FREE and WORTHWHILE Video Conferences for the Classroom

The old adage is that you get what you pay for so how good can a FREE video conference be?  You’ll be pleasantly surprised!                 1309725237_30b3d86a0c_m (1)

Start with NASA!

Providing quality programming for more than a decade, NASA engages students and pushes their thinking with these free programs: Our Planet Earth, Humans in Space,  Our Solar Neighborhood, Our Magnificent Sun, States of Matter, Toys in Space, Aeronautics, Rocketry, or Roving Mars. Find the descriptions and registration information on the DLN catalog page of NASA and get your class soaring through the universe.

 Move to the Smithsonian!

Visit the collections of all of the Smithsonian Institutes as never before…up close and personal.  Most of the museums have docents for online tours of their collections as well as special programming to build meaning for your students.  Check out the pieces in the National Museum of African Art, or find historical references in the collection of the American Art Museum,  then travel the grounds of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center with the help of a roving robot and finally check out the programs from all of the museums on the educator main page.

 Return to Texas!

The Connect2Texas website offers both fee based and FREE programs from zoos, aquariums, museums and cultural institutions across the state.  Check out their upcoming events calendar or the weekly In the News program for some of the best video conference programming on the web.

And, locally!

Always check the calendar of upcoming events from ESC Region 13.  We post all free events for both students and education staff on a regular schedule.  Can’t find what you are looking for?  Contact the distance learning team at distancelearning@esc13.txed.net, call 512-919-5444 or drop by our virtual office.

 

NEW FREE connections for classes

Looking for some quality programming that can add depth and understanding to learning in your classroom?  Check out the calendar at Distance Learning to find a program that meets your curriculum.

November 13 – Hawk Talk – Take an up-close look at a live Red-Tailed Hawk to discuss the various structures and functions of birds of prey (or hawks).

November 18 – First Encounters!–When the Conquistadors Met the Karankawa How did early American Indians encounter their environment, other tribes, and the Spanish conquistadors in the vast landscape that would become Texas? A Museum educator will lead students as they search for evidence from artifacts and explore stories that reveal the many meanings of “Encounters on the Land”. There may be multiple sites participating in this program.

November 18 – Let’s Talk Turkey – This interactive presentation introduces students to fun facts about one of our state’s most fabulous birds: THE WILD TURKEY! We will discuss turkey anatomy, habitat, adaptations, and basic needs, as well as the various “calls” or vocalizations that turkeys use to communicate in their environment. Students will listen to an assortment of calls and have the opportunity to take an up-close look at a real Wild Turkey.

November 19 – Gone to Texas Why did people move to Texas from other countries? Were they always welcomed when they arrived? A Museum educator will discuss the four primary waves of immigration to the United States through Texas from 1845-1924, the history behind the movement of people to Texas then and now, interesting stories from immigrants, and show artifacts that people brought with them on the journey. There may be multiple sites participating in this program.

November 20 – George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Education Department presents: A THANKSGIVING PARADE: THE HISTORICAL TAPESTRY OF GRATITUDE The program will provide a parade through history from the Puritans and Native Americans to modern times examining various traditions and stories related to the Thanksgiving holiday and the custom of giving thanks. Primary sources from the Bush Library and Museum will show examples of presidential and personal expressions of gratitude.

December 4 – Animal Skull Investigation – This interactive presentation allows students the opportunity to investigate skulls of native Texas animals.

December 16 – Urban Animal Encounters – Skunks and Armadillos – Meet the nine-banded armadillo and the striped skunk. Although their defense behaviors and adaptations are beneficial to them in their wild environment, these same behaviors do not fare well in urban habitats.

Find more programs and registration information on the calendar at ESC Region 13 Distance Learning.

 

5 students GET READY FOR LEARNING in OCTOBER

Events from across the state for your students.  All information from www.tetnplus.net

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October 09, 2012    10:00-11:00AM CT   Texas State Aquarium: Bioinspiration

Audience:   Grades 2-8  We are inspired by the amazing animals at the Texas State Aquarium, but did you know they can inspire inventions as well? Bioinspiration encourages engineers to look at animal design in order to solve problems or to create new tools. Learn about the new inventions that have been inspired by geckos, elephants, birds, and more!Interaction:       During the videoconference classes will be invited to participate in a live poll via text message and/or email. Please prepare accordingly.

Register:          http://www.tetnplus.net/event_details.aspx?eventID=392

For more information, contact Lori Genzer at Region 2 Education Service Center.

 

October 10, 2012   10:30-11:30 or 12:00-1:00 CT 

Storytelling: A Conquistador’s Quest for Glory and Wealth presented by Angel Vigil 

Audience: Grades 3-7

In their exploration of new lands and quest for glory, Spanish conquistadors brought with them the essential elements of western culture to the new world, primarily horses. Learn about the bold adventures of the first European explorers of the New World. Follow their journeys on maps depicting their amazing discoveries. Join in reenacting the ritual of planting the flag to claim a new land! Understand why the horse was such an important part of the explorers’ victories. Hear the stories of the greatest of the explorers: Hernán Cortez, Francisco Pizzaro, Juan de Oñate and the first European to set foot on Texas land, Cabeza de Vaca.

Registration is now open at http://www.connect2texas.net/bushlibrary41/conquistador.asp

For more information contact Lori Hamm-NeckarDistance Learning Technician at Region Eleven Telecommunications Network (RETN).

  October 18, 2012           10:30-11:30 AM CT & 12-1:00 PM CT

  The Family Poet

  Audience: Grades 3-7


October 18, 2012           10:30-11:30 AM CT & 12-1:00 PM CT

Wayne Edwards (www.familypoet.com) is a comic poet who brings his humorous poetry to life. Through discussion of the three R’s of rhyming verse – Rhyme, Rhythm, and Repetition – he helps inspire interest in both reading poetry for pleasure and writing one’s own as a form of art. His humorous illustrations of poems engage and delight all ages. Students will laugh and enjoy this poetry! They will be inspired to create their own poems.

Register for this program at:  http://www.connect2texas.net/bushlibrary41/poet.asp.

October 22, 2012 

The Magic of Monarchs

Audience: Grades 1-5

9:00-9:45 , 10:30-11:15 , 12:45-1:30 , 2:00-2:45 CT

For such a delicate insect, the Monarch butterfly leads an adventurous life! During spring and fall, millions of Monarchs will travel through Texas on their way to or from their overwintering sites in Mexico. Live caterpillars and adult Monarchs will be on hand during the program, allowing your students to see them as they’ve never seen them before. Join us as we discuss Monarch biology, life cycle, adaptations, and migration.

For more information on this event contact Lori Hamm-Neckar, Distance Learning Technician at
Region Eleven Telecommunications Network (RETN).

October 25, 2012        10:30 – 11:30 AM CT & 12:30 – 1:30 PM CT

Writing the Historical Essay presented by Ron Powers

Audience: 9th – 12th grades

Ron Powers is an award winning author of nationally acclaimed bestsellers Flags of Our Fathersand Mark Twain. He received the Pulitzer Prize as a journalist. Writing the Historical Essay will be presented for the Bush Library Education Department’s collaboration with the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference and Big Thought. This gives students an opportunity to enter The Mayborn National History Writing Contest. Winners of this national contest of nonfictional essays will be published in The Dallas Morning News. Winners and teachers will attend the conference free. For more contest details, please visit http://journalism.unt.edu/maybornconference.
Register for this program at:  http://www.connect2texas.net/bushlibrary41/writing.asp.


October 29, 2012

Statewide College Daytexas flag

Audience: Students Grades 8-12

Join high school students from across the state on a whirlwind tour of potential colleges throughout the state of Texas. Learn about the history, mission, demographics, admissions requirements, financial requirements, degree plans, and campus life at colleges all over the Texas. Throughout the video conferencing event students will be allowed to text questions to the various college presenters and contact information will be provided for follow up questions.

The current schedule of presenting colleges can be found here.

To register for this event contact your local education service center and complete the registration form located here. If you have questions about the event contact John Korb, Distance Learning Coordinator at TETN.


October 29, 2012 – November 2, 2012

Monster Match

Audience: Grades K-5

Ready to engage your students in the reading and writing process?  Monster Match is a fun and educational writing project which your class is partnered with another class to create, and recreate monsters. Two classrooms will be paired up and each class will create their monster using “Monster Match Approved” materials (found on Monster Match Wiki). The class will then write a description of their monster and post it online for their partner class via the Monster Match wiki. Each class will then try to recreate the other class’ monster by following the posted directions. Both classes will then meet via videoconference to compare the original monsters with the recreated monsters.

This project will enable students to improve their reading, writing and math skills.  They will also practice following directions and speaking skills.  Teacher training will take place October 3, 2012 at 3:30 PM CT.

Check out the Monster Match Wiki for TEKS and CSCOPE connections and more information.


October 30, 2012

Creatures of the Night

Audience: Grades 1-5

9:00-9:45 , 10:30-11:15 , 12:45-1:30 , 2:00-2:45 CT

Many animals come out at night and take part in their own “trick or treating.” In our communities and around our homes many people unknowingly provide treats for a variety of animals; inviting these animals to turn our habitat into their own. In their pursuit of food, water, and shelter, these animals often leave “tricks” or messes behind. Join us and our LIVE nocturnal guests (an opossum, rat, and ringtail) as we discuss their adaptations, habitat, and ways to friendly cohabitate!
To register for these events

For more information on this event contact Lori Hamm-Neckar, Distance Learning Technician at
Region Eleven Telecommunications Network (RETN).


October 31, 2012    10-11:00 AM CT

Texas State Aquarium: Animal Costumes

Audience: Grades 2-5

This event is sponsored by the Education Service Center, Region 2 in collaboration with the Texas State Aquarium. Have you ever been to a costume party? Or dressed up just for fun? We are not the only ones that dress-up, animals dress-up too! Do animals dress-up for fun or is there another purpose for their fancy costumes? Join the Texas State Aquarium and explore the many reasons why ocean animals play dress-up every day. You will view live animals through the eight cameras located throughout the Aquarium. There will be an activity that all students can follow along with in their classrooms. In order to participate, the teacher will need to provide bowls, M&Ms, and candy corn. Each group of students will need a mixture of the two candies in a bowl.

Interaction Information: We will have up to four interactive sites. All others will be view-only.

Registration: Click here to begin the registration process.

If you have questions or would like more information contact Lori Genzer at Education Service Center Region 2.


October 31, 2012 1-1:45 PM CT

Spooky Science

Audience: Grades 3-5

Learn a few exciting experiments that you can do at home to spook your family and friends. Mr. Barnett, the mad scientist will, show students experiments that teach about force and motion, energy, and physical properties.

To register for this event click here. For more information contact Susan Altgelt, Coordinator for Distance Learning Services at Region 20 Education Service Center.


October 31, 2012    9:00 AM – 12:00 PM CT

Traveling El Camino Real de Los Tejas 

Audience: 4th and 7th grade students

The El Camino Real de los Tejas formerly known as the King’s Highway spans 2,500 miles across several states and has served as the one of the main arteries of travel for soldiers, missionaries and settlers since the late 1600’s. Throughout its existence, the road’s development has been carved through economic, social, political and religious influences.

Classrooms chosen as participating sites will be assigned a city along or near El Camino Real to research and create a 10 minute presentation covering a brief history of the area and the historical influences that have impacted the development of the road. In addition, experts from around Texas will offer further information on the current development, history, and events tied to the road.

Register now by clicking here.

For presenting sites, we have compiled a toolkit to assist you with developing your presentation. These recommendations are designed to improve the learning experience through distance learning by taking advantage of various technologies. You may download the toolkit outline by clicking here.

This event will primarily cover TEKS Objectives set for seventh grade history requirements. To view a complete list of objectives covered within this event please click here.

For more information, check out Region 7’s El Camino Program website by clicking here.