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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: March 2008

Coming up in April, Independence Elementary is going to connect to the Storytellers Drum for two interactive videoconferences on John Henry.  I have had schools connect to other programs offered by this content provider, like Griot Drum Ensemble and The Major and the Color Sergeant, but this is my first connection for John Henry. I’m interested to see it!  Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Khabir Shareef, also known as Khabir the Storyteller, has had years of experience. According to its website, the mission of the Storytellers Drum is “to preserve and perpetuate the oral traditions through the arts.”  Also, on the website, you can listen to clips of The Griot Drum Ensemble, see photos of performances, read biographies of the performers, as well as check out where in the country the storyteller(s) have and will perform.

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Want to hear first-hand on how to get distance learning going in your district?  In this 1 hour videoconference presentation, learn how one high school integrated videoconferencing into the curriculum! 
Videoconferencing 101:  Team Teaching with the World
In its second year of commitment of integration of videoconferencing into its curriculum, Lafayette High School in suburban St. Louis County, has learned lessons and developed procedures to share with others interested in positively and productively bringing videoconferencing into their schools.  Information on hardware consideration and staff and student responsibilities and training will be shared, along with tips related to assurance of efficient, effective, and excellent videoconference experiences.
Interested schools should contact presenters to discuss content presentation, so it might be tailored more relevantly to their needs. Interactive presentations will be over videoconference, originating at Cooperating School Districts in St. Louis, Missouri.
Diane Tinucci, Instructional Technology Support Teacher
(retired, certified Language Arts and Gifted Education teacher)
Bill Stewart, Instructional Technologist
(former Science teacher)
Rebecca Morrison, Videoconference Coordinator
Cooperating School Districts

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This looks really cool!  Between May 6 and 16, Global Nomads Group will be in South America- Bolivia- visiting different locations and learning about the culture.  Topics of discussion include politics, language, inclusion; livelihoods; indigenous culture today; nature; and health & traditions. St. Louis area schools- especially those in Clayton, Lindbergh and Parkway, really love these interactive, in-depth videoconferences. New Links to New Learning members, if you are interested, let me know- and quickly! These go fast. Not a New Links member? Visit and sign up there- you can also see more photos like the one on this post, and past videoconferences are archived on the website!

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What’s lined up after students return from spring break for New Links to New Learning members? To name a few videoconferences:

 What a list!

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Janine Lim

Videoconferencing Professional Development! 
Janine Lim (right) is again teaching PICC, or Planning Interactive Curriculum Connections. The spring class starts April 14 and runs until May 9.  I took this course three years ago (wow!) and really enjoyed it. It’s all online (using Moodle), and educators from all over participate. It’s pretty cool. Graduate credit is available and there are “bulk” discounts- so grab a friend in your district & sign up today! 
For more details, visit

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Another tele class available to teachers and administrators in the St. Louis area… Here are two different opportunities from Cooperating School Districts to learn more about SMART Board ~ an all day session or two after school sessions!
Transforming Learning with a SMART Board
$109 CSD member | $169 non-member 
April 3 from 9 am – 3 pm OR April 8 & 10 from 4–7 pm
The SMART Board is an interactive whiteboard that improves the way you teach, train and present. It combines the look and feel of a regular whiteboard with the power of a computer so you can save and print notes, collaborate on electronic documents, share information and run multimedia materials. When combined with an LCD panel or projector, the SMART Board becomes a large, touch-sensitive screen. Come learn how to use this new technology tool in your classroom. Then, develop lesson plans that make use of this fabulous tool and motivate students to learn. Walk away with a usable lesson on the SMART Board! 
For more information and/or to register, click here

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St. Louis area educators, here are some upcoming tele classes! 
To register, visit
Creating Technology-Rich Lessons to Increase Student Achievement 
Wednesday, April 2, 9, 16, & 23   4-7 pm 
$259 CSD member | $389 non-member
This three-day workshop is for people already familiar with “surfing the Net” but unsure about how exactly to use it and other technologies such as Microsoft Office applications in their classes. The focus of the workshop will be to help you create an entire lesson plan from lesson objectives and assignments to teacher and student support materials, all the way to a scoring guide for technology projects. Get tools and a model for technology integration in your classroom.
• Learn easy to use Internet search strategies for you and your students
• Find lesson plans on the Web to use or modify
• Store websites in a free location on the web
• Create “tracks” of approved websites for students
• Learn the “grammar” of the web
• Create quizzes online
• Create worksheets for use online by students
• Create assignments that require students to use word-processing, PowerPoint and simple web pages
• Create your own PowerPoints for use in introducing a lesson
• Find scoring guide templates for technology projects and create your own rubric online
Using MS Publisher in the Classroom 
Monday, April 14   4-7 pm 
$59 CSD member | $89 non-member
Newsletters, fliers, signs, tickets, calendars, invitations, brochures, banners, and certificates are staples in the classroom. This software application enables you to create all of these and more through easy-to-use templates that are already set up for you. No more guessing about attractive layouts, colors, etc. With this program, you are a graphic artist! Publisher makes it easy with PageWizard that walks you through the process for making publications. During this workshop, you will create from scratch, so come with ideas for projects you want to develop, and you will learn how to design student assignments that require the use of this technology tool.

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It’s A Whole New World  
I sort of cheated, as my short title is the New Links to New Learning motto! But it really hits the mark.  We really are trying to get students to connect to others and think about the global community.  The photos I selected (like Janine, I wanted more than 1) are of our world map- where we’ve connected to students to through videoconferencing; a shot from one of our e-Missions; author Carolyn Lesser snorkling; and the New Links to New Learning logo.
So… who is getting tagged? JanineRoxanneAshtonKarenBill (Janine, I hope I am not breaking the rules by including you, Roxanne and Ashton…!) Interested? Meme information: 

  • Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
  • Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  • Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  • Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce


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I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that another place to learn about SMART Board lessons/applications, for Missouri educators, is the VLC’s tele class on SMART Board!  (How did I forget that??)  Martha is teaching an all-day session today with a very enthusiastic group!  (I overheard one participant say she was from the Kansas City area but drove into St. Louis to take the class … and visit her son).  Take a look:

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We have more SMART Board classes lined up at the beginning of April! Register today!

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