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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: December 2011

#10 Google’s Les Paul Doodle
#9  Students Rebuild Offers Project To Support Japan
#8  about new links
#7  about csd
#6  “Interactive Curriculum Design for K-12 Classrooms”
#5  New Class! Integrating Media Literacy Across the Curriculum
#4  about the vlc
#3  SMART Classes Coming Up!
#2  The Effects of Media on Gender Identity Videoconference
#1  To Establish Justice coming up

Those are the highest read of blog posts from The Wired Classroom for this year (well, we cheated a little by jumping the gun on December 22nd). It’s quite an interesting assortment of topics! Happy New Year and we can’t wait to see what you read in 2012…

Click on the image below to get to an archived session of last Tuesday’s videoconference with author James Otis Thach on this book, The Seal Pup.

Thanks to Connie Coy at MOREnet for assisting with the streaming and recording of these author visits from Cooperating School Districts’ New Links program.

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This year was the first year of the annual Show-Me a Movie Digital Storytelling Contest where we encouraged submissions to be sent in electronically (via YouTube, SchoolTube, or Vimeo). We did still get a few submissions mailed in; most of the participants embraced the new way of turning in the movies. Today begins the major sorting and organizing of all the movies- and judging takes place the first week of January. The winners, as always, will be showcased at the Midwest Education Technology Conference. Some of the titles we get to enjoy watching include Attack of the Bad Hair, Five Acres Animal Shelter- A Doggone Good Movie, and Life of a Stick Figure. Thank you to all who sent in entries– we look forward to seeing your work!

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12 months from the Virtual Learning Center
January – December 2011

Here’s a list of the SMART Board sessions you’ll find at the Midwest Education Technology Conference this February at the St. Charles Convention Center. The Monday sessions listed are preconference workshops that required additional registrations; the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions are general conference breakouts- just show up, ready to learn!

Monday, Feb. 13: Martha Bogart
Are you familiar with the nine McREL (Marzano) research-based strategies, but aren’t exactly sure how you can use them with technology? Do you have a SMART Board, but feel you are not using it to full advantage? Then this workshop is for you! We will discuss each of the nine classroom instructional strategies in depth and show you how you can use your SMART tools in conjunction with them. Participants will walk away with concrete ideas and a SMART Notebook file from the presentation they can use and/or modify.

Monday, Feb. 13: Amy Johnson, Jennifer Young, Maried Swapp Have you ever used SMART Notebook? If the answer is no, join us for an energetic session with fellow teachers. SMART Notebook software, along with a SMART interactive whiteboard, allows teachers to provide interactive learning experiences for their students. Come learn to utilize the tools, Gallery items, object formatting, and the SMART Exchange website for downloading existing lessons.

Monday, Feb. 13: Alison Hancock, Ellen Downs You can Do It Yourself (DIY) when it comes to SMART Board renovation. Attendees will learn how to use SMART Notebook to build a lesson, spruce up an existing lesson, or update a favorite. Attendees will also use their new SMART DIY skills to create their own lessons and leave with a collection of SMART Board activities. Let’s tear down some walls to engage students!

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 10:50 am: Leslie Lincoln
Wondering how effective your teachers are with their SMART Boards? This session is designed for administrators. Learn how to assess your teachers’ basic skill level, how to leverage that information to your advantage, and look at professional development that will allow you to get your ROI. Take a peek at the new Vantage software from SMART Technologies that will allow you to monitor the SMART Board use of a teacher, school or district. Improve your staff’s effectiveness with their SMART classrooms. Strand: Leadership & Professional Learning

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 3:25 pm: Sarah McDonald, Sarah Rosslan, Tonya Ellis
Three experienced library media specialists share original SMART Notebook lessons that take common library skills and integrate them with today’s technology. Learn how to utilize the SMART Board’s interactivity in your daily library instruction. Attendees will be able to use presenters’ lessons in their instruction and leave with more ideas of how to create technology-rich library lessons. These elementary activities about reading skills, resource location skills, and more will be made available via a web site. Strand: Library & Media Literacy

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 9:45 am: Leslie Lincoln See the new 3D mixed reality SMART Software for Windows platform in action. Discover all that is new with Notebook 10.8 including new tools, gesturing and collaboration capabilities. Take a look at digital math tools that will make teaching a math a breeze and bring 21st century learning to your classroom. Utilizes an 880 SMART Board and a SMART Document camera. Strand: Innovative Instruction & Engaged Learning

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1:00 pm: Barb Thach, Jennifer Gosnell Learn how one school designed and implemented a five unit course to introduce students to media literacy concepts. Librarians worked together with an administrator to identify media literacy concepts that should be taught to 7th grade students as part of a year long orientation course that was already in place at the school. They drew upon free media literacy resources to create series of classes that combined the use of a SMART Board as well as print materials and Promethean Flipcharts in order to appeal to different learning styles. Participants will come away from this session with ideas for how to adapt this model to their schools and a list of useful websites. Strand: Library & Media Literacy

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A couple weeks ago I got this message (and photo) about a collaborative videoconference and wanted to share it:We were able to talk with a third grade classroom in Spotsylvania, VA.  It was such an amazing opportunity for the third graders!  They were able to talk about climate, culture, weather, communities and much more!  The students did a fabulous job and were very respectful!  They thought it was awesome that the school we conferenced with was also called the ‘Panthers’!   :) This experience truly impacted all students and their learning!The suburban St. Louis school was seeking out a partner in a more rural area. Through a connection I had made on CAPspace, we were able to set this up in very little time!

Look for more photos coming later today from the wonderful videoconferences from author James Otis Thach live at Cooperating School Districts! We thought this image was too great not to share right away. This is Kelsey, a young viewer from Texas. She, like the other children connecting to today’s VCs, learned from James how he became a writer, who and what influenced him, and heard him share the first chapter of his book, The Seal Pup. We will have a link to an archived session of his morning videoconferences by tomorrow- and we will definitely share it!

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Cooperating School Districts’ distance learning program, New Links, is pleased to announce the return of author James Otis Thach for a few videoconferences- and a live stream of the morning events (courtesy of MOREnet)- tomorrow at both 9 and 10:30.

James is a Missouri native and the author of A Child’s Guide to Common Household Monsters, The Tickle Monster is Coming and his latest, The Seal Pup. This will be the fourth time James has videoconferenced live from CSD; he will read from his book, The Seal Pup.  The story follows the quest of a lone seal, trying to reunite with his herd. James will also talk about the true story than inspired the book, and about the long journey of making a book.  James will also share related videos, and invite the kids to use their research and library skills to find the documentary the book is based upon. This event’s target audience is elementary students.

Click here 10 minutes prior to the event to access the live stream. It is suggested you test your players using the Test Stream option at the top of that page prior to logging on for the event. Thanks to James Otis Thach and MOREnet for helping bring this event to students everywhere! Questions? Contact New Links Program Coordinator Rebecca Morrison.

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Midwest Education Technology Conference Keynote Speaker John Carver (from Van Meter Community School District in Iowa) presents twice on Tuesday, February 14. The first presentation is with the Breakfast for Administrators where he’ll discuss Our “Printing Press” Moment: Educational Transformation, hold on to your hats!. Later in the day, he’ll talk about Hitting a Moving Target: The Nuts & Bolts of Becoming a 21st Century School District. John Carver recently took some time out of his schedule to talk to Cooperating School Districts about his upcoming sessions at the 2012 METC. To hear this podcast, click on his photo to the left. To register for the conference, visit

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Today’s Google class participants learned from Stephanie Madlinger the advanced search techniques, they developed a Custom Search Engine, and they discovered easier ways to find images, resources and websites while using Google. The class developed an online calendar to access anytime, anywhere. Participants were introduced to Google search features like  Realtime Search, plus learn how to make the most of Google Books and YouTube in the classroom. They also had the chance to created an RSS feed. This class, Google Tools for Educators, is offered again March 28 & 29, each night from 4-7 p.m.; the cost is $149 for a CSD member; $189 for a non-member. There is 1 graduate credit available from Lindenwood University for those who opt to participate.

Also in March, we are offering Online Classroom Collaboration with Google Docs. This class takes place March 30, from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.;  it has the same costs and graduate credit options available as the Google Tools for Educators. Here’s more on the Google Docs class: Did you know that you could use the basic abilities of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel in an online collaborative environment? 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? In this full day of instruction, participants will learn how Google Documents and Google Sites can support learning 24/7.  Come create using these free Google tools and open up your classroom for your staff and your students. PRE-REQUISITE: You must have a Google Account and/or Gmail.

Register for the March Google classes here.

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