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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: February 2009


Creating SMART Board Lessons to Engage and Motivate Students:
$125 CSD member; $195 non-member | (One Graduate Credit Available)
Monday, March 23, 9-3 at Cooperating School Districts – ADVANCED

Transforming Learning with a SMART Board:
$125 CSD member; $195 non-member
Friday, March 27, 9-3 at Cooperating School Districts – BEGINNER

St. Louis area educators,  full class descriptions & registration available at Classes are held at 1460 Craig Road in Creve Coeur.

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moodle class

Two of the courses  we teach in the technology enhanced learning environment (tele) are Moodle Basics: Using a Course Management System to Increase Teacher/Student Connections and Intermediate Moodle: Creating Your Own Course. moodle class

Today Martha taught both- basics this morning, and intermediate (will be) this afternoon. During the morning session, participants learn and set up various features of this powerful course management open source software. In the afternoon,  they dive into the advanced features and have time to practice them. There is lots of hands-on time provided to create sample classes and organize them. We’ll be offering more Moodle training, so make sure you check out our tele classes:

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february-26-2009Today Robert Powell of the Challenger Learning Center St. Louis conducted an important mission- his first videoconference, The Body in Space, live from CSD. He connected with students in Texas to discuss what the body does- and does not do- during and after space travel. This distance learning experience is available upon request on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Lisa BermanToday we had not one, but two videoconferences with the Saint Louis Zoo! This was my first connection with our hometown Zoo. Our groups connected to learn about the Penguin & Puffin Coast. (If you haven’t been to the Penguin & Puffin Coast at the Saint Louis Zoo, you need to go- or connect to this videoconference-  it’s a  must see!) During the videoconference, students learned about penguins and puffins and about the cold areas in the northern and southern hemispheres of the globe. They participated in activities to learn about how these animals survive in their cold climates and they got up to use their own bodies to figure out the locations hemispheres of the earth. (Can you guess what Line is where your belly button located? Which pole holds your toes?)

Though admission to the Saint Louis Zoo is free, this videoconference was $125. The kids saw animals in the studio with presenter Lisa Berman, asked & answered questions, and watched video footage of  the penguins and puffins. The program wrapped with a song about penguins.

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mpugPromethean users! Here’s your opportunity to network with schools and teachers here in St. Louis and all over the Midwest to share ideas, lessons, challenges, and successes in using the Activboard. The Midwest Promethean User Group (MPUG) is informal (it is not a class) and meets regularly. The next meeting is today at Cooperating School Districts at 4 o’clock and runs about an hour; times are loose, though, so don’t worry if you come late, or need to leave early. We hope to see you here this afternoon! CSD is located at 1460 Craig Road in Creve Coeur.

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ear bud on Flickr by diongillardMarch 11 and 12, come to Cooperating School Districts find out what all the talk is about! You don’t have to own an iPod or even a MP3 player to create and listen to your own podcasts…

Learn how to record digital audio broadcasts, edit them and upload them to the web. Teachers can use this new technology to create podcasts of their lectures and class discussions so that students can listen to them again for reinforcement, or, students who were absent can catch up on work missed. Participants will also create lessons for their students that require them to create their own radio broadcasts, performances, interviews and more. Learn how this using this tool in the classroom can help auditory learners and motivate reluctant learners.

Walk away with your own original podcast!

Empowering Students with Podcasting: March 11 & 12,  4 – 7 pm each night
$125 CSD member; $195 non-member (One Graduate Credit Available)

Register at

Photo by dion gillard can be found on Flickr’s Creative Commons.

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GNG presents: Youth Entrepreneurship in the Midst of the Global Economic Crisis
Dates: Wednesday, March 4 | Times: 1-2 PM EST/ 12-1 pm CST
Grades: 7-8, 9-12
Cost: $150 or membership price* |  To sign up,  contact

As the global economic crisis unfolds in our own backyard, students will explore its dire effects in developing nations, focusing on Bangladesh as a point of reference. 44% of the population of this South Asian nation lives in abject poverty – living on less than $1/day. The two most significant exports are garment and microfinance, with the garment industry making up 70% of its exports. How will this crisis affect the Bangladeshi community, especially since it borders India, an emerging global superpower? How will it effect the youth? How can the local youth get involved to uplift the Bangladeshi economy? In this special PULSE videoconference session, students will come together to discuss these issues with our special guest, Pial Islam. Pial Islam is currently launching a strategy consulting firm to create public-private partnerships in Bangladesh and has an extensive background in management consulting. Join him and students from across the U.S. over videoconference next week to discuss these current issues.

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itea Cooperating School Districts’ Integrating Technology Educator Academy (iTEA) provides face-to-face, hands-on experiences with creating lessons and unit plans using 21st century teaching tools. The iTEA trains educators to promote higher level achievement from students who are engaged in their learning experience. Building on the ideas of effective technology integration and student inquiry, this academy focuses on using technology to enhance higher-order thinking skills. Research shows that effective professional development resulting in lasting change must be sustained over time, with follow up and continuing support for participating teachers. Moreover, research also shows that at least 30% of the money spent on equipment should be spent on Professional Development for the users; otherwise, the equipment is not used to its fullest potential.

iTEA offers teachers with varying levels of integration skills the opportunity to learn to use Web 2.0 resources to acquire and enhance their teaching practice. With enhanced technology and teaching skills, teachers will be able to integrate technology into the curriculum and use teaching strategies to promote higher order thinking skills for students.The iTEA provides technology professional development to a school for a length of time.  The iTEA is flexible and goal oriented so that schools can decide exactly what will help support them in achieving their goals.  Since many schools are Professional Learning Communities (PLC), the iTEA gives the school the option to create the professional development they need.

The VLC is excited to be able to provide technology professional development that supports the PLC model by using realistic goals that focus on measurable achievement. If your school or district is interested in setting up an iTEA with the Virtual Learning Center, contact Ruth Litman-Block at 314-692-1272.

To see iTEA in action, visit our Flickr account:

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A few years ago I took a course called Planning Interactive Curriculum Connections. Janine Lim offers it out of Berrien RESA. It was a worthwhile online course- I learned more about videoconferencing and made contacts with others who took the class from around the country. Want to learn more about this $150 class? Read on:

From Janine Lim: Wondering how to integrate interactive videoconference technology in your curriculum? This online course addresses finding and preparing for virtual field trips and classroom to classroom project connections. Learn about the great content available for your curriculum. Find out how to contact and schedule experts to visit your classroom via videoconference. Learn about great classroom to classroom projects you can join. Create and advertise your own project connections to meet your curriculum goals.

Time Commitment: In this four week course, participants can expect to spend about 4-6 hours a week participating in the discussion board and class assignments.

Prerequisites for Online Classes

  • Do you have basic computer skills? Can you save a file and find it again?
  • Are you comfortable browsing the Internet?
  • Do you regularly use email with a reliable email address?
  • Do you have consistent reliable Internet access throughout the duration of the course?

Registration is now open for the PICC that runs April 20 – May 15, 2009. Be sure to reference the BC#09-053 when you call. Register with RESA’s registration secretary by calling (269) 471-7725 ext 149. Reference the BC# when you call. Payment by credit card is preferred; however school P.O.s are accepted as well.

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Flickr Creative Commons photo of COSICOSI Columbus brings in experts in all sort of fields to talk with students. These programs have set dates and times, but take a moment to review them. If you have questions or want to book a videoconferece, contact the Electronic Education Team at 612-228-2674. Each program is $155 for a 60 minute videoconference.

Here’s a small sampling of videoconferences offered by COSI Columbus in their “Experts” program:

Green Architecture – What Really Makes a Building Green on March 9: Green Architecture is quickly becoming one of the most popular approaches to designing and constructing buildings. This shift in thinking is being driven primarily by the emergence of two important global issues: climatic change due to atmospheric pollution and fossil fuel depletion, among a variety of other environmental concerns.

Black Holes on March 24: Dr. Richard Pogge will present information on the nature of black holes and some of their surprising properties. He regularly works with the Hubble Space Telescope and is actively involved in the design and construction of astronomical instruments.

Polar Research and Climate Change on April 13: Dr. Berry Lyons, Director of the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University, will discuss climate change over the past 1/2 million years & the processes that cause it.

Nutrition: Portion Distortion in the American Diet on May 4: Dr. Jackie Buell will present some surprising information on “portion distortion” and some of the habits we allow ourselves to fall into that can cause our body weight to creep up over time.

Photo of COSI by southerntabitha.

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