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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: September 2010

Keynotes Rushton Hurley, Peter Buffett, and Lee Crockett

Registration starts October 1 for the 2011 Midwest Education Technology Conference. Click here to register. The 2011 theme is Motivate, Engage, Transform, Connect. Learn more about METC by visiting

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Cooperating School Districts
of Greater St. Louis and Tech4Learning present Show-Me a Movie Contest 2010! With the contest growing each year, and the submission deadline just a couple months away, it’s time to review what you need to know to participate in this contest!


  • December 13, 2010, contest deadline: entries must be received no later than 5 p.m. Entries received after this deadline will not be considered.
  • Mailed entries must be addressed to:
    Show-Me a Movie
    Cooperating School Districts
    1460 Craig Road
    St. Louis, Missouri  63146
  • Do NOT email movies, as files can become corrupted, and/or they may clog up the server. Instead, burn movies to a CD and mail in.
  • February 15, 2011, grand prizewinners and category/grade level winners showcased at the Midwest Education Technology Conference (METC) at the St. Charles Convention Center.

For full rules, rubrics, forms, etc., visit the Show-Me a Movie website.

Prizes & Judging
The judges reserve the right to switch movies into categories they deem appropriate if they feel the movies do not belong in the categories they were originally entered in. Cash prizes will be awarded to the different divisions of each category. Checks will be made out to the winning schools. In addition, judges may choose a movie or movies for special recognition.

Attend this 4-part TELE workshop and you’ll be amazed how many online tools are out there for you to use! Learn how to access resources such as lesson plans, rubric makers, web page creators, worksheet makers, online quizzes, Internet bookmark storage, etc., all for free online! During Teacher Timesavers: FREE Online Resources, explore the wealth of online resources for teachers and come away with tips and techniques to make your life easier. Why spend time recreating the wheel when someone else has already done it for you?

This TELE class has four sessions: Oct. 19, 21, 26 & 28, each running 4 to 7 o’clock each evening. Two graduate credits are available with this class. Without adding the grad credits, the class is $279 CSD member; $349 non-member.

BrainPOP in CSD's TELE

Today, the Virtual Learning Center of Cooperating School Districts hosted a free workshop for area educators interested in learning more about BrainPOP, BrainPOP Jr. (K-3), BrainPOP, BrainPOP Español and BrainPOP ESL.

BrainPOP‘s Alicia D’Angelone-Brown led the workshop, using our Promethean Activboard in the TELE. Alicia showed participants in today’s workshop how easy it is to use BrainPOP with the ActivBoard and ActivExpressions. (By using an interactive whiteboard with BrainPOP, all the students in a classroom can then see and participate in the lesson. Another way to engage the students in learning with BrainPOP is to use ActivVotes so the kids can participate in quizzes embedded in videos.)

For those educators interested in learning more about using Promethean ActivBoards, this weekend, on October 2, Hazelwood School District hosts a Promethean ActivEducator Conference. This will be a day of learning with other ActivClassroom users across the region. Participants will share flipchart curriculum, learn best practices, and attend ActivClassroom breakout sessions.  This 1-day conference will provide opportunities for teachers of all grade levels, administrators, and directors to be inspired and connect with other ActivClassroom teachers for engaging and innovative ideas. In addition, Alicia will be presenting on using BrainPOP with the ActivBoard. Click here to learn more about the 1-day conference.

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There are many offerings this October and November for those teachers hoping add a little Halloween-themed programming into their curriculum. Several content providers are offering videoconferences to meet those educators’ needs! Here’s a list of a few distance learning opportunities:

  • El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is being offered October 1st-November 5th, 2010. This interactive videoconference will introduce students to Day of the Dead and explain how it is celebrated in Mexico. Elementary students will create movable paper esqueletos (skeletons) during the conference.  Middle and high school students will make calaveras. “Calavera” in Spanish means “skull.” It also refers to humorous, imaginary, poetic obituaries printed in newspapers that are used to poke fun at people who are still living (such as politicians or other public figures). Students will create their poems ahead of time, and have the opportunity to illustrate them during the videoconference.
  • Scary Art is a distance learning program featuring goblins, witches and dastardly doings! Explore otherwordly paintings and prints by Francisco Goya, Salvador Dali, Salvator Rosa and Albert Pinkham Ryder for an art journey to the other side. Program Format:
    1. Open videoconference with depictions of witches from 17th century artist Salvator Rosa
    2. Discuss related superstitions and Salem Witch Trials
    3. View depictions by other artists of goblins, ghosts and skulls
    4. Discuss specific historical or personal reasoning for these works
    5. Discuss common attitudes and individual responses to images
  • Author Patricia McKissack will read select portions of The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural – “these 10 spine-tinglers range from straight-up ghost stories to eerie narratives. The tales in this winner of the 1993 Coretta Scott King Award depict racism, haunting and vengeance in a manner that can be read out loud around a campfire or savored privately, offering middle readers thoughtful exposure to important, though frightening, historical themes.” ( Pat will tell stories, she’ll talk about (her) inspiration, and she will take questions from students. This videoconference takes place October 28.

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New Links to New Learning is pleased to share that award winning author Patricia McKissack will conduct three, 60 minute story-hour sessions. Pat reads the selected book, she’ll talk about (her) inspiration, and she will take questions from students. These story hours are for students in first through fifth grades (depending on the book). The cost is $200 for New Links members and $250 for non-members.

stichin' and pullin'

On November 17, 2010, Pat will read from Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt at 1 o’clock central. This book is for students ages 9-12; “Mother and daughter, grandmother and granddaughter, aunt and niece, friend and friend. For a hundred years, generations of women from Gee’s Bend have quilted together, sharing stories, trading recipes, singing hymns—all the while stitchin’ and pullin’ thread through cloth. Every day Baby Girl listens, watches, and waits, until she’s called to sit at the quilting frame. Piece by piece, she puzzles her quilt together—telling not just her story, but the story of her family, the story of Gee’s Bend, and the story of her ancestors’ struggle for freedom.” (

In October, Pat will conduct a story hour on the 28th for The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural. In December, she will conduct a story hour on the 15th for The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll. To learn more, visit

On October 11, you can take an all-day workshop at Cooperating School Districts on Creating Multimedia Projects with Discovery Education streaming. Did you know that Discovery Education streaming has digital video, audio files, images, and more that can also be used in a variety of multimedia applications? Are you looking for a perfect, easy to do multimedia project? This fast-paced class is for you! Come discover ways to develop curriculum-based digital media projects with DE streaming resources. Student produced videos or digital media projects can empower students with the tools, skills and confidence to take creative control of their research and presentation projects.

Teachers can provide engaging lessons by adding some creative multimedia to their lessons. Participants will work together and use DE streaming resources more effectively with free Web 2.0 applications like Glogster, VoiceThread, Photo Story, Animoto and more. Participants may also choose to use iMovie or Movie Maker to develop easy-to-use resources for more media rich lessons. Prerequisite: Bring a lesson idea and organize your DE streaming My Content with songs, images, video, and sound files that support your lesson. Participants should be familiar with one of the applications above.

The class is $149 for CSD members and $189 for non-members. One graduate credit is available for this course through Lindenwood University.

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You know we’ve been posting about our featured speakers for METC 2011 in the last couple of weeks. Here’s the last group, including our final keynote speaker. These presenters will definitely motivate, engage, transform and connect with conference goers!

Featured Speaker Torrence Temple built a small media company in 2001 called iScienceDVD, LLC. Atom & Quark video collection  incorporates all of Torrence’s research on digital media design for enhanced learning ( Torrence built, edited, designed, and produced every aspect of the videos to enhance the absorption of science knowledge in elementary  school classrooms. Torrence continues his research and development of new, cutting edge technology applications at Azusa Pacific University where he’s taught technology courses to teachers for the last 9 years.

Dr. Howie DiBlasi was recognized as “Vocational Teacher of the Year” for the state of Arizona and nominated as a finalist in the “Top Secondary Leaders in America.” He has presented programs, courses and presentations to thousands of administrators, teachers, technology specialists and professionals around the country-  including past Midwest Education Technology Conferences. Howie is a recognized leader in digital technology, multi-media, interactive video conferencing and 21st century learning. He has extensive hands on experience in training administrators and educators using 21st Century technology and applications.

Gwyneth Ann Jones, aka The Daring Librarian, is a blogger, a plurker, ISTE board member, a citizen of Nings and a resident of Second Life. She’s a digital immigrant with a longtime green card and a passion for educational technology, school librarianship, and being a change agent within her learning community both geographically and within the ethernets. As a teacher-librarian and technology specialist at Murray Hill Middle School in Howard, Maryland, strives to bring kids into her information center for what she calls investigative research adventures.

Also added to the keynote roster is Lee Crockett. He is a national award winning designer, marketing consultant, entrepreneur, artist, author and international keynote speaker. He is the Director of Media for the InfoSavvy Group and the managing partner of the 21st Century Fluency Project. Lee is the chief architect of the extensive network of websites, web-based applications and presentations of which the InfoSavvy group is comprised. Lee is also the co-publisher of the Committed Sardine Blog, which is electronically distributed to more than 100,000 readers in over 60 countries. He is co-author of Understanding the Digital Generation, The Digital Diet, Living on the Future Edge, and the upcoming Literacy is not Enough. Lee is a “just in time learner” first and foremost, constantly adapting to the new programs, languages and technologies associated with today’s communications and marketing media.

The Midwest Education Technology Conference is a program of Cooperating School Districts (CSD). Remember that you can follow METC on Twitter. Registration for the conference opens on Friday, October 1, 2010.

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New Links members, this is a wonderful opportunity to introduce your high school students to what the St. Louis County Library can offer them as they research topics for papers and projects.  Contact me if you are interested in signing your class up for this videoconference! St. Louis County Library Coordinator of Electronic Database Training, Paul Steensland, presents a  free workshop via videoconference about EBSCOHost’s MasterFILE Elite database for St. Louis County Library cardholders.

Students can use MasterFILE Elite to find full-text articles from over 1,000 popular magazines including Time, Discover and American History. Students will learn how to search MasterFILE Elite’s database using keyword searching and how to print and email their articles. In order to take advantage of this workshop, it is best if students have access to computers while they are viewing the videoconference, but this is not mandatory.  Also, Paul talks with participating teachers before each videoconference to get an understanding of what students are covering in class, that way, he can speak directly to your students during the videoconference about the specific topics they are researching.

Paul also presents a videoconference workshop about Gale’s Academic OneFile database! Academic OneFile is a source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world’s leading journals and reference sources. Teachers and students will find coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects.

Another option, if you are interested, is to make this a professional development session… have teachers learn the ins-and-outs of EBSCOHost and/or Academic OneFile.  Dates and times upon request; we can do several in one day. This is a free videoconference for St. Louis area schools. For those of you familiar with Trial By Wire, Paul acts as judge during that videoconference.

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Transforming Learning with a SMART Board (Level 1 Training) takes place either October 8 or December 1, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m at Cooperating School Districts.  The cost is only $149 for a CSD member and $189 for a non-member. About the class: 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. This is a class for beginners with no prior knowledge of SMART Boards. You’ll also discover how to find & develop lesson plans that make use of this dynamic tool and motivate your 21st century students.


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