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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: May 2009

Dorothy planning conferencesSupport Staff Academy Mini-Conference is coming up on Wednesday, June 10. Dorothy White (at left) is the Conference Director for CSD. In addition to working on the annual Midwest Education Technology Conference and the Character Education Conference, she puts together all the SSA sessions.

ssaThe Mini-Conference is a day packed with resources,  speakers, and fun. The day consists of a keynote speaker, 15+ breakout session to choose with a variety of topics, crumpets and coffee in the morning, lunch, attendance prizes* and exhibitors*.

This year’s SSA will be held at Maryville University from 7:30 to 4:00. Judith Collins, Ph.D. and Affiliate Professor at Saint Louis University is the keynote. Her topic will be Heroic Leadership: 4 Principals for Transforming your Life.

Other topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Learning to Keep Your District Out of Trouble! Keeping Secrets & Liability Issues
  • Long Term Strategies for Stress Management
  • Saving for Retirement
  • Microsoft Office Basics 2007

If you have questions about the event, please visit the website or contact Dorothy White.

* visit the comments section to see complete lists

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web 2.0Here’s a Web 2.0 tools and applications index for you to check out (and possibly be overwhelmed by):

If you mouse over the application icon, a short description of the tool pops up, for example, TweetPhoto is “Photosharing Made Simple” and Mixcloud suggests you “Re-think Radio.”

There is a wealth of Web 2.0 information at this site. You can search by tag, read the blog… have fun!

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Midwest Education Technology Conference
this February 8, 9, 10, 2010
registration begins October 1, 2009


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tele class tele class tele class

We are offering a large selection of instructional technology professional development this summer at Cooperating School Districts. The classes are housed in our newly updated tele (technology enhanced learning environment). Here’s a random sampling of what you and your colleagues can sign up for:

  • Online “Street Smarts:” Being Legal, Literate, and Secure
  • Wiki Your Way to a Classroom Website
  • Google Academy: Search, Learn, Share!
  • Promoting Student Inquiry Using WebQuests
  • Classroom Projects Using Digital Photography
  • Beginning and Intermediate Moodle Training

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Conspirator's photostream | "School's out for Summer!"As the 2008-2009 school year wraps up, I want to remind readers that interactive H323 videoconferences for K-12 students are available year-round! If you are part of a summer school program, consider connecting to some content providers during the day. New Links to New Learning members, contact me for options & ideas!

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Ruth Litman-BlockLater this week, Virtual Learning Center Director Ruth Litman-Block will travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the Computerworld Honors Program’s 21st Annual Laureate Medal Ceremony and Gala Awards. Both will take place June 1, 2009, at the historic Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

The Virtual Learning Center’s Case Study for “New Links to New Learning” (our videoconference program) will be honored as a “Laureate” for 2009 by Computerworld Honors Program, (which is governed by the Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation). Polycom nominated New Links to New Learning to Computerworld for consideration.

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mp_eds' photostreamavmaier's photostreamjelleprins' photostream

At the end of next week, we will have completed the 2008-2009 school year cycle of videoconferences!! So, here is what’s lined up this week & next, ranging from the Revolutionary War brought to us by the Smithsonian, to a program from NASA:

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flickr photoAs you know, Cooperating School Districts partners with The Princeton Review annually to bring ACT prep courses to high school students over interactive H323 videoconference.

Here’s some information on The Princeton Review, who provides instructors for the vc class:

  • All instructors have scored in the top percentiles of the test and demonstrated excellent test-taking abilities.
  • Instructors explain concepts tested on the exams and teach proven test-taking techniques.
  • All teachers demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills and they must have engaging personalities. This translates to interesting and well-taught classes, and better prepared students.
  • Teachers complete a comprehensive Princeton Review training, during which they learn test content and are taught how to best convey techniques that will improve your score.
  • The Princeton Review has developed a number of standardized test taking strategies proven to help students improve their scores.
  • All Princeton Review teachers have mastered the content of the tests and our techniques – plus, they are experts at teaching them to students.
  • All lessons are focused on beating the ACT- The Princeton Review spends millions of dollars studying the ACT, developing ACT materials and training teachers to teach the test.

To learn more about the videoconference ACT prep course (stars in September for the October test), visit the New Links to New Learning website. The registration deadline is Monday, August 31, 2009. You’ll find course dates, costs, etc., at the website.

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From Global Nomads Group:

Though we are nearing the end of the school year, our work is not done. GNG will round out the 2008-2009 school year by rapidly responding to most recent headlines.  We will be offering one last week of exciting programming in June: Rapid Response: The Democratic Republic of Congo and Swine Flu: Pandemic or Hysteria?.  In addition, following the success of Naturally Obsessed: The Making of a Scientist, the World Science Festival has offered another opportunity for students to get connected.


Democratic Republic of Congo

Rapid Response: The Democratic Republic of Congo
Since 1998, more than 5.4 million men, women, and children have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo primarily due to the consequences of its civil war (diseases, bloodshed, etc.). Just recently, the on-going conflict in the DRC has been splashed in the major headlines as the country is on the brink of another war. In this special PULSE series, students will be introduced to the challenges facing the DRC and learn to identify the root causes of its conflict and the humanitarian and environmental issues as a result of it. In addition, students will learn to celebrate the history and culture of the DRC and identify the ways to bring hope to its future.

Students will be joined by individuals and experts who have worked deep in the trenches of this conflict including: Bryan Mealer, author of “All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in the Congo.”

Mealer was the Associated Press staff correspondent in Kinshasa, Congo, and has reported from locations across the African continent, including Nairobi, Somalia, and Togo. His writing has appeared in Harper’s and Esquire, among others.

Tuesday, June 2 | High School: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM EDT
Thursday, June 4 | High School: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM EDT
Cost: $300 per VC or membership price*

Mexico City Flickr

Mexico City

Swine Flu:  Pandemic or Hysteria?
In the recent months, the outbreak of Influenza A virus subtype H1NI, also known as the Swine Flu captured the headlines as the effects of this virus spread across the globe.  As reports of confirmed H1N1 cases steadily increased around the world, the UN’s World Health Organization responded by expressing concern over a potential world-wide flu pandemic, citing the outbreak at a “Phase 5” level of alert (out of 6).   “In announcing the notching up of the alert level to Phase 5 last night, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said it was a signal to Governments and to the private sector that preparatory actions should now be undertaken with ‘extreme urgency’” ( As a result, many schools have taken extra precautionary measures as seen through the number of schools closing where there are confirmed cases or in many scenarios, where there are suspected cases.

In this Rapid Response session, students will have the opportunity to share how H1N1 has affected their local community.  As GNG reports live from NYC, with one of the highest confirmed numbers of cases in the US, students will learn about its effects first hand.  Students will also delve deeper into the effects of H1N1 by speaking with an expert and learn how they can take better preventative measures against this influenza.

Friday, June 5 | Middle and High School: 11:00-12:00 PM EDT
Cost: $150 or membership price*

World Science Festival
Following a successful program featuring the filmmakers of Naturally Obsessed: The Making of a Scientist, the World Science Festival is excited to bring another opportunity for students to plug-in through Pioneers in Science!

On Thursday June 11, selected New York City High School students will interview Nobel laureate and co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Harold Varmus, and preeminent marine biologist, Sylvia Earle. Wherever you are in the world, you can be part of this event by submitting your questions for the scientists.

Submit questions for two Pioneers in Science! The World Science Festival may choose your question to ask at the Pioneers in Science live interview on June 11. Don’t forget to check back to watch video from the event!

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Karen MontgomeryOur Tracking Student Learning with VoiceThread class is coming up on June 17 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. We first told you in March that VoiceThread is a free, online, collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to leave comments in 5 ways – using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video. VoiceThread can be used for assessment, foreign language, field trips, art, language arts, social studies, math and science. In the VoiceThread environment, students and teachers can safely share their voices on the global stage. As noted on the VoiceThread website, “with VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world.” In this class, taught by Karen Montgomery, participants will create a project using photos and audio commenting using VoiceThread to document student learning across several content areas. Learn how this multi-media free resource can be used in your classroom (remember, with no software to install in your computer)! This class is $138 for CSD members and $214 non-members. One graduate credit is available for an additional fee. To see samples of VoiceThreads, visit this website:

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