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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Lab

modified Franklin Library PhotoThe CharacterPlus National Conference is offering six pre-conference workshops this year. Each pre-con is a half-day workshop, taking place from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1-4 p.m. If a participant is taking part in a morning and an afternoon pre-con, lunch will be provided. Here are two of the pre-cons being offered, we will share out more in future blog posts!

Dramatic Play: Giving Meaning to Service Learning
Topic: Service Learning & Community Partners
Audience Grade Level: Early Childhood | Experience Level: All
Presenter: Andrea Walton, ARCHS

Yes! Young children can participate in Service Learning Projects. This session will explain what service learning is and how teachers can incorporate age-appropriate projects into their program through Dramatic Play.

Fostering Student Self-Motivation
Topic: Intrinsic Motivation
Audience Grade Level: Early Childhood-12 |  Experience Level: All
Presenter: Vivian Delia, FICP

Learn best practices and strategies to foster student self-motivation. The ABCs of intrinsic motivation is used to describe the importance of autonomy, belonging and competence to create a healthy school climate and instruction for optimal learning. Participants will read and discuss latest articles along with assessing where they are and where they want to be in this movement.

CharacterPlus is a resource of EducationPlus. Registration for the conference is open. To read our previous post on CharacterPlus National Conference pre-con workshops, click here.

Edited image credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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Saint Louis Story Stitchers has a contest open for St. Louis area students to participate in, learn more:

Call for Entries
St. Louis students are invited to enter original work- drawing, photography, writing- in the Youth Art & Writing Contest sponsored by Saint Louis Story Stitchers. The deadline to enter is Saturday, April 18 at 5 pm and winners are notified May 9.

This is an art and literary contest of original works created by St. Louis youth currently in fifth through twelfth grades residing in St. Louis city or county. The project theme is “Coming of Age in St. Louis.” Students are challenged to “give us glimpses of what you are seeing, hearing, feeling as a young person coming of age in St. Louis right now.”

Contest Rules
•  Youth residing in St. Louis city or county, grades 5-12, are eligible.
•  Work must reflect on the project theme, Coming of Age in St. Louis.
•  Work created in school is eligible.
•  Work will be judged on overall quality, creativity, originality and sense of emotion, and/or personality exhibited and relevance to the theme.
•  Saint Louis Story Stitchers will have sole discretion on the choice of contest judges.
•  Judges’ decisions are final.

Winners will earn recognition May 16 at a special ceremony along with the following prizes in each of the three age divisions: first-place iPad mini and case, second-place $100, and third-place $50. Submissions are due by 5 pm, April 18. For more information and to enter, visit storystitchers.org.

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Make-A-SplashTanya Avrith‘s passion stems from a strong desire to effect change and inspire others to explore how they can use the technology to help differentiate individual students’ needs, provide a vehicle for collaboration and allow for deeper purpose and voice in student learning. Her CharacterPlus National Conference keynote addresses digital citizenship:

Rebranding digital citizenship is not an option. It is an imperative. It is our professional and moral responsibility as educators. We need to rebrand digital citizenship so that it becomes part of our daily practice. The technology itself, and our guidance on its use, needs to have a regular place in the classroom and in our students’ lives at school. We need to empower our students to have a voice and learn as citizens of a connected world.

At the conference, she will also present on the following topics:

  • Harnessing the Power of Social Media & the Web
  • Building Your Early Footprint
  • Helping Parents Embrace their Children’s Digital Life

Tanya holds a M.A. in Educational Technology and a B.A. in Communication Studies from Concordia University in Montreal as well as a B.Ed from the University of Ottawa. Tanya is a connected educator with strong ties to her PLN. She also is a Google Certified Teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. Learn more about Tanya and her work at tanyaavrith.com.

Register for the CharacterPlus National Conference today; it takes place June 15-17 in St. Charles, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. CharacterPlus is a resource of EducationPlus.

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The Virtual Essay Contest deadline for METC attendees has been extended! Submit your essay for a shot at winning an iPad Air 2. Show us what you learned using the latest the in digital media — be creative with your message and telling your story.

Simply pick your favorite online tool and make a connection between your experience at the METC Conference and the theme motivate, engage, transform, connect!

5456308_731972923The creativity challenge for the 2015 contest is to incorporate the students that participated in conference. This includes the METC eNews Student Bureau, the IT Student Support team, the Show-Me a Movie Contest or the Student Innovation Stations from the Exhibitor Reception.

To see all the requirements and criteria, please visit the METC website. The new deadline for submission is March 30, 2015. Contact Megan Moncure for questions.

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Join us in a series of fun and engaging workshops where educators will have the opportunity to work with LEGO Education kits and technology to bring Common Core and NGS to life! Participants will work through hands-on activities that cover modeling in science, math, engineering, language arts, reading, social studies and literacy that will provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and build their 21st century skills. Bring engaging and motivating programs into your classroom! Topics will vary by session (review descriptions when you register for your event). LEGO Education manipulatives available include:

•  WeDo Robotics: STEAM
•  StoryStarter: ELA, Reading, Social Studies, Science
•  MoreToMath Primary Math
•  MINDSTORMS Robotics EV3: Explore real world Math, Science, Renewable Energy and  Engineering.
•  Simple & Motorized Mechanisms: Physical Science, Physics, Renewable Energy, and Engineering.

Brad FlickingerProject Based Learning & 21st Century Skills in the Elementary Classroom with LEGO Education has open registration dates of May 5, July 16 and October 22.

Project Based Learning & 21st Century Skills with LEGO Education has open registration dates of May 6, July 17 and October 23.

Visit the EducationPlus professional development calendar to register. Photo credit: Brad Flickinger

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In celebration of Digital Learning Day this year, the EducationPlus METC ISTE Affiliate would like to encourage you to share your digital learning online with our community. Throughout the day on Friday, March 13th tag your ideas, learning and activities with the #DLday hashtag along with #METC15. During the day we will periodically share and repost through our Twitter and Instagram accounts. Follow and join the learning at @METCedplus.

The Midwest Education Technology Community (METC) also invites you to view the archives by streaming the keynotes, featured speakers or spotlight educators or by simply searching through the  resources shared online at metcconference.org.

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The CharacterPlus National Conference is offering six pre-conference workshops this year. Each pre-con is a half-day workshop, taking place from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1-4 p.m. If a participant is taking part in a morning and an afternoon pre-con, lunch will be provided. Here are two of the pre-cons being offered, we will share out more in future blog posts!

Charles presentingInspired Leadership that Transforms School Culture
Topic: School Climate & Culture | Audience Grade Level: Elementary | Experience Level: Beginner | Presenters: Lynn Clapp & Jim Schneider, Vertical Performance

What are the keys for creating a culture of character in schools? Leaders thatvalue the skills of relationship building and staff empowerment can spark and sustain a genuine “love” for a collective purpose. This experiential presentation will offer ideas and activities to enhance or transform school culture!

Courageous Conversations About Race
Topic: Diversity & Race in the Classroom | Audience Grade Level: K-12 | Experience Level: All | Presenter: Dr. Charles Pearson, EducationPlus

Have you ever wanted to have a dialogue in your class or among peers about race but didn’t know where to begin? Would you use a protocol that facilitates productive dialogue about this sometimes difficult topic? This workshop explores the “Courageous Conversation” method, providing you with foundational knowledge and skills that you can apply to a relevant dialogue about this challenging topic. Through small group work and practice, you will understand the agreements and conditions of “Courageous Conversations” and be able to apply the “Courageous Conversation Compass” as a tool to support effective discussions.

Registration is now open for the general conference as well as the pre-cons. Pre-conference fees are $75 per workshop for members and $85 per workshop for non members.

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