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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: June 2007

The National Media Education Conference 2007 wrapped up Wednesday, though some events are continuing in St. Louis until the end of the week (see a previous blog entry). Ruth and Stephanie presented Sunday afternoon – “Online ‘Street Smarts:’ Being Legal, Literate and Secure.” They report the session went very well.They also attended several sessions over the next few days- they split up to get more covered. On Sunday, I joined them downtown and worked the CSD exhibit booth. I answered questions on CSD and the VLC from people all over the place- Georiga, Oregon, California… there was a very diverse crowd at the conference, and many, many topics were covered.I returned on Monday to work the booth and stayed for a few sessions: “The Intersection of Structural Racism Analysis and Media Literacy,”  “Teens, Technology and Drugs,” and for a keynote, which had to be delivered over DVD (the presenter had a family emergency) entitled “New Media, New Literacies: Why Johnny Can’t Program.”  The first two I attended because New Links to New Learning offers two series of videoconferences which seemed to fit the session topics- we have the Racial Dialogs (series) and Mental Health (series- various topics covered).We saw some familiar faces at the conference and made new acquaintances, including the Singapore group who visited us yesterday. The conference will be in Detriot next, though not until 2009. Keep it in mind!

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Thanks

Daphne and Kathie (above) , the group as a whole (below)

Cooperating School Districts and the Ministry of Education meet
Today we had a wonderful experience here at Cooperating School Districts.  A group from the Ministry of Education in Singapore visited our offices in St. Louis, Missouri today to learn about what we do, and we learned about their work.  It was a great meeting!
Six Singapore delegates, including Angeline, Das, Daphne, Mooi, Rabi’ah and Tay learned about the various services CSD offers St. Louis area schools. Interestingly, there are about 300,000 students CSD reaches, which is roughly the same number of students in Singapore.  We discussed intergrating technology into our respective classrooms, videoconferencing, funding, and enrichment programs.  Each of CSD’s divisions were represented at the 3 hour meeting, including professional development, legislative/ communications, and business services.  MOE representatives specialized in specific curriculums, like language and computers. We had lunch and continued our exchange, though we moved away from education discussions to talk about cuisine, housing, transportation and languages.  We’re very much looking forward to future collaborations and hope to make a trip Singapore ourselves!  Our friends from MOE left us with some great merlion items and a token of techonology- a wireless mouse! Thanks again.

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Unfortunately, we at CSD did not have enough people signed up to participate in the 123 VC! course offered this summer. We still wanted to be involved, however, so we did present today to groups in Michigan and Texas about our Racial Dialogs. The educators at the sites we connected with seemed very interested in the dialog series. Ruth and I spoke about the Racial Dialogs, and dialogs we’ve offered in the past, discussing Iraq (before and after the war), Israel, and 9/11 and terrorism. One teacher thought about conducting a dialog series in her school about teen suicide. Another asked about facilitation- who does it? Ruth explained the importance of having a facilitator trained for dialogs. The group also mentioned they had listened to David from GNG speak the day before, and seeing the power of student discussion with his presentation and ours was wonderful. We’re glad to have been able to participate!

McKissack book  pat1.gif McKissack books     

New Patricia McKissack dates!

I’m very happy to let you know that Patricia McKissack and I have lined up the 2007-2008 dates for her Author Visit sessions. We’re sticking with the three part model of 1 teacher meeting and 2 student sessions. We also need to confirm the dates for Fact v. Opinion- that’ll come soon. Here’s the line-up, and remember all times are central: Creative Writing
Oct. 17    teacher            4-5 pm
Nov. 7     student I          9:30 -10:30 or 11-12
Dec. 5     student II         9:30 -10:30 or 11-12

Winter Holidays
Nov. 7     teacher             4-5 pm
Dec. 5     student I          1-2 or 2-3 pm
Dec. 19   student II         1-2 or 2-3 pm

Historical Fiction/Biography
Feb. 13            teacher             4-5 pm
Feb. 27            student I           9:30 -10:30 or 11-12
March 12          student II          9:30 -10:30 or 11-12 

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At the end of June, an education conference and research summit will take place in St. Louis. What does this conference from Alliance for a Media Literate America have to offer? Check out the NMEC program to find out!  According to Conference Chair Amy Jensen, “Our NMEC 2007 theme, Ipods, Blogs, and Beyond: Evolving Media Literacy for the 21st Century, demonstrates AMLA’s focus on moving forward the study and teaching of media literacy as a critical life skill for the 21st century. We recognize that new media technologies have become widely accepted tools for exchange and circulation in our society.”

The Youth Media Salon is one part of of the conference. Monday, June 25 from 6 to 8 o’clock a group of teenagers will discuss media, culture and their interaction with both. This program is free and open to the public and will be located in the Missouri Room at the Millenium Hotel downton. If you are curious about how students are utilizing various media and technology, check out this article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Look for my colleagues Ruth Litman Block and Stephanie Madlinger at NMEC next week!

Ozzie Smith from Baseball Hall of FameToday Martha, Ruth and I taught Videoconferencing for Boundless Learning for a group of teachers and technicians from the Ferguson Florissant School District. Martha and Ruth gave an overview of what teachers can do with videoconferencing in the morning. I told the educators about what I do (scheduling, coordinating, bridging help) and about various programs I’ve connected St. Louis students to. After lunch, Martha and I connected the educators to various content providers for quick demos. We spoke to Ray at AIMS (Saint Louis University); James at the Baseball Hall of Fame in New York (see Ozzie Smith photo – Science: Science on the Sandlot ); Andy at COSI Toledo; and Kathleen from the Challenger Learning Center in West Virgina and learned about the various programs these content providers offer. Ray showed us a heart with damaged arteries, James shared that today was the birthday for the Baseball Hall of Fame, Andy showed us some images that played tricks on our eyes, and Kathleen simulated a few minutes of an e-Mission. Good stuff!

From Global Nomads Group:

Dear GNG friends,

GNG is developing a book entitled The Encyclopedia of Misconceptions. It’s a collection of misconceptions that people around the world have about each other. We would like your help in asking friends, family and co-workers what some of their misconceptions are about people in the world. It can be perception or reality. It can be from anyone – young or old. It can be about any country or experience they have encountered in their life (just reading an article or actually traveling abroad). Just anything to demonstrate that misconceptions do exist. Click on the link below to take the survey and add your misconception!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=879633865965

Some examples:
– “Not everyone who lives in Texas is a cowboy. And not everyone in Iraq is a terrorist.” – Iraqi student
– “I grew up in Africa and when I went to visit my family and their friends in NY, they didn’t know anything about the places I lived. So I made up stories about fighting lions in my garden and they would believe me.”  – Mark, GNG founder

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