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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: July 2011

Keynote and Featured Speaker presentations were streamed live at the Midwest Education Technology Conference (METC) last February by IDSolutions, and have been archived and are available for free viewing until Monday, August 1, 2011. Please join in on the METC 2011 Virtual Conference (a program of Cooperating School Districts’ Virtual Learning Center) by going to today!

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Stephanie taught Integrating Media Literacy Across the Curriculum yesterday in the tele. It got me thinking about various videoconferences that touch upon media literacy as part of their presentation. I immediately thought about the Paley Center for the Media and their fabulous programs! The videoconferences include clips from the center’s collection that provide information, stimulate conversation, and encourage active viewing and critical thinking.  Here’s a sampling of some of the Paley Center’s videoconferences on television in America- to see the full list, click here.

Portrayals of Women on Television: Students will examine how portrayals of women on television have evolved from the 1950s to the present. This class encourages participants to think about women they admire and to compare them to these fictional portrayals. All classes are interactive, with guided discussion designed to encourage active observation and critical thinking.

The Fine Art of Persuasion: Television and Advertising: What is advertising, what is its goal, and what are its methods? How do images and sounds combine to make a point or sell a product, and how have these changed over time? Through careful analysis, students will discover the persuasive techniques developed to capture a viewer’s attention in order to promote a product or idea.

Get Up! Stand Up! The Civil Rights Movement and Television: In the years between 1954 and 1965, more legislation was passed, more court decisions were rendered, and more social change was effected in the name of civil rights than ever before. The rise of the Civil Rights Movement paralleled the growing use of television in the United States. In 1950 television was still in its infancy, but by 1960, televisions were present in 90 percent of American homes. Television provided the American public with a means to witness the struggle for civil rights nearly in real time and led a more informed society to enact social change.

The Living Room War: Television & Vietnam: From 1965 to 1975, television played an unprecedented role in shaping American perceptions of the Vietnam War. New technology and unlimited access to the battlefields of Southeast Asia invested field reporters with the ability to broadcast what became known as “bang-bang” coverage. The carnage of the war and the consequences for American morale, both on the battlefield and at home, led to deep divisions in how Americans viewed the role of government, the military, social change, and war itself. Students will analyze documentaries, news, and fictional programming that depict the Vietnam War period from multiple perspectives.

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It’s hard to believe, but this week marks the end of our summer tele classes. The final two classes of the summer are interactive whiteboard workshops- some of our most popular! Thursday is our last beginning SMART Board classs (Level I) of the season, followed by Friday’s beginning Promethean ActivBoard class (also Level I). Our fall and spring classes will be lined up soon, so keep a look-out for those topics and dates.

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Using digital media to help build critical thinking and communication skills is a life long craft necessary for our 21st century learners. Today’s participants in Stephanie Madlinger’s  Integrating Media Literacy Across the Curriculum shared instructional strategies that work and discovered how to measure learning outcomes for students and teachers. Experiences with copyright and fair use were discussed, as well as how to create safe and legal projects for the classroom.

Stephanie, who is on the Board of Directors for the Gateway Media Literacy Partners (GMLP), also shared information on Marshall McLuhan (among a large group of resources!). Not familiar with Marshall McLuhan’s work? See this video of him talking about media literacy. The class also talked about developing, managing, and sharing multimedia work of both students and teachers. See more photos of today’s new class on Flickr.

Also note that 2011 Media Literacy Week in St. Louis, Missouri, is November 6-12th. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, be sure to mark you calendar- there will be many events to attend!

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Joan Forrest is an Administrative Assistant in the Virtual Learning Center of Coopering School Districts.  Joan has been with CSD since 2001 taking care of registrations for the tele (technology classes) and the Midwest Education Technology Conference (METC).  She also handles the coordination of Lindenwood University graduate credit for tele class participants.

Joan has had a variety of jobs prior to CSD.  Some of these included working as an Admissions Counselor at two different colleges, personnel recruiter at the City of Naperville, Illinois, compensation analyst at Natural Gas Pipeline Company, and an instructor at the YMCA.

The mother of three sons, Joan has had the joy of seeing her oldest and middle sons graduate from college and settle into their jobs.  Her youngest son is starting his sophomore year at Chapman University in California.  She spends her free time with her husband seeing movies, reading and traveling to see the boys.

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Coming soon– look for a blog post about our newly restructured New Links subscription! We’ve consulted with members on how to improve our nationally-recognized distance learning program for our schools, and we think you’ll be pleased with the results. Here’s a little tease… instead of pricing based on the number of videoconference systems a district/school uses, the annual subscription will be selected from one of four available tiers. Intrigued? Learn more by checking back here next week.

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Best Practices in ActivBoard Flipchart Lessons is taking place today in the tele. In this new, advanced class, participants are learning how to create interactive Flipchart lesson activities based on curriculum standards and best practices scoring guides. They will share their final work with other educators in the class, and put their work up on Promethean Planet. Right now, the lab is quiet as they look for resources to add to the lessons! Virtual Learning Center Director Nancy George is teaching today’s Level 3 workshop at Cooperating School Districts.

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From August 3rd to August 4th, the National Museum of American History, National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Pentagon Memorial Fund, and Flight 93 National Memorial will offer a free online conference called September 11: Teaching Contemporary History. Designed to provide for K-12 educators with resources and strategies for addressing the terrorist attacks, the conference will include roundtable discussions with content experts and six workshop sessions. These free workshops will highlight resources available at each participating organization, provide background information on 9/11, and encourage conversations on how to document, preserve, and interpret recent history and current events. For more information, visit

You can also join educators from the National Museum of American History (Thinkfinity content partner) in a discussion about teaching 9/11 at the ten year anniversary. This group is hosted in conjunction with the September 11: Teaching Contemporary History online conference.

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Here’s a photo from Stephanie’s class today on using Flip video cameras in the classroom. To see more images from this all-day professional development session, click on the image above to get to our Flickr account.

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Author Barri Bumgarner will return as a content provider for Cooperating School Districts’ New Links distance learning program. Here are a few of the interactive writing videoconferences she’ll be offering upon request for middle school and high school classes:

“Soundtracks of Our Lives”: Let your students explore their lives through the lens of songs. In this session, students will listen to songs during a modeling session, consider the stages of their own lives, and illustrate each with a song that fits that portion of their lives. This interactive session will let students self-evaluate, use media to accentuate their writing, and see the value of technology in the writing world. Join author Barri L. Bumgarner in an interactive workshop that will allow kids to see themselves through the eyes of music.

“Let’s Get Digital”: Teaching today should embrace technology when it works for a unit, not just for technology sake. This interactive workshop, with students in a computer lab or with laptops, will demonstrate how to tell a story digitally, using free PC software. We assume kids are tech-savvy, when in reality, they only know the technologies they’re surrounded by everyday (Facebook, texting, gaming). Enticing students to tell a story digitally will open up the world of research, creativity, and show them that they can express themselves in a variety of ways with the world at their fingertips. Join author Barri L. Bumgarner in an interactive workshop that will teach students and teachers the possibilities with digital software.

“The Many Hats We Wear: Getting Inspired to Write What You Know”:  Tapping into inspiration for students is often as easy as helping them figure out who they are when they write… and can they change “hats” to write something different? This session will help students explore their many inspirations and find out how differently they can write when they don different hats. Join author Barri L. Bumgarner in an interactive workshop that will motivate kids to self-reflect, write, and explore the nuances of who they are when they write.

For 2011-2012, Barri’s videoconferences will be available upon request. For costs, email Rebecca Morrison at CSD.

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