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February 10, 2015

Table of Contents Unveils New High School Digital Literacy Course for District Implementation
ABC-CLIO Announces “Think Out Loud” Innovation Grant Recipients
MIND Research Institute's K-12 Game-a-thon Invites Students to 'Math Your Own Adventure'
Gale Revamps Popular Product Lines to Create a Unified, Improved and Mobile-Optimized User Experience
Curriculum Associates Launches New Math App to Help Students Develop Fact Fluency and Computational Fluency Unveils New High School Digital Literacy Course for District Implementation has released Project NextTech, a two-semester course that provides project-based instruction to help students develop the technology proficiency, information literacy and media literacy skills needed to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

The content for Project NextTech is based on curriculum developed by the nonprofit Generation YES through years of research and student and teacher feedback. Project NextTech addresses the 24 performance indicators in the ISTE Standards for Students and is aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TA-TEKS) for high school curriculum – addressing all strands of the Fundamentals of Computer Science TA-TEKS.

Project NextTech focuses on three core instruction topics:

  • Technology Literacy: students develop technology skills and the ability to select the right tool for the context, task, and audience.

  • Information Literacy: students locate and access information, evaluate information critically and competently, and use information effectively and ethically.

  • Media Literacy: students access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in all its forms.

Spanning two semesters, Project NextTech is divided into four nine-week curriculum blocks consisting of eight weeks of instruction and a one-week project. Each unit includes a teacher preparation section, student overview and performance-based activities to help evaluate student understanding.

To learn more about Project NextTech, visit


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ABC-CLIO Announces “Think Out Loud” Innovation Grant Recipients

ABC-CLIO Solutions has announced the recipients of the 2015 “Think Out Loud” Innovation Grant. More than 40 educators from 26 states received access to ABC-CLIO Solutions 15 online curriculum collections to support the development and dissemination of best teaching practices when using technology to promote the authentic thinking skills students need for college, career, and civic life. The grant recipients will use the online resources to develop effective methods to assess students’ abilities to find, examine, and understand multiple points-of-view, synthesize disparate resources in a meaningful way, and present their own conclusions.

Each winner designed an innovative project to utilize ABC-CLIO Solutions content. Project themes include:

* Shifting from traditional learning to 100 percent digital curriculum

* Strengthening classrooms with blended, 1:1, and BYOD learning environments using robust curriculum

* Reinforcing strategies to improve practices in project- and problem-based learning

* Advancing inquiry-based learning through investigation and research

* Transforming online education with rich digital resources

* Supporting objectives related to STEM, STEAM, Next Generation Learning, C3 Framework, and Common Core State Standards by utilizing versatile, aligned content

In addition to developing their projects, recipients will document the challenges and progress of implementing technology to teach critical thinking, and provide a two-minute video summary of their work and its impact on student thinking and learning. To disseminate best teaching practices and scale the knowledge educators gained from the experience, ABC-CLIO will publicize the results after concluding the grant on June 30, 2015.

Throughout the grant period, recipients will have access to ABC-CLIO Solutions resources, and are encouraged to leverage technology and collaborate with other educators to boost student achievement. To learn more about the program, visit:

Source: ABC-CLIO,

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MIND Research Institute's K-12 Game-a-thon Invites Students to 'Math Your Own Adventure'

MIND Research Institute has announced its second annual game-building competition, a national K-12 Game-a-thon. The event affords students, teachers and parents embracing deeper, conceptual learning of math concepts a unique opportunity to showcase their understanding of math standards.

With the theme “Math Your Own Adventure,” the K-12 Game-a-thon challenges students to think about the ways math is at play in adventures through time and space. Teams of two or more students can design and build a math game featuring creative and unusual solutions to mathematical problems. With the help of a teacher or parent coordinator, teams then submit and share the game via YouTube. Teams can invent card games, board games, apps, outdoor games or anything else, as long as it solves a mathematical problem ranging from counting to irrational numbers or measurement to modeling.

The Game-a-thon is open to submissions now through July 15. Entries will be evaluated by a team of educators, mathematicians and game designers who develop and facilitate the ST Math software program for 800,000 students in 40 states. The games will be evaluated based on use of math themes (40%), creative game design/material use (30%), originality (20%) and YouTube likes (10%).

Every participating team will receive certificate of participation and a commemorative pin. Up to 25 games will be selected for special recognition and displayed at MIND’s 2015 Math Fair. Five winning entries will receive a trophy featuring JiJi, the animated penguin of the ST Math games, and have their videos displayed in the Game-a-thon Hall of Fame.

To learn more about the Game-a-thon, or to download game guidelines go to

Source: MIND Research Institute,

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Gale Revamps Popular Product Lines to Create a Unified, Improved and Mobile-Optimized User Experience

In response to extensive user testing and usage data, Gale, part of Cengage Learning, will introduce a number of enhancements to its most widely-used product lines –GVRL, InfoTrac and In Context, including the optimization for mobile devices through responsive design. The adoption of a common design and toolset across all products will provide a unified experience as researchers move from one resource to the next, while other changes will enhance accessibility for those with disabilities and increase usability overall for desktop and mobile researchers.

The enhancements will include a modern design and consistent toolset that unites three of Gale’s foundational products with a user experience that is optimized for all screen sizes, regardless of device, through responsive design (i.e. clickable elements become “swipeable” for touch screens). Other changes include improved navigation and streamlined user workflow, content featured in prime locations on the page with toolbars and filters on the right, as well as high-contrast banners & buttons to make web content easier to see and hear for those with vision impairments.

These changes will benefit students accessing Gale resources through Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and 1:1 initiatives, which are popular in K-12 and academic settings. As these enhancements will be available across markets, they will ensure a seamless experience as users advance from high school to college-level research, or from one resource to another via discovery services, without having to learn to navigate an entirely new set of tools. Unification of the user experience across platforms will also enable Gale to collect user feedback in greater volume to more quickly identify patterns and trends, and then respond more efficiently to bring improvements to resources.

The interface enhancements will affect GVRL, all resources in the InfoTrac and In Context families as well as PowerSearch, GenealogyConnect, Twayne’s Authors Online and Scribner Writers Online. Not included in the first round of updates is Global Issues in Context.

For more information on the enhancements coming this spring, please visit

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale, or

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Curriculum Associates Launches New Math App to Help Students Develop Fact Fluency and Computational Fluency

Curriculum Associates has expanded its i-Ready Diagnostic & Instruction mobile family of products with the launch of Door 24 Plus, a new educational game for the iPad. Expanding upon the Door 24 app and available for free on the App Store, Door 24 Plus establishes a foundation based on fact fluency and then builds computational fluency by providing practice that requires students to solve problems using basic facts, number sense, and algebraic thinking.

Door 24 Plus contains two games: Snargg Splatt, to develop fact fluency, and Victor Fixer, to develop computational fluency. After completing a brief assessment to identify skill gaps and growth areas, the app will assign students to the appropriate game. As an additional benefit to customers, students can now use their i-Ready credentials to sign in to any iPad and continue their gameplay without worrying about using the same device.

In the Snargg Splatt fact fluency game, students work fast to combat the evil Snargg-nado by completing math facts and throwing balls at the game board before the time runs out. The game develops automaticity with basic math facts in all four operations and provides repeated exposure to math facts via spiral review. Students can also partner up to play the two-player game and work together as they practice their targeted facts.

In the Victor Fixer computational fluency game, students are introduced to Victor, a robot who went haywire and needs help getting patched up. To repair Victor’s circuits, students use problem-solving strategies to solve equations equivalent to 24. The game develops students’ abilities to think quantitatively and strategically and encourages flexibility and perseverance in solving problems.

The app is free and can be downloaded at or by searching for “Door 24 Plus” in the App Store.

Source: Curriculum Associates,

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