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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: April 2011

Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works will be June 20, 21 & 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Cooperating School Districts. This three-day tele class is $369 for a CSD member and $459 for a non-member. (If you choose, you can get two graduate credits through Lindenwood University with this course). This class is based on the material in Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Participants will use this book and get hands-on experience with technology integration.

This class maybe for you, if:
• You are looking for research-based instructional strategies to improve student learning;
• You  would like to learn how to use technology with these instructional strategies.

During this workshop, you will 1) learn about Marzano’s nine research-based instructional strategies for enhancing student achievement, 2) discuss ways in which to use technology with these strategies, and 3) begin planning technology-infused lessons or units that use effective instructional practices.

Purchase of the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works is recommended, but not required. Book cost: $27.98; let us know if you wish to add this option to your registration.

Register here.

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Yesterday before James Otis Thach came to CSD for his videoconferences, I went to Fox High School in Arnold to watch Tatiana Kennedy’s Russian I class Skype with Ermine Gymnasium in Novosibirsk, Russia. (Gymnasium = School). The Virtual Learning Center advised Ms. Kennedy on best practices for making such a connection. The Skype call took place from 7:15 to 7:50 a.m. (central daylight time). The students in Novosibirsk- which is in Siberia- reported it was actually close to eight o’clock in the evening for them!

The American class at Fox High School had ten students, and the Russian class had about a dozen students- all girls- participate. Two teachers sat in on the Russian side- one was the English language teacher, along with Irina  Lepihova. Irina was part of the group that visited Cooperating School Districts’ last fall. At Fox, I was in attendance, as was the principal, Dr. Kevin Rossiter, who introduced himself and spoke to the students for a few minutes. One of the district’s network technicians was also on hand, as he set up the equipment for the class. A big thank you to him!

The students at Fox were learning Russian, and the students at Ermine spoke English very well. Conversation flowed well. The biggest hurdle seemed to be that neither site’s mics could pick up everything all the students said- especially those furthest away- so there was some repetition (but is that so bad, considering the kids were practicing their foreign language skills)?

Topics discussed included celebrities, movies, climate, and families. The Russian students sang all of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain- more verses than I recognized! It was a pretty amazing connection. The students had exchanged email addresses and were going to continue with their communication. I hope to see more Skype or H323 videoconferences come out of this partnership.

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James Otis Thach, a published author who spent part of his childhood in St. Louis (he actually shared his first grade class photo from Glenridge Elementary in Clayton with the kids!), came to Cooperating School Districts today and conducted four free videoconferences with area students.

Elementary & middle school students in the Francis Howell School District, the Ladue School District, the Rockwood School District, the Parkway School District and the School District of Clayton connected with James- and each other- for a multimedia presentation to talk about the writing process, including inspiration, research, drafts, illustrations and proof reading.

James shared his three books with the students and read the first chapter of his newest book, The Seal Pup. (Click here to get a little taste of how one of the videoconferences started today). He encouraged the students to do what they love; he stressed he found success by following his passions. For those of you were able to participate what was your favorite part of the videoconference?

If you were not able to participate in one of today’s programs, you can still hear James read The Seal Pup‘s first chapter by visiting his website, Thanks again to James for visiting the Virtual Learning Center on a trip home- we appreciate the time and energy you bring to St. Louis classrooms!

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Think Outside the Book with thousands of educators from all over the world as we connect during this unique, free professional development experience from Discovery Education! Learn powerful ways to integrate digital media and Web 2.0 tools into your instruction as well as discover an abundance of resources to expand your own PLN. You can attend virtually, or, if you are in the St. Louis metro area, come here to Cooperating School Districts!

Date: Saturday,
April 30, 2011

Time: 8 am – 2 pm (light breakfast begins at 7:45)
Location: Cooperating School Districts
Address: 1460 Craig Road, St. Louis, MO 63146
Cost: FREE
Target Audience: K-12 classroom teachers, Ed Tech Specialists, Curriculum Developers
Event Contact: Stephanie Madlinger, or 314.692.1212
Register Now!

Participants Will Leave With:
– Deep exploration of the rich variety of digital content available within Discovery Education
– Integration strategies and exemplar learning experiences to bring digital content alive in your classroom and engage students across the curriculum
– Thorough exposure to a wealth of professional development resources including continuous support through the Missouri Discovery Educator Network
– Increased Professional Learning Network – meet other educators & discover educational resources you can connect to for support and collaboration
– Free door prizes for all attendees

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This morning Tatiana Kennedy's class at Fox High School connected to students in Russia over Skype. More details about this wired classroom experience will be posted soon!


ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) goes to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for their annual conference and exposition, dedicated to the theme of “Unlocking Potential.” ISTE 2011 takes place June 26–29 at Pennsylvania Convention Center. To see important (time line) dates for the upcoming ISTE conference, click here.

The following month in Philadelphia, The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) Conference will take place. From July 22-25, participants can share & collaborate, following the conference theme: Global Visions, Local Connections: Voices in Media Literacy Education. The NAMLE Conference is held every-other-year, with the last conference taking place in Detroit, Michigan in 2009. To see important (time line) dates for the upcoming NAMLE conference, click here.

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What’s Up with SIP?
by Janine Lim | April 18, 2011 | Categories: Techie Stuff | URL:

So, have you seen the rumblings of using the SIP standard instead of H.323 in schools?

I ran into this during Read Around the Planet.

Some schools with TANDBERG installations on the east coast gave out their address to dial as an email address! This caused some confusion and trouble for Read Around the Planet this year. They didn’t seem to know that most schools with H.323 couldn’t dial it or didn’t know how to.

I don’t really understand all the technology – but I see the effect on educators trying to connect “advanced videoconferencing” with other schools who have “advanced videoconferencing” (i.e. Polycom, Lifesize, Cisco-TANDBERG, etc.).

These are the questions that are raised in my brain. What about for you?

  • How does an old Viewstation connect to SIP?
  • What has to be in place for H.323 to connect to SIP?
  • Why is it that the school with the new TANDBERG HD installation couldn’t dial an IP address with the dial protocol on auto? They had to select H.323. That’s not very educator/user friendly. Most educators don’t know the difference between H.323 and SIP. I barely understand it!
  • Why is it that this school with new TANDBERG HD equipment couldn’t call older Polycom systems during Read Around the Planet? I think it might have been Viewstations they were trying to dial. Shouldn’t H.323 be able to call any H.323?
  • If a content provider buys a new system that uses SIP – who will advise them on how to connect to schools that can only dial out?
  • Is Cisco-TANDBERG really pushing SIP now?

I am trying to understand the ramifications of this for programs such as Read Around the Planet, collaborations between schools through CAPspace, connections between schools and content providers around the world, etc.

What do you think? Any ideas? Please comment!

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Little hands need digital learning, too! Come learn how to help promote safe, effective student work in the 21st century. In this class, we will learn about how to integrate media literacy and digital technology across the K-12 education curriculum. Using digital media to help build critical thinking and communication skills is a life long craft necessary for our 21st century learners. Participants will share instructional strategies that work and discover how to measure learning outcomes for students and teachers. We will share experiences with copyright and fair use while creating safe and legal projects for the classroom.

Discussion will occur about developing, managing, and sharing multimedia work of both students and teachers. What steps should be taken to legally and effectively promote digital media projects in education? Learn where to find and how to properly cite music, video clips, images and more. Leave this class with information about media literacy in order to formulate your own plan for integrating technology. Integrating Media Literacy Across the Curriculum is July 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Cooperating School Districts in St. Louis, Missouri. This new tele class costs $149 for a CSD member and $189 for a non-member. Graduate credit is available for this class, too. Register here.

photo found on Flickr Creative Commons

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