HBO’s The Composers’ Specials, 3-12

Each video tells the story of a child’s relationship with one of the world’s great composers. Historically inspired yet deals with contemporary social values. Available for checkout. Preview at
Bach’s fight for freedom.
Bizet’s dream.
Handel’s last chance.
Liszt’s rhapsody.
Rossini’s ghost.
Strauss: the kind of three quarter time.

Sustainable Futures DVDs, 9-12

Available for checkout or duplication.
The carbon issues.
The deforestation issues.
Eco tourism issues.
The economic issues.
The energy issues.
Food production issues.
The global warming issues.
The greenhouse gas issues.
Landfill and waste issues.
The pollution issues.
The sustainable living issues.
Transport pollution issues.
The water issues.

NBC Politics, 9-12
This website features a video area, special Capitol Hill and White House news feeds, a social media portal, comics, and a topical graph. There are also candidate profiles and related news.

Ebooks Now Available, 6-12
AEA11 has provided ebooks for elementary students for a while--BookFLIX for three years and TrueFLIX since October 2011. There is now a starter ebook collection of nonfiction titles for middle/junior high and high school students.
These ebooks are available 24x7. They are always available for any number of users. No special ereader is required. Any portable device or computer with Internet access can be used. The goal is to provide excellent content and student-friendly content in an equitable manner. Schools that have 1 to 1 computer access will be particularly pleased with the learning opportunities now available.

Go to the Mackin VIA portal, Middle/junior high and high school students and teachers will use the online database username and password assigned to their school. This starter collection will be expanded shortly to include elementary titles.

The Iowa Core middle school social studies standards were reviewed and ebook titles were selected on that basis. The high school collection was based on teacher librarian recommendations such as biographies, government, financial literacy, science, and social studies. The original print book had to have one or more positive reviews

Teacher and student guides are at
Students can add books to a personal backpack.

Middle/junior highs: Search by keyword, title, author, subject, series, number of pages, publication date, Accelerated Reader, or Reading Counts.

High schools: Search by keyword, title, author, subject, series, number of pages, or publication date.

Teachers will also be able to create "groups" of ebooks for students to use (with an administrator password).

The ebooks will vary in layout and features as it depends on what the publisher allows. Some ebooks will allow for printing, some highlighting, some note taking, etc. Some ebooks will provide a hyperlink to a specific page--imagine the possibilities when you can link content to a class wiki.

Use ebooks to:
Introduce new topics
Build background knowledge
Expand upon lessons
Teach vocabulary
Review essential skills and information
Practice research skills to find relevant information

Supplement classroom materials:
Organize titles by topics, theme, and reading level.
Assign titles for reading or research.
Teach books in small group and whole group lessons.
Students use mark-up tools to identify words (glossary).
Teach nonfiction book characteristics such as table of contents, glossary, index.
Practice repetition and choral reading of properly pronounced words and phrases.
Teach content-area vocabulary with definitions and glossary.
Extend learning by inviting family involvement.
Use on a whiteboard.
Customize VIA with special groups such as grade, class, subject, reading group, etc.
Start an inquiry-based lesson for students looking for info to support an argument or a position.
Use for research and independent reading.

Elementary ebooks will be added this spring.

Approximately 150 American, British, and World lit classics will be added from Project Gutenberg this spring.

The ebooks titles are also loaded in Com Cat, You can enter ebook in the title field.

Science DVDs, PreK-3

Adventures of Compass and Alarm Clark is a series of 26 videos on natural science and technology. It features captivating and humorous animations. Preview at DVDs are available for checkout or for duplication.
Anything for a friend.
Attention! Germs!
Breathtaking flight.
Colorful colors.
Colorful surprise.
Detective story.
Electric wonder.
Experiment with water.
First time at the arena.
Getting closer.
Hang on to the Earth!
High places.
How does it sound?
How to handle heat.
In search of air.
Lemon secrets.
A little lost.
Magical rays.
Mysterious magnet.
Paper forest.
Pirate’s treasure.
A walk in the clouds.
The water crossing.
What does everything fall downwards?
Winter games.

Creature Features DVD, K-6

There are 20 five-minute DVDs in this series that are available for checkout or for duplication. Features close-up imagery. Preview at

Bees and wasps.
Frogs and tadpoles.
Leaf beetles.
Praying mantis.
Sea anemones.
Sea turtles.
Sea urchins.

Art of Measurement, PreK-12
PBS LearningMedia™ contains thousands of free classroom-ready, videos and interactives, audio, photos, and lesson plans. You can search, save, and share. Here are some excellent digital resources for learning the art of measurement.

Dunk Tank: Liquid Volume, Grade 6
Play this exciting math-themed game show and answer the question "how much?" by investigating different standard units of measure.

Landscape Architect, Grades 3-9
Geometry and measurement are essential in the job of a landscape architect. Peer behind the flowerbeds to see how this job is done.

Relating to Metric Measurement, Grades 4-8
On a running track, staggered starting positions can look unfair. Join Bianca as she picks the right tool for the job of measuring the distance between the starting point and the finish line.

Light Years, Grades 5-12
Light can measure distance. Learn how a "light year" is related to the speed of light, and how the light seen now is a snapshot of what an object looked like in the past.

Sid the Science Kid: The Whale Episode, Grades PreK-1
Explore a great new way to measure just about anything using the method of non-standard measurement! Sid learns how to accurately measure things with shoes, blocks, and even people.

Earthquakes: The Seismograph, Grades 6-12
How did scientists take observations from a deadly earthquake and turn them into the seismometers used today to help predict earthquakes and measure seismic waves?

Online Journaling, 6-12
Penzu is an online journaling site. It looks like typing on a sheet of paper when students journal. Journals appear as grainy leather-bound books. Students can mark certain entries as private (like an updated version of folding paper over an entry). They also can insert pictures into the text. It includes tools such as email reminders to write, the ability to send tweets about your journal entries, and a variety of style customizations (such as font).

Book Trailers, K-12

Language arts teachers and school librarians might be interested in exploring some of these book trailer websites.

Word Generation, 6-8
Word Generation is a research-based academic language vocabulary program designed to teach words through language arts, math, science, and social studies. The program uses several strategies and is meant to be implemented school-wide (or across an entire grade or team within a school).

The program consists of weekly units that introduce five high-utility target words through brief passages outlining controversies currently under debate in this country. The paragraphs are intended to help students join ongoing "national conversations" by sparking active examination and discussion of contemporary issues.

It includes communicative intents (affirm and confirm, for example), argumentation (words such as evidence, conclusion and warrant), abstract entities (theory, factor, process, to name a few) and categories (such as vehicle, utensil and artifact). The target words are presented in the context of a paragraph that displays academic writing and introduces a thought-provoking topic of interest to adolescents—for example: What should we do about global warming? Is censoring books in school libraries justified? Should schools stop serving junk food? Should hip-hop lyrics that incite violence and demean women be allowed?

Activities provided for content-area teachers highlight authentic uses of the target words. These activities link to standards and skills expected of students within the various content areas (for example, interpreting a bar graph on the incidence of obesity as a math activity, debating the censorship question as a social studies activity, analyzing the use of non-literal language in hip-hop lyrics as an English language arts activity).

The site includes student and teacher materials and videotapes professional development.

Politico 2012 Live, 9-12
This is a reliable Web site to help students read about what’s happening in politics so that they can discuss and improve their understanding of the political process. It is dedicated to news and updates about Election 2012. It includes articles, primary and caucus trackers, candidate schedules, and more. There are also polls and candidate trackers so that students can dig deeper into the election, its candidates, and issues. The site is filled with interesting, engaging, and graphically dynamic content.

American History in Video, 6-12
This online database includes primary source video and newsreels. A written transcript is shown next to the video and it is keyword searchable. Use the videos to help students understand some of the historical references in the news such as Reagan, Wall Street, and immigration. Romney (George), Syria, etc. Use the online database username/password assigned to your school.

Reel China DVDs, 9-12

These seven documentaries by Chinese filmmakers tell us about the dreams and lives of ordinary Chinese people. They are in English, and Chinese with English narration and subtitles. The DVDs are available for checkout or duplication. Preview at

The final migration.
Discusses nomadic tribes to farming to collectivism.

Flavor and affinity: behind the scenes of Canton’s Chao restaurants.
Ancestral rules of cooking.

The graduates.
Questions the value of a college diploma and whether wealth is more important than education

Heavy metal.
For more than 20 years, tons of metallic and electronic waste has been imported to Fengjang.

A new shelter.
Challenges of rebuilding after a flood.

Of mothers and daughters.
Follows two elderly ladies surviving without an extended family.

The Yangtze River’s green soldiers
Cleaning the river under the Three Gorges Dam.

Bill Moyers Journal DVDs, 9-12

These new DVDs on economics are available for checkout.
America’s growing economic divide.
Big finance and big politics.
Big money in politics.
Campaign finance reform and the courts.
Economic justice for all?
21st century populism.
Bank fraud and Net neutrality.

DoToLearn, K-12
Do2Learn uses technology and the Web to provide special learning resources for individuals with disabilities. It includes activities, games, and learning materials.

La Maga Videos, 6-12
This series contains 54 episodes of 23-minute videos for Spanish immersion. It was just added to Learn 360. It is based on the familiar story of The Wizard of Oz. After learning that she was chosen to save Oz from the tyranny of the wicked witch, Dorana sets out on a heroic journey, filled with revelations about life and love. Use the online database username/password assigned to your school.

MLK TV Interviews in 1950s, 9-12
Mature audiences have much to discuss after viewing these early Martin Luther King Jr. TV videos from 1957-1964. Some full-text written transcripts are also available.

Personal Learning Network, K-12

As you develop your virtual personal learning network, consider 350 Best Education Resources,

Teen Health and Wellness, 9-12
Beginning in early January, each article in Teen Health & Wellness online database will feature the text-to-speech function. Click the "Listen" button at the top of any article page.

In the text-to-speech player, the Settings link will let the user choose text highlighting on a word per word or sentence basis, or to disable text highlighting. You can also control the speed of the reading and select a male or female voice. The "No Sound" link can be used if your system requirements do not allow for text highlighting, and it will download an mp3 file of the audio for that article section.

If you’d like a free poster for the guidance office, health classroom, office, etc., contact the Heartland library. View the poster at

Apps, K-12

A collection of 1,300 apps for education. Unique features include searching by themes, special education and autism, multiple intelligences, and Bloom’s.

10 Best Productivity Apps of 2011

Autism Apps


Apps in Education Blog
Includes an interesting article on how to do 4-way video calls on the iPad.

Android Apps

100 Best Free iPad Apps

NPR Book Club for Kids, 5-8
"All Things Considered" is rolling out NPR's Back-Seat Book Club. Each month, students and parents will read a different book—then they're invited to join a conversation with the author. The series encourages kids to get creative and create video messages and other expressive means of reaching out to the author. Podcasts, RSS, and email notifications are available.

Student Filmmaking, K-12
School Video News is launching a new site that will showcase student-produced films and the students who created them. It will also include articles on script writing, cinematography, audio, lighting, and set design. The site will help take your skills and your students’ skills to the next level.

A&E Videos Downloaded/Streamed from Learn 360

A&E Television videos are available for streaming and download on Learn 360, As of January 9, 2012, the A&E videos will be available for download using Windows Media only. Users can only download A&E videos in Windows Media Format. For teachers to stream and/or download these videos, installation of the Microsoft Silverlight Player and Plug-in will be required at each desktop computer.

Administrative Next Steps:

As an Administrator, you can set up installation of the Silverlight Player & Plug-in for all of your users by clicking and following the instructions.

Desktop Computer Next Steps:

When a user wants to stream an A&E video, a message will appear in the video player asking them to install the Microsoft Silverlight Plug-In. If the user is authorized to install, they can complete the task. If they are not, they will be directed to contact their local Administrator.

In order for a user to download an A&E video, the Microsoft Silverlight Plug-In MUST be installed first. Once installed, the user will refresh the page and an "Install Player" button will appear below the video player; this button must be clicked to complete the installation. The user can then click the "Download" button and save the video to their computer.

The user can now view the A&E video on their computer by clicking the up-arrow in the lower right corner of the video player, browsing the menu for the video and clicking the "Open" button.

Desktop Computer Self-Installation:
If teachers will be required to install the Player & Plug-in themselves, please ensure their download/installation rights are sufficient enough to allow for self-installation and provide them with this link,
It will direct them to a page on Learn360 containing comprehensive instructions based upon their Operating System (Mac or PC/Windows).

Remember, this is just for the A&E videos on Learn 360.

World Crisis DVDs, 9-12

The World Crisis: Cause and Effect series examines the cause and effect of each crisis-from looking at the social and political climate at the time, to examining how each event has changed the world-whether through legislation, preventative measures, or other means. Available for checkout.
Afghanistan War #810356
Asian Tsunami #810357
Bhopal Disaster #810353
Chernobyl #810355
Haiti Earthquake #810352
Hurricane Katrina #810354
Rwanda Genocide #810349
September 11 #810350
Tiananmem Square #810351

To enhance learning, students can search the SIRS Researcher and EBSCO Points of View databases for full-text magazines, journals, papers, and newspaper articles. Go to Com Cat and search both databases at the same time,

Manners Videos, PreK-2
The Royals: Manners is a series of 19 videos on Learn 360 to help young students understand why it’s important to say “excuse me”, don’t talk with your mouth full, remove headphones when talking, using a napkin, staying quiet in a theater, etc.
Excuse Me
Cover Your Germs
Can You Take My Order?
Don't Talk with Your Mouth Full
You Should Wait to Start Eating
I'm Going Outside
But I Don't Like It
Turn It Down
Quiet Down Front
Use a Napkin
Taking the Last Bits of Food
How Do You Set the Table?
Inside/Outside Voices
Please and Thank You
Telephone Manners
Chewing Gum
Don't Litter
Cell Phones