Feb 09 Newsletter - ALtEC NEWSLETTER

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					        A MONTHLY NEWSLETTER																																																																																																							FEBRUARY 2009
    MARCH 2007	

          A LT E C n e w s l e t t e r
                                                    Ex c i t i n g N ew M at h Ga m e s
                                                    at A rcademic Skil l Bu ilders
                                                    Building on the success of the multi-player games
                                                    on Arcademic Skill Builders, the game creators at
                                                    ALTEC have come up with a new type of game
                                                    called “tug of war.” Up to eight students can play at
        IN THIS ISSUE                               one time, four on each team. The games were cre-
        NEW TUG OF WAR                              ated in an arcade-like format to build upon the abil-
        GAMES                                       ity of games to engage learners to improve their
        The new TUG of WAR games at                 skills in a challenging game environment. The new
        Arcademic Skill Builders help               games include: Tugboat Addition, Tug of War: Frac-
        students build math skills in a fun,        tions, and Tug of War: Multiplication.
        challenging, highly-interactive en-
        vironment. PAGE 1                           The games are designed so that the more quickly
                                                    each team answers the math problem, the more
        COLLABORATE                                 “tug” there is to one side. The first team to pull its
        Great sites that are designed to            boat over the buoy wins. The game adds additional
        help you join online collaborative
        projects, start your own projects,          excitement because it’s team against team, which
        and find classrooms around the               makes the game both collaborative and competitive.
        world to collaborate with.                   Arcademic Skillbuilders has received excellent
        PAGE 2
                                                    feedback from teachers regarding the use of these
        CONFERENCE                                  games to improve test scores in math. The games
        CALENDAR                                    are designed to meet state standards in math and
        Meet ALTEC staff and attend AL-             language arts. Teachers use the games for home-
        TEC sessions at these confer-               work and practice, cooperative learning, and to re-
        ences. PAGE 5                               inforce learning through their instant corrective
        EXISTING PROJECTS                           Students can visit the Web site at any time and join
        Find out how ALTEC services                 an existing game in a completely safe environment.
        can provide valuable support to             The site collects no personal information about the
        your existing projects.                     student. The player just chooses a randomly gener-
        PAGE 5                                      ated player name or types in a player name of his/
                                                    her choice and clicks CREATE. The player then can
                                                    host a game or join an existing game to get started.
                                                    Visit http://arcademicskillbuilders.com to get

    MARCH 2007	



Technologies such as Skype and inter-
active video conferencing make it easy
for students to work on projects with
students in other classrooms anywhere       http://www.epals.com/
in the world. Rather than assigning a       ePals is the largest global learning
student project and limiting participa-     community on the Internet. It provides
tion to just the students in one class-     a place for students, educators, and
room, teachers are using the Internet       districts around the world to connect
to connect with other classrooms within     and collaborate in a safe and secure
their own school building, across dis-      environment. ePALS provides three
tricts, and even classrooms in other        free, user-friendly solutions for educa-
countries. This month, we wanted to         tors. SchoolMail, SchoolBlog, and
share some of the more popular Web          Classroom Match are easy to set up
sites that are designed to make it easy     and are closely monitored for kid-safe
for teachers to find other teachers who     content. Using ePals’ instant translation
are interested in participating in col-     tool, students can communicate easily
laborative projects.                        with students around the world in eight
                                            different languages. No additional
                                            hardware or software is needed to use
                                            ePals; a computer with an Internet
Center for Innovation in Engineering        connection is all you need to get
and Science Education                       started.
CIESE sponsors dozens of collaborative      ePals’ Projects Page has projects cover-
projects for K-12 classrooms in math        ing a wide variety of subjects includ-
and science. Participation is free and      ing: global warming, habitats, water,
each project has a Fall and Spring ses-     weather, and focus areas such as the
sion that classrooms can choose to          election, black history, human rights,
participate in. Here are some sample        and geography. You can join an exist-
topics that students will explore:          ing project, or post a project of your
•How does our proximity to the equator      own and ePals’ Connect with Class-
   affect hours of sunlight and daily       rooms feature will help you find a
   temperature?                             classroom to collaborate with. Teacher
•Human genetics: do dominant traits         guides, helpful tips, and easy-to-follow
   occur more frequently than reces-        instructions are provided to help you
   sive traits?                             get started on your project right away.
•Are organisms found in pond water          Visit the Web site for complete details.
   the same all over the world?
•What impact are humans having on
•Compare the water quality of your lo-                  Schoolhouse
   cal lake, stream, or pond with fresh
   water sources around the world.          http://www.gsn.org/gsh/pr/index
These are just a few of the projects        Global Schoolhouse is a project registry
and resources available to you at this      that has an archive of more than 2,300
Web site.

    MARCH 2007	
collaborative projects completed. There     and sunset times throughout the year
are 89 projects currently in progress       for areas with proximity to the equator
with 54 still accepting registrations and   and the data posted by the 10 mystery
10 future projects already registered.      classrooms each week.
This Internet projects registry is hosted
by the Global SchoolNet Foundation.         The Plants and Seasons project will
Here are some new projects that are         track the arrival of spring by keeping
starting this spring:                       an eye on Red Emperor tulips planted
                                            by 400 classrooms this past fall. Stu-
•A day in the life of students around       dents will record the progress on real-
   the globe – Language Arts Project        time maps. The Seasonal Migrations
•Learn about winter in Canada – Com-        project has eight projects available this
   munity Interest Project                  spring. The Spring projects available
•Carpooling Earth Day – Science/Math        are: Whooping Cranes, Bald Eagles,
   Project                                  Hummingbirds, Robins, Monarch But-
•Midsummer Night’s Dream across the         terflies, Symbolic Migration, Gray
   sea – Literature Project                 Whales, and a general project called
•The Great Chocolate Experience –           Other Favorite Signs of Spring. Visit
   Math Project                             Journey North for complete details.
•Where have all the factories gone? –
   Economics Project
                                            Monster Exchange
Visit Global Schoolhouse for complete
details about each project.
                                            Monster Exchange is an extremely
                                            popular K-8 English writing collabora-
              Journey                       tive project that challenges students to
              North                         draw a monster and write a detailed
                                            description of it to send to another
                                            student. The receiving student then
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/              draws a picture of the monster based
Journey North is a free Internet-based      on the description provided and sends
project that allows students to track       it to the creator to compare to the
wildlife migration and seasonal change.     original. The pictures are scanned and
Projects are divided into three catego-     posted online at the Monster Gallery.
ries: Sunlight and the Seasons, Plants      Students then receive feedback
and the Seasons, and Seasonal Migra-        through e-mail. The Monster Exchange
tions. Teachers can go to the Web site      project is designed to meet educational
and choose a project, register for the      standards for Language Arts grammar
project, and then access the guides,        and writing skills. There are currently
lesson activities, reading connections      more than 163,000 students participat-
and interactive maps for each project.      ing in this project.

This Spring the Sunlight and Seasons                       Flat
project is a “mystery class” project that
runs from February through May 2009.                       Stanley
Each week students will record their
local sunrise and sunset times and cal-
culate day length on their data sheets.     http://www.flatstanley.com/
At the same time, 10 mystery classes        Flat Stanley is a pen pal project that
will record the same data, which will be    originated in Ontario, Canada. Students
posted on Friday of each week. On May       create a paper Flat Stanley using a
1 students will be asked to predict         template available at the Web site.
where the 10 mystery classes are hid-       They keep a journal of Flat Stanley’s
ing, using their knowledge of sunrise       adventures and then send him on to

    MARCH 2007	
another classroom as a guest. The host                      find a list of projects, online seminars,
classroom keeps a journal of their ad-                      a blog, and helpful resources. The
ventures with their Flat Stanley guest                      creator of the site, Jennifer Wagner,
and sends it back to the original class-                    has hosted more than 50 online col-
room. Some classes have taken video                         laborative projects. At the site you will
journals, some participate through e-                       find a wonderful archive of all of those
mail, and others create photo journals                      projects that will certainly inspire some
and Web sites of their adventures with                      new ideas for your classroom. You will
Flat Stanley. He’s been all over the                        also find a list of current projects. Here
world! Visit the Web site and read suc-                     are a few of the projects available now:
cess stories, visit the photo gallery,
register (it’s free) and find a class to                    •Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln – a site is
partner with. The site is also filled with                      provided with four activities to choose
great ideas for classroom projects with                         from, expansion ideas, lesson plans,
Flat Stanley, including research and                            standards, and additional resources.
creative writing topics, art, drama,                        •St. Patrick’s Day Project – a site is pro-
modeling, and inventions. Each idea                             vided with project details, language
comes with a Hint of the Week to help                           arts, math, and computer skills activi-
teachers find creative ways to use Flat                         ties, printable worksheets, standards,
Stanley in the classroom.                                       and additional resources.
                                                            •The Shape of Things – students create
Jenuine Tech                                                    one-of-a-kind masterpieces using only
http://www.jenuinetech.com/                                     circles, triangles, and squares.
This site was created in 1999 to help
teachers in Pre-K-6 classrooms inte-                        Go to the Web site and register for
grate technology into the classroom in                      free!
creative and effective ways. You will

                   Need teacher training? We can help!

     ALTEC Professional             Listed below are the                       	
                                                                               ONLINE SESSIONS
                                    online and onsite sessions                 Online   Project Based Learning
       Development                  we currently offer:                        Online   Inspiration, Kidspiration, Kidpix
                                                                               Online   Interactive Whiteboard Intensive
                                                                               Online   Annenberg Math Resources
                                    ONSITE SESSIONS                            Online   Microsoft Access
                                    An LCD Projector in the Classroom
                                    An Interactive Whiteboard in the Class-
                                                                               Please visit the ALTEC Profes-
                                    The Power of Video-based Learning
                                    Math Illustated: Using Geometer’s          sional Development Web site at
                                    Sketchpad                                  http://pd.altec.org for complete
                                    Advanced Microsoft Office                  details. An ALTEC representative
                                    Creative Thinking Skills Using Handhelds
                                    Strategic Technology Planning              will be happy to assist you with
                                    Technology Integration Academy             pricing, registration, and custom
                                    Podcasting: Educational Applications       training options.
                                    Custom Staff Inservice Days

    MARCH 2007	

Conference Calendar                                 ALTEC PROVIDES
Meet ALTEC Staff at these Upcoming Conferences!
KSDE Annual Conference                              SERVICES TO
Kansas State Department of Education
Date: April 30 & May 1, 2009                        SUPPORT YOUR
Location: Hyatt Regency and Century II Con-
vention Complex, Wichita, KS                        EXISTING PROJECTS
Web site:
                                                    If you have an existing or pro-
=2762                                               posed project, ALTEC can de-
                                                    velop and host your Web site,
Date: March 12, 2009                                support your online community
Location: Raymore-Peculiar High School, Pecu-       with discussion boards, set up
liar, MO
Web site:                                           your video conference, or custom-
http://education.umkc.edu/kcrpdc/technetconf0       design a software application to
                                                    meet your needs. Propose
MACE                                                stronger projects and programs
Mid-America Association for Computers in            using ALTEC’s over 15 years of
Date: March 5-6, 2009                               expertise in educational technol-
Location: Kansas State University Alumni Cen-       ogy, special needs, professional
ter, Manhattan, KS
                                                    development, and evaluation.
Web site:
http://www.mace-ks.org/maceconference.htm           Please call us at 785 864 0699
                                                    to set up a free consultation.
                                                    We’re happy to assist you with all
Southwest Education and Technology Con-
ference 2009                                        your technology needs.
Date: March 3-4, 2009
Location: Missouri State University, Springfield,   NEWSLETTER STAFF
MO                                                  Melissa Brown
Web site:
                                                    Karyn Riney
NECC 2009                                           Copy Editor
National Educational Computing Confer-
                                                    Amber Rowland
Date: June 28-July 1, 2009
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention           Contributor
Center, Washington, D.C.
Web site:                                           SEND COMMENTS AND
http://center.uoregon.edu/ISTE/NECC2009/            FEATURE IDEAS TO: