Twitter Hashtags, K-12

More and more teachers are using Twitter to create a personal learning network as part of their professional development. A hashtag, or #, is used to transmit tweets to groups. To see more hashtags and learn how to use Twitter, start with this site:
Here are some educational chat hashtags to get you started.

iPad App for Britannica, K-12

Encyclopaedia Britannica just announced the availability of the free iPad app. Add this to the other online database apps:
Gale / AccessMyLibrary (choose the green app)
Teen Hotlines

TrueFLIX ebooks, 3-6
TrueFLIX includes nonfiction ebooks targeted to readers in grades 3-6. They are interactive and help students understand how to read nonfiction text. While targeted to elementary students, some students in higher grades could benefit from this high-interest, low-level, multi-sensory nonfiction information:
-ELL students struggling with English
-secondary students functioning at a reading level below 5th grade
-ADHD students who need multi-sensory resources to maintain focus
and, of course, those second graders who are reading above grade level will also benefit. Elementary teachers will be encouraged to share the username/password with parents for home access. TrueFlix is continuing to add new titles and additional vetted content (almost doubled the number of titles in two years).

An introductory video is at

Unlimited number of students can be reading the same book
Nonfiction video/book titles paired
Read-aloud with quality voices
Includes ideas and strategies for using the ebooks
Students can access from home
Perfect whiteboard application
Extension activities, primary sources, and lesson plans

TrueFLIX includes ebook titles in these categories:
American Indians
Ancient Civilizations
U.S. Government
Westward Expansion
Extreme Nature
Human Body
Natural Disasters

All types of readers will enjoy:
Leveled texts, select by Lexile
Voice-over reading features
Multiple text types
Words highlighted as read
Word definitions

Access: Use the online database username/password assigned to your school. Students can also use TrueFLIX at home. There is a hyperlink on Heartland’s Homework Help page. Go to, click the Parents tab, scroll down to Homework Help.

Training: You are welcome to register for a training webinar.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
2:00-3:00 PM
Click here to register:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
2:00-3:00 PM
Click here to register:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
2:00-3:00 PM
Click here to register:

Save 85% on Microsoft and Adobe Software, K-12
Students and staff can get discounts on software from Adobe, Microsoft, Inspiration, Crick, Nuance, Sophos, Symantec, and more. Go to the URL listed above and click the Teacher & Student Buys tab in the lower left.

DE Science, K-8
This is a reminder that Discovery Education Science K-8 is available to schools in the Heartland AEA service area. Use the online database username/password assigned to your school. Contact the Heartland AEA library if you need the teacher passkey to create a personal teacher account.

Winter Ellison Symbols, K-12
The colorful Ellison symbols are fun for students and can be used in instruction. They are available in a variety of colors and sizes and range from $.03 to $.06 each. A full-color catalog and order form are online.
Tiny (1”)
Small ( 2 ¾”)
Large (4”)
Double Cut (11”x3”)
Extra large (8”x11”) and Whiteboards, K-12, one of Heartland’s online databases that adds a multimedia dimension to reading experiences, is a powerful tool to use with a whiteboard.
This article includes five strategies for using an interactive whiteboard as teachers build 21st-century connections to books and authors.
Create an interactive punctuation lesson
Identify, organize, and explore characters' relationships with a Venn Diagram
Analyze 13 layers of a Steve Jenkins picture book illustration
Learn from authors discussing their writing process
Teach phonic spelling while mastering author names

PWIM Posters, K-8

Picture Word Inductive Method is an integrated reading and writing strategy. Children are encouraged to study a picture and then name the objects, actions or emotions suggested in the picture. Students can make connections between oral and written language. Heartland AEA has over 90 posters. You can view the posters and order online at, click Advanced Search in the second column.

Project-Based Learning, K-12
This website is a one-stop shop for project-based learning (PBL) with quality content that’s easy to access. Project-based learning is an increasingly popular instructional strategy that emphasizes workforce readiness and development of students’ 21st-Century skills. The site offers quality free resources including planning forms, student rubrics, and handouts. It also provides a library of project examples as well as blogs and discussion forums. An extensive research section rounds out the content, sharing positive outcomes and best practices associated with PBL.

New York Times Science, 3-12
The science area of the New York Times site offers timely news from the world of science, combined with interactive features and commentary. A handy “what’s popular” box lets students know what others are reading about in terms of science topics. The New York Times content is quality reporting with easy, fun reads on topics appropriate for both elementary and secondary classrooms. Teachers at all grade levels can use articles such as “Earliest Signs of Advanced Tools Found,” without having to be experts on topics in order to follow them.

Free Publishing Site, K-8
LaunchPad is a publishing site that provides young writers and illustrators with an online method for sharing their original stories, poems, book reviews, or illustrations. An editorial team reviews each submission and only accepts those they consider quality pieces. LaunchPad is different from other publishing sites in that submissions are accepted free of charge, which also means there is no physical book produced. Students are required to provide a parent’s email address as a security method. Reading the pieces is fairly easy. A scrolling window allows the student to browse the pages of a selected title without having to navigate multiple windows. The student also has the ability to download the file.

Get to Know Poe, 6-12
The activities introduce the literature, life, and times of Edgar Allan Poe. Students can explore Poe’s worlds—both fictional and real—from a number of perspectives. They can examine the complex choices writers make as they create their works. They can investigate the “hard facts” about life and death in the United States during Poe’s lifetime. In addition, they can learn about the continuing impact of Poe’s legacy. The classroom resources have been created especially for students in middle school and high school. In addition to these interactive experiences, there are lesson plans created by teachers, primary source documents, and links for further research. Throughout the site, students can watch for the Random Raven, which will give them some inside information and little known facts about Poe.

Civil War, 8-12

National Archives: Discovering the Civil War

Discovering the Civil War
Letters, orders, maps, telegrams, photographs and broadsides are preserved in the National Archives. To complement these primary sources, the Archives education specialists have produced articles with companion lesson plans related to Civil War history. Teaching with Documents contains reproducible copies of primary documents from the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration and teaching activities correlated to social studies standards that include cross-curricular connections. Offerings include:
Fugitive from Labor Cases: Henry Garnett (1850) and Moses Honner (1860)
The Civil War as Photographed by Mathew Brady
The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War
Letters, Telegrams, and Photographs Illustrating Factors That Affected the Civil War
Confederate Sympathizers in New Mexico During the Civil War
Georgia: The Atlanta Campaign of 1865—The Camera at War
Teachable Texts from the National Archives at New York City
The Union Blockade: Lincoln’s Proclamations

Reading Rockets App, PreK-2
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering research-based and best-practice information and resources on how young students learn to read and why so many struggle. It has articles, lists of recommended books, interviews with authors and illustrators, reading guides, parent guides, tips for teaching reading, and more. A mobile app is now available.

Advocates of Change DVDs, 7-12

This series is available for checkout from Heartland AEA. It features individuals who have made a difference and revolutionized the world. They will change the way students view the world and remind them that it only takes one person to make a difference. There are 26 DVDs in the series. Preview online at Use in guidance, social studies, current events, literature, homebase programs.

Example: Activists. This program introduces activists who have made a difference in the political climate of their respective countries. Information is provided on their beliefs, important works/actions, as well as how they died. Segments are included on Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Che Guevara.

Activists #810155
Actors #810158
Actresses #810156
Artists #810157
Corporations #810159
Entrepreneurs #810225
Environmentalists #810226
Family dynasties #810227
Famous duos #810228
Heads of state #810229
Human rights leaders #810230
Humorists #810231
Inventors #810232
Lifestyle gurus #810233
Media moguls #810234
Monarchies #810235
Music industry pioneers #810236
Musician activists #810237
Producers and directors #810238
Science and disease #810239
Space exploration #810240
Sports figures #810241
Transportation #810242
Voyagers #810243
Women in politics #810244
Writers #810245

Why? Science DVDs, preK-3

The Children Ask Why DVD series is available for checkout from Heartland AEA. These engaging, live action programs has been produced not only to help younger children discover the answers to 40 carefully selected questions, but also to encourage them to think independently and to heighten their curiosity. Examples:
Why do rabbits wiggle their noses?
Why do animals have tails?
Why do flowers smell?
Why does my mouth water when I smell food?
Why doesn’t it hurt when I get my hair cut?
Why is Grandma’s hair gray?

Geometry Applications DVDs, 8-12

These eight DVDs feature dynamic footage, 3D animations, and high production values. Each video includes graphing calculator applications using the Texas Instruments TI- Nspire, a teacher’s guide, and correlations to the NCTM standards. The DVDs are available for checkout from Heartland AEA. Preview online at

Angles and planes #810282
Circles #810358
Coordinate geometry #810361
Points and lines #810281
Polygons #810285
Quadrilaterals #810284
Transformations #810362
Triangles #810283

World Crisis: Cause and Effect DVDs, 8-12

This DVD 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. The DVDs are available for checkout from Heartland AEA. Topics:
Afghanistan war
Asian tsunami
Bhopal disaster
Haiti earthquake
Hurricane Katrina
Rwanda genocide
September 11
Tiananmen Square

Automotive Electrical Systems DVDs, 9-12

These seven DVDs are available for checkout from Heartland AEA. They use cutaways, animated component builds, diagrams, close-ups of parts, and footage of auto techs doing tests and making repairs to illustrate the operation and servicing of automotive electrical systems. Includes information on both late-model and older-style vehicles.

Charging system operation #810222
Charging system service #810217
Ignition system operation #810218
Ignition system service #810219
Starting system operation #810220
Starting system service #810221
Using a load tester #810223

iPad Apps, K-12

Apps are available for some online databases so you can help student on the go—hallway, lunchrooms, by their desk, etc. You might want to share these with students, too.
• Gale / AccesMyLibrary (chose the green app)
• EBSCOhost
• Teen Hotlines

Get an A+ in PowerPoint, K-12

Engage students using a PowerPoint presentation. Here are some new Atomic Learning tutorials.
Effective Presentation Design Workshop
In addition to looking at some things that go into visual presentations, you’ll take a look at why color is important, why big photos are good, and why clip art isn’t. You’ll also learn more about how good storytelling is at the heart of a good presentation, and how you can structure and organize your presentation and handouts to most effectively communicate your idea to your intended audience.

PowerPoint 2011 - Intermediate Training (Mac)

Learn how to correct and improve text; format text placeholders; work with shapes, SmartArt® and clipart; and more.

Social Media in Teaching, K-12

Here are some new Atomic Learning tutorials to help you get up to speed.

Collaborating with a Global Community Spotlight
• Identify how teachers and students can connect themselves to a global community
• Reflect on the best global project(s) to introduce into the classroom
• Plan the necessary steps for implementing a project

Connecting with Others Using Google+ Tech Integration Project
This project will show you how to get started with Google+™ - a social networking site that strives to simplify the process of sharing of information with others. In this online project, learn how to invite people and create circles, upload photos and video, share information, and encourage students to connect and communicate online with you and with their fellow classmates.

Obesity, K-12

Here are some online resources to incorporate into teaching and learning, share with parents, and use in guidance and school nurse programs. The school online database username/password is needed—it can also be shared with parents.
• Share informative websites for parents to learn more about healthy eating. Post hyperlinks on the class website or send links to parents via email.
• Differentiate with journal articles at various reading levels.
• Learn the personal stories of teens with health issues related to obesity.
• Share videos with students who want to learn how to eat healthy.

Learn 360: videos for students and parents, individual hyperlinks to video clips, create playlists
Teen Health and Wellness: information for teens including the social, personal, and medical aspects of obesity
netTrekker: reviewed websites appropriate for K-12
Gale magazines: differentiate and search for articles by Lexile level
SIRS Researcher and Points of View Reference Center: investigate and discuss the social, economic, personal, and health-related issues associated with obesity

DVDs available from Heartland for checkout:
Body Image: Are you Seeing the Real You?
Childhood Nutrition: Preventing Obesity
Creating Health: Childhood Obesity
The Dangerously Big Bunny (Obesity)
Good Food/Bad Food: Obesity in American Children
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in the New Millennium: Fiber
Heart Disease
Let’s Do Lunch
Lifestyle Diseases and How to Avoid Them
Obese, Not Me!
Obesity and Your Health
Obesity & Health
Overcoming Eating Disorders
Overweight in America; Why Are We Getting So Fat?
Preventing Obesity: Fat Chance
Ten Reasons to Get in Shape
Weighing the Risks: Gastric Bypass Surgery
Why Are Thin People not Fat?
Young and Overweight: Helping Yourself Change

Bullying Videos, PreK-12

Below are some sample videos from Learn 360. Some titles are editable so students can create mashups and remixes. Teachers can create their own playlists and link to the class wiki.
See a Bully, Stop a Bully, PreK
Real Kids: What We Learned about Bullying, 3-5
Silent on the Sidelines: Why We Ignore Bullying, 6-8
End the Silence: Stop the Bullying, 9-12
7 Ways to Block a Cyberrully, 6-12
Real Life Teens: Cyber-Bullying, 9-12

Math Activities and Standards, K-12

Click here to preview some of the new math professional books from the Heartland library. It is a link to Google Preview where you can read the first one or two chapters and do a keyword search in the full text of the book. If you see a title that you’d like to read, call the library to check out the book. Go to

Big Kids Videos, PreK-2
There are 90 videos for the early childhood curriculum on music, science, beginning reading, family, food, animals, seasons, Spanish language, and lots more.

Prohibition, 6-12

The Ken Burn documentary “…raises vital questions that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago – about means and ends, individual rights and responsibilities, the proper role of government and finally, who is — and who is not — a real American.”

There are numerous online resources available to expand students’ learning. For example:
• Debate prohibition and larger issues of constitutionality and civil discourse.
• Explore correlations and themes presented by Burns and contrast/apply to today.
• Discuss Gandhi’s campaign for prohibition in the context of poverty.

Try these resources. You’ll need the school online database username/password. Students can search History Reference Center, SIRS Researcher, and Points of View Reference Center at the same time (like Google) at
• 96 videos--Learn 360
• 62 videos—American History in Video
• 8,400 hits—History Reference Center
• 959 hits—SIRS Researcher
• 5 hits—Points of View Reference Center

Create Better State and Country Reports, 3-12
CultureGrams is a rich resource for information on states and countries. Integrate higher level skills and have students generate online charts and graphs; interpret data and draw conclusions; and explain their new learning. Use the school online database username/password.
• Create a table or graph with any number of states and compare area, population, economy, education, travel time to work, capitals, children below poverty level, popular baby names statehood order, and lots more.
• Print a PDF of the U.S. in an outline, physical, or political map.
• Create a CSV file to compare country maternal mortality, caloric consumption, real GDP, population, doctors, literacy, communications, and lots more.
• Create a table or graph to discover statistical extremes in a top-ten-list format. It covers more than 50 topics such as highest oil consumption, most cell phones, most military spending, most doctors, population, most imports, most spending on education, etc.

President McKinley, Anarchists, and Video, 9-12
The President and the Assassin by Scott Miller is about the election, anarchists, Emma Goldman, Cuba, Philippines, Spanish American War, Boxer Rebellion, and, of course, Czolgosz. You can create a video playlist featuring newsreel footage from American History in Video to complement this book or any other event. Better yet—have the students create the playlist. It includes a keyword-searchable written transcript next to the video on the screen. Use the school online database username/password when prompted at the “Trial” access screen.

Audiobooks for Check Out, K-12

Audiobooks (cassette, CD, and Playaway) are available for checkout. Most include two copies of the book for shared reading. You can reserve titles online. Go to, click Advanced Search in the second column, enter a keyword, and make a selection from the Format pull-down menu.

Letters About Literature, 4-12
LAL challenges students to become independent readers. Students write a personal letter of reflection to an author whose work inspired them or changed their view of the world or themselves.

Last fall, eight-five Iowa teachers coached 2,253 students in grades 4-12 who entered their work into a pool of 70,000 student letters nationally. Iowa had a 24% increase in entries! Juliana Osgood of Lenihan Intermediate School in Marshalltown made it into the final round at the national level. Over the nine years that Iowa has participated, five Iowa students have won at the national level, achieving extraordinary recognition for themselves and their teachers.
Iowa’s 2011 participation and our statewide results:
Level 1 (grades 4-6) 532 entries; 30 semi-finalists; 30 finalists; 3 honorable mentions; 3 winners
Level 2 (grades 7-8) 1,376; 19 semi-finalists; 30 finalists; 3 honorable mentions; 3 winners
Level 3 (grades 9-12) 345 entries; 21 finalists; 3 honorable mentions; 3 winners

Information about the 2012 Letters About Literature program is now available on the Iowa Center for the Book website. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, January 6, 2012.
Iowa judges will select first, second, and third place winners plus three honorable mentions at each of the three competition levels. Letters of Iowa first place winners at each of the three levels will be submitted for judging at the national level. Judges at the national level select two winners for each of the three competition levels plus four National Honor Winners (Honorable Mention). Monetary prizes are given at the state and national level. A reception is held in Des Moines in the spring to recognize the Iowa winners, their families and teachers.

If you have any questions, contact Robin Martin, Coordinator, Iowa Center for the Book, at

Standards-Based Projects, K-12
Atomic Learning regularly releases new training tutorials and resources to help keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest technology. You can search for projects in:
• Communication
• Geography
• History
• Language Arts
• Mathematics
• Reading
• Science
• Science and Technology
• Science, Math, and Technology
• Social Studies
• Technology
• Writing

1939 World’s Fair iPad App, 6-12
Biblion includes over 700 items from the Fair from the NY Public Library. This is a great opportunity to use narratives, story lines, primary source documents, and videos to understand the economic crisis, war, pop culture, and technological innovations during this time in history. A three-minute overview video is at

Online Database Poster, 6-12

A secondary school version poster lists the online databases (Gale, netTrekker, CultureGrams, Learn 360, Britannica Online, etc.), mobile apps, available primary source documents, embedded video, and Com Cat federated searching. Click here to view a sample PDF. Order from the Heartland library, no charge.

Online Database Poster, K-5

A new poster lists the elementary online databases and why/when students might want to use them. Click here to view a sample PDF. Order from the Heartland library, no charge.
Learn about people around the world and what their lives are like. Find customs, maps, songs, recipes, and interviews with kids. There is even information about the states.

NoveList K-8 Plus
Don’t know what to read next? Want to read more books just like the one you finished? It’s like having your own librarian show books you might want to read next.

Iowa Core Videos, K-12
As you “unpack the Core”, check out the videos that illustrate best practices, essential concepts and skills, and the universal constructs. Iowa teachers are shown in the classroom.

P21 Common Core Toolkit, K-12
You can download this toolkit to learn how Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Common Core State Standards are aligned. Includes examples and lesson plans.

Mobile Access and Apps, K-12

Apps are available for some online databases so you can help students on the go—hallway, lunchroom, by their desk, etc. You might want to share these with students, too.
• Gale suite of magazines/journals/newspapers (Academic OneFile, InfoTrac)—Search: Gale / AccessMyLibrary (choose the green app)
• EBSCO (Advanced Placement Source, History Reference Center, Literary Reference Center, Newspaper Source Plus, Points of View Reference Center, Science Reference Center)—Search: EBSCOhost
• Rosen Teen Health and Wellness—Search: Teen Hotlines

New Online Database Usernames/Passwords

Each school has a new username/password for the online databases such as Gale, EBSCO, Learn360, netTrekker, Encyclopedia Britannica, etc. Contact your school teacher librarian or call the Heartland Library. The new access also works with Com Cat so you can search most of the databases at the same time,

CultureGrams, K-12
Learn about people around the world and what their lives are like. Find customs, maps, songs, recipes, and interviews with kids. There is even information about the states. Students can compare country data side by side. View tutorials at

• Build a graph or table that compares data for countries such as literacy, life expectancy, population, Internet access, survival probability, and caloric consumption. Examples:
• Obesity paper--include a graph comparing European countries caloric intake with the U.S.
• Econ--create a table comparing real GDP with population and life expectancy in African countries--what questions do the data bring to mind?
• Extremes--create a top 10 list of statistical extremes on more than 50 topics (most cell phones, most military spending)

Rituals of life: What is important or celebrated in a culture/society (birth, coming of age, marriage, death.) Go to Africa, click Egypt, and click the Life Cycle section.

Lifestyles: Find recipes, holidays, favorite foods, schools, games and sports.

C-SPAN Classroom, 9-12
C-SPAN features video clips for social studies, civics, and U.S. history. Users can navigate by subject; find clips that pertain to topics such as education, campaigns and elections, or military. The clips are all from news programs and pertain to current and major events. It includes varied points of view. The video player embedded in the site is simple to use and allows the videos to be increased in size to full screen without a loss in resolution.

Science Videos and Images, K-12
ARKive includes thousands of videos, activities, and lessons, games, images, and fact files in a wide range of science, ICT, art and English projects. It promotes understanding of global biodiversity and the conservation of threatened species. Use the ARKive multimedia materials to engage the class in key biology topics, such as variation and adaptation, habitats or life cycles, or use them as creative inspiration for art and design projects. Teachers can embed a link in their class website or wiki.

The World of Business, 9-12
Knowledge@Wharton High School is an online journal for students interested in finding out more about business. Students can explore feature stories about teen-run companies and business trends; read articles on how the economy works and how careers take shape; listen to and view audio and video podcasts about business’s most creative and color characters in sports, entertainment, retail, and hi-tech. Students can choose a portfolio and compete against other students in simulation games. It also includes a video glossary where Wharton professors explain the terms using examples high school students can relate to. For example, one professor tells students what an “angel investor” is, using Justin Timberlake’s character in The Social Network.

iPad Digital Storytelling Apps, K-12
This site has links to apps for digital storytelling such as storyboard and layout, scripts and writing, images, and audio. It can help transform students’ writing into a visual masterpiece.

Word Clouds, 6-12
Tagxedo turns words—famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes—into a graphic. Words are sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence in the body of text. Students and teachers can make tag clouds in real time and re-spin to their liking; save the tag cloud as images for printing and sharing; look at all variants of the clouds in a gallery and choose the one they want. Other features include quickly switching between different colors and themes and changing the cloud to selected shapes such as a heart, star, cloud, oval.

Apptivities, K-12
Apptivities supports teachers in using mobile applications effectively to improve student learning. An apptivity is a specific learning activity using apps on mobile devices. Apptivities provide models for successful instructional practices with mobile devices and media resources that give a “view” into best practices in the classroom.
Examples of apptivities:
Create a puppet show about the Gold Rush on an iPod touch
Lovely Lady Liberty: Active Media Engagement for Young Learners using an iPod touch
Dictating for Foreign Language Fluency using an iPod touch or iPad
Making Decisions With Data: A Windy Proposition using an iPad
Mapping Concepts and Communities using an iPod touch or iPad

Translate 10,000 Newspapers
Students can select a world newspaper (from a satellite map or enter a city or newspaper) and read it in English. Even if the translation is not 100%, students can see what the top stories are in Afghanistan or Tunisia or Brazil, view photos, glimpse daily life, and follow world events. Twitter and Facebook links are included.

AP Stylebook, K-12

One word or two? Hyphenated? Caps or small? Language evolves. The 2011 Associated Press Stylebook lists these social media guidelines.

check in (v.)
check-in (n. and adj.)
end user (n.)
end-user (adj.)

Food Science, 6-12

Food Science Experiments is a new video series on Learn360,
• Emulsions: Mayonnaise
• Fermentation: Root Beer
• Scientific Method: What Makes Popcorn Pop
• Hand Washing and Food Safety
• Biochemistry of Milk: Mozzarella Cheese
• Sensory Evaluation

Captain Jon Videos, PreK-2
This video series explains sharks, oceans, and coral reefs around the world. Log in to Learn 360 with the username/password assigned to your school. Videos can be streamed, downloaded, or added to a playlist.

Engineering, 9-12
Engineering: Go For It! is a Web magazine with online video produced by the American Society for Engineering Education. Teachers can access weekly lesson plans, activities and feature articles about engineering. The feature articles, such as the one about the making of Avatar, are highly engaging and showcase the diversity of engineering careers.

World Digital Library
This collection of primary source materials from cultures around the world includes maps, books, documents, photographs, etchings, drawings, etc. Millions of dollars from international public and private sources went into the development of the site.
Narrow by place, time, topic, type of item, and host institution.

U.S. History Interactive Games, 6-12
Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The first game, Mission 1: "For Crown or Colony?," puts the player in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer's apprentice in 1770 Boston. As Nat navigates the city and completes tasks, he encounters a spectrum of people living and working there when tensions mount before the Boston Massacre. Ultimately, the player determines Nat's fate by deciding where his loyalties lie.

Homework Help, K-12

This website includes a short description of each online database, why students might want to use it, and hyperlinks. Go to, click the Parents tab, scroll down to Homework Help. Access is with the username/password assigned to the school. You’re welcome to copy/paste this article and email to parents, or add it to your social network. Be cautious and don’t post the username/password on a website or print in a document that is distributed to the general public.

Learn360 Videos, K-12
Over 9,000 videos are available for streaming or downloading. If teachers login with the one-time teacher passkey and create a personal account, they can create playlists. Ask the teacher librarian for the Learn 360 teacher passkey or call the Heartland Library.

New Online Databases

Webinars and tutorials are available so teachers and students can learn about the newer online databases: BookFLIX, CultureGrams, Encyclopedia Britannica, Gale suite of magazines/journals/newspapers, Teen Health and Wellness. Register for webinars or find tutorial videos on how to search the databases and integrate them in your instruction.

Online Resources

New This Fall
Britannica Digital Learning
• Britannica Online School Edition
• 21st-Century Explorer
• Student News Net
• World Data Analyst
• Global Reference Center
Gale eResources
• Academic OneFile with InfoTrac Collections
• General OneFile with InfoTrac Collections
• General Business File ASAP
• Health and Wellness Resource Center
• Health Reference Center Academic
• InfoTrac Newsstand
• InfoTrac Junior Edition
• InfoTrac Student Edition
• Educator’s Reference Complete
• Kids InfoBits

Continuing Resources
American History in Video
AP Images
Atomic Learning
DEScience K-8
EBSCO Educator Collection (professional journals)
iCLIPART for Schools
NoveList Plus
NoveList Plus K-8
SIRS Issues Researcher
Teen Health & Wellness

Email World of Media

In addition to the RSS feed, teachers can now receive the World of Media via email. Go to, scroll down and enter your email. You are welcome to register with your home email address if access through the district is blocked.

Iowa Education Summit

You can watch the main speakers on July 25 and 26 at

New Features Added This Summer

We are excited to announce three new features to make it easier to stay up to date on new resources, materials, strategies, and technology applications.
1. You can receive the newsletter via email (in addition to the RSS). Scroll down and enter your email address in the box on the left.
2. The blog is re-configured so it's easy to read on a mobile device.
3. You can email individual posts/articles to others.

Astronomy Online, 6-12
This web site is arranged into broad categories: Observation, Science, Solar System, Stars, Our Galaxy, Cosmology, Astrobiology, Exoplanets, and Astrophotography. Each main category is grouped into sub-categories that cover such topics as constellations, astronomy tools, the solar system formation, stellar evolution, and more. Each of the topics includes a number of informative and illustrated essays with embedded links that lead to more information. Check out the Astrophotography section to see some professional photographs from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope at the top of Mauna Kea and some amateur images of the solar system, star clusters, nebulae, and more.

Editable Science Video Clips, K-12

There are 36 video clips on photosynthesis in Learn 360, that can be downloaded and then edited by students to create their own transformative work. This could be an interesting alternative to a written report or a unique way to explain a difficult topic.

Interactive Science and Math, 3-8
The Jefferson Lab: Science Education site includes lesson plans, hands-on activities, games, and puzzles. Hands-on activities can be downloaded in pdf format and include a teacher overview, standards, lab pages, related activities, and sample answer keys. Also includes, video science lectures, and interactive math and science games. The math games such as Speed Math, Mystery Math, and the Place Value Game are a fun way for students to practice basic math skills.

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, 3-12
This site engages students in problem based learning. The site is divided into four major sections: Activity, About Yellowstone, Images & Publications, and About YVO. The current activity section includes monthly activity updates and news about the volcanic system, including a Monitoring Data section that displays both real-time and non real-time data. The real-time data includes earthquakes, deformation (GPS), and hydrolic. The photo gallery provides an interactive image map of Yellowstone National Park. Locations are also listed below the map as hyperlinks for quick easy access. Pair this web site with any of the 25 videos on Yellowstone in Learn 360.

NBC Civil Rights Video Clips, 5-12
NBC provides guest access to the "Finishing the Dream" video series about the civil rights movement. It features more than 100 stories from the NBC News archives. A written transcript is displayed beside the video. It is divided into 10 thematic collections that allow teachers and students to explore the Movement from different perspectives--political, legal, sociological, and personal. The collections can be watched in their entirety or in clips, so they can be incorporated into any lesson plan. On Tuesday, May 17, look at the1954 interview with Thurgood Marshall on the steps of the Supreme Court discussing the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
An embeddable video widget is available on the site and will be updated monthly with new video content.

Critique and Construct Historical Narratives, 9-12
Historical Thinking Matters web site teaches how to critically read primary sources, how to critique and construct historical narratives, how to explore conflicting accounts of an event, and how to form reasoned conclusions about the past. It includes classroom materials and strategies, examples of student and teacher work, and supplementary sources. Resources for teachers include classroom materials and strategies, examples of student and teacher work, and supplementary sources. Combine this with DocsTeach from the April World of Media.

America 1880-1920, 6-12
This web site uses documents from American Memory and activities to help students understand life in America from 1880-1920. Students examine documents the way historians do by observing details, drawing conclusions, and posing questions for further research. Investigations include immigration, women's suffrage, growing cities, industrialization, progressive reform, prairie settlement, child labor, and the representation of Indians. Students can use images from the collections and text they write themselves to create a gallery or a slide show.

Interactive Math, 6-8
These STEM Collaborative projects—Math By Design, Scale City, Proportion and Park, and Rock ‘n' Roll Road Trip—include hands-on simulations, videos, and interactive activities such as building a skateboard ramp, measuring a roller coaster, setting up a rock music tour. Students will put math concepts, such as geometry, algebra and proportional reasoning. The hands-on simulations, videos, interactive activities, and educator guides bring the learning full circle, engaging students in an immersive experience.

Read, Write, Think, PreK-12
These standards-based lesson plans are research based and include an instructional plan,
worksheets, interactives, assessments, correlations to standards, interactive tools for reading and writing, and Web resources. The lessons make the connection between theory and classroom practice while providing assessments, correlations to national standards, and interactive tools to assist students with a reading or writing activity. Lessons can be sorted by grade level (K-2, 3-5, 6-8) and by three areas of literacy practice: learning language, learning about language, learning through language. All recommended Web resources have been reviewed and selected by educators. The International Reading Association and The National Council of Teachers of English developed all lessons and resources.

Thinkfinity Literacy Network, K-12
This is a rich resource for literacy development, creativity and critical thinking skills. The content is arranged into four major sections: teach, learn, manage, and volunteer. The teach section offers almost fifty free online courses to guide teachers in the best literacy instruction and lifelong learning habits. Activities, visual aids, and strategies for teaching ESL students, as well as podcasts and interactive teaching tools are included. It also includes lesson plans, interactive activities, and other online resources to enhance classroom instruction.

Advertising and Tweens, 4-12
The FTC developed a web site to help students analyze and interpret advertisements through game play. It teaches core advertising literacy concepts. It includes lesson plans that are tied to national standards, sample ads, and teacher videos. The critical thinking skills it teaches can help tweens evaluate non-commercial messages, including editorial content and literature.

iPad Apps and Tips, K-12
This blog lists 50 helpful apps. Searchable by subject.

Pop Culture Lessons, K-12
Teacher Hub has lessons written by teachers that pull in pop culture in all subject areas. It’s keyword and grade level searchable. While you won’t want to print the pdfs as worksheets every week, there are some interesting activities you can incorporate. Get daily updates with the phone app.
--Obama: writing a personal oath, budgeting, health care
--Lady Gaga: journaling and the price of fame
--Libya: NATO and previous military involvement

Health Works, 3-12

New videos have been added to this series on Learn 360, You can download the videos or link clips together in playlist to present a thematic unit.

Advances in medical technology
Behavior and addiction
Children’s health
Cutting edge medicine
East meets West
Eastern possibilities
Examining genes
Exercise and the brain
Fitness and the mind
Dyslexia, smoking, and solutions
Cyber medicine
Health from around the world
Keys to prevention
Medical cause and effect
Modern healing
Natural therapies
Past and present
Past remedies made new
Senior health
Space—medicine’s newest ally
Technology and medicine
The truth about bottled water

Extreme Questions, 6-12

Learn 360 has over 300 less-than-a-minute video clips that answer questions like:
How big was the biggest tornado ever recorded?
How big was the largest snowflake ever recorded?
How far can an egg be dropped without being crushed?
How long has someone’s hair grown?
How long was the longest lightening flash ever recorded?
In what country are you most likely to see a tornado?

Link the clips in a playlist—make it thematic and play it like a DVD.
Follow-up with the math for percentages, probability, conversions.
Use as a lesson starter for further research.
Use as a thinking prompts—what other information do we need to know?

Online Databases Fall 2011

Here is an update on the online databases that have been purchased (so far) for 2011-12. Note: Last year BookFLIX was provided only for K-6 schools in the Heartland service area. In the fall of 2011 it will be available to all grade levels making it an exciting resource for beginning readers of all ages.

These specialized online databases will supplement the core collection of periodicals, magazines, and newspapers available in Gale Academic OneFile and General OneFile.
Advanced Placement Source (EBSCO)
Education Research Complete (EBSCO)
History Reference Center (EBSCO)
Literary Reference Center (EBSCO)
Newspaper Source Plus (EBSCO)
NoveList K-8 Plus (EBSCO)
NoveList Plus (EBSCO)
Points of View Reference Center (EBSCO)
Science Reference Center (EBSCO)

Here is a running list of the online databases available a). statewide and b). databases for students, educators, and parents in the Heartland service area. Databases will be searchable with the one search feature in Com Cat, Heartland piloted several databases over the last couple of years that are now statewide. The databases with an * are new to the Heartland area for 2011-2012.
AccuWeather [Statewide]
American History in Video [AEA11]
Advanced Placement Source (EBSCO) [AEA11]
AP Images [Statewide]
Atomic Learning [Statewide]
BookFLIX [Statewide]
*Culture Grams [Statewide]
DE Science K-8 [AEA11]
Education Research Complete (EBSCO) [AEA11]
*Encyclopedia Britannica [Statewide]
*Gale Academic OneFile [Statewide]
*Gale General OneFile [Statewide]
History Reference Center (EBSCO) [AEA11]
iCLIPART for Schools [Statewide]
Learn 360 [Statewide]
Literary Reference Center (EBSCO) [AEA11]
netLibrary [AEA11]
netTrekker [AEA11]
Newspaper Source Plus (EBSCO) [AEA11]
NoveList K-8 Plus (EBSCO) [AEA11]
NoveList Plus (EBSCO) [AEA11]
Points of View Reference Center (EBSCO) [AEA11]
Science Reference Center (EBSCO) [AEA11]
SIRS Issues Researcher [Statewide]
Soundzabound [Statewide] [AEA11]
Teen Health and Wellness [Statewide]

Educators can register for webinars to learn more about the database content and how the resources can be incorporated into teaching and learning.

BookFLIX Webinars

Encyclopedia Britannica Online

Culture Grams

Learn 360


Teen Health and Wellness

I wish I knew more about Libya...

Log in to Com Cat and search all the online databases simultaneously for information from 2009-2011, You can limit further by reading/grade level.
54 videos in Learn 360
141 magazine articles
600+ articles on pro/con, background
461 newspaper articles

Google = 3,910,000,000 results

Fables DVDs for Loan, preK-3

The Little Fables series uses an animated shadow theater format. There are 25 titles in the DVD series available for checkout. Animals come up with solutions to their problems in ways that convey pro-social messages easily understood by young children. The series helps foster a child's character and problem solving skills while assisting emergent literacy. You can preview the series at

The ant and the cricket (810295)
Theme: Hard work pays.

The ant and the crumbs (810309)
Theme: Quality is more important than quantity.

The caterpillar and the cocoon (810307)

Theme: Life is full of surprises.

The crab and the stork (810287)
Theme: In order to succeed, you must work together.

The crow and the fox (810290)
Theme: Sometimes friends don’t say or act as they really mean.

The dog and the crab (810289)
Theme: Help others, you may need help one day too.

The dog and the hedgehog (810300)
Theme: Shouting is not the best way to be heard.

Flight of the birds (810308)
Theme: The joy of helping others.

The fox and the tortoise (810299)
Theme: Sometimes saying you’re sorry just isn’t enough.

The goat and the hare (810310)
Theme: Learn from others’ mistakes.

The hedgehog and the stork (810302)
Theme: It’s better to have something small than nothing at all.

The lion and the mouse (810288)

Theme: Everyone, large or small, has their own special and unique ability.

The love doves (810304)
Theme: Before you react to what you see, take a moment to question what might be.

The mole and the eagle (810292)
Theme: Listen to the experts who know, only then will you learn and grow.

The mouse and the dog (810298)
Theme: Believe in yourself.

The mouse, the hare, and the goat (810301)

Theme: We all need help sometimes.

The mouse, the hare, and the raven (810291)

Theme: When two friends fight, they both lose in the end.

The owl and his voice (810311)
Theme: There are two sides to every situation.

The pelican and his house (810306)

Theme: Be happy with what you have.

The rhino and the sparrow (810303)
Theme: Don’t jump to conclusions.

The sparrow and the feather (810305)
Theme: Be true to yourself.

The thirsty crow (810297)
Theme: A little thought and determination will make everything right.

The tortoise and the hare (810294)
Theme: Sometimes talent and ability come second to hard work and persistence.

The tortoise and the hedgehog (810296)
Theme: What at first seems scary, with time can become familiar and merry.

Two goats and a bridge (810293)
Theme: When you argue and fight, you lose sight of what’s right.

Create Digital Books, preK-12
Storybird is a collaborative storytelling web site. Students tap into a library of illustrations to create digital books. They choose an artist or a theme, get inspired, and start writing. Storybirds’ short, art-inspired stories encourage blending of the reading and writing process by creating, reading, sharing, and publishing their work. Students read the stories like books, play them like games, and send them like greeting cards. Teachers can sign up for a free class account and generate thematic libraries from their students’ stories to share with parents.

Historical Thinking, 7-12
DocsTeach, a new online tool from the National Archives, combines primary source content with interactives. Teachers can search for activities by keyword, era, or the historical thinking skills they want to teach. The information includes a representation of the level of critical thinking required, illustrated by an icon reflecting Bloom’s Taxonomy; the historical era in which the activity fits; an activity synopsis; and instructions. Teachers can customize any activity.
Teachers can browse or search for activities by era, based on the historical thinking skills they want to teach, according to an interactive activity creation tool, by keyword or even by activity author. The information includes an indication of the historical thinking skill students will practice; a representation of the level of critical thinking required, illustrated by an icon reflecting Bloom’s Taxonomy; the historical era in which the activity fits; an activity synopsis; and instructions. Teachers can customize any activity to fit the needs of their unique classroom by selecting “Use to Create an Activity” to make a new activity based on a current one; edit existing activity information and student instructions; or choose alternative primary source documents. Teachers can create a new activity with its own Web address, and can save and organize their activities in their own account and share them with their students.

Food Science Experiments Videos, 6-12

There are six new videos for streaming or download on Learn 360, http://www.Learn
Biochemistry of milk: mozzarella cheese
Emulsions: mayonnaise
Fermentation: root beer
Hand washing and food safety
Scientific method: what makes popcorn pop?
Sensory evaluation

Space Streaming Videos, 6-12

There are 14 new videos for streaming or download on Learn 360, http://www.Learn The series is called In Space.
“Big bang” theory.
Gemini 3 Mission.
Hubble Space Telescope
Ill fated flight (Challenger)
John Glenn—Mapping Venus
Last Apollo mission
Mars atmosphere
Mars rovers
Mars water
Meteorites, astronaut selection
Micro gravity
Saturn pictures
Space stations
Space suit design
Space tourist
Spitzer space telescope
Surface mapping
UFOs, the atmosphere
Voyager spacecraft
What caused the universe
Women astronauts

Physics in Action DVDs for Loan, 9-12

The Physics in Action series features real-world examples, illustrative animations, and end-of-section reviews. There are five titles in the series and each is about 30 minutes. You can preview the series at
Energy (810313)
Forces and motion (810314)
Nature of matter (810312)
Planets, stars, and galaxies (810316)
Processes that shape the Earth (810315)

Human Body DVDs for Loan, 6-12

This series uses animations, microscopic imaging, and live action footage. There are eight titles in the series. Each DVD is about 20 minutes. You can preview the series at

Human body: cells, tissues, and skin (810325)
Human body: digestion and nutrition (810324)
Human body: human development and the reproductive system (810318)
Human body: the circulatory system (810323)
Human body: the endocrine system (810317)
Human body: the immune system (810319)
Human body: the nervous system and the senses (810320)
Human body: the respiratory system (810321)
Human body: the skeletal and muscular systems (810322)

Simulate a Tsunami, 9-12
The PBS NOVA features two interactive web sites that will help students understand the tsunami that took place in 2004 and the recent Japanese tsunami.: Anatomy of a Tsunami and Once and Future Tsunamis.
In Anatomy of a Tsunami, students can follow the tsunami from its birth at the seafloor to its devastating collision with coasts around the Indian Ocean. In Once and Future Tsunamis, students can explore key tsunamis dating from 3.5 billion years ago through possible future events, and discover what experts have learned and continue to learn from studying them.

PBS Nature, 3-8
Search the IPTV web site by title, animal, topic, grade level. Nature emphasizes ecology and habitat. Photo galleries are available so posters can be made or students can download for projects.
Heartland AEA can reproduce color posters as a reasonable cost. Click here for more information.

Science Podcasts, 9-12
Discovery Now posts a 90-second podcast M-F that discusses the latest innovations in science and space. Previously broadcast segments are archived. The Educational Resources section offers six lesson plans for grades 9-12 that are aligned with educational standards and include STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) objectives. Lesson plans include background information, standards, and instructional objectives, activities, resources, and evaluation materials.

Teacher’s Domain, K-12
This repository of PBS resources (NOVA, Nature, American Experience, etc.) is keyword searchable. Example: search for “cells” and find video, interactive activities, lesson plans.

Science and Health Education, K-12
This web site was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources and provides dozens of free resources for teaching and learning about topics in biology, environmental health science and chemistry, forensics and medical technology, genetics, health, and HIV/AIDS. Careers and Spanish language resources are included.

Math Videos, K-6
There are 19 new videos for streaming or download on Learn 360. Topics: 3-digit numbers, multiplying by 2, greater and less than, etc.
Check out the thousands!
Easy to win: multiplying by 10.
From greatest to least.
Greater than? Less than?
Introduction to three-digit numbers.
Math in the kitchen: do you measure up?
Sakes alive: multiplying by 5.
Standard and expanded form.
Strategies: multiplying by 3.
Strategies: multiplying by 4.
Strategies: multiplying by 6.
Strategies: multiplying by 7.
Strategies: multiplying by 8.
Strategies: multiplying by 9.
This day in history: August 8.
This day in history: November 9.
Three digits: those pesky zeros.
Understanding ten thousands.
What to do: multiplying by 2.

Math Common Core, K-12
The National Science Digital Library (NSDL) has a collection of math resources. It is organized by grade level and domains, and standards addressed. It provides free math lessons and activities aligned with the Math Common Core Standards, as well as STEM-related blogs and other free teacher resources and lesson plan ideas. Content includes lesson plans, computer applets, presentations and explanations of procedures, iTunes multimedia files, and similar interactives that give feedback on performance. The collection has a three-tiered review process, to assure both the quality of its content and the close relationship between resources and standards.

Health Streaming Videos, K-12
There are 369 videos with a 2009-2011 copyright date in Learn 360 that can be streamed or downloaded.

Plastic Fork Diaries: Food and Its Influences on the Body, 6-8
This web site is the story of six students "as they experience first-hand the relationship between food and their changing bodies, cultural differences, the vanishing family meal, nutrition, and athletic performance." Basic information and facts to support the story elements can be found in the "Info Bites" section. The Phood Physiology course at the "Inside U" section gives students the facts about food and their bodies. Behind-the-scenes views of how food is prepared or grown are provided in the "Field Trip" section. The site also provides healthy recipes.

Sports and Nutrition, 6-12
Health and physical education teachers can use this web site to help students understand the relationship between sports/exercise and the food they need to supply the energy. Includes recommended training table diets, questions asked by young athletes, tips for eating right, a planner for making wise food choices, and more. Sections:
Don’t Let your Diet Let You Down
The Pregame Meal Planner
Keeping Energy Levels Up
Keeping Fluid Levels Up

BAM! Body And Mind, 6-12
BAM! is designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sections: nutrition, exercise, disease control, and staying safe while enjoying sports and activities. Also includes lesson plans, activities, and downloadable resources for teachers in pdf format.

Acceptable Use Policy K-12

The Consortium for School Networking Initiative (COSN) released a guide for school districts that address the issues and considerations for a district Acceptable Use Policy through a series of questions and examples.

Whiteboard and Online Collaboration, K-12
Dabbleboard is an online collaboration tool. It has a new type of drawing interface that's actually easy and fun to use, Draw anything you want on a blank screen and it recognizes the shapes/numbers and enhances them. It’s difficult to draw a perfect square or circle with a mouse, but just make a general shape and Dabbleboard will take care of the rest. You can also re-size or flip whatever you draw. This site also allows for real time collaboration so that edits can be made to a single drawing simultaneously by several people.

Google Docs Update, K-12
Teachers and students have been using the comments and feedback features for collaboration. Google believes that the discussion about a document is as important as the document itself, but until now, there hasn’t been a great medium for this discussion to happen. Recently, Google expanded the comments into “discussions,” making them editable, making them appear in threaded conversations, and letting collaborators use the @ symbol to refer to each other by name.

Go to the above URL for a sort video of these enhancements.

Artificial Intelligence, K-12
Topicmarks is a web service that creates smart, interactive synopses from documents. It uses artificial intelligence to statistically analyze documents to distill them down to six sections: Overview, Facts, Summary, Keywords, Index and Properties. Topicmarks users can upload documents, use the bookmarklet to grab web content, e-mail in text, or copy and paste text for nearly instant analysis.
This product, currently being beta-tested represents more than four years of machine learning and artificial intelligence research that can statistically analyze cloud documents, or those you upload to the service, to quickly distill them down to six sections: Overview, Facts, Summary, Keywords, Index and Properties.
What can Topicmarks do for learners?
• Using the most advanced natural-language processing technology available to understand the true meaning of your text, Topicmarks will summarize it for you and retain all its facts forever.
• Upload multiple texts and Topicmarks becomes your knowledge base: finding links between texts, grouping texts around topics, and containing all the facts from all documents you ever read.
• Topicmarks helps you understand the essence and retain every single fact

Topicmarks works by cutting up the full text into sentences, attaching meaning like synonyms and antonyms to each word in the sentence, and then by identifying triplets (typically between subject, verb and object) that are the basic facts expressed in the text.

Topicmarks users can upload documents, use the bookmarklet to grab web content, e-mail in text, or copy and paste text for nearly instant analysis. Key points are extracted and personalized to the user.

In the future, Topicmarks technology could also be applied to distilling key points from social media streams like Twitter and Facebook or RSS feeds. For now, the immediate focus is integrating with popular cloud services such as Dropbox or Scribd and improving the design of the site to make it more appealing to end users.

Shmoop, K-12
Shmoop is a free online homework and writing helper for literature, poetry, and US history. The writers of Shmoop’s original content are primarily Ph.D. and Masters students from top U.S. universities, such as Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Princeton. It was honored by the Webby Awards in both 2009 and 2010. Shmoop has a growing collection of study guides and teacher resources on everything from SAT prep to the Civil War and more are being added all of the time. It’s mostly free of charge, with some nominal fees for test prep and a few other features.

• Get the important facts, from Summaries
• Understand many sides of the argument and dive into a number of themes in Deep Analyses
• Ask the room a question in Discussions
• Collect your thoughts by placing your own Stickies and Clippings on any page. These will be available in Folders.
• Click the Stickies button on the Toolbar and Create a New Stickie. Click “Clip this Section” to save a shortcut
• Quote and cite Shmoop in your papers. The Shmoop writers, experts from Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, U-Iowa, and other great schools, love the topics on which they write and provide citations to back up their work.

Coming Fall 2011

These online databases will be added to the suite of resources in the Heartland AEA virtual library in fall 2011. Read more about it at

• Culture Grams (daily life and customs around the world)
• Britannica Digital Learning (multimedia encyclopedia)
• Gale – Cengage Learning (full-text periodicals, newspapers, and reference)

Training, support resources, workshops, will be available starting in April.

Digital Media: New Learners, K-12

Many educators and parents follow the Iowa Future blog to monitor education trends and discussions lead by Iowa leaders, The March 1 posting referred to the "Digital Media" PBS video. Education experts share how students are becoming more active in directing their own learning, exemplifying Harvard educator Tony Wagner's seven skills students need for their future. View the full video or selected clips at

Teach with iPads, K-12

The Bryan Independent School District in Texas created a dynamic page with practical information, strategies, and activities for using technology in the classroom--particularly iPads.

Readability is a web and mobile app that zaps online clutter and saves web articles in a comfortable review view.
It performs some reformatting magic and strips all the sidebars and ads, and gives you a nicely formatted chunk of text in a format that you choose. Choices include style (Newspaper, Novel, eBook, etc), font size, and margin/line length. All you need to do is make your choices, and then drag the bookmarklet to your bookmark bar in your browser. Anytime you run across a long article, click the bookmark and Readability gives you a very legible version of the text.

Instapaper is an app that let's you mark web pages, articles, feeds, etc. that you don't have time to read right now but want to read later. The free version will hold links to 10 sites--which may be adequate if students are researching a topic. When you find something you want to read later, you click the Read Later bookmark, and the text of that article is saved to your Instapaper account. You can then view the article at the Instapaper site, or read it on your iPad. Read more about it at

Google Classes, K-12

Wish you had the time to take a class on how to use all the features in Google? Try some of the short tutorials on Atomic Learning. Use the online database username/password assigned to your school. Find a buddy and take a few minutes during your busy day to work through the tutorials.

Check “Tutorials” under the Applications dropdown box:
Google Chrome
Google Docs
Google Earth
Google Sites
Google SketchUp

Check “Project-based” under Applications dropdown box:
Google Blogger
Google Calendar
Google Docs
Google Earch
Google Reader
Google SketchUp

BioED Online, K-12
This site is for teacher education. It features streaming video presentations on research lab techniques, inquiry science, and assessment. The Slide Library is a great resource where teachers will find hundreds of searchable slides that can be downloaded and used to customize their own lesson plans and activities. Each slide includes talking points and references. The Teacher Resources area includes ready-to-go lessons and instructional materials such as the grade 4-8 activity guides: sleep and daily rhythms, muscles and bones, and food and fitness. There is also a separate section for K-5 educators that includes presentations, slide sets, teacher resources, and professional development.

Chemistry & Everyday Life, 9-12
This is a new online series of free videos and resources. It has three weekly lessons available now with many more to be added through the rest of the school year. The project was created with the National Science Foundation and covers a variety of topics ranging from the chemical breakdown of all the components of a cheeseburger to the chemistry of fear. Each series contains several one- to six-minute videos, charts, related news stories and lesson plans created by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The site also features profiles of scientists making chemistry breakthroughs.

Physclips: Multimedia Physics, 9-12
The site uses film clips, animations, still photos, montages, and diagrams to demonstrate the different principles of physics, and includes links to other supporting and related pages as well as to background information and materials. Topics: constant acceleration, projectiles, circular motion, Newton’s laws, center of mass, momentum, rotation, and more. The tutorials for the modules are accessible from the main page of the site. Teachers can go straight to the download page and download resources for use in their classrooms.

New Nature DVDs, 6-12

This new DVD series for checkout/reservation is a classroom version of the PBS Nature episodes.

Adaptive animal anatomy #810277
Adaptive function of form: the beauty of ugly #809748
Breeding cattle by humans: domestication and genetics #809749
Death Valley: desert biome survival #809750
Endangered: extinction's cost #810274
Fellowship of the humpback whales #810280
Frogs and amphibians: crisis and CSI #810278
How dogs became man's best friend: genetics and domestication #809752
Hummingbird adaptations in dazzling motion #810279
Kilauea: Hawaii's birth volcano #810276
Mystery of disappearing honeybees: fusion of form and function #809753
Population crash: disappearing horseshoe crabs #810275
Raptors: adaptations for predation #809751
Scary squid, octopuses and other cephalopods #809754
Scientific methods and the venom cure #809755
Yellowstone bears' ecosystem #809756
Yellowstone wolves: territoriality and clan behavior #809765

Mark Twain’s Mississippi, 6-12
Mark Twain’s Mississippi is a searchable and indexed multimedia digital library of some of Samuel Clemons publications and reminiscences. The materials include primary sources, such as historical statistics, texts and images, as well as interpretive essays and digital video segments in which scholars discuss their ideas. The materials are grouped into four themes: economic development, politics, race, religion and culture. Included is a biography of Mark Twain and sound files of songs such as “Steamboat Bill” and “The Slave Mother’s Lament” which illustrate society, politics, and culture on the Mississippi River from 1830-1890. RealPlayer and a special plug-in are needed; they can be downloaded for free at the site.

Steps in the Research Process, 6-12
This research guide takes the student step-by-step through the process with tip sheets for each step. Each tip sheet also contains links to additional information for clarification and additional learning. Students can use the tip sheets to learn or review the entire process or easily locate the specific information for the step that they need. Tip sheets include: Selecting a research topic; Listing keywords; Making source cards; Finding information within sources; Writing a statement of purpose; Brainstorming research questions; Writing a thesis statement; Making an outline; Citing sources; Writing an introduction and conclusion, etc.

The King's Speech--The Real Story, 9-12
AwesomeStories features a collection of multimedia primary source materials—photos, video, audio and historical documents—held together in a series of digital stories about films, famous trials, disaster and historical events. Teachers can signup for a free membership and see everything on the site including an extensive image database where they can explore all its features (including narrated stories). Teachers can also dig deeper with lesson plans and text documents and stay up to date with a free newsletter profiling current events and hot topics.

Teaching About Egypt Today, 6-12
The New York Times Learning Network blog offers suggestions and resources for including the latest developments in lessons. One suggestion is to post text about Egypt and its history in the classroom and lead students on a gallery walk as they read and take notes. Then students can be divided into groups to study questions about the issue. The blog also suggests having students study varying viewpoints and the roles of technology, media and U.S. diplomacy in the unfolding events.

Ameriquest Kids, K-6

This animated DVD series for checkout/reservation can be used for civic literacy. They include an on-screen quiz.

Why we serve #810259
Your right to vote #810258

The Love of Money DVDs, 9-12

This series for checkout/reservation is about the global economy and the 2008 financial crisis. Use these programs for financial literacy, math, social studies, current events, social studies, ethics.

The age of risk #810255
Back from the brink #810256
The bank that bust the world #810254

Math Tools for Teachers, K-12
Tools for Understanding is an online professional self-development resource for teachers. The math concepts section provides a wide variety of lessons arranged by topic such as spreadsheet basics, factors, primes and functions, fractions, decimals, percents, geometry, working with data, and more.
The lessons integrate technology (either spreadsheets or calculators) into the learning process and can easily be included in the existing curriculum.
The integrated lessons section provides examples of in-depth problem solving in mathematics and explicit suggestions for moving students through the problem solving process toward high-quality products.
The journaling section explores the idea of writing in mathematics and offers tips for getting started as well as prompts to use, strategies for incorporating writing into the mathematics class, and lesson plans.

Math & Teaching for Understanding Videos, K-12

The Heartland Eduvision channel (think YouTube) has some locally-produced videos about the various components of the Iowa Core and best practices. It's an excellent tool for school-wide or personal professional development. There is a browsable index and a keyword search--just like YouTube. Dr. Eric Hart, UNI, discusses how to enhance math instruction and teaching practices—particularly in conjunction with the Iowa Core.

Interpersonal Skills, K-3

Getting Along Monsters is a DVD series for loan. Each coping and interpersonal skill is reviewed and reinforced with a music video. The DVDs may be reserved online.

Getting along monsters: 5 ways to work things out (without fighting) #809819
Getting along monsters: 8 ways to handle anger (without hitting) #809818
Getting along monsters: don't call me names #810205
• Getting along monsters: everyone makes mistakes #810204
Getting along monsters: let's make up #810207
Getting along monsters: no more teasing #810206
Getting along monsters: we all get mad (sometimes) #809817

Teen Solutions DVDs, 9-12

The Play It Out DVD series for loan (or duplication by Heartland) uses unique peer-to-peer communication to present and offer solutions to social issues facing adolescents today.

Healthy dating relationships, head over heels?: how to keep your balance #073714
How to fight fair: the rules of engagement #073715
Play it out: sexting and texting: think before you send #073716
Unhealthy dating relationships: are you blinded by the bright side of love? #073713

Auto B Good (Character Ed), K-5

This is an Emmy-winning series is for character education that features animated cartoon cars. The complete series of 63 programs is on Learn360 and 18 programs are available for checkout on DVD from Heartland AEA.

Courage, initiative, self-reliance #809418
Courtesy, fairness, confidence #809421
Decency, goodness, dignity #809422
Helpfulness, enthusiasm, selflessness #809426
Independence, resourcefulness, cleanliness #809420
Integrity, bravery, determination #809423
Joyfulness, patience, cooperation #809415
• Obedience, self-control, politeness #809412
Patriotism, citizenship, loyalty #809417
Perseverance, sportsmanship, self-discipline #809419
Punctuality, promptness, ready #809410
Responsibility, respect, dependability #809411
Restraint, willpower, wisdom #809427
Self-acceptance, caring, hygiene #809428
Sharing, friendliness, gratefulness #809425
Thankfulness, generosity, goodwill #809414
Tolerance, consideration, uniqueness #809416
Truthfulness, honesty, kindness #809413

A New Way to Get to Carnegie Hall, K-5
Help students learn about sound, music notation, text, and instruments through engaging Web-based games. This interactive site is a great way to learn about the orchestra and its instruments as well as the symphony and some history of Carnegie Hall. The Young Person's Guide teaches students about the four families of musical instruments and their place in the orchestra. Students go on a safari through the instrument filled jungle collecting all the instruments in a problem solving adventure. In Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" students listen to and view an animated version of the symphony while learning about the music, instruments of the orchestra, and the composer.

Documentaries, K-12

Heartland AEA purchased some interesting DVD documentaries for the high school classroom to spark a guided discussion. The DVDs can be reserved online or call the Heartland library.

Oceans of Plastic #073688
This program asks what can be done to clean up the plastic wastes that are polluting the oceans and what the long-term impact will be.

Malls R Us #810251
This program examines the enclosed shopping center and how they function as a communal, even ceremonial experience and, for retailers and consumers. It discusses the psychological appeal of malls, how architects design their environments to combine consumerism with nature and spectacle, how suburban shopping centers impact social values, and how malls are transforming the traditional notions of community, social space and human interaction.

The Koran: the origins of the book #810252
This documentary explores the origins of the Koran, which according to Muslim tradition, has remained static and unchanged since its revelation to the prophet Mohammed between 610 and 632 CE in Mecca and Medina. Recent discoveries of Koranic manuscripts analyzed by scientists indicate that the Koran would appear to have a more complicated history.

Home across lands #810266
This documentary shares the story of a small group of Kunama refugees that have been given the opportunity for resettlement, and how they re-establish their sense of community in America.

Bloodlines #810257
This documentary reveals how biotechnologies are raising ethical, legal and social dilemmas as science intersects with the law.

Iowa Core Videos, K-12

You’ll find over 107 videos created in Iowa by Iowans to help teachers understand and implement the Iowa Core. You’ll find theory, background, and practical applications of what it looks like in the classroom. Take a look at the Eduvision site—looks and acts just like YouTube. Go to and scroll down to the video icon.

Egypt and Tunisia, K-12
Learn360 includes videos for streaming or download to understand foreign policy, government, past and present, culture, etc. Log in with the online database username/password assigned to your school, then enter the search terms. The results can be limited by grade level.

Black History Month Lesson, 9-12
Students can use the SIRS online database to address essential questions/issues. Here’s a lesson where students can take a pro/con position and find supporting research on affirmative action, racial discrimination and civil liberties, and workplace discrimination. Online help show students how to defend their position on issues.

Assign students to research either a Pro or Con position on one of the issues listed below. Students should cite at least three resources in addressing the Pro or Con essential questions for the selected issue.

Each of these issues is one of many that continue to impact African Americans to a greater degree than other Americans. The pathfinders below are accessed by selecting the VISUAL BROWSE link.

Pathfinder #1:
Click Civil Right and Liberties icon > Civil Rights > Affirmative Action

Pathfinder #2:
Click Civil Right and Liberties icon > Civil Rights > Racial Discrimination

Pathfinder #3:
Click Civil Right and Liberties icon > Civil Rights > Workplace Discrimination

SIRS provides unique models for students to use to demonstrate what they have learned and how to defend their position on issues. To locate them, open each issue, click the My Analysis icon in the Research Tools section, then note the links to report/presentation models under Additional Resources.

Access the full SIRS activity here.