Category Archives: Uncategorized

Where Can I Find A Teacher Travel Grant?

AlchemyLogoCropAs an educator, you may well have summers away from the classroom, which leaves you with valuable time to engage in unique and enriching experiences that you can bring back to the classroom in the fall.  Travelling sits on the top of many teachers summer wish lists and can not only serve to help you relax and exhale, but can often times be used to enhance your understanding and connection to the material you teach and help you inspire your students even further. As all teachers know, when you’re excited, they will be too!

As wonderful as these experiences can be for you and the impact it may have for your future students, it’s not always easy to fund and plan your own expedition. Fortunately, there are many different programs that can help you fund the educational experience you crave. Applying for funds is as easy as filling out an application. While it may be too late to apply for a grant for summer 2014, it’s never too early to think about next summer!

The following organizations help teachers fund their travelling and learning learning experiences and may well be worth a look!:

  • Fund For Teachers – In order to be eligible for a grant from this organization, you must be employed full time as an educator for PreK-12th grade and spend at least 50% of your work week instructing students. You must also have at least three years of teaching experience and the intent of continuing to teach the following school year. Anyone who thinks that a summer travel opportunity can positively impact his or her teaching should apply. If accepted, the fellowship can grant up to $5,000 for individuals. Application deadlines vary from state to state but on average, Fund For Teachers funds 500 summer programs a year.
  • The Earthwatch Institute – The Earthwatch Institute recruits individuals from all around the globe to take part in research projects over the summer. In order to qualify for a research project, you just need to be a K-12 educator. Annually, 200 people are granted fellowships and Earthwatch will cover the cost of research, food and accommodations.  Travel to and from the site is not covered unfortunately, but it is common that most people receive reimbursement. While working on the research project, many fellows keep journals and then incorporate their experiences into future lesson plans.
  • Fulbright-Hays – Through Fullbright-Hays, educators are allowed to plan trips abroad that will help enhance their lessons and create a stronger impact for the students learning. The program is usually 4-6 weeks long and takes place in countries outside of Western Europe. Qualified applicants have three years of experience and teach some sort of curriculum relating to social sciences, languages or the humanities. The fellowship covers the cost of the entire trip except for a $450 cost share and more than 100 teachers are accepted annually.
  • Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program – The Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program is designed to give all educators the experience to bring geographic awareness to their classrooms. The program is open to all educators who have a proven dedication to geographic education in their field. The program covers the cost of transportation, lodging and food. There are a few different expeditions over the course of a year and each expedition has 2-3 fellows. This program doesn’t just have expeditions during the summer, some take place during the school year- so when filling out your application, it is important that the date works with your schedule.

After going on any of these exciting fellowships, it would be hard to not have a wonderful time to further inspire your students’ learning and perhaps even inspire envy in your colleagues!

It may be too late for an abroad fellowship this summer, but it’s not too late to sign up for professional development days. We have put together a listhere of some great opportunities taking place all over the country this summer and be ready when applications open again for the fellowship programs next year!

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers, schools, and organizations. This past fall Alchemy released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. Our premium product suite consisting of SmartBinder Collaborate (which includes SmartBinder Teams) and SmartBinder Engage are now publicly available. Contact us today at alchemylearning.com.

Stay up to date with what’s going on at Alchemy Learning; follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Alchemy Connect: SmartBinder Upgrades!

AlchemyLogoCropSummer is on the horizon, which means it’s time to experiment with lessons that will engage students through the final stretch, as well as to look forward to exciting professional development opportunities in coming months.  Below we take a look at some SmartBinder upgrades, summer workshop opportunities, and some embeddable tools and apps we’d recommend for all teachers and organizations capitalizing on digital education!

SmartBinder Upgrades!

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Mobile Lesson Viewer

All Alchemy SmartBinder- from free Flip users to Collaborate and Engage users- will experience three upgrades on their accounts today!:

  • Text Editor- The new text editor allows full formatting capabilities and image embedding for all Text material in lessons.
  • Embed Codes- You can now embed any web-based tool or site with a sufficiently secured embed code (think maps, timelines, storytelling apps, etc) directly into your Alchemy lesson viewer.
  • New Responsive Lesson Viewer Style- And check out our new and sleek looking lesson viewer (see right) that is responsive on all devices and phones!

Featured Cultural Institution: Civil War Trust

The Civil War Trust’s Summer Event – From July 17-20 in Atlanta, Georgia the Civil War Trust will host its 21st Teacher Institute. The event is four days full of workshops and tours led by historians and educators. Some special guests include Todd Groce, Jared Frederick, Vince Dooley and many more! Additionally, registration to the event is free for friends of Alchemy Learning when you registerwith this link:www.civilwar.org/AlchemyAtlanta.

In addition to free registration, there will also be free classroom materials, plentiful travel scholarships and free continuing education credits.

Civil War Trust

From the Blog

In the Community

Building on earlier posts “What Digital Instructions Means for Teachers” Parts One and Two, Alchemy Learning co-founders Henry Blue and Win Smith have shared their perspectives on What Digital Instruction Means for School Leadership as well as Why Cultural Institutions Must Capitalize on Digital Education– check out the posts and your comments are appreciated!

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, provides cloud-based curriculum creation, management, and dissemination tools for cultural institutions, teachers, and schools.  To find out how your organization can do more with digital education, Contact us today at info@alchemylearning.com.

How Can I Encourage My Students To Continue To Learn this Summer?

Alchemy LearningThe school year is about to come to a close and you will be parting ways with the young minds you’ve spent the past year molding. However, just because they are no longer your students, that doesn’t mean your influence has to come to an end. As the idea of summer reading may seem a little outdated with the recent influx of new learning and instructional technology, there are a number of alternatives that your students can use to quench their thirst for learning with some self-directed learning! Apps as well as websites have proven to be a valuable tool to constantly engage students and further their passion for learning.

Self-Directed Tools for Elementary/Middle School Students:

  • iTooch – iTooch is an iPad and iPhone app for 3-5th grade school students to help them learn math facts, language arts and science material. This free app helps students learn the material through games and text summaries of each lesson. There are over 18,000 exercises on the app for students to try. iTooch is a great way for students to solidify the material they learned in class and keep it fresh over the summer.
  • Mathmateer –  Mathmateer is an iOS app that is great for helping elementary school students learn math facts as they correctly solve a series of math problems related to time, money, numbers, multiplication, and geometric shapes. The faster that the student answers the questions, the more points they are awarded. Points accrued allow you to purchase upgrades to your rocket ship allowing it to fly longer.
  • Sushi Monster – Sushi Monster is another free app for engaging students in math. The game is directed at 9-11 year olds and is a fun way to keep them engaged while memorizing multiplication tables. In addition to being a fun game at home, Sushi Monster meets the Common Core Standards. While playing the game, students are able to earn points and unlock new levels after mastering the basics.
  • Grammaropolis – Grammaropolis is a game-based learning app for students that are struggling with Basic English grammar. It is available on all iOS devices and comes with songs, videos, quizzes and more about all of the parts of speech. It is great for Elementary school students who may be having trouble grasping the different parts of speech and how they function.

Self-Directed Learning Tools for High School Students:

  • TEDTalks – TEDTalks embody a way to engage and inspire high school aged students to think differently about the world around them. There are over 900 TEDTalk videos that subject content varies from modern exploration, rethinking the music video and more. Some of the high profile engaging speakers include tech geniuses (Bill Gates and Larry Page), rock legends (Bono and Sting), and more.
  • MindSnacks – For high school aged students, MindSnacks breathes new life into subjects such as foreign language, SAT vocab, and geography. The app offers games and lessons that go beyond basic memorization. In addition, the app alters every users experience based on the skills that you’ve been having difficulty mastering.
  • Codecademy– Learning to code is one of the most sought after skills now in the job market. For a high school aged student who is already spending countless hours online, why not learn to build your own computer program? Codecademy currently has seven different programming languages that you can learn at your own pace on their website.

There are plenty of different tools available to help students continue learning throughout the summer. Students should not only continue to learn over the June, July, and August to prevent significant learning loss, but also to expand on the subjects they are interested in as well. Self-directed learning will help engage students in the topics they’re interested in and further their passion for education.

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers, schools, and organizations. This past fall Alchemy released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. Our premium product suite consisting of SmartBinder Collaborate (which includes SmartBinder Teams) and SmartBinder Engage are now publicly available. Contact us today at alchemylearning.com.

Stay up to date with what’s going on at Alchemy Learning; follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Are There Any Professional Development Opportunities for Educators in the Summer?

colouronwhite-300x214While school year may be winding down, there are plenty of upcoming educational  opportunities for educators to take advantage of.  In fact, the summer may offer even more professional development events, conferences, and workshops than the school year. And the best part is you don’t need to find a substitute teacher for the day!

Below are some fun and exciting professional development opportunities available for you to attend this summer.

  • The Civil War Trust’s Summer EventFrom July 17-20 in Atlanta, Georgia the Civil War Trust will host its 21st Teacher Institute. The event is four days full of workshops and tours led by historians and educators. Some special guests include Todd Groce, Jared Frederick, Vince Dooley and many more! Additionally, registration to the event is free for friends of Alchemy Learning if you sign up with this linkwww.civilwar.org/AlchemyAtlanta. In addition to free registration, there will also be free classroom materials, plentiful travel scholarships and free continuing education credits.Civil-War-Trust
  • SC Midlands Summit– On June 11-12th, in Columbia, SC the SC Midlands Summit focuses on the use of Google for Education research tools, Web 2.0 tools, and technology integration in the classroom.  There is a full lineup of speakers and more on the session schedule.
  • Technology for Teaching and Learning ConferenceThis two day conference from June 19-20 in Louisville, KY is an opportunity for K-12 educators to explore how to effectively use technology in education. At the conference, there will be keynote speakers, practical examples, breakout sessions, content delivery and more.
  • EdSurge EdTech EdCamp – On June 24th in San Mateo, Ca, EdSurge is hosting a SF EdTech meetup at the Edomoto headquarters. At the meetup, there will be a few 30-minute sessions based on what the attendees are interested in.
  • ISTEThe biggest EdTech conference in the world is taking place in Atlanta from June 28th through July first. ISTE brings together educators from all grade levels to give them the support and educational resources to support learning in the digital age. In addition, when you attend the conference, you receive a one-year standard membership to ISTE.
  • RSCONRSCON stands for Reform Symposium Free Online Conference and it’s an online event taking place from July 11th-13th to highlight ‘wow’ moments in teaching and learning. The conference features 10 keynote speakers, a tech/app/lesson smackdown and more. It’s an opportunity to connect with over 10,000 educators worldwide without leaving your home.
  • EdTech Demo Fair and EDVentures Conference – On July 17th in Newport Beach, CA, emerging edtech products created by education entrepreneurs will be on display for a hands on demonstration. The event is free and a great way for an educator to see and interact with new and emerging technologies.
  • EdmodoconEdmodocon is a one day webinar on August 6th, for educators to share how they are using Edmodo as well as other digital tools in the classroom. If Edmodo is a tool you frequently use this can help you take the next step and further enhance your use of the tool in your classroom.

Professional Development opportunities are springing up all over the country for educators in the summer and they’re a great way to use your free time to further your learning and understanding of the techniques and amazing tools available to you.

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers, schools, and organizations. This past fall Alchemy released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. Our premium product suite consisting of SmartBinder Collaborate (which includes SmartBinder Teams) and SmartBinder Engage are now publicly available. Contact us today at alchemylearning.com.

Stay up to date with what’s going on at Alchemy Learning; follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

How Can I Use Technology Keep My Students Engaged Through The End Of The Year?

colouronwhite-300x214The end of the school year is rapidly approaching and, depending on where you teach, summer break could be under a month away!  But how can you keep your students excited and engaged about what you’re teaching when thoughts of summer fun are starting to occupy their minds? Your students still need to finish learning the curriculum and prepare for final exams as well as state standardized testing, especially as many schools have already begun their state testing.  Here are some suggestions to keep your students engaged (while still having fun!):

Review Games – Towards the end of the year, students may be focused on days at the beach and baseball games, but don’t let that detract from what they should be learning in the classroom. Try playing review games to keep your students engaged and prepare them for finals and testing at the same time:

  • PurposeGames is a great free tool for you to create games to play in your classroom. There are two types of games you can create in the form of a multiple-choice option or a mapping option where your students are given an image and they have to name certain places on the map. This game isn’t limited to geography; it can be used with mapping the human body, moon phases and more.
  • ProProfs Brain Games is a free tool to create word games such as crossword puzzles, word searches, brainteasers and more. A huge benefit to these games is that they are easily embeddable and can be added to your Alchemy SmartBinder.

Quiz activities – There’s no easier way to prepare for a final exam than with practice quizzes, and here a few tools that can help you break the monotony of standard assessments and keep the students intellectually hungry:

  • eQuizShow is a free tool to help educators create a Jeopardy style game online. You simply enter categories and then type in questions and answers. eQuizShow is very easy to use and doesn’t require you to upload any files.
  • Socrative is another quiz building tool that is extremely device-friendly. It can be used by student teams or individually by your students as they race to answer questions correctly.  After each correctly answered question a rocket ship moves incrementally across the screen and the first individual or team to propel their rocket ship to the other side of the screen wins.

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers, schools, and organizations. This past fall Alchemy released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. Our premium product suite consisting of SmartBinder Collaborate (which includes SmartBinder Teams) and SmartBinder Engage are now publicly available. Contact us today at alchemylearning.com.

Stay up to date with what’s going on at Alchemy Learning; follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

New Website, New Teacher Tools!

The Alchemy Team is excited to announce the launching of our new website that unveils our suite of premium curriculum and learning management SmartBinder tools! Contact us today for information on special deals for our early adopters!

SmartBinder Premium Upgrades!

Our new website features our suite of collaborative curriculum and learning management SmartBinder upgrades to the free SmartBinder Flip. Learn more here!

  • SmartBinder Collaborate facilitates team teaching with full course creation and editing rights for multiple teachers..
  • SmartBinder Engage gives students their own learning environments with course materials, discussion boards, and assignments and assessment management.
  • SmartBinder Insight is a teacher’s personalized dashboard with RTI flags, student progress and other instructional support.

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SmartBinder Teams!

Alongside the premium SmartBinder suite, we are thrilled to announce SmartBinder Teams, which integrates with any of the SmartBinder suite to enable the creation of peer-to-peer teams of any size to promote collaborative curriculum development, team teaching, and subject matter repositories.  Watch the video here!

 

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers and schools.  Alchemy recently released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. SmartBinder Collaborate, SmartBinder Engage, SmartBinder Insight, and SmartBinder Teams are presently in private-beta. Contact us today at alchemylearning.com.