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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

The Midwest Education Technology Community Conference advisory committee is excited to bring back book reviews of materials that we will offer at the conference in just a couple weeks! Drew McAllister has reviewed a trio of books for us:

hybridOver the past few months, I have been reading a trilogy written for those looking to design or aid in the design of online courses or blended learning experiences. Grounded Designs for Online and Hybrid Learning, edited by Atsusi “2c” Hirumi and published by ISTE, consists of the following titles: Design Fundamentals, Designs in Action and Trends and Technologies.

The final volume, Trends and Technologies, attempts to describe larger movements in the online learning space. These are addressed in a brief overview of each of the four topics below:

  • Managing Large Online Courses
  • Podcasting
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Online Schools

I appreciated the narrative approach of the contributing author who wrote the chapter on managing online courses. His description of pitfalls, strategies and successes read like an experienced advisor speaking to a new teacher. The other chapters are overviews of the remaining topics, with descriptions of related tools and technologies.

While I appreciate the topics themselves, I’m afraid the tools mentioned seemed to give these chapters a hint of obsolescence, as many were “new” at the time of drafting but are now well-used or no longer used by teachers in the K12 environments near me. I would have appreciated access to the authors’ thoughts on current technologies that relate to those they were observing in 2013. I believe this volume in particular could have benefited from digital supplementary material.

Overall, these three volumes represent a compendium of research on the topic of online learning. In my opinion, they serve less as a guidebook and more as reference texts for teachers or designers who want to compare their progress with models and processes used in other online courses.

For the new designer, the middle volume may provide the most applicable, near-term guidance, while the bookends can provide a richer picture of the design process and factors affecting online learning.

My thanks to EducationPlus and the METC ISTE Affiliate for the opportunity to review this series.

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The Midwest Education Technology Community Conference advisory committee is excited to bring back book reviews of materials that we will offer at the conference this February. Web 2.0 How-to for Educators is one of those selections! Now in its second edition, the book is by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum. The book’s audience is K-12 educators and technology coordinators. Cindy Lane, part of the Discovery Education PD Team, Google Certified Teacher and Google GeoEDU Teacher Advisory Board Member, reviews it:

web 2.0This simply written book is a go to for every teacher who not only wonders about web 2.0 tools but how to effectively use them in the classroom. Every chapter goes through the minimal tools that every teacher should have basic knowledge about and then crosses into the how and why of the tool. I loved the well-written descriptions and basic overview of specific tools and plan on using this as a resource for years to come. Gwen and Lynn did their best to highlight tools that have been around for awhile (and still not used to their capacity) There are also additions from different instructional specialists with their own views of the tools… Grab this book and reference it as you begin your journey to become tech savvy!

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Thank you all who had students submit 130 movies to the 2014 Show-Me a Movie Contest! Choosing the winners in each category was a difficult task for the panel of judges, who spent a full day reviewing the movies, entry forms and student reflections. The winning movies will be shown at the Midwest Education Technology Community Conference on February 10th. Congratulations to the following movies, our winning science, technology, engineering, math and art-themed submissions:

Makey Makey Still

Still from Makey-Makey by Warren Elementary students

Elementary

Show-Me a Story  Francis Howell’s Sawmill
John Weldon Elementary, Francis Howell School District
Sponsor Marcia Riley

Show-Me Something New  Makey-Makey
Warren Elementary, Francis Howell School District
Sponsor Missy Kelly

Show-Me Your Creativity  Using Recycled Materials to Make a Checker Board
Buder Elementary School, Ritenour School District
Sponsors Janel Hubbard, Christine Phillips

Middle School

Show-Me a Challenge  Girls in STEM
Orchard Farm Middle School, Orchard Farm School District
Sponsor Heather Hinze

Show-Me Your Community   Using Art in the Real World
LaSalle Springs Middle School, Rockwood School District
Sponsor Rebecca Schweizer

Show-Me Your Creativity   Fluorescent vs Incandescent Light Bulbs
LaSalle Springs Middle School, Rockwood School District
Sponsor Rebecca Schweizer

High School

Show-Me a Challenge  Distractive Driving Campaign
Liberty High School, Wentzville School District
Sponsor Molly Kleiber

Show-Me Your Creativity  Les Fleurs de la Vie
Francis Howell Central High School, Francis Howell School District
Sponsor Michelle McCune

Thanks to our judges who took the time to review the movies. Also, thank you to our sponsors: EducationPlus, Fontbonne University, Kikkerland Design Inc., Lindenwood University and St. Louis County Library.

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Making IT Happen is an internationally recognized awards program from ISTE for educators and leaders in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. The program identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation. The Midwest Education Technology Community (METC) ISTE affiliate is pleased to honor our latest Making IT Happen educator.

Troy Hogg | Making IT Happen

(Pictured left to right) Dr. Peter Stiepleman, superintendent of Columbia Public Schools, Dr. Troy Hogg, Making IT Happen winner and Dr. Chris Diggs, director of technology services

Benton Elementary (Columbia Public Schools) principal Troy Hogg is the fall 2014 Making IT Happen winner from our affiliate. According to a Ben Tilley, assistant superintendent elementary education at CPS, Dr. Hogg “took an underperforming school and began crafting a plan to raise achievement and change the school in a STEM program. Dr. Hogg worked to form partnerships, gather resources and change the culture of the school into active community where science, engineering, technology and math are embraced. Dr. Hogg’s creative leadership is making a real difference for the students at Benton Elementary. Starting an elementary STEM program from scratch takes creative thinking and leadership on the part of the principal involved with the work. Troy Hogg has been that leader for Benton Elementary in Columbia, Missouri.”

Dr. Hogg was presented with his Making IT Happen jacket and certificate in December. Congratulations to Dr. Hogg and Columbia Public Schools! Follow Dr. Hogg on Twitter @tshogg. See a photo set that includes METC ISTE Making IT Happen winners here.

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What does it means to be culturally responsive? What does culturally responsive teaching look and sound like? How does culturally responsive pedagogy improve teaching and learning? Terri Moore, with more than 30 years teaching experience at Parkway School District and at the university level, delivers the curriculum for the Missouri Baptist University course “Teaching in a Diverse Society” and will delve into these questions. She’ll show participants how to look at their selections of literature, music, writing assignments, historical leaders and research projects.

Join Terri and other area educators as they are Creating a Cultural Responsiveness Classroom Environment. The registration deadline is January 9 for the January 16 workshop at St. Louis Public Schools Training Loft. Terri will demonstrate the facilitation skills and ground rules that keep conversations honest and constructive. Learn more here and for additional information regarding the content of this event contact Diane Stirling at dstirling@edplus.org.

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In 2014, The Connected Classroom had about 11,000 views. We’re excited that over half of the top five posts for the year highlight the awesome work that three educators in the region are doing in our schools. The single busiest day of the year was January 21st and the most popular post that day was Midwest Spotlight Educator: Heidi Morgan.

top 2014 posts

Heidi Morgan | Will Blaylock | Sarah Spaunhorst

Here are the top five most-read posts for 2014:

1)  Spotlight on Sarah Spaunhorst @ METC 2015

2)  Hangout with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

3)  2011 Show-Me a Movie Winners…

4)  Making IT Happen: Will Blaylock

5)  Midwest Spotlight Educator: Heidi Morgan

Thank you for reading The Connected Classroom and we look forward to many more great posts in 2015!

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The Midwest Education Technology Community Conference is still taking registration for 2015. Remember that there is no enrollment necessary for general conference sessions beyond general conference registration, however, for the Monday preconference workshops, preregistration is required. Here is a small sampling of what METC is offering in less than two months:

A
curate digital products, createugmented Reality: Create New Dimensions for Learning presented by Caroline Haebig, 2015 Midwest Spotlight Educator, Adlai E Stevenson High School, Illinois; Sue Gorman, University of Wisconsin

Want to do more with student creations and bring class content to life? Augmented Reality (AR) is your solution. AR provides educators with the opportunity to create a whole new level of semi-virtual and semi-real learning environments. This workshop will engage participants in the technical use of AR apps like Aurasma, Layar, Chromville and provide support for designing learning experiences. AR affords opportunities to curate digital products, create dynamic supports for learners and bring a new dimension to existing teaching strategies. BYOD: Mobile device (Apple or Android), either tablet or smartphone.

Building your Best Board: Integrate Discovery Education Resources into Your Classroom presented by Melissa Robison, Kratz Elementary, Missouri; Shelby Bailey, Rebecca Boone Elementary, Missouri, DEN Star Educators

Learn how to integrate multimedia into your classroom with Discovery Education (DE) streaming including Board Builder, a unique tool that allows your students to digitize book reports, science projects and more. The DEN Star presenters will spend the morning on how to best utilize the resources of DE streaming in your classroom. During the afternoon attendees will learn how students can curate, create and synthesize content using Board Builder. The group will then go head to head on who has created the most DENmazing Board!

Connect Students with Kidblog presented by William Chamberlain, 2013 Midwest Spotlight Educator, McDonald County Schools, Missouri; Andrea Blanco, Francis Howell School District, Missouri

bloggingThe transformational power of student work being shared globally changes students’ views of themselves and the world. We will explore why blogging is transformational and will walk you through setting up your own free class blog using kidblog.org. Special attention will be paid to privacy and safety online.

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