Friday, March 27, 2015

April 2015 TeacherLINK TechBytes Newsletter

In This Issue (which is always free)!
  • The Public Domain Project
  • App Inventor from MIT - Learn to build Android apps in hours
  • Northrop Grumman Foundation Launches Middle School Contest to Promote STEM Innovation
  • GeoGebra - Free Multipurpose Math Software
  • New 3D Printing Technique Inspired by Terminator Movie.
  • Free “Hubble Space Telescope 25th Celebration” Education Webinar Series From NASA Educator Professional Development
  • 21st Century Teacher Academy available for K-12 Educators
  • Message to US Educators: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Contact Opportunity
  • Macintosh Preferences - A Primer
  • MS Word Text to Speech
  • Tips for taking care of your PC
  • Epson Launches ‘BrightLink Projector Teacher Contest’
  • Demystifying Computers
  • Free Courses and Tutorials Online
  • Internet Basics
  • CK-12 - Open Education Resource Materials

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dawn Mission’s ‘Imagine Ceres’ Project

Share in the anticipation and excitement of NASA’s Dawn spacecraft’s arrival at Ceres in March 2015!
Can you imagine what the Dawn mission might discover at Ceres in the next few weeks and months? What does this vast world hold for explorers and scientists today? What do you imagine the surface of Ceres will look like? How do you imagine that Ceres formed? When do you imagine Ceres came into being? Over what time frame?
NASA’s Dawn mission wants you to share your ideas! Send in your creations in the form of art, music, poetry or video. Selected submissions will be featured in the Imagine Ceres gallery.
To learn more about the “Imagine Ceres” project, including how to submit your ideas, visit
For more information about the Dawn mission, visit
Please email any questions about this opportunity to Joe Wise at

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Epson Launches ‘BrightLink Projector Teacher Contest’

Do you want to win an Epson BrightLink® 595Wi finger-touch interactive projector for your classroom? Enter the Epson BrightLink Projector Teacher Contest” before April 15, 2015.
To enter, go to In 250 words or less, educators must describe THREE INNOVATIVE ways they would use the interactive projector to engage students in their classroom. Educators can additionally submit a link to a short video to supplement their written submission.

Submissions are judged on the following criteria:
·       Creative use of an interactive projector in the classroom (50%)
·       Practicality of implementing the idea using real life examples/application (25%)
·       Impact of using interactive projectors on student learning (25%).

The Epson BrightLink 595Wi is the world's first touch-enabled 3LCD interactive projector. It is equipped with an external module that mounts directly to a wall or existing whiteboard enabling finger touch control and annotations. It supports gestures, up to six fingers at the same time, and dual-pen support. The built-in Moderator device management software allows up to 50 computers, tablets and other handheld devices to be connected via the network for ultimate classroom collaboration.

Three winners will be announced in May 2015 at For additional information and official rules, visit BrightLink Contest Official Rules.

Message to US Educators: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station - Contact Opportunity

Call for Proposals

Proposal Window February 15 – April 15, 2015
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates that the contact would be held between January 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.

The deadline to submit a proposal is April 15, 2015. Proposal information and documents can be found at

The Opportunity
Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students and educators to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.

An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in contact dates and times.

Amateur Radio organizations around the world, NASA, and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe sponsor this educational opportunity by providing the equipment and operational support to enable direct communication between crew on the ISS and students around the world via Amateur Radio. In the US, the program is managed by AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) and ARRL (American Radio Relay League) in partnership with NASA.

More Information
Interested parties can find more information about the program at and

For proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and proposal form, and dates and times of Information Sessions go to Please direct any questions to

21st Century Teacher Academy available for K-12 Educators

The 21st Century Teacher Academy is a unique Professional Development opportunity designed to immerse teachers in the best practices and methodologies on how to create and implement real-world, Project Based Learning (PBL) curriculum utilizing NASA’s missions. This program is hosted on base by the Office of Education and Public Outreach at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) in Moffett Field, CA. This two week long workshop will feature a customized and tailored PBL curriculum, development, and implementation experience led by content experts, PBL experts, a master teacher, and technical subject matter experts here at NASA ARC.

Applications are due April 30th, 2015

Teachers will: 
•Receive a $4,500 stipend
•Create a full PBL module to implement in their classrooms
•Create supplemental, multimedia lesson plans
•Share developed PBL modules within cohort 
•Have access to a suite of NASA education tools and resources
•Be exposed to unique NASA facilities, missions, and technical subject matter experts
•Increase familiarity with NASA’s research and efforts involving aeronautics 

If you are an interested K-12 Teacher, 
Please apply through NASA's OSSI at:

Applications are due April 30th, 2015

Questions? Contact:

Free “Hubble Space Telescope 25th Celebration” Education Webinar Series From NASA Educator Professional Development

NASA Educator Professional Development is presenting a free webinar series, “Hubble Space Telescope 25th Celebration,” open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about the NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) mission, activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources that bring the HST and STEM into your classroom.

Registration is needed to participate in the scheduled webinars. Simply go to the following link and register for each selected webinar:

HST 25th Celebration: A Look Back In Time
Apr. 01, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. EDT and repeated at 7:00 p.m. EDT
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-8
How did it all start? Who is Edwin Hubble? Why do we need a space telescope? Relive the realization of a dream as the Hubble Space Telescope was launched onboard Space Shuttle Discovery. Learn how fuzzy photos required a spectacular repair mission. See examples from deep space such as stars, planets, galaxies and beyond. Make real world connections with everyday technologies as you learn about NASA STEM resources to build and launch satellites using the engineering design process.

HST 25th Celebration: Through the Eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope
Apr. 08, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. EDT and repeated at 7:00 p.m. EDT
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 6-8
What’s the view like from the "eyes" of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)? Become an astronomer by analyzing images captured by the HST. Explore the different types of telescopes and how they observe our universe. Also, in this interactive webinar, discover NASA STEM resources and learn how to build a make-and-take telescope with your students.

HST 25th Celebration: Hubble Math
Apr. 13, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. EDT
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-12
Participants in this webinar will get an overview of resources for teaching math using the Hubble Space Telescope. Discussion will include classroom modifications.

HST 25th Celebration: Hubble Deep Field
Apr. 20, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. EDT and repeated at 7:00 p.m. EDT
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8
What is the Hubble Deep Field? The Hubble Deep Field represents a narrow view of the universe, covering a speck of sky. Essentially a narrow, deep “core sample” of sky, the field is similar to a geologic core sample of Earth’s crust. Just as a core sample represents a history of the evolution of Earth’s surface, the Hubble Deep Field image contains information about the universe at many different stages in time. Let’s discover together what the images from Hubble are telling us about the universe. Also, in this interactive webinar, discover NASA STEM resources to understand the vast size of our universe.

HST 25th Celebration: Hubble, Sofia, & Your Cosmic Connection to the Universe
Apr. 21, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. EDT and repeated at 7:00 p.m. EDT
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 9-12
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Hubble has revisited the famous Pillars of Creation, providing astronomers images in near-infrared light. NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is the world's largest airborne astronomical observatory & features a far-infrared telescope. Together, we learn more about the structure and formation of our universe. Come experience a Universe Trail Mix activity that demonstrates the role of the Big Bang Theory, fusion in stars, and supernovae creating all of the elements on the periodic table.

HST 25th Celebration: NASA Space Telescopes - Past, Present and Future of STEM Exploration
Apr. 23, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. EDT
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8

Explore the history of NASA Space Telescopes that expand our understanding of the solar system and the universe beyond. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be the focus. NASA STEM curriculum, online resources, careers and the Next Generation Science Standards will be integrated in the "out of this world" webinar that celebrates the HST 25th anniversary.

Free NASA STEM Education Webinars -- NASA Educator Professional Development

Audience: In-service, Pre-service, Home School and Informal Educators

NASA STEM Educator Professional Development is presenting a series of no-cost webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about NASA missions, activities, lesson plans, educator guides and online resources that bring NASA and STEM into your classroom. Currently, registration is not required for these webinars. Simply go to the link provided for each webinar approximately 15 minutes before the session begins. Sign in, with your first and last name, as a Guest.

March 25, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. ET
Solar System and the Periodic Table of Elements 
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 3-16
This lesson is an engaging introduction to what the periodic table is and why it is important to us. It includes a game and a short writing prompt to check for understanding. It meets NGSS as well as Common Core - Writing. You will need crayons or colored pencils and the following periodic table blank:

March 26, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. ET
Robotics On A Budget
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8
Robots are a part of our everyday lives. We use them in ways we don't always realize. What are robots, how are they used in our lives and how are they used by NASA? These are some of the questions explored in this webinar. Using NASA STEM robotics missions, curriculum, online resources and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), we'll also explore how to use robotics, inexpensively, in your classroom to enhance your students' understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Beginning March 30, 2015, REGISTRATION will be needed to participate in the scheduled webinars.
Simply click on the provided REGISTRATION link to register for each selected webinar.

March 30, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. ET
NASA's BEST Students: Next Generation
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8
Participants in this webinar will get an overview of the resources in the NASA’s BEST Students: Next Generation educator guide. This guide contains 9 activities simulating NASA Technology
Demonstration Missions. Discussion will include classroom modifications.

March 31, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. ET
Physics for Elementary
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-6
Participants will learn activities for teaching Newton’s Laws of Motion, energy, light and gravity. Upon completion, participants will have a set of physics activities and a plan for incorporating
them into classes.

For an extended NASA STEM Educator Professional Development webinar schedule, go to:

Northrop Grumman Foundation Launches Middle School Contest to Promote STEM Innovation

Fab School Labs contest gives schools funding to create a first-class STEM learning environment
FALLS CHURCH, Va. –March 16, 2015 – Northrop Grumman Foundation today announced it is launching an online contest to encourage today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators by creating classrooms and science labs that inspire. The Fab School Labs contest is open to public middle schools and will make five grants of up to $100,000 available to five winning schools to fund a school lab makeover.

Beginning May 4 and continuing through June 12, 2015, teachers, principals and school administrators can enter their eligible school by, where they can learn about the contest and submit their application, along with photos and video to help tell their story. Semi-finalist schools will be chosen and their videos will receive online votes of support to assist with the final selection process. The winning schools will team up with Fab School Labs contest partner Flinn Scientific Inc. to design a state-of-the-art lab complete with all of the tools, resources and furnishings needed.

The contest is designed to drive students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by giving public middle school teachers and school administrators the chance to create the STEM lab of their dreams and give students access to the latest learning tools and technologies that will stimulate as well as teach.

Inadequate funds to purchase equipment and an overall lack of facilities are frequently cited problems by teachers and educators as it relates to science and mathematics education at the elementary and middle school level, according to the National Science Board and other education sources. To help meet the education demands of today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, the Northrop Grumman Foundation – through its Fab School Labs program – is helping today’s science and STEM labs and classrooms become places of inspiration, imagination and opportunity for students.

“Enhancing their classroom tools is another way to help our teachers boost the science and technology learning experience for their students,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president, Northrop Grumman Foundation. “Young people are naturally inquisitive and adept at so many of the technologies we have available to us today. With the help of teachers and the community at large, we look forward to giving kids the chance to succeed and thrive as they engage in the exciting field of science, technology, engineering and math where they can let their imagination soar.”

In addition to the website, teachers are also encouraged to follow the competition at

Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are committed to expanding and enhancing the pipeline of diverse, talented STEM students globally. They provide funding to STEM programs that span from preschool to high school and through collegiate levels, with a major emphasis on middle school students and teachers. In 2014, Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation continued outreach efforts by contributing millions of dollars to diverse STEM-related groups such as the Air Force Association (CyberPatriot), Conservation International (ECO Classroom), the REC Foundation (VEX Robotics) and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation supports diverse and sustainable programs for students and teachers. These programs create innovative education experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Free iOS App Today: Toca Doctor HD

***For a limited time!***

*Children's Technology Review - Editor's Choice*

"I really enjoyed this game. Treating the ailments was a great deal of fun, and the look of the game is gorgeous. The activities use different tapping and dragging skills that are great for young kids, and older kids will just enjoy pretending to be doctors" - Geekdad, Wired Magazine

"Toca Doctor is an innovative app that introduces children to the medical profession and the human body while making it fun with creative minigames." - The Gamer with Kids

Let your kids be a doctor for a day! Examine a patient and solve fun puzzles and mini-games that take place in the human body. Beautiful artwork and fun sounds guides your kids through 21 different puzzles!

√ 21 puzzles and mini-games to solve!
√ Cool physics games!
√ Fantastic original artwork that shows the human body!
√ Fun sounds and animations!
√ No rules or stress - play any way your kids want to!
√ Kid-friendly interface!
√ No third-party advertising
√ No in-app purchases

Toca Doctor is a fun and puzzling digital toy for kids. Examine the patients and play puzzles and mini-games that take place in the human body. There are no timers or stress elements so that kids can play in their own time. If they can't finish any certain game it still continues so that they never get stuck. It always works and it's always fun!

If you like Toca Doctor HD – try our other digital toys!

- Toca House
- Toca Kitchen
- Toca Hair Salon
- Toca Hair Salon - Christmas Gift (FREE!)
- Toca Tea Party
- Paint My Wings
- Helicopter Taxi
- Toca Store
- Toca Robot Lab
- Parenting's Birthday Party Playtime

...available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad! Find all on

Privacy Policy
Privacy is an issue that we take very seriously. To learn more about how we work with these matters, please read our privacy policy:

Toca Boca is a game studio that makes digital toys for kids. We think playing and having fun is the best way to learn about the world. Therefore we make digital toys and games that help stimulate the imagination, and that you can play together with your kids. Best of all - we do it in a safe way without third-party advertising or in-app purchases.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Free iOS App Today: NedTheNeuron

The Adventures of Ned the Neuron introduces kids to the exciting science of the brain, with fun characters, story and activities.

Join Ned the Neuron on his first day working in the brain and learn about what the brain does, what it is made of, and how we sense touch on our skin.

** Features **
- 34 pages of full color storybook
- Rich audio with voices and music
- Interactive educational content integrated into the story
- Three mini-games exploring the science
- Over 35 concepts about the brain
- No in App purchases or third party ads

The Adventures of Ned the Neuron was designed with kids ages 6-11 in mind, but it is great for kids of all ages!

** About Kizoom **

Kizoom inspires life long learning and health through products that empower kids to know and grow their brains.

Free iOS App Today: Brain Jump Pro - Brain training and education for kids with Ned the Neuron. Games focus on cognitive skills including memory, attention, and concentration.

** Winner Editor's Choice Award - Children's Technology Review **
** Teachers' Pick for Best of 2013 - Scholastic **
** A Parents' Choice Recommended Award Winner **

Brain Jump uses kid-friendly stories and games to teach children the powerful idea that our brains can grow and get stronger if we take on challenges. The app was designed by teachers and neuroscientists to give children confidence and improved concentration when learning new things.

Alert! Alert! The brain’s power is at an all-time low! Join Ned the Neuron and friends on an exciting adventure to restore Brain Power.

To succeed, you’ll need to use your thinking cap as you play three different games that will challenge your memory and concentration skills.

** Features **
• Three different games that challenge memory and concentration: Think Tank, Neurons in Space, and Wizard Match
• 54 different levels to provide an increasing level of difficulty
• Intro story with Ned the Neuron and friends
• A Brain Science section for kids and parents to explore together
• No in-app purchases or third party ads

Brain Jump with Ned the Neuron was designed for children ages 6-10 but is fun for kids of all ages. Start building Brain Power today!

** About Kizoom **
Kizoom inspires life long learning by empowering kids to know and grow their brains.

Free iOS & Android App Today: Sketch-a-Song for Kids

Create your own music with Sketch-a-Song! Our colorful, intuitive interface makes it fun and easy for anyone to make music in seconds.

“Sketch-a-Song brings composition to life for students of all ages. This app is so fun, visually appealing, and easy to use. My students don’t even realize they’re learning!” – Julie Wild, music teacher.

“You could have an orchestra in your iPad” – Raymond, age 9.

“No matter what you do, it almost always sounds pretty good” – Nate, age 11.

Try it now and see why kids and people of all ages LOVE composing in color with Sketch-a-Song. Express your creativity, learn the fundamentals of music composition and increase your music appreciation while having a blast! Here’s how it works:

-Create music more easily than ever! Simply tap and drag to create, move, and edit notes.
-Build your own ensemble from over 40 free instruments without navigating complicated menus or settings.
-Connect visual patterns with sounds using our colorful, intuitive interface.
-Hear your song play back in real time as you build it.

-Experience our patent-pending musical system, which takes advantage of time-tested music theory principles to make sure that your music sounds harmonious.
-Explore eight different sketchpads and characters, each with their own unique personality and sound.
-Add measures to link sketchpads together and create a beautiful backdrop for your masterpiece!

-Play all of your favorite instruments like a virtuoso.
-Enjoy using high quality samples of over 40 real instruments ranging from rock and pop to orchestral.
-Experiment with melodic instruments in five categories: Keyboards, Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, and Voices!
-Master drums and percussion instruments from around the world.

No matter who you are or what your background is, Sketch-a-Song makes music accessible and rewarding. PARENTS: empower your child and ignite a lifelong love of music through genuine creativity. TEACHERS: supplement your lessons with an accessible and immediate way to demonstrate instrumentation, rhythm, melody, harmony, and more. KIDS: impress your friends with your awesome songs and have a great time experimenting with musical melodies. Anyone can have fun composing music with Sketch-a-Song.

NOTE: Sketch-a-Song is (and always will be) AD FREE. We do not require an account and collect no private data. We value your experience and your privacy. For more please see:

We are always looking for ways to enhance your experience. Please email us with any suggestions at and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

Find out what kids say about Sketch-a-Song at

Download now to experience it for yourself!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Free iOS App Today: Srcfari - the view html source code browser

## FREE for a limited time. New version coming soon with safari extension plus more
View HTML source code plus CSS, Javascript and Image Asset Browser!

Srcfari allows website owners, web developers & curious people to instantly view the source code and assets of any website on the internet.

A must-have app for every web developer's mobile toolbox.
Instantly view any website's source code from your iPhone or iPad.

• One-tap source viewer
• Full syntax highlighting.
• Full built-in browser & web search
• Clean, simple and easy to use interface


Easily view any website's styles, scripts and image assets with Srcfari's built-in asset browser.

• CSS stylesheets
• JavaScripts & jQuery plugins
• JPG, PNG, GIF and SVG images


Srcfari allows you to perform a useful range of actions on the source code and site assets.

• View, browse & zoom
• Copy source code to clipboard
• Send source code via email
• View & save image assets
• Clipboard URL detection
• Open in Safari, Chrome or Opera


You can contact us directly from within the app if you have any questions or feedback. Otherwise email us at

Visit our website for more information or to share Srcfari with your friends:

Tech-Girls - Website Resources - STEM for Girls

Tech-Girls is all about empowering girls to imagine and achieve their future dreams in our tech-savvy world. The organization is part gathering resources from around the world to help girls get connected to tech programs/mentors, part online community learning tech together and part local program working directly with girls through workshops and events to inspire them to share their vision with the globally connected community.

Tech-Girls was launched on October 11, 2012 the first ever International Day of the Girl Child by Kim Wilkens with the support of and guidance from many amazing organizations and individuals. The United Nations set this date aside to recognize that empowerment of and investment in girls is critical for:
  • economic growth;
  • the eradication of poverty;
  • meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them;
  • breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence
This day provides focus to efforts that are helping girls gain “the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community.”

What’s the problem?
  • The ratio of women studying computer science in college is less than 20%. Last year only 12.9% of CS undergraduates were women. (US stat).
  • Stereotypical images about computer science, like it’s boring, hard, anti-social and irrelevant, persist.
  • By age 13 girls determine a positive or negative attitude towards subjects like computer science.
Alternate realities
  • Through hands-on experience, girls recognize that computing is about creativity, connecting people and changing the world.
  • Mentors help break down the stereotypes behind computer science.
  • Parents and schools understand the importance of computer science education.
Change the world!

The under-representation of women in computing and its affect on society are complex issues, but we cannot let the scope of these issues stop us from attempting to make a difference in the lives of girls right now. Tech-Girls provides an opportunity to engage girls, their families, their schools and the wider community about the power of computing.

In 2012 an idea was planted - that the investment in and empowerment of girls is critical to all of us. Now it's up to us to care for and nourish this idea into reality!