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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: May 2008

I know the school year is ending and many are going on summer vacation! I just wanted to remind our readers that free videoconferences, from content providers like the Lee Richardson Zoo and NASA, fill up fast during the  school year. This is a great time to plan ahead and put  in requests for fall programming.

Also, during June and July, Cooperating School Districts is closed on Fridays. Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CDT. The classes in the tele will also be Monday through Thursday, with most running 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Have a great summer!

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Morrie Reece from Apple came in today to give the Virtual Learning Center staff a great tutorial on the updated iLife. Here are some snapshots of our professional development day in the tele:


During the course of the day, we put together podcasts, learned how to turn our iPhoto library into a published book, and how to create an iDVD. We also worked with PhotoBooth, GarageBand, iMovie, iWeb, and the Dashboard. Along with some cheerleaders, John Hodgman and Justin Long even made a brief appearance at the beginning of the morning. Just a day in our iLife!

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Cooperating School Districts has announced that registration is open for all St. Louis area educators (superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, assistant principals, librarians, media specialists, tech coordinators, & teachers) to attend the 2008-2009 TLA. TLA assists educators in developing knowledge & skills necessary to use technology as a tool for more effective & efficient leadership in their schools! 

During 48 hours of professional development in the Technology Leadership Academy, you will:

Focus on leadership skills in technology 
Improve classroom use of technology 
Develop a vision of how to utilize technology to improve student performance 
Assess strengths & needs of your staff/students in the area of technology as well as develop a practical & useful technology plan 
Expand your network of colleagues 

As a part of the academy, participants receive:
Palm T|X handheld computer with Bluetooth & Wifi + wireless keyboard
GoObserve software for the Palm (a classroom observation tool) 
Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works by METC featured speaker Howard Pitler, 
attendance at 1 day of the Midwest Education Technology Conference

Dates for the 2008-2009 school year are as follows:
Oct. 1   •Nov. 5   •Dec. 3   •Jan. 7   Jan. 27* (METC)   •Feb. 25 
Times: 8 am to 4 pm (breakfast & lunch included) | Cost: $1,200/person 

Training sessions take place in CSD’s tele on 1460 Craig Rd.- except for the METC* session- which is at the St. Charles Convention Center.  To register, go here.  P.O.’s and credit cards will be accepted.  Slots will fill up fast, and space is limited, so register now! If you have any questions, contact Martha Bogart at (314) 692-1258 or

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The Virtual Learning Center’s tele (technology enhanced learning environment) classes are filling up very quickly- Transforming Learning with a SMART Board on June 3 and Creating SMART Board Lessons to Engage & Motivate Students on June 4 are already full!

There are a limited spaces left in Teacher Timesavers: Free Online Resources on June 5; Using Digital Media in the Classroom (Featuring Google Earth) on June 9; Cross-Curricular Lessons Using Concept Mapping on June 10; and Transforming Learning with a Promethean Activboard on June 11. Sign up today to participate in these early June courses. Teachers from all over the St. Louis metropolitan area participate; bring a friend from your school, or network with other teaching colleagues from different districts. Remember, too, that graduate credit is available for many tele classes.

Courses in the second half of the month are Empowering Students with Podcasting; Differentiating Instruction with Discovery Streaming; Boundless Learning with Videoconferencing; Movie-Making in the Classroom: Creating Digital Stories and Photo Essays; and Online “Street Smarts:” Being Legal, Literate, and Secure. Tele questions? Call Joan Forrest at (314) 692-1259.

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New Links to New Learning members, remember that  videoconferences are available all year! If you are teaching a summer school course, you can include videoconferencing in the curriculum. K-12 programs are out there- in any subject! Studying Shakespeare? Take your students to the Globe Theatre in London. Listening to students talk about the latest Cardinals‘ series? Cooperstown NY, and the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are just an IP address away! Learn about Diversity in the Dugout or The Business of Baseball.  Are your students interested in music, but you need to cover science and social studies? Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum. Videoconferences include Hip-Hop Technology: From Turntables to Computers and Rock & Roll Reactions: Records, Radios and the Birth of Teenage Culture in 1950s America.  There is a lot out there! Contact me for more ideas or suggestions.

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 Teacher Timesavers: FREE Online Resources 
 Thursdays, June 5 & 12 | 9 am-4 pm
Two Graduate Credits Available
 $229 CSD member; $344 non-member 

 Cooperating School Districts wants to make your life as a teacher easier! How? Sign up for Teacher Timesavers: FREE Online Resources this June. During this two part course, learn how to access resources such as lesson  plans, rubric makers, web page creators, worksheet makers, online quizzes, Internet bookmark storage, etc., all for free online! Why spend time recreating the wheel when someone else has already done it for you? You’ll be amazed how many online tools are out there for you to use. Knew they were there, but didn’t have the time to find them? Then this tele class is for you! Take the time during this class to explore the wealth of online resources available for teachers and come away with tips and techniques to make your life easier. To register for this and other tele classes, visit: Questions? Contact Joan Forrest at 314-692-1259.

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Cross-Curricular Lessons Using Concept Mapping 
Tuesday, June 10 9 am-4 pm |  $125 CSD member; $195 non-member 

As you know, the MAP test requires the use of graphic organizers. Come to Cooperating School Districts‘ tele and find out about software & online resources that make it easy to create webs, Venn diagrams, timelines, outlines and flow charts. You will learn to customize them with pictures, colors, arrows, etc. Kidspiration, Inspiration, and SMART Ideas are all software programs that help students assimilate new information using visual learning techniques. Through these applications and graphic organizer websites, students can organize and categorize information, brainstorm ideas, make connections, understand concepts and express and share their thoughts. This one day workshop will show you ways to use these technology tools in all content areas at all grade levels! Don’t miss out. One graduate credit is available if you take this course. Teachers, to register for this professional development session, go here.

For more information on Cooperating School Districts’ Virtual Learning Center, visit:

(Inspiration graphic from its website).

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Need a good book to read this summer? Check out New Links to New Learning content provider & St. Louis author Patricia McKissack‘s blog, Can You Imagine? for a list of books: Also, look out later this summer for new videoconference dates for Pat’s 2008-2009 schedule. Happy reading!!

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Many of you know CSD offers a great ACT Prep Course over videoconference. We’re pleased to announce that we now will offer a PSAT Prep with The Princeton Review. The PSAT is great practice for the SAT - (keep in mind, the PSAT is a shorter test and has no essay or Algebra II). The actual PSAT is 2 hours & 10 minutes and includes math, critical reading, and writing questions. Who takes the PSAT, and why? The PSAT is most popular among juniors, but some take it as a sophomore.

In this six hour videoconference course, The Princeton Review instructor shows students how to ace the PSAT & great tips for SAT. A high score on the PSAT is the only way to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. PSAT videoconference course package includes:

  • 2 PSAT full-length practice tests
    – to be taken onsite at participating schools -
  • 6 hours of classroom time over videoconference

Something to note: public Missouri high school students who completed The Princeton Review PSAT Clinic averaged of 12.1 pts higher on the PSAT, and the top 50% of student scoring 21.6  points higher, which is equivalent to an SAT scaled score increase of 216 points.

When is the videoconference course?
Tests: September 30 & October 9, 2008 | Classes: October 2, 7, 14 2008
All sessions- tests & classes- run 3:15-5:15 p.m. CDT
What is the cost? $99 / student ; in order for the class to run, at least 50 students are needed (combined from all sites)
Registration deadline: Monday, September 8, 2008
Questions & Registration: Rebecca Morrison -

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St. Louis area teachers, practice ideas for using MS Office in your classroom and learn skills at the same time! Cooperating School Districts offers four summer classes on MS Office. You can take all four, or just one! For full class descriptions and registration forms, visit this link. Classes are 9 am-4 pm each day and cost $125 for a CSD member; $195 for a non-member.

June 30 – Using MS Publisher in the Classroom
Newsletters, signs, calendars, brochures, & certificates are classroom staples. This application enables you to create all of these and more through easy-to-use templates that are already set up. No more guessing! Publisher makes it easy with PageWizard- it walks you through the process for making publications. You will create from scratch during this class, so come with ideas for projects you want to develop, & you will learn how to design student assignments that require the use of this technology tool!

July 1 – Using MS Excel in the Classroom 
Learn the basics of creating a spreadsheet, making a chart from your data, formatting a spreadsheet & printing all or parts of it during the first half of the class. Find out how to design spreadsheet assignments for your students that require them to enter data, apply formulas, and graph & chart data, like graphing probability from coin tosses. Walk away with lesson ideas that use spreadsheets to teach complex math concepts in motivating & fun ways!

July 2 – Using MS Word in the Classroom 
MS Word is a powerful word processing program that helps teachers create lessons, tests & letters. Students use it for creative writing, reports or research papers. Learn the basics & advanced features like inserting graphics, transforming text to html, & word art. Participants will plan a lesson activity incorporating Word. Learn how to help students create newsletters and brochures, and how to create easy to use worksheets with imbedded hyperlinks that support students as they create their own projects!

July 17 – Using MS PowerPoint in the Classroom 
Learn the features that make PowerPoint a great tool for student learning. You will have the opportunity to create your own PowerPoint presentation for use in the classroom. Learn how to create photo albums, adventure stories, and games. Learn how to design student assignments that require higher order thinking skills and examine assessment methods that will help you grade student assignments. 

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