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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: August 2009

fall2009Global Nomads Group (GNG) offers 4 types of interactive videoconference programs that cover a range of academic themes. For full descriptions (plus cost of the programs) visit

Here is what GNG has lined up for the Fall of 2009:

Darfur Debate for Grades: 7-8, and 9-12
on Tues. Sept. 15 and Thurs. Sept. 17

Environmental Refugees for Grades: 7-8, and 9-12
on Tues. Sept. 29 and Thurs. Oct. 1

Cool Careers for Grades: 7-8, and 9-12
on Fri. Sept. 18, Wed. Oct.14 and more

Virtual Science Expedition for Grades: 7-8, and 9-12
on Tues. Nov. 10, Tues. Nov. 24 and more

Folktales Around the World – New Project-Based IVC for Grades: 3-5
on Wed. Dec. 16

Nuclear Proliferation: A Case Study of North Korea for Grades: 7-8, and 9-12 on Tues. Oct. 6

U.S. Role in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan for Grades: 7-8, and 9-12 on Tues. Nov. 10

Globalization and the Post-American Flat World for Grades: 7-8, and 9-12
from Sept. – Dec. 2009 at various times depending on location:

  • Spain
  • Morocco
  • Ghana
  • South Africa
  • India
  • Vietnam
  • China

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Barri speaksIn this one hour videoconference, Missouri author Barri L. Bumgarner discusses peer pressure and its effect on students. By opening the door of communication, Bumgarner highlights the importance of writing, talking, and exposing the perils of social hierarchy in the school setting. Bumgarner also talks openly about the effects of peer pressure on children of all ages. During these highly interactive sessions, students discuss the process of writing as therapy, as well as the central issues in her young adult book, Dregs.

Program Format
1. This program begins with the author introducing herself and the topic, peer pressure.
2. She will engage participating sites by asking leading questions and facilitating dialog between students.
3. Time is allowed for questions and answers.

Objective:  The goal of this session is to allow students the opportunity to explore their surroundings in an analytical way, to analyze their environment through an author’s eyes, and to engage them in writing activities themselves that mirror this process.

Date/Times: date change- now October 1, 2009 | 8:30 a.m. CT for high school and 10 a.m. CT for 7 & 8th grades

Fee: $200 for New Links members, $250 for nonmembers


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de streamingCooperating School Districts offers free Discovery Education streaming training for CSD members and CSG members on the second Monday of the month during the school year from 8:30 am to 3:00 p.m. Nonmembers pay $214.  Space is limited here at 1460 Craig Road, so register early! 2009-2010 dates include:

Sept. 14 | Oct. 12 | Nov. 2 (first Monday) | Dec. 14 | Jan. 11 | Feb. 16 (Tuesday due to President’s Day) | March 8 | April 12 | May 10

Are you receiving on-demand streaming and downloading of videos for your classroom, and lesson plans, quizzes, images, sound effects, encyclopedia articles, and more? You can be! Using DE streaming, students are engaged in their learning experiences, and teachers have the ability to use or create standards-based lesson plans, assignments, quizzes and writing prompts online. Learn how to utilize DE streaming in your classroom!

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mckissackpodcastAward-winning author Patricia McKissack, through the Virtual Learning Center of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis, brings you a series of readings from some of her favorite imagesbooks in her new podcasts. In addition to podcasting, she participates in distance learning events with K-12 students across the country. To learn more about Pat and her books, visit her Writer’s Workshop blog, Can You Imagine?.

To listen to Pat’s first podcast on her book Tippy Lemmey, click here.

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MS Office Classes! September 23 & 24, 2009, 4:00 – 7:00 pm each night | $138 CSD member; $214 non-member | One Graduate Credit Available

Using MS Word in the Classroom MS Word is a powerful word processing program that helps teachers more mscreate lessons, tests and letters. Students can use it for creative writing, basic reports or research papers. Learn the basics along with more advanced features such as inserting graphics, clip art, and spreadsheets, transforming text to html, and word art. Participants will plan a lesson activity incorporating the use of Word such as having students create bookmarks that persuade readers to read the book. Learn how to help students create newsletters and brochures, and how you can create easy to use worksheets with imbedded ms mshyperlinks that can help support your students as they create their own projects. To sign up, visit:

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Stephanie MadlingerThe Virtual Learning Center welcomes back Stephanie Madlinger to the team!

Stephanie will resume Discovery Education trainings, including DE streaming and DE Science. Also, she’ll work with iTEA groups, Boeing Grant recipients, ARRA grant recipients, and instruct tele workshops.

In addition, Stephanie will be the VLC liaison to the Education Technology Association.

kosteckigangaHere’s a recap of our free fall programs over videoconference at Cooperating School Districts:

September 17: Author Visit with Stefan Merrill Block – high school (1 time slot available)
October 16: First Bank of the United States – high school (3 time slots available)
October 27: Author Visit with Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw – elementary school (2 time slots available)

To see full descriptions of these programs, read the blog posts below. Questions on any of the programs? Contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts. Artwork by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw.

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METC proposals Today the Midwest Education Technology Conference advisory committee met to review 2010 presentation proposals.

METC 2010 topics include interactive whiteboard, online/distance learning, Web 2.0 tools, podcasting, laptops for students and PLN’s (personal learning network), plus more.

To read more on METC, including Keynote and Featured Speakers, visit:

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read Saint LouisAuthor Stefan Merrill Block will videoconference live from Cooperating School Districts on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 1 o’clock central. This author visit videoconference is open for juniors and seniors in high school; participating classes are expected to have read all or part of The Story of Forgetting prior to the videoconference. This distance learning event is free, and there is some space left. If you are interested in signing your class up, contact CSD. On the evening of September 17, the author will be at St. Louis County Library for another free event- click on the flier for details.

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namaste by jenny sue kostecki-shaw“When I was in 2nd grade, my dad traveled all around the world, which inspired me to travel. In 2002, I lived with a family in Nepal and taught art and English at a grade school. [During the videoconference] I’ll share some of the students’ artwork that we did as a project to share their culture with my friends back home. This exchange inspired my next trip to Nepal and India in 2006 and my upcoming book, Same, Same But Different, due out in about a year. I’ll show parts of my process (photographs, sketches and research) and a sneak peak of the book, which will lead into more discussion and Q&A.”  – author Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

jennysuesbookNew Links to New Learning is thrilled to bring back author/illustrator Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw for two free videoconferences on October 27. Jenny will start the interactive videoconference by reading from her wonderful first book, My Travelin’ Eye. We request that participating teachers get a copy of the book prior to the program and read it with students. Since the students will already be familiar with the book by the time we connect the videoconference, Jenny will talk briefly about the book itself, but will primarily focus on the idea of celebrating ALL of our differences, and how those differences make us unique: physical differences are just one; cultural, age, talents, beliefs (not strictly religious, but whether we butter our toast on the top or bottom as in Dr. Seuss’s Butter Battle Book). Jenny will ask the students for examples, keeping the dialog interactive and positive.

Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw conducted a videoconference live from CSD a couple years ago and we received nothing put positive feedback. Here’s your chance to connect with this Missouri native, though now New Mexico resident! Jenny Sue says on the last page of the book that her travelin’ eye still wanders, “but that’s the true nature of an artist, to see the world in her own unique way.”

On October 27, Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw will conduct two, 60-minute H323 videoconferences. Interactive Slots:
9:30 a.m. CT for Kindergarten & First Gradefull
10:45 a.m. CT for Second & Third Grades – 1 spot left

View-only option is also available. Contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts if you are interested:

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