April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Primary Sources Go Mobile; African American History Site Debuts | Tech Bites

This month’s Tech Bites news roundup features a variety of the latest digital resources for students.

New OER Resource Set Covers HS Physicsshare_idea_banner1

Nonprofit Curriki’s new High School Physics Collection is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, with interactive digital simulations and explorations, video instruction, lesson plans, and printable practice materials. The new resource is supported by Oracle Giving, which helps nonprofits drive student interest in STEM.

African American Museum Debuts Website


The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, has launched a website [https://nmaahc.si.edu/]. Here you’ll find virtual tours of the building and exhibitions, and a searchable database of the museum’s nearly 37,000-item collection. Kicking off the museum’s September 24 opening ceremony is the three-day “Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration,” starting September 23. (Tickets are free.) President Obama is slated to cut the ribbon on the 400,000-square-foot space, which has galleries devoted to slavery, the civil rights movement, entertainment, sports, and politics.


DocsTeach Goes Mobile

DocsTeach, the teaching website of the  National Archives (NA), has gotten a makeover. Now optimized for mobile, the repository of letters, photographs, speeches, maps, and other primary resources  spanning American history sports other improvements. Educators will now find grade-level filters on the site and be able to share favorite documents, and access document transcriptions and citations. Document-based activities from both NA  and other teachers are available for download.

Cengage and Walmart Offer Online HS Diploma Program to Walmart Employees


Cengage Learning has partnered with Walmart to offer accredited high school diplomas and credentialed career certificates through “Career Online High School,” which will be part of Walmart’s Lifelong Learning Program. Classes are supported by board-certified instructors, and students have 24/7 access to the platform. The program is free for Walmart associates beginning on the first day of employment. Lifelong Learning provides associates access to low or no-cost education programs, including ESL, high school, career certificates, and college credit for prior learning.

California State Parks: the Distance Learning edition


PORTS is a free distance learning program that leverages video conferencing to help K–12 educators across the country teach Common Core State Standards within the context of California state parks, in partnership with the California Department of Parks and Recreation. PORTS programs, including one for Point Lobos State Marine Reserve, include full units of study and videoconference presentations on science, history, language arts, and other academic topics.



Capstone’s Resource for Upper Elementary Learners

Capstone has announced its newest line of database modules, PebbleGo Next Science. Its forerunner, PebbleGo, serves grades PreK–3; PebbleGo Next Science will feature longer and more robust content for grades 3–5. The more than 150 articles will cover Earth science; life science; physical science; and science careers and practices, according to the publisher. PebbleGo Next Science contains levelled text, narrated to provide scaffolds for struggling readers and English language learners. The database will be available over the Internet as an annual subscription for enrolled students.


Winning Math Coach Launches Free Weekly Math Challenges

After a 21-year losing streak, the U.S. team won the high school International Math Olympiad—twice. The team’s coach, Po-Shen Loh, a math professor  at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, then created Expii Solve. “If you ask the average person what math is, they’ll probably say that it’s doing addition and multiplication, or making graphs. That’s not really what math is,” said Loh is a statement. “Math is the art of thinking in a systematic and organized way. It applies creative problem solving techniques in a quantitative way using a sound system of logic. Math is all around us, and the general public doesn’t realize how applicable it is to their everyday life.”

Each week, five different prompts are released. Each prompt represents a different level of difficulty and revolves around a different skill presented in a real-world application. An example of one such application is a fictional lottery, Power Ten. The mathematical concepts behind it—namely, statistics and probability—are explained.


Facts Matter: Information Literacy for the Real World
Libraries and news organizations are joining forces in a variety of ways to promote news literacy, create innovative community programming, and help patrons/students identify misinformation. This online course will teach you how to partner with local news organizations to promote news literacy through a range of programs—including a citizen journalism hub at your library.