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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: October 2010

Last week, author Carolyn Lesser held four videoconference sessions over two days with Linda Altoonian’s journalism classes in Arlington, Texas. Carolyn spoke live from Cooperating School Districts in St. Louis, Missouri.

Here’s a snapshot from one of the days. To see more photos from this videoconference and others, please visit our Flickr page.

To learn more about how you can bring Carolyn to your school via interactive videoconference through New Links to New Learning, click here. All of her videoconferences are upon request.

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Transforming Learning with a SMART Board (Level 1 Training) takes place again on December 1, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m at Cooperating School Districts.  The cost is $149 for a CSD member and $189 for a non-member.

About the TELE 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. (Register here).

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Discovery Education held an Assessment Day at Cooperating School Districts on Wednesday. Area educators came to this free professional development to learn more about Discovery Assessment- this product “measures and improves student achievement and predicts performance on your state’s high-stakes exam.”

To learn what other services Discovery Education offers, please visit our website. CSD is a partner of Discovery Education- contact Terry Baker or Sandy Happold for pricing and account management support for DE streaming, DE Science, and DE Assessment. In addition, the Virtual Learning Center‘s Stephanie Madlinger is CSD’s Discovery Education trainer. We offer professional development at CSD or at your school so you can get the most out of your Discovery products. To learn more about training opportunities, contact Stephanie.

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Today the Midwest Education Technology Conference Advisory Committee met at Cooperating School Districts to discuss the upcoming conference- topics included the virtual conference, the new bookstore (stock), the Connections Lounge, the Bird-of-a-Feather gatherings, keynotes, the ever-popular buttons, plus more. Look for program and conference updates on our Twitter feed, @metc_csd.

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There are several Midwest Education Technology Conference preconference workshops taking place February 14th- here’s a list of the ones focusing on Google apps and its uses in education- all taught by Google Certified Teachers. All sessions are a Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) workshop. Make sure your laptop has wireless Internet capabilities, and that you have a Google Account and/or Gmail.

Where in the World? Teaching with Google Earth and Maps presented by Cindy Lane, Missouri Google Certified Teacher. Wish you could roam around Rome? Take a virtual train in Spain measuring distance along the way? Come find out how Google Earth and Google Maps fit the needs of the curriculum covered in your schools.

Where in the World: Make & Take Google Earth and Maps by Cindy Lane, Missouri Google Certified Teacher. Discover how to make your own Google Trips by creating a Google Earth lesson. Participants will work collaboratively to develop their own .KMZ file. Find out how to effectively search for lessons that are already made, ready for you to reconfigure them to meet your needs!

Online Classroom Collaboration with Google Docs & Sites by Bill Bass, Missouri Google Certified Teacher. Did you know that you could use the basic abilities of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel in an online collaborative environment? Did you know you can create an online form to collect information? In this half day of instruction, participants will learn how Google Documents and Google Sites can support learning 24/7.

Online Classroom Collaboration Make & Take with Google Docs & Sites by Bill Bass, Missouri Google Certified Teacher. Are you interested in creating a variety of online forms for assessment through surveys, quizzes, and questionnaires? Would you like to create a classroom website or online collaborative environment? Come create using these free Google tools and open up your classroom for your staff &  your students.

Google Feng Shui: Organize & Communicate Online by Stephanie Madlinger, Missouri Google Certified Teacher. Do you need to balance your online life? Are you in the midst of organizational chaos? The 21st century learner is bombarded with information 24/7 from various electric portals. Come learn shortcuts around Google’s Even More Apps, like iGoogle, Labs, and other Widgets. During this half day workshop we will spend time learning about Google’s Hidden Treasures by exploring this “technology playground.” Participants will understand the power of sharing through Google’s Calendar, Talk and Groups.

Search & Stuff: Exploring Google Tools for Integrating Educational Resources by Diana Dell, Missouri Google Certified Teacher. Save time and become more efficient! In this half day workshop, participants will learn advanced search techniques and discover easy ways to find images, books, videos, and other educational resources. Participants will be introduced to many Google search features such as Realtime Search, Custom Search Engines, and the Wonder Wheel. In addition, you will learn how to make the most of Google Books and YouTube in the classroom.

The Midwest Education Technology Conference is a program of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis (

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Nancy George introduces MOREnet's John Riley to the Support Staff Academy

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Super Early Bird registration is now open for Cooperating School Districts‘ 2011 Midwest Education Technology Conference until December 10. Get the best rates by signing up now! In addition, did you know there are further discounts your district can taken advantage of today?

When sending five or more people (from the same district) to METC, use one of two available discount packages (for either discount, all registrations must be received at the same time):

Option 1: 5 Plus saves 10% on registration fees for a group of five or more educators.
Option 2: 5 and 1 Free saves one registration fee for an administrator or board member when you send five  teachers (from the same district).

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The Information Technology Network Administrators (also known as ITNA) job-alike group met at Cooperating School Districts’ TELE today to videoconference with MOREnet staff in Columbia, Missouri.

ITNA meets monthly to discuss various networking topics. Several St. Louis area school districts’ personnel comprise this group.

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Healthy Kids | Healthy Classrooms (formerly our Mental Health Series) is a professional development videoconference series for K-12 educators.

Our first session for the 2010-2011 school year takes place Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. central time. An overview of Asperger’s Syndrome and specific classroom strategies for these students will be discussed. This interactive videoconference will last 1 hour; for New Links to New Learning members, the fee is just $25! Non-members pay $85 per site. There is no limit to the number of participants per site.

Skills & Strategies for Working with Students with Asperger’s Syndrome, presented by Brenda A. Brown, a Clinical Nurse Specialist with BJC Behavioral Health is in November. Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is a specific, pervasive developmental disorder that is characterized by deficiencies in behavior, social, and communication skills.  Asperger’s Syndrome is considered one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (also PDD-NOS, Autistic Disorder) which affects an estimated 1% of children in the U.S.

At the end of the interactive presentation participants will understand the following:
•  Definition and criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome
•  Classroom behaviors of students with Asperger’s Syndrome
•  Educational objectives for students with Asperger’s Syndrome
•  Treatment options: medications, behavioral interventions
•  Classroom strategies for students with Asperger’s Syndrome

To register, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts by November 12. If you have questions, please contact Rebecca as well.

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Christmas DollAs part of her 60 minute Story Hour videoconference series through New Links to New Learning, author & storyteller Patricia McKissack will read her story The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll.

On December 15, 2010 at 10 o’clock CT, Pat will share The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll with connecting children. This book is for students ages 5-8; “It is Christmas, and Nella is beside herself with excitement! She and her sisters have been given a real gift – a beautiful Baby Betty doll. But it’s hard to share something you’ve waited your whole seven-year-old life for, and Nella grabs the doll for herself. It isn’t long before she discovers that a doll can’t do the fun things she and her sisters do together. So, as Christmas day fades, Nella shares it with her sisters. Set in the Depression era South, here’s a heartwarming story that captures the essence of the holiday.” (

Elementary teachers, if you’d like to sign up for this holiday-themed videoconference, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts by email: The cost of this once a year program is $200 for New Links members, $250 for non-members. Please sign up for this program no later than December 6, 2010.

This videoconference meets the following Missouri Standards:
Communication Arts

In Communication Arts, students in Missouri public schools will acquire a solid foundation which includes knowledge of and proficiency in:
1. speaking and writing standard English (including grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, capitalization)
2. reading and evaluating fiction, poetry and drama
5. comprehending and evaluating the content and artistic aspects of oral and visual presentations (such as story-telling, debates, lectures, multi-media productions)

November 1 Edit – only 1 spot still left in this videoconference!

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