Free STEM Education Webinars From NASA Educator Professional Development

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in STEM and STEAM

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

The NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC) at Texas State University is presenting a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources that bring NASA into your classroom. Registration is required to participate. To register, simply click on the link provided beneath the webinar description.

August 16, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. ET: Exploring Beyond the Planets: Understanding Asteroids (Grades 5-12) — Participants will get an overview of asteroids and learn about NASA resources for studying these indicators of our solar system’s history. Specific applications of these activities will be discussed. This webinar addresses the Next Generation Science Standard ESS1. Register online to participate.

August 17, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. ET: Exploring Beyond the Planets: All About Moons(Grades 5-12) — This webinar will discuss the many types of moons found in our solar system and what we can learn from them. Specific NASA resources related to moons will be incorporated throughout the presentation. This webinar addresses the Next Generation Science Standard ESS1. Register online to participate.

August 23 2017, at 4:00 p.m. ET: Exploring Beyond the Planets: NASA and Star Wars — The Connections Are Strong in This One! (Grades K-12) — Are planets like those in “Star Wars” really out there? NASA plans to find out. Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar to learn about exoplanets and the search for habitable worlds. Bring this topic to your classroom with a NASA STEM lesson plan that focuses on sequencing, comparing and contrasting. Register online to participate.

August 24, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. ET: Solar Eclipse 2017: So It Rained — What Did You Miss?(Grades K-12) — If you didn’t see the 2017 solar eclipse, what did you miss? Even if you watched the event, join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar to explore the science, views and videos of the eclipse that were recorded by NASA and citizen scientists across the U.S. NASA STEM solar resources for the classroom will be presented for your use year-round. And be prepared to share your eclipse stories. Register online to participate.

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

Ignite! Playlist Available

Written by Tricia Jackson on . Posted in #UCET17

Need some inspiration? Don't have much time? Check out our Ignite! Session Playlist. These 5 minute videos featuring students and educators from around the state will definitely spark new ideas. We'll be showcasing each of our sixteen #ucet17 videos weekly shortly after Labor Day.

The MacLovin” Freebie Bundle – eight different Mac apps – free

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in Computer Apps, Macintosh

The MacLovin' Freebie Bundle offers Lifetime access to the eight different apps to help make your life as a Mac user easier! 

Included in the bundle is: 

  • PDF Creator Pro for Mac (Reg. price $69.95): Share and manage your Mac's files more efficiently. 
  • Photolemur (Reg. price $36): Automatically enhance photos without any complex editing tools. 
  • Music Cleanup for Mac (Reg. price $59.95): Organize and manage your entire music library. 
  • MobiKin Doctor for iOS (Reg. price $69.95): Never lose Apple data to when you upgrade or switch devices again! 
  • Leawo DVD Ripper for Mac (Reg. price $29.95): Convert your DVD movies into digital files for optimal convenience and enjoyment. 
  • WindowManager (Reg. price $14.99): Boost your productivity by automatically splitting the screen on your mac. 
  • MacX MediaTrans (Reg. price $29.95): The ultimate file manager! 
  • Video Download Capture for Mac (Reg. price $12.95): Build your own video library pulling straight from the web. 

This bundle would normally run over $300 for these great apps, but right now [you can get them all for free!( Whether you plan to make use of all the apps or just some of them, you just can't beat the value of free! 

Great Tech Tool (Most) Teachers Aren’t Using

Written by Charice Carroll on . Posted in Uncategorized

Imagine you are reading a book as a class and you could have the author in your classroom to let students ask questions and interact with them. Imagine being able to bring in a Chemistry teacher or professor to conduct experiments that you may not be able to do on your own. Imagine being able to collaborate face-to-face with teachers in your building, district, or around the world without ever leaving your desk. What if I told you there is a tech tool available to every classroom in Utah that will allow these very activities, and more, but very few teachers are using it? This FREE technology is known as Interactive Videoconferencing; you may also know it as IVC, Hangouts, Facetime, Skype, or Acano. Never heard of Acano? It is a desktop conferencing tool available to Utah teachers for free through Utah Education Network (UEN).

We all know that most students learn best when they can immerse themselves in an experience rather than just reading it in a textbook. With this technology, students are able to really interact with a guest speaker or location, all without leaving the classroom. Many museums, zoos, and par ks now offer virtual field trips to their facility where you can learn about various topics, take tours and speak to subject experts. Talk to a scientist from NASA; take a look at exhibits at the Smithsonian; interview the mayor of your city; bring in a musician to perform – the possibilities really are only limited by your imagination! 

The equipment needed is a computer, network connection, webcam and microphone (most laptops have these built in), and a program. Some organizations that do this often have a service that they will connect you with, but if you want to do it on your own, you can use any of the programs listed above. A quick plug for using UEN's Acano service; when you use the free Acano client, UEN will help you test it out and make sure it is working on your network from your classroom. There is also a number you can call if you are having trouble and they can help you get it resolved. The cool thing is that the person you are bringing in doesn't need the client, you will just send them a URL link to the event and they can click to join. 

There are so many opportunities for expanding the borders of your classroom, it just takes a little organization and the willingness to give it a try. Summer is a great time to make contacts and arrange to have a guest speaker come to your class next year! 

If you have questions about getting started, feel free to drop me a note at

Amazon Inspire educational site opens to all schools. Just sign in with your Amazon account.

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in Internet Resources


Amazon Inspire is a service that provides educators a place to discover, manage, rate, review, and share educational resources. Teachers, schools, districts, and third-party publishers contribute to the Amazon Inspire library of instructional resources across the country. Amazon Inspire will help educators discover digital resources, benefit and learn from the work of their peers, and help improve the quality of education across the country.

What are the educational standards Amazon Inspire supports?

We currently support the Common Core State Standards for Math and ELA, the Next Generation Science Standards, the Virginia Standards of Learning, and Florida State Standards. We will continuously incorporate more state standards and update this list.

Who can publish resources on Amazon Inspire?

The ability to publish resources on Amazon Inspire will be coming soon. Once available, teachers, administrators (from schools, districts, or states), institutions, or anyone with high-quality, relevant K-12 resources will be able to publish to Amazon Inspire.

Can homeschool instructors and students use Amazon Inspire?

Yes. When signing up on Amazon Inspire, select "Homeschool" as your school.

How much does it cost?

It’s free to sign up for Amazon Inspire. To sign up, you can either use your existing account or create a new one.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up for Amazon Inspire with your existing account by going to