July 23, 2012, at a Landsat Program anniversary news conference in Washington, which will be carried live on NASA Television. The submissions deadline is June 6, 2012.

The Landsat Program has created the longest continuous global record of the Earth's surface observed from space. The images are a critical ingredient in decision making for agriculture, climate research, disaster mitigation, ecosystems, forestry, human health and water management.

To enter the contest, send NASA an email describing the local landscape changes you are interested in where you live, and what you hope to learn about them from Landsat's four decades of observations from space. Scientists will review the Landsat data archive for the six areas selected and show the changes observed at the July 23 event.

For more information on the contest and details on how to enter, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Jeannie Allen at

Algebraic Equations: Transit Tracks -- Finding Habitable Planets Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network, or LE&RN, projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on June 5, 2012, at 8 p.m. EDT. Discover how an algebra activity called “Finding Habitable Planets” will help you teach students to use their skills to analyze NASA data. Students learn about the possibility of discovering planets in habitable zones of solar systems.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to the NES Help Desk at

Sun-Earth Day Webcast to Commemorate Venus Transit

NASA's Sun-Earth Day team has joined forces with NASA EDGE to celebrate the Transit of Venus with a live webcast from Hawaii. On June 5, 2012, tune in for a live webcast from Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

The Venus Transit event will not be visible from the continental U.S. in its entirety, so the NASA EDGE and Sun-Earth Day teams are heading to Hilo, Hawaii. A mountainside location on Mauna Kea will give a wonderful view of the entire transit with little chance of cloud cover. Viewers will be able to see real-time images of the transit for the duration of the event in various wavelengths of light.

This webcast will emphasize the history and importance of Hawaiian astronomy and its connections to NASA space science. Using the backdrop of Mauna Kea, the University of Hawaii, NASA scientists and Hawaiian cultural leaders will weave multigenerational stories combining ancient ways of knowing with modern scientific discoveries.

For more information about the Venus Transit webcast, visit

To learn more about the Transit of Venus and to find activities related to this once-in-a-lifetime event, visit

Inquiries about this event should be directed to Elaine Lewis at

JUNE - Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project

The Aerospace Education Services Project is presenting a series of free webinars through June 2012. All webinars can be accessed online. Join aerospace education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.

Living and Working in Space (Grades K-5)
June 5, 2012, 9 - 10 a.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Wil Robertson will introduce teachers to some of the obstacles humans face while traveling in space. The webinar will review the major difficulties and concerns of adapting to the space environment, from everyday living and personal hygiene to safety.

NASA Engineering Design Challenge: Can You Deliver? "Touchdown!" (Grades 5-10)
June 5, 2012, 7:15 - 8:30 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt will share an activity that challenges students to safely deliver a cargo to the surface of Mars. This activity introduces students to the engineering design process, from brainstorming to writing a summary report. Given a particular set of materials, student teams design, build and test prototypes.

Animals in Space (Grades K-5)
June 6, 2012, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Wil Robertson will demonstrate how teachers can use stuffed animals as props in telling the story of the animals that preceded humans in space. The program is geared for teachers in K-5, with a special focus of aligning the topic with the Core Literacy Standards for elementary grades. Web resources will be provided.

NASA Mathematics for Middle School (Grades 6-8)
June 6, 2012, 7 - 8 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist John Weis will demonstrate NASA education products and resources related to mathematics. Materials discussed will cover graphing, ratios, simple algebraic manipulation and simple statistics. Lesson plans and strategies will be shared.

Fly Into NASA Aeronautics: Forces and Motion (Grades 3-8 and Informal)
June 7, 2012, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Brian Hawkins will demonstrate lessons that explain how airplanes fly. The activities will help students understand the four forces of flight and three axes of motion. A review of NASA's contributions in improving aircraft will be presented, and a high-performing classroom glider will be constructed.

I'm Signed up for NEON -- Now What?? (Grades K-12)
June 9, 2012, 11 a.m. - noon EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Anne Weiss will introduce participants to basic features of the NASA Educators Online Network, or NEON, professional/collaborative learning community. Participants will also learn how to use NEON to find appropriate NASA standards-aligned activities that satisfy state-specific teaching standards.

Understanding Earth, Moon and Sun Connections (Grades K-8)
June 12, 2012, 2 - 3 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Sonja Williams will introduce cultural perspectives related to the phases of the moon and the solar system. Attendees will participate in an activity based upon a Native American/Western science story. Participants will receive culturally relevant materials related to stars and constellations that they can share with their students.

NASA in the Classroom (Grades K-12)
June 12, 2012, 4 - 5 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Tom Estill will introduce K-12 teachers to various NASA education resources. Participants will learn how to find science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, lesson plans, current teacher/student opportunities and NASA videos for classroom use. Teachers will also be shown how to use local NASA-related resources.

The Real Lord of the Ring (Grades K-4)
June 13, 2012, 6 - 7 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Alexis Harry will introduce teachers to a set of lessons that enhance basic communication skills through scientific exploration based on the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. Throughout the lessons, participants practice a variety of language arts skills, including descriptive writing, note-taking, poetry, illustration and oral communication.

Mars Uncovered: Revealing the Geologic History of Mars (Grades 5-12)
June 18, 2012, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt will share an inquiry-based lesson that presents a critical-thinking approach of studying the surface of Mars. This process is similar to the approach used by NASA scientists. This lesson will teach students to examine geologic features of a planetary surface and use relative-age dating techniques to analyze the information and interpret the geologic history.

Looking at the Sun (Grades 2-8)
June 20, 2012, noon - 1 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner will present sun-Earth-moon models that help to explain the phases of the moon, and both lunar and solar eclipses. Additionally, the activity Kinesthetic Astronomy will be introduced for its explanation of the seasons.

I'm Signed up for NEON -- Now What?? (Grades K-12)
June 20, 2012, 6- 7 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Anne Weiss will introduce participants to basic features of the NASA Educators Online Network, or NEON, professional/collaborative learning community. Participants will also learn how to use NEON to find appropriate NASA standards-aligned activities that satisfy state-specific teaching standards.

Our Solar System: A Model Overview (Grades 4-9)
June 25, 2012, 11 a.m. - noon EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will present NASA inquiry activities that demonstrate remote sensing and scale models to better visualize our sun, planets, asteroids and other objects as a whole system.

Our Solar System: A Model Overview (Grades 4-9)
June 25, 2012, 3 - 4 p.m. EDT
  • Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will present NASA inquiry activities that demonstrate remote sensing and scale models to better visualize our sun, planets, asteroids and other objects as a whole system.

For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through August 2012, visit

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Gwendolyn Wheatle at

Free iOS Apps Today - May 31, 2012

  • Anyone can enhance, transform, and share their photos with ease using incredibly advanced features from the leader in digital photography software.
  • Morse-It is an easy to use application that allows to translate, interpret, type, learn, convert Morse code, and much more. It is retina display enhanced, universal binary (run on iPhone/iPod AND iPad), and is compatible with VoiceOver.
The Gift for Mom - Tinman Arts
  • Martin the Mantis has skillful hands. He can make all sorts of furniture. Martin wants to give his mom a big present for her upcoming birthday. Everyone, even the star in the sky came down to help, but the size of the gift didn’t seem right! What should they do? 
Oscar the Octopus (Addition & Subtraction) - Tinman Arts

Tinman Arts-Honey Cake Tree

Cupcake Shop - Smart monetary Educational Game for kids
  • Cup Cake Shop is an educational app that teaches basic addition skills, as well as ways to use your preferred currency in a fun game. The goal is to purchase delicious desserts from a Cat Cashier using the coins in your coin purse. However, the Cat Cashier is a bit picky, so anything over or under the exact price is rejected! If you really want to eat these yummy desserts, you’re going to need some good basic math skills.
Tally Counter Pro [Single & Dual Counter]

  • Fully functional digital level.

50 Best iPad Apps for STEM Education

"...Educators and parents can help get kids interested and perhaps even hooked on STEM no matter their age with the help of the iPad and the myriad great educational applications it offers. Here, we share some of the best applications for STEM education, and with selections that work for students of all ages and abilities, you’re bound to find something that’s the perfect companion to any STEM lesson."

Read the entire onlineUniversities blog post here...

Summary of the apps listed on the blog post with links into the iTunes store (mostly - some link to their own website, which then links into the app store).  I've taken time to look up pricing as of this post...

  1. Mythbusters HD ($4.99)
  2. Science Illustrated (App is Free - In-App Subscription Purchase Required)
  3. VideoScience (Free)
  4. Khan Academy (Free)
  5. Seismograph (99¢)
  6. iLab: Timer HD (99¢)
  7. Wolfram Alpha ($3.99)
  8. Science Glossary (Free)
  9. PLoS Reader (Free)
  10. Exploriments (an entire series of paid apps in Motion, Fluids, Electrostatics, Electricity, and Force)
  11. Science 360 (Free)
  12. The Ultimate Dinopedia ($4.99)
  13. 3D Sun (Free)
  14. Moon Globe HD (99¢)
  15. Frog Dissection ($3.99)
  16. Muscle System Pro II ($3.99)
  17. Britannica Kids (an entire series of paid apps on a variety of subjects)
  18. Molecules (Free)
  19. Simple Physics ($1.99)
  20. The Elements: A Visual Exploration ($13.99)
  21. Pocket Universe: Virtual Sky Astronomy ($2.99)
  22. Planets (Free)
  23. NASA (Free)
  24. Buzz Aldrin Portal to Science ($1.99)
  25. 3D Brain (Free)
  26. OnScreen DNA Model ($1.99)
  27. GeneIndex HD ($1.99)
  28. D. Bones ($1.99)
  29. Computer Science and MIS ($1.99)
  30. PHP Cheat Sheet (99¢)
  31. FTP on the Go ($4.99)
  32. techBASIC ($14.99)
  33. Textastic ($9.99)
  34. Engineering Unit Conversion (99¢)
  35. Mechanical Engineer ($5.99)
  36. Engineering Professional ($11.99)
  37. Finger CAD ($5.99)
  38. TinkerBox (Free)
  39. NASA Lunar Electric Rover Simulator (Free)
  40. Geared (Free)
  41. Paper Bridge (99¢)
  42. LEGO 4+  (Free)
  43. Math Ref (99¢)
  44. Achiever! (Free)
  45. Sector 33 (Free)
  46. Apollonius ($3.99)
  47. Motion Math ($1.99)
  48. Mathstronaut (not currently available in the U.S. App Store)
  49. Pop Math (99¢)
  50. Math Ninja ($1.99)

52 Great Google Docs Secrets for Students

"Google Docs is such an incredible tool for college students, offering collaboration, portability, ease of use, and widespread acceptance. But there are so many options, both hidden and obvious, that there’s a good chance you’re not using Google Docs to its fullest capability. We’ve discovered 52 great tips for getting the most out of Google Docs as a student, with awesome ideas and tricks for collaboration, sharing, and staying productive."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer is here! Take time to learn something new!

Up to $500K for RTI programs - EPS Response to Intervention (RTI) Grant Program

Read more by eSchool News Staff
This grant program is designed to assist school districts in the development and improvement of their Response to Intervention (RTI) programs.
Contact Information

EPS RTI Grant Program

EPS/School Specialty's Literacy and Intervention division, is pleased to announce a new grant program designed to assist school districts in the development and improvement of their Response to Intervention (RTI) programs. Recognizing the power of RTI to ensure that all students are successful, EPS/School Specialty has developed this grant program to support districts in their efforts to narrow the achievement gap.

Grant Application Overview

As part of the competitive process for the EPS RTI Grant Program, school districts are asked to submit a proposal that provides a detailed description of their planned or current RTI initiatives, a compelling statement of need for more RTI instructional resources, an implementation timeline, and information about their plans for evaluating their initiatives.

Grantees Will Receive

As part of the granting process, a committee of RTI experts will review each district's approach to reading and/or math intervention. Selected applicants will receive:
  • A face-to-face review and discussion of their intervention program
  • An in-depth analysis of their approach, plus recommendations for improvement
  • Support of up to 35% of the program cost (materials and professional development) to support the purchase of EPS RTI solutions
  • Access to an array of proven intervention programs and products, as well as Professional Development services, ongoing coaching, and support for district administrators and teachers

About EPS

EPS/School Specialty has more than 50 years of experience working with school districts across the country to implement research-based reading and math intervention programs that help struggling students, including those in Tiers 1, 2, and 3, in Special Education, and English Language Learners. Our Academy of Reading and Academy of Math online intervention solutions have been proven to be effective by a gold-standard efficacy study that met the quality standards for research set out by the U.S. Department of Education 'What Works Clearinghouse.'

Contact Information

Please contact Matti Prima at or visit to locate your local sales consultant if you have any questions regarding this opportunity

How Do I Use My Samsung Galaxy Tab?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grade Calculators

This website features a suite of grade calculators and rosters for use by students and teachers. Unlike other online grading calculators, the calculators on this website can work directly from letter grades (although they also work with numbers as well). There is no need to fuss with conversions. Enjoy!

How to Convert PDF Files for Easy Ebook Reading

"Many ebook readers natively support PDF documents but, unfortunately, not all PDF documents are easy to read on a small ebook reader screen. Let’s take a look at two simple and free ways to convert PDF files for enjoyable reading.

Kindles, Nooks, Sony Pocket Readers, and other popular readers support native PDF rendering. The problem with native rendering, however, is that many PDF documents are formatted to be read on a large screen or printed and read in hard copy. Large margins, multiple columns, and other formatting choices that aren’t such a big deal when the document in printed on 8.5×11 paper or displayed on a 20” monitor render the document almost unreadable when loaded into an e-reader with a 6” screen. Today we’re going to look at two ways you can re-format a PDF file for enjoyable reading on your favorite reader."

Click here to read entire article...

20 Startups Changing The Way We Learn New Languages

"Languages tend to stay the same, but the way we learn them is in a state of constant change. With new technology, great ideas, online courses, and an increasingly connected world, there are more new ways to learn a language today than ever before. For this, we can thank startups who are working hard to bring new and creative ways to get connected, practice language, and get access to language learning resources. Read on as we explore 20 startups who are making an impact on the way we learn new languages."

Read the entire article and see the 20 sites...

YouTube for Schools - YouTube for Teachers

10 Free Text to Speech Tools for Educators

From Educational Technology and Mobile Learning (Here's the link)...

"Today I am introducing you to a set of awesome tools that allow users to easily select any part of a text and hear it in the voice and accent they want. These tools can be very helpful for language teachers. Students can use them to impprove their pronunciation and develop their reading skills. All these tools are easy to use and above all free of charge. Most of these tools are extensions that you can install on your browser.

1- Select and Speak
  • Select and Speak uses iSpeech's human-quality text-to-speech (TTS) reads selected text. It includes 43 iSpeech text to speech voices. You can configure the voice and speed option by changing the settings at options page. ( This is a chrome extension )
2- QR Voice
  • QR Code allows users to converts text-to-speech, generates QR Code for speech URL and Simplifies share text-to-speech files.
3- Announcify
  • Announcify reads out loud every website you want. For example, if you're too tired but still need to study one more Wikipedia entry, Announcify can help your tired eyes relax.
4- Chrome speak
  • Chrome speak provides native support for speech on Windows (using SAPI 5), Mac OS X, and Chrome OS, using speech synthesis capabilities provided by the operating system. On all platforms, the user can install extensions that register themselves as alternative speech engines.
5- Text to Voice
  • 'Text to Voice' or 'Text to Speech' is one of the coolest add-ons. It gives Firefox the power of speech. Select text, click the button on the bottom right and this add-on speaks the selected text for you. Isn't it brilliant? Audio is downloadable.
6- Blind Speak
  • BlindSpeak is a new text to voice email application that lets you convert text into speech and then forward it to any email address. The recipient will get both an MP3 file and a link to the online Flash player to play the message.
7- Vozme
  • Vozme is a simple online ‘text to speech’ program that lets you type-in any English or Spanish text and then play it as an audio stream.

8- SpokenText
  • SpokenText lets you easily convert text into speech. Record (English, French, Spanish or German) PDF, Word, plain text, PowerPoint files, and web pages, and convert them to speech automatically. Download your reccordings as .mp3 or .m4b (Audio Book) files (in English, French, Spanish and German) of any text content on your computer or mobile phone.
9- Odiogo
  • Odiogo's media-shifting technology expands the reach of your content: It transforms news sites and blog posts into high fidelity, near human quality audio files ready to download and play anywhere, anytime, on any device.
10- MP3files
  • MP3files, play lists and podcast automatically generated from Wikipedia! Let your computer read out the Wikipedia for you!"

Smithsonian Channel Presents Women in Science  (Website)  (Podcast)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Website: I Love That Teaching Idea

From their website:

Welcome to the Home for Teaching Ideas!

We inspire teachers with practical, teacher-created ideas and resources that you can use in your classroom immediately.

Idea Directories
Bulletin Boards
Character Ed
Class Meetings
Classroom Mgmt
Field Trips
First Day
Learning Centers
Service Learning
Social Studies
Teacher Tips
Writing/Language Arts

Fontspace - 17000+ free fonts

Browse through our collection of 17,290 fonts that have been shared by designers around the world.

Color Theory - Quick Reference Graphic

Free iOS Apps Today - May 27, 2012

Big Space Jigsaw Puzzle -

Bug Zoo -

Bug Zoo HD -

Calculator Voice -

Notable - Learn Sheet Music -

German for Beginners (iPad) -

GRE Test (Math) -

ABA Problem Solving Game – Which Go Together? -

Khan Academy for iPad -

Basic Chinese (for iPhone) -

Basic Chinese (for iPad) -

Basic Portuguese (for iPhone) -

Basic Portuguese (for iPad) -

Basic Indonesian (for iPhone) -

Basic Dutch (for iPhone) -

Basic Dutch (for iPad) -

Basic Italian (for iPhone) -

Basic Italian (for iPad) -

Basic English (for iPhone) -

Basic English (for iPad) -

Basic French (for iPhone) -

Basic French (for iPad) -

Basic German (for iPhone) -

Basic German (for iPad) -

Basic Spanish (for iPhone) -

Basic Spanish (for iPad) -

Basic Japanese (for iPad) -

Maths -

A+ Flashcards Pro -

SAT Prep Pro - Over 200 Practice Questions with INSTANT Lessons -

Algebra Pro - Complete Workbook with ShowMe Lessons -

Motion Math Zoom -

NASA Visualization Explorer -

ABC SPELLING MAGIC 2 Consonant Blends -

School A to Z -

3D Zoo -

Space Images for iPad -

Friday, May 25, 2012

NASA releases the "Imagine the Universe!" DVD - 16th Edition - March 2012

Imagine the Universe DVD - 16th Edition - March 2012: A NASA produced DVD that contains four astronomy education web sites. It provides information, beautiful images, and learning adventures for all ages and grade levels. Included are...
  • Imagine the Universe - Exotic objects and topics in our Universe for grades 7 and up - what we know about it, how it is evolving, and the kinds of objects and phenomena it contains. Lots of resources for educators, too!
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - The year 2011 in pictures - beautiful, inspiring images with explanations by professional astronomers for all ages.
  • Afterschool Universe - Resources for an out-of-school-time astronomy curriculum targeted at grades 6-8. Engaging hands-on activities explore stars, galaxies, black holes and other topics beyond the solar system.
  • Starchild - An award-winning site for younger astronomers, grades K-8. Introduces the Solar System, Universe, and space exploration. Includes activities, movies, and puzzles.
(Prepared and produced by members of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to bring the excitement of their work to teachers, students, and the world.)

What will our kids' future look like????

I thought these videos show some great, exciting possibilities.  And our students will be the inventors...

New NASA Video - From the Sun to the Stars: The New Science of Heliophysics

NASA just shipped me new materials for teachers yesterday.  One was an interesting video entitled "From the Sun to the Stars:  The New Science of Heliophysics."  You can download this video (in MP4 format - 492 MB) on TeacherLINK...

There are many other free educational videos there as well.  Please feel free to have a look and use any of them you feel may be useful to your classroom.

Evaluation Rubric for Educational Apps

Harry Walker is the principal of Sandy Plains Elementary School in Baltimore County, Maryland. Fourth and fifth graders at the school are piloting one-to-one computing with iPod touches. In addition, Harry is a doctoral student at John Hopkins University. He's investigating the impact of iPod touch on student achievement.

One of his challenges is wading through the huge number apps available. He's crafted a rubric to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of an app in terms of how it may impact student achievement. His criteria include curriculum connection, authenticity, feedback, differentiation, user friendliness, and student motivation. Click to view the PDF.
Harry is looking for feedback about his rubric. Please offer any suggestions or compliments in the comments in the page link above. The feedback will help Harry improve the rubric and make it more useful. You're welcome to use the rubric yourself (just email him for permission).

Don't forget there's a great app review community at where educators review educational apps.

Palm Beach, FL - iPad in Education Wiki

A nice, practical resource for Palm Beach, Florida, teachers who have implemented iPads in their schools.   In particular, have a look at...

Applications (Apps)

Apps in Education Blog

Building a Bridge to Summer with Projects

The month of May can be a tough time for schools. The end of the year brings mixed emotions for students, teachers and parents, as they prepare for transition into the summer months. Keeping the same routines can be reassuring for some, but recasting school in terms of time and space can galvanize students and teachers and launch them into the summer full of energy and inspiration.

Click here to read the entire KQED Mind/Shift article...

Free iOS Apps Today - May 25, 2012

Great Snail Race, Kids Stories from Tilly's Number Town Fun Educational Children's Book

Aesop's Fables(120 fables)

Vocabology - Build Your Vocabulary

Measure Length - Tiny Chicken

Animal Kingdom for iPhone

Paint-On-3D Easter Eggs

Simply B&W (Turn color photos into B&W with controls)

A Day of Caveman HD

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Motions of the Sun Simulator

Space Station Expedition Webcasts

NASA's Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate project and NASA's Teaching From Space office are presenting three free webcasts that focus on the International Space Station. All three webcasts will cover the same material. Each webcast will kick off with an introduction to space station expeditions and will then explore NASA's most relevant classroom resources.

Webcasts will take place on July 12, Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, 2012. Participants must register online. Registration closes three days prior to each session.

For more information, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

2012 Music and Astronomy Under the Stars Events

Join Dr. Donald Lubowich, coordinator of the Astronomy Outreach Program at Hofstra University, for a series of events bringing astronomy to the public. Concertgoers at several events this summer will get a glimpse of heavens along with their music.

This NASA-sponsored program will include optical and radio telescope observations of the Sun prior to the concerts. Observations of the moon, planets, multi-colored double stars, star clusters and nebulae will be featured at intermission and after the concerts. Videos, posters, hands-on activities and the sounds of the sun will also be available.

For more information and to see a full schedule of events, visit

Expeditions 33 and 34 In-flight Education Downlink Opportunities

NASA is seeking formal and informal educational organizations, individually or working together, to host live, in-flight education downlinks during Expeditions 33 and 34 (approximately from September 2012 to March 2013). To maximize these downlink opportunities, NASA is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the downlinks into well-developed education plans.

The deadline to submit a proposal is June 1, 2012.

During Expeditions 33 and 34, crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in downlinks. Downlinks take approximately 20 minutes and allow students and educators to interact with astronauts through a question-and-answer session. Downlinks afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space. Downlinks are broadcast live on NASA TV and are streamed on the NASA website. Because of the nature of human spaceflight, organizations must demonstrate the flexibility to accommodate changes in downlink dates and times.

Interested organizations should contact Teaching From Space, a NASA Education office, to obtain information related to expectations, format, audience, guidelines and forms by sending an email to or by calling 281-244-7608.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit

NASA History Division Fall 2012 Internships

The NASA History Division is seeking undergraduate and graduate students for fall 2012 internships. The History Division maintains archival materials to answer research questions from NASA personnel, journalists, scholars, students at all levels and others from around the world. The division also edits and publishes several books and monographs each year. It maintains a large number of websites on NASA history.

Students of all majors are welcome to apply. While detailed prior knowledge of the aeronautics and space fields is not necessary, a keen interest and some basic familiarity with these topics are needed. Strong research, writing and editing skills are essential. Experience with computers, especially HTML formatting, is a plus.

Intern projects are flexible. Typical projects include handling a wide variety of information requests, editing historical manuscripts, doing research and writing biographical sketches, updating and creating websites, and identifying and captioning photos.

Applications are due June 1, 2012. For more information, visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, please contact Bill Barry at

2012 Summer Workshops -- Climate Science Research for Educators and Students

The Institute for Earth Science Research and Education, in collaboration with Queens College/City University of New York, is seeking participants for summer professional development workshops in the second year of its Climate Science Research for Educators and Students project. Funded by the NASA Innovations in Climate Education program, this project seeks to improve student engagement in climate science by helping teachers and students develop authentic climate-related science research projects.

During summer 2012, two climate science workshops will take place in New York City. The first workshop will be held in late June or early July. The workshop will focus on understanding sun/Earth/atmosphere interactions and Earth's radiative balance, a fundamental concept for climate science. All participants will build pyranometers, instruments for monitoring solar radiation. A follow-up workshop will take place in August. During the summer, participants are expected to conduct their own research. 

All workshop participants in 2011 were from New York City or within commuting distance. In 2012, teachers from other places are encouraged to attend the early summer workshop, with follow-on activities to be conducted online in place of attendance at the August workshop. On-campus housing at Queens College should be available, and travel support for teachers from outside the NYC area may be available.

Applications are due June 1, 2012.

For more information, visit

Questions about this competition should be directed to David Brooks via email at or by phone at 610-584-5619.

2012 Educate to Innovate Conference

NASA’s Aerospace Education Services Project and the Kentucky Southeast-Southcentral Education Cooperative are presenting two Educate to Innovate opportunities this summer. These conference workshops will explore engineering design challenges, problem-based learning activities, distance-learning modules, inquiry-based lessons, literacy across the curriculum and hands-on projects. Event agenda items will target the next generation standards of learning for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Workshop participants will experience eight breakout sessions with hands-on activities over the two-day training. Participants also can sign up for free 90-minute virtual follow-up with one of NASA’s aerospace education specialists.

Two separate conference opportunities are available. The first will take place June 20-21, 2012, at Eastern Kentucky University. The second will take place June 26-27, 2012, at Corbin Center for Technology and Community Activities in Corbin, Ky.

The registration deadline for these events is May 31, 2012.

For more information and to register online, visit

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Brandon Hargis at

NASA Earth Day Video Contest 2012

To mark Earth Day 2012, NASA presents the Earth Day Video Contest 2012. For the second year in a row, NASA is challenging the public to create a compelling video vision of NASA's exploration of Earth -- The Home Frontier.

To enter, produce a short video that captures what you find inspiring and important about the unique view and understanding of Earth provided by NASA science. Upload your video to YouTube and tag it using the instructions found on the contest website. NASA will feature the best entry -- chosen by a panel of NASA scientists and communicators -- on the NASA website. And, the winner will receive a behind-the-scenes look at the next rocket launch of a NASA Earth-observing satellite.

Submissions will be accepted until May 31, 2012.

For more information, official contest rules and to see the winning video from last year, visit

If you have any questions about this contest, please email Patrick Lynch at

Chemistry of Water: Math and Science @ Work -- A Breath of Fresh Air Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, NASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on May 31, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how to implement a chemistry lab activity called “A Breath of Fresh Air.” During the activity, students create their own electrolysis apparatus to generate oxygen and use a Texas Instruments TI-Nspire calculator to collect data. Note: You do not need to have a TI-Nspire calculator during this professional development.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to

Derivatives: Math and Science @ Work -- Space Shuttle Auxiliary Power Units Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network, or LEARN, projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on May 30, 2012, at 8 p.m. EDT. The Space Shuttle Auxiliary Power Units student activity featured in this seminar is a problem set from the Mission Control series of NASA’s Math and Science @ Work project. Participants will assume the role of a student. Attendees will work the problem set, score their results and share best practices with other participants for implementing this problem set into the classroom.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to

Free iOS Apps Today - May 24, 2012

  • Alarm (up to 8 alarms), Timer, D-Day, and Reminder app
  • Tired of lending your stuff and forgetting who you lent it to? Having trouble remembering what you own? Ever think of something you want only to get to the store and forget what it was?  Catalog+ is an amazingly easy way to keep track of all your books, games, movies and music. Best of all its all in one place!
Appzilla 2 - 120 in 1!
  • Completely redesigned from the ground up with an ALL-NEW interface, AppZilla 2 contains 120 apps including BRAND-NEW additions like a Barcode Scanner, Police Scanner, GPS-based Reminders, Walkie-Talkie and more! It also includes beefed-up sequels to your favorite AppZilla 1 apps! 
Wi Camera - Live Streaming Your Video Camera Wirelessly 
  • Would you ever think your iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad can be a real-time wireless video camera? The answer is YES. Let's use Wi Camera now to make your devices become a real-time wireless video camera.
  • day stores your important dates, and can notify you of events coming up. For any future event, you can select how many days in advance you want to be alerted, from on the event day to up to 9 days prior. Keep your important days separate from a cluttered calendar.  days allows you to share events across any iOS device, both to devices you own or anyone else with an iOS device running days. Great for sending To-Do lists or schedules to friends and family, or entering event details on an iPad and sending to your iPhone.
Match and Pair Memory Game
  • Match and Pair is a memory game that is specifically targeted to enhance your child's object recognition and memorization skills. Carefully selected real images of random objects in purely random placement are displayed under cards each time. This makes the game challenging and exciting every time it is played.
Fun and Learn : Handwriting for Kids 
  • Capital and small letters and numbers for your child to learn how to write them. We have provided two platforms for writing and tracing, while writing letters you can teach your child to recognize different objects, letters and numbers.
  • Welcome to's App. The "AutismClass" app is the new application for educators and families who have children with autism in their lives. It was developed by the owner of, who is an Autism Educational Specialist with over 15 years experience working with individuals with autism and who is the author of How to Set Up a Classroom for Students with Autism, How to Set Up a Work Area at Home for a Child with Autism, and Lesson Ideas & Activities for Young Children with Autism and Related Special Needs.  The text app is intended to provide a wealth of easy to understand information that allows teachers, para-professionals, administrators, related service providers, parents, family members, babysitters, and in-home support providers, quick access to ideas for sparking meaningful lessons and activities for young children with autism. The app includes a brief Autism Classroom Checklist to give administrators, teachers and parents a starting point to evaluate a classroom that educates students with autism. Additionally, the behavior tabs help users to critically think about their current behavior interventions, while highlighting new strategies and solutions for challenging behaviors for children and teens with autism.
French English Dictionary | dictionnaire | Dict Box 
  • DICT BOX is FREE, USEFUL and yet SIMPLE dictionary app.
Greek English Dictionary | λεξικό | Dict Box

Children's Story Book Apps that are free today...

The Fox and the Grapes - StoryBean

Puss in Boots (HD)

Tongue Twister Pro

Little Red Riding Hood (3D Pop-up Book) 

American McGee Presents Akaniero: A Red Riding Hood Tale 

Little Red Cap 

The Frog Prince-Interactive Book-iBigToy

The Little Prince Interactive Book iBigToy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The 101 Most Useful Websites

Free Photoshop Brushes, Patterns, and Textures

Edutopia: Project-Based Learning: Success Start to Finish

"For this installment of Schools That Work, we chose Manor New Technology High School, a public high school just outside of Austin in Manor, Texas. It is an entirely project-based learning school that has consistently achieved outstanding results since opening. We followed a project there for three weeks to find out what makes their model so effective.

By Mariko Nobori

There is a small town, about 12 miles east of Austin, Texas, where a high school devoted to teaching every subject to every student through project-based learning (PBL) opened five years ago. On its own, this would not have been a noteworthy event. The list of schools across America deepening the learning process through PBL has been growing for quite some time. But few schools have fine-tuned the process like Manor New Technology High School in Manor, Texas, where 98 percent of seniors graduate and 100 percent of the graduates are accepted to college. Find out how they do it.
Thanks to the Buck Institute for Education for help in identifying the success at Manor New Technology High School.
What do you think about this Schools That Work story? We'd love to hear from you!
Tweet your answer to @edutopia or email us."

Also, have a look at the Edutopia articles, "A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Projects" and "Six Affirmations for PBL Teachers."

eSchool News Webinars Archive

Please note that you need to register on the site (it's free and eSchool News' site is worth it) in order to view any of archived webinars below...

How to effectively manage Staff, Student and Parent access to district resources with minimal IT impact - Until recently, a K12 environment was primarily concerned with providing services to administrative staff. Now districts are providing services to teachers, students and in many cases parents but don’t really have the tools to scale their operations while maintaining adequate security. In this webinar, we will look at some of the practical issues K12 districts face today that center around account management and resource access and will talk to Spring ISD to learn more about their approach to these issues. Spring ISD is located in the Houston Metropolitan Area and has approximately 40,000 students and 5,300 staff.   View Archive

Chromebook Classrooms - Chromebooks for Education gives students, teachers, and administrators a solution for fast, intuitive, and easy-to-manage computing. With a central web-based management console for all devices, automatic maintenance and upgrades, and an 8 second boot-up time, Chromebooks are at home in the classroom (and beyond). This webinar will discuss the benefits, technical requirements, and pricing for setting up a Chromebook classroom at your school. You’ll hear from the Chromebooks team at Google and educators currently using Chromebooks with students. - View Archive

Make Clickers Work for You: Pedagogy for Student Engagement - Clickers can increase student engagement by going beyond simple quizzes. Learn to write good questions, promote student discussion, and see research results on best practices. In this interactive webinar, we’ll explore tips and ideas for incorporating clickers into your particular class. Clickers offer a powerful way to increasing student engagement and improve learning. At my high school, I have transformed my classrooms by using clickers to promote peer instruction and personally written many of the questions I use. I’ll show research results on the most effective use of clickers, and discuss common challenges. In particular, I’ll focus on the attributes of “great” clicker questions, discuss example questions, and share ideas on facilitating effective wrap-up discussions once all the votes are in. - View Archive

The Art of a Flipped Classroom – Turning Learning on its Head - Sign up for this free webinar to learn more about Flipped Learning and how to reach all of your students in every class every day. Whether you attended Part I or not, this webinar will discuss the Flipped-Mastery Classroom. Flipped Learning is when educators actively transfer the responsibility and ownership of learning to their students. - View Archive

How to Harness the Power of Adaptive Quizzing to improve your AP courses - There is a lot of talk about adaptive in today’s assessment products, but it’s hard to know what the term “adaptive assessment” really means and how it impacts student learning outcomes. Julia Phelan, Senior Research Associate, will explain the real definition of adaptive, and how this principle is applied in a new adaptive tool for AP teachers, PrepU. PrepU is an adaptive assessment environment­ already used by nearly a million college students­ and is now available for AP Chemistry, AP Psychology, and AP US History classes. AP Psychology instructor, Janis Sposato, will describe in case study format how she and her students have benefitted from using PrepU in her course this spring. - View Archive

Support Your Students Instead of Your Devices. How One School Automated Management for Hundreds of iOS Devices - Spending too much time supporting technology instead of your students? Holland Christian Schools was. They spent too much time manually processing iOS devices instead of focusing on essential services and supporting their students.  With over 2,000 devices, a 1:1 Mac program, and hundreds of iOS devices entering their deployment – Holland Christian needed a cost-effective solution that could easily integrate with their existing infrastructure.. - View Archive

Make Thinking Visible with the Flipped Classroom Model - From Harvard University to inner city Detroit to rural Colorado; from basic introductory classes to AP courses, teachers are experiencing significant improvement in student achievement transitioning to the ‘Flipped Classroom’ model. A side benefit is that teachers save time. - View Archive

Tegrity and the Flipped Classroom: Smarter Use of Technology for Improved Learning- Spending too much time supporting technology instead of your students? Holland Christian Schools was. They spent too much time manually processing iOS devices instead of focusing on essential services and supporting their students.  With over 2,000 devices, a 1:1 Mac program, and hundreds of iOS devices entering their deployment – Holland Christian needed a cost-effective solution that could easily integrate with their existing infrastructure.. - View Archive

Powering the Digital Classroom: More than just Computers- If I put a laptop on your desk, do you become smarter? Just introducing computers to the classroom will not, on its own, improve instruction. By now, using the experience of many districts around the country, we know a lot about how to use technology effectively to support improved instructional practices. Come learn from the experience of educators about key success factors in implementing a digital initiative. - View Archive

Empowering Students with Clickers: Enhancing the Learning Environment with Student Response Systems - Based on the findings of his Case Study, Eric  Hartman will speak to faculty and staff interested in getting the most out of in-class use of student response systems (clickers). This pedagogical workshop is intended for those who are new to clickers or looking for new ideas and best practices.  His ideas will provide tips and suggestions that can be used by anyone, including teachers, Media Lab Staff, adult educators, school staff and administrators. - View Archive

Free iOS Apps Today - May 23, 2012

Ringtone Architect
  • Create ringtones from your iPod music library. Make unlimited ringtones!
Clockwork - Metronome and Click Track
  • From the developers of Cleartune, bitcount ltd. introduces Clockwork. With a comprehensive feature set, incredible accuracy and elegant design, Clockwork defines a new class of metronome. Not just a basic timekeeper, Clockwork includes a unique click track/song editor that allows you to customize many parameters including tempo variations, time signatures, accents, and more. Arrange your songs into setlists for seamless playback, and rearrange or edit setlists on the fly. Create your own samples using the built in sound recorder.

NASA G.I.R.L.S. Mentoring Program: Apply Now

NASA is looking for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators! Women@NASA's G.I.R.L.S. (Giving Initiative and Relevance to Learning Science) mentoring program offers a unique experience for girls in grades five through eight.

Participants will explore the possibilities of a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The program will feature one-on-one mentoring from women working at NASA, and participants will complete online lessons with their mentors while virtually connected through Skype or Google Chat.

Applications are due by June 15. The program will take place over five weeks during the summer. For more information and to register online, visit

Reaching Out to Spanish-Speaking Students - Geoscience

Many geoscience educators have distributed AGI's "Why Earth Science?" brochure to promote awareness of the importance of Earth science in K-12 education over the years. To ensure that this vital message reaches the widest possible audience, AGI has translated the publication into Spanish.

The geoscience community encourages minority participation. America's more than 40 million Hispanics comprise the nation's largest race or ethnic minority, a population that is rapidly growing. What's more, most Hispanics ages five and up speak Spanish at home, says the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Why Earth Science?" explains the importance of Earth science education for success in school, careers, informed decision-making, and civic engagement. English and Spanish versions of the brochure also are available online as downloadable files at