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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: April 2010

click here for METC website

Can you believe it!? The call for Midwest Education Technology Conference proposal submissions is now open!

You have until August 20th to send in your 2011 presentation ideas, focusing on this year’s theme:  Motivate, Engage, Transform, Connect.

2011 program strands are:

  • 21st Century Skills
  • Assistive Technology
  • Differiented Instruction
  • Digital Media
  • Leadership
  • Curriculum & Instruction based on Assessment and Data
  • Library Integration
  • Mobile Computing
  • Open Source Apps
  • Technical & Networking
  • Technology 101 (basic)
  • Web 2.0
  • Instructional Integration Strategies

At the beginning of each Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis videoconference, Robert Powell shares with the students the history of the centers and the Challenger Shuttle. Here, he talks about what the astronauts’ families wanted to do to honor their memories.

to see the 1 minute video, click on the image

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April 2010 Tech Rich Class

Are you already familiar with the Internet, but unsure about how exactly to use it in combination with software applications and Web 2.0 technologies in you classes? The focus of Creating Technology-Rich Lessons to Increase Student Achievement was to help participants create an entire lesson plan from lesson objectives and assignments to teacher and student support materials, all the way to a scoring guide for technology projects. Participants got tools and a model for technology integration in their classroom. Last night was the fourth and final night of the spring session. This class will be held again in June.

Today Robert Powell of the Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis connected to second grade students at John J. Daly Elementary School in New York. Commander Powell discussed with the children the daily activities of an astronaut in orbit.

Tomorrow he returns to Cooperating School Districts to conduct two more videoconferences, this time with students in Pennsylvania.

If your school wants to sign up with the Challenger Learning Center- St. Louis to do a videoconference, contact CSD.

Berrien RESA is hosting the 5th Annual Teacher’s Choice Awards to select the Best Content Providers for the 2009-2010 school year. Results will be shared via the Berrien RESA VC Content Providers Database and the videoconferencing listservs and online at

Many of you use the Berrien RESA Videoconference Program Database from one of these websites: or TWICE:

Polycom has chosen to do a drawing for prizes to random participants of the survey to encourage participation. If you wish to be included in the drawing, add your contact information at the end of the survey. Polycom will selecting the winners randomly.

Click this link to take the short survey:

You must complete the survey by May 18, 2010 to be included in the drawing.

Please share this announcement with your local videoconferencing colleagues We welcome entries from teachers, even if they vote in only one category/subject area.

Thank you for your time!

Come learn how to use the Promethean Activboard and the ActivInspire software in your classroom at CSD’s Transforming Learning with a Promethean Activboard (Level 1 Training). A Promethean Activboard combines the look and feel of a regular whiteboard with the power of a computer. In this class, you’ll discover how to locate hundreds of lessons that have already been created for use on the Activboard and become familiar with features such as Focus tools, Power tools and the Resource Browser that make your lessons more interactive. This class is for beginners; no prior knowledge of ActivInspire required. This class is June 11 or July 30, and will be from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. For price and registration, click here.

HEC-TV Live! has two free upcoming videoconferences with the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis. Each summer, the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis performs in Forest Park.

The first vc is May 17 and entitled Shakespeare Outdoors: Hamlet. Live from the outdoor performance space of the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, program participants will interact with director Bruce Longworth and various actors of the Festival’s upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Actors joining HEC-TV Live! will include Jim Butz who is portraying Hamlet as well as other members of the cast. The program will focus on the text of Shakespeare’s masterpiece and what it means to bring it to life in an outdoor production. Cast members will perform scenes from the play. Ask the director and actors what it’s like to speak Shakespeare’s language. How do they determine how to interpret the script and create their character? How does it change the acting and directing process to produce the play outdoors? Once you have registered for the program, Tim Gore will send information about the scenes from the play to be performed so your students can read those sections in advance.

The second vc is May 18 and entitled Shakespeare Outdoors: Production Elements and Careers. Live from the outdoor performance space of the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, program participants will interact with various designers and technical staff helping stage the Festival’s upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Audience members will tour the set and go both backstage and onstage as they find out what it’s like to design and stage a production outdoors. How do you handle lighting for the show? What about costumes and props? What happens if it rains? Where does the audience sit? Meet the theatre professionals who answer these questions and more every day in their career. Find out how all the front of house, onstage, and backstage production elements come together to create an exciting and enriching experience for the audience attending.

To see 2011 SMART Board classes, click here.

Transforming Learning with a SMART Board (Level 1 Training)
June 2, June 29, OR July 29 – 8:30am-3:30pm
$149 CSD member; $189 non-member (No Credit)

The SMART Board is an interactive whiteboard that can improve the way you teach. Come learn how to use this technology tool in your classroom—no prior knowledge of SMART Boards required! This is a class for beginners with no prior knowledge of SMART Boards. Discover how to find and develop lesson plans that make use of this fabulous tool and motivate 21st century students.

Creating SMART Board Lessons to Engage and Motivate Students
(Level 2 Training)
June 4 OR July 9 – 8:30am-3:30pm
$149 CSD member; $189 non-member (One Grad. Credit Available)
PREREQUISITE: Level 1 Training or equivalent; not a class for beginners

Do you already have a SMART Board and consider yourself a user? This intermediate class is for you! Come learn some of the advanced features of the SMART Board and create lessons. Become adept at creating recordings of what you do on the SMART Board for future playback! Find out how to use the video player that comes with your SMART Board to annotate videos. Learn how to attach audio files to objects on the SMART Board, and how to save items that you use often and want to share to the My Content folder. We’ll show you how to find hundreds of lessons that have already been created for use on the SMART Board. You’ll be able to create your own usable lesson, either from scratch or by tweaking a downloaded lesson.

Using SMART Response in the Classroom
June 9 – 8:30am-3:30pm
$149 CSD member; $189 non-member (No credit available)

What’s all the buzz about “clicker” systems in the classroom? SMART Response (formerly called Senteo) is an interactive response system combining handheld wireless remotes (or clickers), a receiver and powerful assessment software that allows you to create tests and manage, track, and evaluate the results. This system integrates seamlessly with the SMART Board, but must be purchased separately. Come learn how to set up formative and summative assessments for your students and obtain immediate results that can be used to guide instruction. Learn the basics of the hardware and software, how to set up a grade book, and practice creating assessments.

Register at

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Attendees at last Saturday’s Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Conference had a choice to participate in the Virtual Conference or short face-to-face seminars by St. Louis area educators. The event was free and was filled with Web 2.0 learning- participants on site received information on Using DE Resources with Digital Media with Bill Bass, Google Earth & Discovery Education Play Nice with Cindy Lane, and Organizing & Sharing DE My Content with the Virtual Learning Center’s Stephanie Madlinger (also our photographer for the day).

The VLC hopes to continue to bring St. Louis area educators great professional development days like these! To see more photos from the event over the weekend, visit the Virtual Learning Center’s Flickr page.

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Congratulations to the Virtual Learning Center’s Martha Bogart. Martha is among 50 SMART Exemplary Educators (SEE) who have been selected to attend the SMART Exemplary Educator Summit taking place July 25–31 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada! According to SMART, as a SEE, Martha is a proven technology leader and has demonstrated the innovative use of SMART products to improve education outcomes. She was selected because she’s an outstanding advocate for the inspiring and effective use of education technology.

The SEE Summit is a week of sharing & learning, including advanced training sessions and workshops, collaborative project planning, and the opportunity to network with other leading educators, plus provide input and feedback on new and upcoming SMART products and initiatives.

Congrats, again, Martha!

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