Skip to content

The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: January 2008

topbanner.jpg(logo from St. Charles Convention Center website) 

This morning I was able to check out the St. Charles Convention Center- the site for the Midwest Education Technology Conference (while I was there, we conducted successful test calls for the videoconferences we have lined up).  This is our first year at this convention center.  The space was very cool- spacious with a nice lay out, clearly labeled rooms, plenty of (free) parking, the works.  We’re really excited to have grown into it…  registration for METC has now topped 1,300! Attendees will include (but not limited to) educators from Missouri, South Dakota, Arkansas, Kansas, Tennessee, and Illinois.  Even though we’re a week away, it’s not too late to register if you are interested in attending. For details, click here.   We hope to see you next week.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reading the blog? Interested in some of the programs offered? Just a note- we have the following videoconference registration deadlines in place:

Inside the Artist’s Studio: The Black Rep and August Wilson: Being True to the Text (Grade Level: 7-12)
Date:  Tuesday, February 5, 2008; register by Thursday, January 31 for videoconference
Time:  10 a.m. CST
Inside the Artist’s Studio: The Black Rep and August Wilson: Staging Radio Golf (Grade Level:  7-12)
Date:  Thursday, February 14, 2008; register by Monday, February 11 for videoconference
Time:  10a.m. CST
Mental Health Series: Recognizing Bullying Behaviors in Adults (Tuesday, February 19 at 4 p.m. CST): Learn to communicate in nonviolent ways, no matter what age you are or what grade you teach…. Register by Thursday, February 14. 
ACT Prep Course offered by Cooperating School Districts & The Princeton Review over videoconference helps students learn concepts & skills to master the ACT! Register by Friday, February 15.
Inside the Artist’s Studio:  Playing Percussion with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (Grade Levels:  Middle School & High School)
Date:  February 19, 2008 (reserve your space by Friday, February 15)
Time:  10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m CST
If you have questions, or want to sign up for any of these interactive videoconferences, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts. 


Tags: , , , , , , ,

(K-12 educators & staff) … LAST SESSION OF THIS SCHOOL YEAR!
In a series of videoconferences from New Links to New Learning, educational staff can learn about various mental health issues in children and adolescents from BJC staff.  Participants will learn about their causes, treatment, and how to access mental health professionals if they spot children in their classrooms whom they feel need help.  These presentations are interactive, and include question and answers sessions.

Meeting time for all sessions is 4:00-5:00 p.m. CT; free to New Links members; $50 for non-members. Contact Rebecca Morrison if you want to sign up for this interactive videoconference with BJC’s Lynne Lang! Reservation deadline is February 14, 2008.

Tuesday, February 19: Recognizing Bullying Behaviors in Adults:  Learn to communicate in nonviolent ways, no matter what age you are or what grade you teach…. It’s easy to see the behavior problems in students – but what about TEACHERS who bully? No matter how many years you’ve taught, or what grade level you work with, everyone can improve their behavior to create emotionally safe environments. Nonviolent communication is key in school safety. Assess yourself, your building, and your students. See where changes and improvements can be made in communication and solving conflicts.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Inside the Artist’s Studio:  
Playing Percussion with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Date:  February 19, 2008 (reserve your space by February 15)
Time:  10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m CST
Grade Levels:  Middle School & High School

What does it take to be a professional percussionist?  Is playing percussion really as much fun as it looks?  How do you create a “percussion ensemble?”  What does it take in terms of cooperation, teamwork and musical talent?  Get your answers to these questions and more as you interact with percussion musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Youth Orchestra.  Join us live on the Symphony’s home stage at Powell Hall as musicians speak about what it’s like to play in the percussion section, to work both separately and as an ensemble, and to have a career as a musician.  Hear the music.  Ask your questions.  Be part of the ensemble!!

To participate as a videoconference school, contact Rebecca Morrison of Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis at   MOREnet will bridge the videoconference; the reservation must be submitting to the bridge by Friday, February 15.  

To watch the program live via the web or to watch archived programs via the web, surf your computer to, click on “programs” and then the “interactive” link.  To view via broadcast television on Charter Cable in St. Louis County or St. Louis City, tune in to HEC-TV, channel 26 at the program time.  Those joining via web stream and broadcast TV can e-mail their questions during the programs to  After its live presentation, each program is archived on for on-demand viewing available at any time.  You can also obtain a DVD copy of the program by contacting HEC-TV at 314-531-4455.

Inside the Artist’s Studio is a free, standards-based, distance-learning education project designed to connect artists from Missouri to students.  Funded through support provide by Missouri Arts Council, the School District of Clayton, Missouri, and the St. Louis County Cable Commission, the project is structured to provide student learning across the artistic disciplines of dance, music, theatre and visual arts.  Each program will be offered live during the school day via videoconferences, Internet web streaming and broadcast programming.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

showmeweb1.jpg  This year the Virtual Learning Center had a record  number of submissions to the annual Show Me a Movie digital storytelling contest!  Show Me a Movie has 3 divisions: elementary, middle, and high school and has 4 categories: Show Me Something New, Show Me a Story, Show Me a Challenge, Show Me Your Community. A complete checklist and rubric is on the website for those of you thinking about next year’s contest.  Here’s what is expected for each category-

  • Show Me Something New: Make an instructional or how-to movie.
  • Show Me a Story: Tell a story about someone special, your school, your community.
  • Show Me a Challenge: Share local environmental concerns and social issues, which promote awareness and public action.
  • Show Me Your Community: Recount an aspect of your community/ethnic culture that is unique, significant, promotes a message, and advances a better understanding of it.
Interested in seeing the winning 2-minute movies? Access them here: Winning schools, students and teachers are listed there, too. A direct link to the page where you can actually download each movie separately is:
By the way, a reception for the winning submissions will be held at METC. The digital storytellers, their teachers and families will attend and view all winning movies.  METC attendees, if you are interested in attending the reception, please let CSD know beforehand. For questions about Show Me a Movie, contact Martha Bogart at

Congrats to the winners and thank you to everyone who submitted!

Tags: , , , ,

Educators! From CILC (Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration)- a free webinar for you! Learn practical uses and strategies in student engagement that:
  • build student engagement and communication 
  • increase inquiry and student research opportunities and skills 
  • utilize the community as a classroom 
  • create collaborative learning environments 
  • involve students in their community 
  • instill life-long learning skills among our students. 
Date: February 20, 2008
Time: 3:30-4:30 pm EST/ 2:30-3:30 pm CST
Place: Your computer
Cost: Free 
Registration Deadline: February 19, 2008 – register at 
Target Audience: Educators: Grades 4-12, Curriculum and technology instructional coaches
This duo are veterans of Problem-Based Learning, specifically in connecting the K-12 community to the community at large in academic based studies of real-world issues.
Monica Cougan:
PBL Project Leader
Former Classroom Teacher
Educational Consultant
National & International Presenter

Bev Mattocks:
PBL Project Leader
Former Classroom Teacher
Educational Consultant

Tags: , ,

Requests for Bill’s programs are rolling in- he’s hot, hot, hot! Author, illustrator, and speaker Bill Dallas Lewis lives and works in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He connects to students (and teachers) all over the United States via interactive videoconferencing. Bill’s programs range from 1 hour programs to series of 3 videoconferences. His prices are very reasonable- a 1 hour session is only $175!  Bill is super enthusiastic and works wonderfully with students.


Here’s exactly what Bill offers (though not necessarily from the beach): 
Program #1 FOR STUDENTS (2-12) In this single, one hour presentation, Bill shares with students that he went to school where Dr. Seuss went to school. He shares how he read all he could about Dr. Seuss, learning about writing. Bill then graphically takes students through the writing process and the rewriting process. Finally, Bill demonstrates how he uses state of the art, computer graphics applications that can make any thing look real, from image manipulation, to animation, to sound. He lets students know that he has all of this fun, because he reads lots of books.
Cost: $150 for New Links members, $175 for non-member
Program #2 FOR STUDENTS (4-12) This is a three session presentation, running 1 hour and fifteen minutes each. In the first session, Bill interacts with teachers to discuss their interests and questions about the sessions. He then tailors his presentations to meet their interests. Many schools have worked with him to create 30 minute animated cartoons, real children’s hardback books, or even interactive CD’s. In the second session, Bill takes the students through the writing process. He takes the students through the process of story boarding the project. He uses his beyond PowerPoint presentation methods to make the process descriptive and lots of fun. Towards the end of the session, Bill goes in depth into image manipulation and basic animation techniques. In the third session, Bill picks up on more in-depth animation techniques, goes into the world of interactivity, logic and basic fun coding. He then explores the fun of non-linier video editing, and the new world of working with sound.
Cost: $450 for all three sessions for New Links members; $525 for non-members

Program #3 FOR TEACHERS Learn Flash, a fun in-service! This is four, two hour classes. Flash is really fun, but it’s really complex. Bill has taught Flash to 5th and 6th Graders, the Senior Graphics Designers in New York, the Graphics Specialists of the United States Coast Guard in Petaluma, CA as well as designers at The Gap in the Bay area. Teachers, Bill not only teaches Flash, he shares with you how you can integrate it into your classroom, school or school district. Flash makes any curriculum come to life. Times and dates are set to meet your needs. Contact the author directly to negotiate the cost at

Program #4 FOR STUDENTS (4-12)
We’ve moved into a new electronic, interactive age. This interactivity is all about the Code. Video games, cell phones, DVD players, websites, even our cars. Many of us have been led to believe that you have to be a rocket scientist to make up a videogame or a website. Bill would like to have fun with your students sharing with them how computer games are made on a basic and easy to understand basic. Let’s talk about variables, functions, arrays and how math makes games fun. Bill would like to open the minds of students that might want to concentrate on this big new world.
Cost: $150 for New Links members, $175 for non-member
Interested in having Bill connect with your students? Contact CSD and we’ll get you signed up! 

Tags: , , , , , ,

discvr_small.gif Missouri’s own Discovery Center in Springfield offers a wide variety of hands-on, interactive videoconferences. Discovery Center has always been popular amongst St. Louis area schools- programs like Bon Appetit, Chemistry Capers, and Magnet Mania are requested a lot. Discovery Center also offers several social studies programs such as Chopstick China and Notice the Netherlands.  St. Louis area teachers- or rather- those teachers attending the Midwest Education Technology Conference this year, Discovery Center will be presenting twice. It would be a fantastic time to see what they can offer you!

Tags: , , , , , ,

The ACT Prep Course offered by Cooperating School Districts & The Princeton Review over videoconference helps students learn concepts & skills to master the ACT! Included in this unique videoconference course are test-taking techniques, tips & tactics specific to each section of the test. Help your child become more confident in his test taking abilities through this course!

For the cost of $140 per student, participants receive The Princeton Review’s ACT Manual of sample questions and drills; 20 hours of professional classroom instruction through videoconferencing; and three practice tests to track progress. 

Classes meet Monday and Wednesday for five weeks from 3:30-5:30 p.m., in a room with videoconferencing equipment at your child’s school. An experienced instructor from The Princeton Review will be on-site at CSD leading the class through the sessions. In addition to being able to ask questions during the session, students will be provided the instructor’s e-mail address so they will be able to contact The Princeton Review between sessions with any questions they have about assignments or the upcoming exam.

If you have a child taking the ACT for the first time or you are hoping to improve scores in order receive a 30 for the Bright Flight Scholarship, this interactive course offers the convenience of learning at your school and the professional training from The Princeton Review. Don’t pass up this opportunity! CSD wants your child to achieve his ACT goal with the help of our interactive videoconference class. Please share this information with your students!

For more information on the ACT Prep Course offered by The Princeton Review thru CSD, please call Rebecca Morrison at (314) 692-1274 or e-mail her at

Timeline for April 2008 Class
February 15               Registration for CSD ends
($140/ student- please note new prices) 
February 22              Late Registration ends 
(February 18-22 the prices goes up to $190/student)
March 8                     Practice Test 1
March 10                   Class 1
March 12                   Class 2
March 17                   Class 3
March 19                   Class 4
March 22                  Practice Test 2
March 24                  Class 5
March 26                  Class 6
March 31                  Class 7
April 2                      Class 8
April 5                      Practice Test 3
April 7                      Class 9
April 9                      Class 10
April 12                    Real ACT

Tags: , ,

Inside the Artist’s Studio is a free, standards-based, distance-learning education project designed to connect artists from Missouri to students. Funded through support provide by Missouri Arts Council, the School District of Clayton, Missouri, and the St. Louis County Cable Commission, the project is structured to provide student learning across the artistic disciplines of dance, music, theatre and visual arts.  

This February, join Inside the Artist’s Studio as it goes behind the scenes of the St. Louis Black Repertory Company- connect via interactive videoconference, the Internet, and broadcast television to link your students to professional actors, directors and technicians of the St. Louis Black Repertory Company.  See how a production comes to life; meet the people involved in bring a playwright’s tale to life; increase your understanding of what it takes to create a theatre company.  Additional preparatory materials, including a detailed agenda, related curriculum standards, and pre-program and post-program learning activities, are available for each program.  Please e-mail us at to request the materials or view them online at  For more details about the St. Louis Black Repertory Company, go to

Program 1:  The Black Rep and August Wilson: Being True to the Text
Date:  Tuesday, February 5, 2008; please register by Thursday, January 31 for videoconference
Time:  10 a.m. CST
Grade Level:  7-12

Live from the rehearsal space at The Black Rep, program participants will interact with Director Lorna Littleway and members of the cast of from The Black Rep’s upcoming production of Radio Golf by August Wilson.  Audience members will explore the power of Wilson’s language, his development of character, and his voice as a playwright.  Viewers will participate as cast members rehearse a scene from the play and discuss casting, staging plot and character development.  What do you want to know about August Wilson?  About bringing a character to life?  About rehearsing a scene?  About being true to the text?  Join us from America’s largest professional African-American theatre company to find out.
Program 2:  The Black Rep and August Wilson: Staging Radio Golf
Date:  Thursday, February 14, 2008; please register by Monday, February 11 for videoconference
Time:  10a.m. CST
Grade Level:  7-12

Join us live from the stage of the Grandel Theatre, performance home of St. Louis Black Repertory Company, to view a scene from The Black Reps’ current production of August Wilson’s Radio Golf.  Participants will see the same scene discussed and rehearsed in our previous program, but this time view it as it comes to life on the stage and in costume. Participants meet Producing Director Ron Himes and members of the design team to discuss how the show came to life from the first phase of design to the final phase of implementation.  View the lights, the costumes, and the scenery.  Ask your questions of actors, directors and designers who are part of America’s largest professional African-American theatre company.

To participate in this videoconference, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis by registration dates. MOREnet will bridge videoconferences.  

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,319 other followers