Tag Archives: Web-based Software

How Can Museums and Educational Institutions Secure Funding For Educational Programs?

AlchemyLogoCropWhen it comes to planning programs for your organization, you may have the perfect plan and a great way to implement it, but a lack of funding can hinder even the best of ideas. As you begin to plan your educational program (lesson hack day, editathon, fellowship and more) you might start by applying for grants or hosting events to raise money so your program can have the funding it requires.

The question that plagues many people is, what grants can I apply for to makes sure my program is successful? Below are a few grants that you can apply for to help your program be the best that it can be.

  • National Leadership Grants for Museums – The Institute of Museums and Library Services offers a variety of different types of grants for different institutions, and project types. You can view all of their available grants here:http://www.imls.gov/applicants/available_grants.aspx. Regardless of what institution you’re from and your project type, there should be something to help you get your project off of the ground. Some available grants include projects that are demonstrations, innovation, conservation, research and more.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities- The NEH is an organization that supports activities that engage Americans in understanding the humanities. All of the projects that NEH funds must be imaginative and bring ideas to life for people of all ages. Previous grants that the NEH has funded include, museum exhibitions, interpretations of historic events as well as book/film discussion groups and more. For more information about the National Endowment for the Humanities, and to apply for their grant check out their website:http://www.neh.gov/grants/public/museums-libraries-and-cultural-organizations-implementation-grants.
  • National Endowment for the Arts – The NEA provides grants to organizations that are interested in bringing the arts to underserved populations. The NEA strives for an inclusive community and wants art to be available to everyone regardless of your location, ethnicity, economic stability or disability. Projects they have funded are ones that have the potential to provide meaningful change in any aspect of the art community. For more information about this grant: http://arts.gov/grants-organizations/art-works
  • American Alliance of Museums ­– The American Alliance of Museums offers a grants calendar on their website which includes information about upcoming grants your museum or cultural institution can apply for. The grants calendar can be found here:http://www.aam-us.org/about-us/grants-awards-and-competitions/grants-calendar/. The calendar is constantly updated with new grants and accurate information about approaching deadlines and what programs qualify.

Some great programs your educational institution can host includes a hack day, an editathon, teacher fellowships and more.

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 onTwitter,Facebook and LinkedIn.

How Can I Generate Educational Content And Lessons For My Organization?

AlchemyLogoCropThe term educator is often used to describe a person who educates the minds of those around them with new and enriching content.  For instance, if you are a part of an organization such as a museum or a historical society, you may need to create a lesson plan and share educational content. But with your busy schedule, how can you ensure that you’re creating high quality material? Below are a few tips and strategies to help you engage and teach on behalf of your organization.

  • Hosting a ‘Lesson Hack’ Day – The perfect time to engage teachers is over the summer while class isn’t in session. For a few hours, it can be beneficial to host teachers and give them access to your resources. Not only will a lesson hack day serve as a think tank for everyone to brainstorm ideas, it can also count as Professional Development credits. If your organization hosts a PD day it can specialize on a in which topic you and your organization hold expertise. At these PD days, you and fellow educators can build and contribute to each others lessons. For a good example of a PD-driven lesson hack day, see the The Maryland Historical Society’s initiatives here:http://www.mdhs.org/education/teachers/prof-dev-workshops.
  • Teacher Fellowships – A fellowship takes place over the span of a few days or even weeks and it can include lectures and other PD activities. This is similar to a ‘lesson hack’ day except it’s longer and more intense. While this type of activity will require some funding, it can bring out a whole group of people who share the same passions as your organization. The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati has an example here:http://www.revolutionarynj.org/events/american-revolution-master-teachers-seminar/.
  • Create a Competition – Everyone has a little of a competitive streak inside of them. Creating a lesson plan competition could be a great way to generate content and create an incentive for other educators to build lesson plans centered on a specific topics that pertain your organization. The reward for the ‘winning lesson plan’ could consist of being on display or even a free class trip for the winning teacher. In addition, your organization can benefit from utilizing any of the submissions you receive. Here is an example of a lesson plan competition for the language arts:http://www.lalschools.com/en/LAL/lesson-plan-competition.
  • Editathon – Your organization may well have expertise in a given field that you can share with the world, but may find inaccuracies in a number of other sources on the web, including Wikipedia. Fortunately, there is a way to correct all of the misinformation online however: an editathon. This type of event allows anyone with a basic knowledge of editing on Wikipedia and an interest in the subject you’re lecturing on to make more credible information easily available. This type of event will also serve as a think-tank for like minded individuals to come together to discuss a topic and share ideas as well as build relationships within the community. The Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery have put together an event like this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/Freer_and_Sackler.

Generating educational content and lessons for your organization can be successful with collaboration and the help from other educators. While you’re building digital lessons for your organization, it’s also helpful toembed certain tools into the lesson. Digital tools can help you further engage the students and create a more impactful lesson.

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.

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.

Alchemy Announces Pilot with Nanjing Echo International School

Alchemy Learning is proud to announce a partnership with the Nanjing Echo International School Image(NEIS), a rapidly expanding English and Mandarin-tract co-educational boarding and day school in China’s economically-burgeoning Jiangsu, province.  NEIS Assistant Headmaster, Joe Svoboda, calls this partnership “an investment in the success of our students and the future of education.”

The partnership will center on utilization of Alchemy’s SmartBinder Pro software (presently in private-beta) to drive NEIS development and adoption of a Common Core State Standards-aligned curriculum.  Svoboda states that “it is the hope of Nanjing Echo to better facilitate collaborative curriculum development, accelerate systematic progression in student learning, ensure adherence to Common Core State Standards, and capitalize on the vast educational resources available through the internet.”

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Joe Svoboda, NEIS Assistant Headmaster

NEIS was Founded in 2003 with just 5 teachers and 7 students. Currently, NEIS has over 200 students and employs over 50 teachers. NEIS is affiliated with the Xinzhi Experimental International School in Nanjing and runs a student exchange program with Oak Grove Lutheran School of North Dakota in the USA.  NEIS’s vision is to ‘to teach the whole truth and encourage practical selfless service with a globally minded perspective.’ http://www.namkyong.com/en

Alchemy, founded in 2012, creates teacher-centric adaptive learning software tools for teachers and recently released SmartBinder beta, the free, cloud-based lesson binder which gives teachers the blended learning toolset to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on student mastery and understanding.  SmartBinder Pro is presently in private-beta. http://www.alchemylearning.com/