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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: March 2011


Nancy George is teaching Advanced Promethean ActivBoard today in the TELE. More classes will be offered during the summer of 2011.

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The latest addition of Patricia McKissack’s Clone Codes series was released in February 2011! In the first book of the trilogy that came out last year, “cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for freedom.” Clone Codes, The #2: Cyborg tells the story of Houston, a cyborg in the year 2130, and how he is considered less than human. Co-written with her husband Fred and her son John, “The Clone Codes sci-fi adventure trilogy continues with this [second] book that blends a futuristic society with pivotal moments in world history.”

Both Clone Codes books will be discussed in Pat’s upcoming Science Fiction-Creative Writing three-part videoconference series. This series now only costs $250 to participate in – for all three sessions. New Links members get an even deeper discount- for three sessions, members can participate in these author visit workshops for just $200.

The goal of the project is to introduce students to the process that authors use to write and illustrate a book and to engage them in writing activities themselves that mirror this process. At the end of the project, students will be able to:

• Use brainstorming and invention techniques to come up with writing ideas.
• Discriminate between different types of audiences.
• Create a science fiction story line.
• Understand character development and create their own characters.
• Understand descriptive techniques in writing & write descriptive paragraphs.
• Create multiple drafts of their work and share them through peer editing.
• Analyze their writing and that of other students.
• Share their work through email with the authors and with each other.
• Evaluate the writing of others and give constructive feedback.
• Revise their writing to conform to the correct standards of English.

To register, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts by Friday, April 1, 2011. The vc days/times are:
• 4 o’clock central on April 13th (teacher session)
• 11 o’clock central on April 27th (student session I)
• 11 o’clock central on May 11th (student session II)

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Transforming Learning with a Promethean ActivBoard (Level 1 Training)
This class is for beginners; no prior knowledge of ActivInspire required.
June 10, OR July 29  from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | REGISTRATION
$149 CSD member; $189 non-member (No Credit)

This summer, come to Cooperating School Districts to learn how to use the Promethean ActivBoard and the ActivInspire software in your classroom. This interactive whiteboard (IWB) combines the look & feel of a regular whiteboard with the power of a computer. In this class, you will 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 engaging for your students. Later in the summer, Level II and Level III (one of our brand new classes!) will be offered. Full descriptions can be found on

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… Amy Sklansky talks eggs over videoconference, Martha Bogart teaches Advanced SMART Board in the TELE:

… see more photos on our Flickr page.

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We’re ready to be rid of this wintry weather! How about you? We’re thinking ahead to this summer, in fact- our summer TELE schedule is now up & registration is available. Remember, we have a duel-platform lab, so you can take the class using a Mac or a PC!

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SSA, or the Support Staff Academy, is a program of the Virtual Learning Center of Cooperating School Districts. They have two programs coming up in April- please see the descriptions below. Here is the help the Support Staff in your district needs to identify the issues and what they can do to help stressed kids.

Bullying/Gangs: Issues, Impacts and Actions
April 8, 2011 from 8:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
The students in Missouri have a hard enough time coping with academics, social and home life. Why should they be burdened with added pressure from their class mates or friends? Anxiety is one of the leading road blocks when it comes to child development, especially self esteem. One silent or hidden problem facing these children is dealing with the school yard “bully.” School administrators, teachers and support staff should be able to identify and help both the victim and the bully. Whether it is in cyberspace or in real time, the issue can leave lasting effects on a child. This program gives a brief look into what our children are going through and what schools and parents should do.

“Eggshells” in the Schoolhouse:
(Working with People Who Get on Your Nerves!)

April 8, 2011 from 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Ever feel like you are “walking on eggshells” around certain folks? Unfortunately it happens even in the most professional of places. Determine your own interaction style and learn ways to “adjust” when dealing with different personality types. We’ll also chat about gossipers, busybodies, and complainers. We will even discuss how to handle the “moody” ones (you know who we’re talking about!).

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Janine Lim of Berrien (Michigan) RESA is trying to fill the following videoconferences taking place in April & May- take a look. (These multipoint programs are very reasonably priced, however, scholarships are available, ask if you are interested):

HistoryQuest8:  Civil War on April 20 & 21. FREE.
MysteryQuest USA on April 12, 13, May 5, 6, 10, 11, 19. $35.
Lest We Forget: Korea-  Korean War veteran interviews on April 19. $50.
HistoryQuest5:  Beginnings to 1800 on May 5, 12, and 18. $35.
ASK Specialist: The Wall
-  Vietnam veteran interviews on May 17. $50.

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NEW! Teacher Timesavers 2: More FREE Online Resources
July 11 & 12 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
$279 CSD member; $349 non-member  (Two Graduate Credits Available)

You asked for it, you got it! More free online resources to save you even more time! In this fast-paced class, we plan to take a look at numerous online tools you can use in your role as an educator. The tools shared can be used in your classroom or professional development activities. We will explore the many uses of such tools like Stixy, Glogster, and VoiceThread to collaborate and display student work. Online communities of learning like Think Quest, Curriki, and the National Archives will be explored. We will also take a more in-depth look at specific search engines like Google & Wolfram Alpha.  Come ready to learn and explore a variety of free time saving educational resources.

And don’t worry, we are still offering the original:

Teacher Timesavers: FREE Online Resources
June 15 & 16 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
$279 CSD member; $349 non-member  (Two Graduate Credits Available)

Do you want to make your life as a teacher easier? Are you wanting to integrate technology into your lessons, but don’t know where to start?  In this class we will focus on two large communities of learning that are filled with tons of lesson plans, rubrics, creators, and time savers that you can use today! You’ll be amazed at how many free online tools are out there ready for you to use. Learn how online file management and social bookmarking sites will save you time. Discover how the ALTEC Star Tools, like RubiStar, QuizStar and TrackStar can make lesson planning and assessments easier. Then we will dive deeper into the old and new Thinkfinity tools; ReadWriteThink, Illuminations, Wonderopolis and others.  Come explore the wealth of online resources for teachers and walk away with tips and techniques to make your life easier.

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Join Data Projections and Polycom for a videoconferencing implementation webinar today at 10 a.m. CT.  Collaborative communication empowers administrators, motivates students and promotes interactive learning — videoconferencing helps turn classrooms into the perfect stage for exchanging ideas among students, educators and experts worldwide.

Data Projections is hosting three webinars featuring experts from Polycom. The first, Videoconferencing in the K-12 Environment, took place on February 23. View the webinar by clicking here. The second, Funding for Videoconferencing, took place on March 9 and can be viewed by clicking here.

The final webinar in the series is Wednesday, March 23. Sign up now to learn about how to bring all the benefits of videoconferencing to your classroom. You’ll join Data Projections and Polycom as they share videoconferencing training opportunities, and offer programming and support details. Presented by Polycom’s Elaine Shuck, Solutions Marketing Project Manager & Solutions Product Marketing.

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