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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Lab

Media Literacy Spring 2015The LearningLab has several new edtech and innovation workshops focusing on social media, 21st century learners, media and visual literacy. Julie Smith will lead these dynamic workshops at EducationPlus discussing topics like digital footprints, responsibility in reporting, how editing images changes the focus of the message and so much more. Click on the graphic to to the right to go to descriptions of each session and to register.

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Student Summit on RaceHere’s a great image from today when over one hundred St. Louis area student leaders gathered at Ritenour High School to discuss improving race relations and making a difference in the community. Student journalists again documented the summit’s conversations. At last month’s initial meeting, the students from 14 area high schools created ‘sibling schools,’ where two schools paired together to talk about issues and unrest facing the St. Louis. Shadowing students in the other buildings also took place. Today, they shared updates and solutions on bridging racial divisions. To see how the St. Louis Student Summit on Race unfolded, visit the hashtag #Gateway2Change.

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CLIMBS STL

CLIMBS participants consult their copies of “Teaching English Language Learners: A Differentiated Approach” during today’s session

The Content Language Integration as a Means of Bridging Success program–  also known as CLIMBS–  is designed to assist teams of K-12 educators in meeting the needs of their English Language Learner students, to build capacity and increase collaboration among educators at the local level. CLIMBS provides an introduction to the use of research-based approaches to scaffolding instruction in classrooms that include ELLs.

Over the course of a full semester–  in five full-day, face-to-face meetings–  teams of educators learn to implement the WIDA ELD Standards in ways that support ELLs’ development of academic language and help ensure their access to intellectually challenging grade-level content. They do this by:

• Exploring cultural practices and the processes of acculturation
• Developing foundational understanding of second language acquisition processes
• Practicing strategies to differentiate instruction according to students’ English language development levels
• Exploring formative assessment as a strategy to expand language learning for students
• Integrating WIDA ELD Standards, Features of Academic Language, and Performance Definitions for planning and instruction
• Collaborating with other one another to support ELL success

CLIMBS was originally developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics on behalf of the WIDA Consortium. Pairs of educators become CLIMBS Licensed Facilitators through the CLIMBS Facilitator Institute. Then, CLIMBS Licensed Facilitators offer the CLIMBS program in a district or local educational context, for teams of ESL/bilingual and general education teachers. EducationPlus’ Marlow Barton is co-facilitating today’s session in the Rockwood School District.

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Our presentation on April 30 will provide a comprehensive look at the accessibility and assistive technology components of both Apple and Android products, plus layout a side-by-side comparison of the pros and cons of each when it comes to using them with students with disabilities. Whether your district uses Apple, Google, a hybrid or is yet to decide, you’ll be ready after learning the features, tips and tricks of both systems after attending this full day of professional learning. In addition, third-party applications for both Google and Apple products will be shared.

apple vs googleSecondly, participants will learn of the services Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT) provides to public school districts in the arena of assistive technology. One of MoAT’s programs, the Equipment Technology Consortium (ETC), is a short-term assistive technology equipment loan program for school districts and agencies in Missouri. Districts or agencies can borrow equipment on behalf of individuals with disabilities to try out the equipment before purchasing, for use during the time equipment is in repair, or for other short-term needs. The program includes a wide range of equipment including switches and mounts, computer access devices, iPads and tablet devices, environmental controls, hearing devices, home modifications, visual aids and augmentative communication devices.

BYOD: Participants should bring a personal, digital device in order to participate in this event. We look forward to having you join us in The Battle for Classroom Dominance: Apple vs Google (And What It Means for Students with Disabilities). Learn more about the presenter, fees and other details by clicking here.

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metc librarians

Virtual Conference sessions include those from Library Media Specialists Gwyneth Jones (keynote), Angela Van Batavia (spotlight educator) and Jennifer LaGarde (featured speaker).

The METC 2015 Virtual Conference consisted of live programming on  February 10 and 11 during the edtech conference. Those same sessions are now archived for streaming at your convenience. The presentations chosen include those from keynote and featured speakers as well as Midwest Spotlight Educators.

Streaming services were provided by Conference Technologies, Inc.
The METC Conference Moodle is provided by SqoolTechs, LLC.

Login, Countdown to Student Success, Increase Your Google APPtitude and be a Library Marketing Genius like Lady Gaga!

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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.

Andrew Wall Making it Happen

EducationPlus’ Stephanie Madliger (left) and Jennifer Tiller (right) award Andrew Wall with ISTE’s Making IT Happen award at the 2015 Midwest Education Technology Community Conference.

Andrew Wall is a third grade teacher at Harvest Ridge Elementary School in the Francis Howell School district. According to colleagues, Andy utilizes any available technology to help his students reach beyond the classroom walls. After seeking grants for his students, he has integrated Minecraft and green screen productions into his classroom. Andy’s imaginative utilization of QR has enticed staff members to snap and read stories his students have published with their kindergarten buddies. As parents await their student’s conference with him, they capture the code and view data of their child’s most recent achievements.

Andy is technology’s #1 cheerleader and among the top contenders in the his school district. Andy has hosted numerous Tech Tuesday mini PD sessions and served as an instructional technology specialist. He was the key contributor to the planning, promotion and presentations of a recent building Tech Fest. Andy uses YouTube, e-mail and his personal blog to share solutions to problems being faced by colleagues. Andy has been described as motivational and never judgmental. In other words, he is a fantastic individual to represent the ISTE Making IT Happen Award.

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16456332072_0f09cdcde9_zAfter you attend the METC Conference on Tuesday, consider a night out with like-minded educators!

The Midwest Education Technology Community (METC) will have a  meet up at Big A’s in historic downtown Saint Charles Tuesday evening for continued conversations and a little fun. After you attend the Exhibitor Reception, Student Innovation Stations or Show-Me a Movie Reception, relax and grab some dinner, then join the gathering. Beginning at 7:30 pm, Big A’s sponsors a weekly Trivia Night. You may want to join this event individually or with a team, or just come by for food, drink and entertainment.

There is parking on the riverfront and the Embassy Suites Hotel Shuttle travels to Big A’s. All food and drinks are on you, so you may want to check the Big A’s website bigasontheriverfront.com for the menu choices and pricing. Big A’s is located at 308 North Main Street. Follow them on Twitter @BigAs308. We hope you are able to make it for a night out!

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