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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: May 2012

“Change your school colors to green with free computer recycling from Apple” – I noticed that our blog post from May of 2011 was getting a lot of hits in the last few days, so I clicked around and saw the Apple is again recycling old computers! According to their website, this is a limited time & exclusive offer to accredited K-12 and Higher Education Institutions in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Registration for free recycling is available from May 14 through August 31, 2012.

Here’s what you need to know:

•  Institutions must have 25 or more computer items (qualifying computers, printers, or displays) to recycle.
•  Institutions must register products for recycling prior to shipping them.
•  Apple will also accept other brands and types of equipment.
•  Products must be registered for pickup by August 31st.
•  Institutions must pack & shrink-wrap eligible equipment – Apple does not provide pallets, shrink-wrap, or packing labor.
•  Apple is not responsible for any of the data on recycled equipment.
•  Click here for more information on this program, and click here for general information on Apple’s recycling efforts.

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We just wanted to offer a quick reminder- if you are taking part in our tele workshops this summer, you’ll want to bring a sweatshirt and/or perhaps wear pants. The good news is our air conditioning system works well. Very well! Even if it’s warm & humid outside, it tends not to be that way inside the doors of CSD’s tele (check out the photos above- those shots are from last summer’s professional development sessions- yep, in St. Louis!)


Here’s a snapshot of today’s SMARTBoard Level 1 workshop taking place in Cooperating School Districts‘ tele.

See more photos from today, and other professional development sessions, on Flickr.

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This summer in the tele, we have several BYOD (bring your own device – iPad, tablet, laptop, etc.) workshops on the schedule. In June, there are seven workshops: Digital Age Leadership: A New Paradigm for Learning on 6/5;  Getting Organized as a 21st Century Educator with Google Tools on 6/7; Choosing Education-Friendly Apps on 6/11; Lights, Camera, Action: Creating Movies with Green Screens on 6/15; Flipping Your Classroom with Flip Cameras and Screencasting 6/21; and Android Tablet Boot Camp/Educational Apps for Android Tablets on 6/22. (For the workshops on June 21st and 22nd only, we will provide the equipment if you do not own any yourself). In July, we have just one required BYOD session- the three-day workshop entitled Digital Storytelling with Mobile Devices, which takes place 7/10, 7/11 and 7/13. Of course, if you are more comfortable working on your own computer, feel free to bring it in for any professional development session we hold!

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Next week, Microsoft Specialist Steve Scholz will be at Cooperating School Districts, in person, to demo/discuss the upcoming Windows 8. This is a great opportunity to learn more, see products in person, and to be able to ask questions. (Please pass this invitation on to your district faculty and/or staff that would be interested in attending). If you are interested in attending, please RSVP.

Information that will be shared includes:
• touch-enabled slates
• lightweight laptops
• high-definition screens
• touch screens vs. mouse/keyboard use

Date: June 7th, 2012 | Time: 1 – 3pm
Location: CSD | 1460 Craig Rd., St. Louis, MO 63146

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Cooperating School Districts’ ISTE Affiliate is currently seeking nominations for the Making IT Happen
 Award. Making IT Happen is an internationally recognized awards program for educators and leaders in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. The program identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation. Do you know an educator who makes IT happen in their school or district? Please complete the brief nomination form by July 1, 2012.

Winners will be awarded at the annual Midwest Education Technology Conference and later acknowledged at ISTE’s national conference. Past affiliate winners are Diana Dell, Ruth Litman-Block, and Rena Rockwell (seen pictured above, at METC 2012, wearing her new pink jacket and accepting her award from ISTE’s Susan Larson).

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The Call for Proposals for METC 2013 is officially open! Our submission process has changed, so be sure to read over the details carefully on the Call for Proposals info page on the Midwest Education Technology Conference’s website,

In our 30th year, here’s some of what we’re looking for:

  • How is your district implementing the Common Core State Standards?
  • How do you manage all of those mobile devices?
  • What tech tools do you use to reach and teach your students?
  • How do you engage your tech savvy students? Does it make a difference in your classroom, library, school or district?
  • How do you use technology to differentiate lessons and meet the needs of all students?

Here’s some extra incentive: as a presenter, you would register at a presenter rate of $50 for the day of the presentation, and just $90 for an additional day. Any preconference (half-day or full day) presenter would attend one day of the general conference for free. Also, please note that this year we have two separate deadlines for submissions:

• Preconference Session Submission Deadline: August 24, 2012
• General Session Submission Deadline: September 14, 2012

Also, new this year… do you feel you are a leader in education technology? Apply to be one of our Midwest Spotlight Educators! You may also nominate a colleague for this special recognition at METC 2013. Those who are accepted will not only present at the conference, but will also receive free registration for the general conference as well as other benefits.

Spotlight Requirements:

  • Demonstrate motivation, engagement, transformation, and connection using technology to improve teaching and learning. (the METC theme)
  • Provides a minimum of two references.
  • Must be a certified educator in Missouri or Illinois.
  • If accepted, presents at least 2 sessions at the conference. (does not include precon workshops or panel sessions)

Click here to learn more about the Midwest Spotlight Educator speaking opportunity and apply or nominate a colleague today. Questions about any of the above? Contact Megan Moncure at

Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis, in partnership with Scholastic Achievement Partners, is hosting the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Assessments Academy this July. The Academy will provide participants with strategies and actions to support a systemic approach to transitioning to the CCSS.

The keynote speaker on July 25th is Dr. Willard R. Daggett, Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education.  He is known worldwide for his efforts to move PreK-12 education systems towards more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students. Dr. Daggett has assisted states, school districts and education ministries in other countries with their school reform initiatives.  He is the creator of the Rigor/Relevance Framework, a practical planning and instructional tool that is used in schools throughout the United States.

Dr. Susan Szachowicz is the keynote speaker on July 26th. She is the Principal of Brockton High School, a large, comprehensive urban high school.  She has served on state commissions on education reform particularly regarding the Massachusetts  assessment program.  Her leadership at Brockton High has been committed to  “high expectations, high standards – no excuses.”  Under her leadership, Brockton High has been recognized as a Massachusetts Compass School, a National Model School for five years in a row, a recipient of the National School Change Award, and received a Bronze Medal from U.S. News and World Report.

During this 2-day event, expert consultants will present sessions for various K-12 audiences, sharing cutting-edge approaches to:
• Improving annual student academic growth while transitioning to the Common Core State  Standards and Next Generation Assessments;
• Leveraging rigor, relevance, and relationships to prepare students for success in an increasingly technology-driven global economy;
• Utilizing effective literacy and math strategies across the curriculum in order to address new proficiency requirements;
• Building instructional leadership density in order to facilitate rigorous instruction that provides students with the opportunities to engage in real-world application-based learning.

For more information, including Academy site,
registration costs and fees, visit

This summer, if you plan to take a workshop, or two, or three, in the technology enhanced learning environment (tele) at Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis, you’ll need to register prior to the event. Our preferred registration process is online, but we do accept faxed in registrations (like the one to the left) to 314-872-9128.

When registering online, remember that you’ll need your form of payment ready at that time, whether it is a purchase order number through your school (district) or credit card number. (If you wish to pay by check without a purchase order–print out a PDF of the registration form and mail in with a check made payable to CSD).

During online registration, you will first be asked which school (district) you work in. Next, you are taken to a screen that will ask for your username and password. If you have previously logged onto the registration account before, you will have this information already. If it is your first time, you will need to create an account by providing an email address. Then you are taken into a three stop process; (1) basic contact info, (2) workshop selection(s), and (3) registration payment option. (You’ll also get an email confirmation to the address you supplied in step 1).

Once you are in the system, you will be able to look up past professional development sessions you’ve attended to keep a good record of it. If you have any questions about the process, speak with tele registrar Joan Forrest.

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Did you know that Prezi is a web-based presentation application & storytelling tool that uses a singel canvas instead of traditional slides? Text, videos and other objects are placed on the infinite canvas & grouped together. Prezi is a fresh alternative to PowerPoint. (If you need helping visualizing what it looks like, click here for examples). In this half-day workshop on June 1st, you’ll learn how the canvas allows users to create non-linear presentations, where users can zoom in and out of a visual map. You’ll see how your Prezi can be developed in a browser window, and then downloaded so that no Internet connection is needed when sharing your presentation! Using Prezi to Create Zooming Presentations takes place Friday, June 1st at 12:30 p.m. and runs until 3:30. Register here by May 29th for the workshop- it’s $75 for CSD members, $89 for non-members.

If Prezi doesn’t suite your needs, we are also offering Using MS PowerPoint in the Classroom on June 27th from 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Here, you’ll learn everything from the basics to the more advanced features that make PowerPoint a great tool for student learning. You will have the opportunity to create your own PowerPoint presentation for use in the classroom to introduce or clarify a lesson. Learn how to create photo albums, adventure stories, and Jeopardy games. Learn how to design student PowerPoint assignments that require higher order thinking skills, such as a poetry analysis presentation, and examine assessment methods that will help you grade these student assignments. Walk away with your own presentation and ideas for integrating PowerPoint into your classroom! It’s $149 CSD member; it’s $189 non-member  for this full-day workshop. You can earn one graduate credit, as well! Register here.

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