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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Barri Bumgarner’s ‘crime scene analysis’ distance learning program with the author (and former teacher)  focuses on a writing exercise designed to be creative, deductive, and interactive. This writing workshop videoconference is for 8-12 grades. Students will see a portion of an episode of CSI. After viewing the initial “crime scene footage,” each writer will play investigator through a variety of interviews. Once they conducted each of their interviews, students will then write their version of what happened.

The videoconference is available Friday, May 7, 2010. Space is still open, but please sign up by April 30. The videoconference is $200 for New Links to New Learning members and $250 for nonmembers. The cost of this vc is now just $150 for New Links to New Learning members and $200 for nonmembers. Videotaping/recording this videoconference is not allowed. There are two, 1 hour sessions available (all times Central Daylight Time): 8:30 a.m. for 9-12th graders (high school) and 10 a.m. for 8th graders  (middle school). Register here.

The revamped tele class schedule in its entirety will be released soon! But here’s what’s up first from the Virtual Learning Center this summer:

More Teacher Timesavers: FREE Online Resources on June 1 & 3, from  8:30 a.m.  to 3:30 p.m both days. Extend your online resource library at this fast-paced two-day workshop. Make your life as a teacher easier– learn how to access resources such as lesson plans, rubric makers, interactive websites, 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, tutorials & lessons are out there for you to use. 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. This class is $279 for CSD members and $349 for non-members. In addition, for an extra fee,  two graduate credits are available.

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Today Cooperating School Districts connected via H323 videoconferencing to Senator Claire McCaskill‘s (D) office in Washington D.C. to discuss the reauthorization of the federal Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  CSD Executive Director John Urkevich and St. Louis area superintendents were in attendance and had a dialog with Jackie Stewart and Corey Dukes of Senator McCaskill’s office.

Some topics of discussion during the interactive videoconference included:

  • ESEA is a one-size-fits-all model at the moment, and the administration would like legislation to be changed to be flexible for all districts of all levels
  • The administration wants to increase the funding of ESEA by $3 billion
  • The hope is that the reauthorization happens this year, since the health care reform has now passed. They are hopeful that there is time to pass ESEA, too.

In addition, Dukes discussed that the health care reform included federal student aid reform as well. According to Dukes, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act cuts out private banks and private loan companies so that the program is now just controlled by the federal government. As a result, Pell Grant program will be extended by $40 billion and will now save current students from getting cuts next school year.

MOREnet bridged the event. Also, thanks to Megan Moncure for providing information for this blog post.

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Princeton Review ACT Prep Classes Through 20 hours of instruction over interactive videoconference, students learn concepts and skills to master the ACT, including revolutionary test-taking techniques and tactics specific to each section of the test, all from an instructor from The Princeton Review. Three real ACT practice tests afford students the opportunity to practice what they learn and track their improvement during the five week vc course. A computer-generated analysis of each practice test provides detailed information identifying strengths & weaknesses, allowing students & teachers to focus on the areas where students need to improve.

The registration deadline for this interactive h323 videoconference course is Tuesday, August 31. Late registration run through September 13. If you register by the end of business on August 31, the course costs $140. If you register between September 1 through 13, the prices raises to $190 for the Fall 2010 ACT prep class. This is not an online learning course.

Classes run 3:30 – 5:30 PM Central
Tuesday, Sept. 21 | Thursday, Sept. 23
Tuesday, Sept. 28 | Thursday, Sept. 30
Tuesday, Oct. 5 | Thursday, Oct. 7
Tuesday, Oct. 12 | Thursday, Oct. 14
Tuesday, Oct. 19 | Thursday, Oct. 21

Saturday tests (*which are not over videoconference) run 9:00 AM.
Questions?  Contact Cooperating School Districts.

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High school teachers, here’s a videoconference being offered by University Circle Interactive Cleveland that you will definitely want to consider participating in: 1945: Witnesses to War – Holocaust Survivors and Artists. Here’s a program description:

The Temple Museum of Religious Art recently acquired a collection of 45 Holocaust Wall Hangings by artist Judith Weinshall Liberman that visually depict historic maps, scenes and philosophic concepts regarding the history of the Holocaust. The first connection is a presentation featuring the Holocaust Wall Hangings. The students explore the creative process, interpretation, and explore how an artist honors historical memory.

The second connection is a conversation with a Holocaust survivor describing their experiences during World War II. Both lessons analyze how history is interpreted by examining historic documents, eyewitness accounts from Holocaust survivors and shared artistic interpretations of the artist’s works.

There are set dates and times for this videoconference- starting April 14, running through May 18. This is a two part videoconference and each videoconference is planned to be 45 – 60 minutes. The total cost for the program is $250. Click here to learn more.

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St. Louis author Patricia McKissack has taught students the writing process via videoconference for a decade. In 2010, we’re excited to offer a new take on a favorite program: Creative WritingScience Fiction. This videoconference is open for 4th-12th grade students; if both elementary&  high school teachers respond, we’ll most likely add another time to split groups.

The Science Fiction Workshop will be offered in the spring:
Teacher Session: Thursday, April 15, 2010 @  4 pm CDT
Student Session I:  Thursday, April 29, 2010 @ 11 am CDT
Student Session II:  Thursday, May 12, 2010 @ 11 am CDT

Cost for the series of 3 v/c is $650 for New Links members; non-members $750. Please register by April 1.

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Unfortunately, The Great Depression videoconference with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on April 6, 2010 has been canceled.

… the staff of the Virtual Learning Center is excited to share that we’ve changed things a bit for this upcoming summer. Many of your tele favorites are returning, as well as new programs, with many (combination) options available! The first class will take place May 31 and the last class of the summer runs July 29- so we have plenty of programs for our teachers to select from, with topics ranging from interactive whiteboards to digital media to web literacy. Check back to The Wired Classroom soon to see what we are offering and when you can take the class. We’re looking forward to seeing you this summer at Cooperating School Districts!

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Janine Lim has two new recent blog posts at that are definitely work checking out!  One, written March 15 is entitled “Videoconferencing is Old Technology,” and the second post was written March 16 and is called “New Videoconferencing Research“.  I encourage you take a few minutes & read her thoughts!

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Here’s a videoconference available from CESA 7 Interactive Learning Services on why St. Patrick’s Day such a widely celebrated holiday, and what makes the Irish such a proud people. This vc is available upon request, so if you didn’t make it on time for today, you can consider it in the future. Here’s what the program offers: in this e-field trip students look through the Irish perspective and catch a glimpse of what the Irish have endured, why St. Patrick is such an important figure to them, and how Celtic culture has sustained their spirit.  In the process, we will try out Irish dancing, sing Irish songs, and learn about Celtic myths that reach back over two millennia to a time before Christianity.

In this program, students will go beyond familiar associations of leprechauns, shamrocks and green beverages to appreciate and understand how St. Patrick drove the Druids from Ireland, the nature of the music that sprang from the harp of Celtic god The Dagda, what occurred on the Hill of Tara, and how the Irish Wheel is a symbol akin to those of Native American cultures. Unraveling the mysterious knots of Irish culture and legacy makes for a fascinating adventure of discovery! Presenter Marc Kotz is a life-long performing artist and teacher who delights in venturing to other cultures and times through the means of dance, theatre, music and educational exploration.

Through Irish Eyes & Feet: Celebrating St. Patrick & Celtic Culture is a highly interactive and reflective program involving dancing, singing, historical and cultural learning/analysis as well as critical thinking. To participate, contact CESA 7. (New Links members, contact CSD and we will help you get this program set up).

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