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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Several of the Midwest Education Technology Conference Advisory Committee members have volunteered to read the books being offered at the METC book store  and are providing brief reviews on the content. Here are the latest:

Reinventing Project-Based Learning – Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age
By Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss, Reviewed by Will Blaylock

PBL BookReinventing Project-Based Learning is an outstanding resource to use when working with teachers on how to best implement Project Based Learning.  This is the first resource I have found that takes the teacher from beginning to end on how to plan, implement and assess project based learning.  The authors use vignettes throughout the book demonstrating real-world examples.  This should be very beneficial when working with teachers who are not eager to adopt this instructional model.  Most chapters include a realistic example, discussion on the topic and how-to’s when it comes to leveraging technology.  Technology use is woven throughout the book to amplify the positive effect it can have on the learning process.  An interesting and timely topic of discussion within the book is the development of a Professional Learning Community to facilitate the implementation of Project Based Learning. I highly recommend this book to increase personal learning as it relates to Project Based Learning!

1-to-1 Online Learning: Laptop Programs that Work
By Pamela Livingston , Reviewed by Cindy Marston

1-to-1 Online LearningThis book is an  in-depth and practical guide for administrators, teachers, and parents.  As a second edition, it contains chapters on programs using tablet PCs and effective use of Web2.0 resources.  The book is well-organized into three parts, allowing readers to easily  locate the information they seek and skim what may be marginally relevant.  Part 1 describes the possibilities of a 1-to-1 program, with specifics from several schools, including Whitfield  School right here in St. Louis (page 43),  and a chapter that summarizes the research and lessons learned from early adopters.  Part 2 discusses the critical steps of planning and implementation, including a “must read” chapter on professional development for teachers.  Finally, the chapters in Part  3 contains practical information regarding classroom management, helping to answer the essential question: What does teaching and learning look like when every student has a computer in front of them?  Based on her research, Ms. Livingston makes strong and  persuasive arguments that “students get to the thinking levels faster when they have their own digital assistants to help them.”

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Social Studies educators, come meet in St. Louis this fall for the world’s largest & most comprehensive social studies professional development conference, the 93rd annual National Council for Social Studies Conference. With the theme Gateway to the Core of Learning, the conference will feature many sessions designed to help districts, schools, and teachers integrate common core literacy standards into social studies classrooms, and highlight ways to work with other academic disciplines to incorporate the standards. The conference will also include more than 500 sessions and speakers covering the breadth of social studies subjects across all grade levels. For every social studies educator working with Common Core, literacy, and social studies standards, the NCSS Conference is the place to be! In addition, the 2013 call for proposals now opensubmission deadline February 25.

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With the conference theme, “Gateway to the Core of Learning,” there is room for a variety of proposals across all grade levels and subjects. Integrating key literacy skills and innovative social studies curriculum is a challenge facing school administrators, curriculum developers, and teacher across America. Sub-Themes include:

• Common Core: Content Area Reading, Writing, and Social Studies
• Global Competencies, Global Perspectives, Global Marketplace
• Sustainable Social Studies
• Sports in History
• Music, Popular Culture, and the Study of History
• Social Justice

Additional information on themes, presentation types, and selection criteria plus a quick tutorial on how to write a winning proposal can be found on the NCSS website www.socialstudies.org. The conference is November 22-24.

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For 30 years, the Midwest Education Technology Conference (METC) has provided a venue for K-12 educators interested in integrating technology into the classroom. Inspiring keynote speakers, as well as top-notch presenters, are hallmarks of the conference.   This year, students are taking an even more active role in METC, bridging what they learn in class to the real world.  Student roles include:

  • Presenters – Six breakout sessions feature students:
    • Student Centered Support for 21st Century Schools
    • Robotics Advancing the Human condition
    • BDPA: Providing Students Hands-on Experience in Web Development
    • Buder Bobcat News: Who Says that Elementary Kids Can’t Produce the News?
    • Shakespearean Stop Animation
    • Live Morning Broadcast, More than Just Announcements
  • Reporters – The METC eNews Bureau will report on happenings at the conference.  All aspects of the eNews Bureau (reporters, editors, photographers, web developers) involve high school students from the St. Louis area, including Brentwood, Ladue, MRH and John Burroughs. To follow the METC 2013 eNews, go to http://www.brentwood.k12.mo.us/metc2013/.
  • Tech Support – Eighteen students in the Cisco Networking Academy class at North Tech High School will provide technical support for presenters.
  • Graphic Designmetc 2013 programMETC collaborated with Wentzville High School graphic design teachers to find students to design the conference program cover and a special t-shirt.  The teachers selected five designs as finalists and the METC Advisory & Planning Committee selected the winning designs.  This opportunity will be opened to other districts for METC 2014.
  • Show-Me a Movie is a digital storytelling contest that allows students in grades 2 through 12 to demonstrate their creativity and digital moviemaking skills. Based on curriculum and with a content focus, the movies will showcase what students know, care about, and are able to do. Cash prizes go to the school of the winning movies in each category.   All winning movies are showcased at a reception on February 12, 2013 during METC.

Online registration is available at www.METCconference.org.
METC is a program of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis.

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We’re excited not only to post the winning movies in the 2012 Show-Me a Movie Contest, but also to share a video about the contest, produced by Ladue High School.

SMAM movie / SchoolTube

Hear program manager Rebecca Morrison talk about the contest, and the importance of instructional technology and media literacy in the classroom. The contest is in it’s eighth year. Thanks again to Ladue View for taking on this project!

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Cooperating School Districts’ Best Practices Conference is a full day of learning and sharing the best educational practices. CSD ITEF partnered with the Innovative Technology Education Fund for the conference this year. ITEF is a St. Louis- based charitable nonprofit operating as a private foundation. Best Practices participants will hear keynote Monte Selby, as well as top educators from the St. Louis metro area, whose practices are making a difference for students and teachers, like:

  • Don Goble, Ladue School District, on media literacy
  • Patricia Ulrich, Ritenour School District, on systems thinking
  • Gregory Taylor, St. Louis Public Schools, on creating and using classroom websites for differentiation
  • plus other education professionals from CSD, the St. Louis RPDC, and school districts

In addition, ITEF Spotlight Presentations Include:

  • Using iPads in the Classroom, Affton School District
  • Great Video Made with Inexpensive Gear, Westminster Christian Academy
  • Using Online Courses to Keep Students On Track to Graduate, Marian Middle School
  • iPads and the Library:  Transforming All Students into Digital Learners, Hazelwood School District

Dr. Selby will also present several sessions during both the morning and afternoon, including Emotions: This Crazy Kid is Making ME Crazy and Motivated Meetings: The End of Boring. Dr. Selby will share ideas and strategies to use with children, preK-12; providing solutions to issues and challenges facing classroom teachers today.

You are invited to join area teachers and leaders on Monday, February 11. Online registration ends on February 1, 2013; walk-ins, however, are welcome the day of the conference. (Also scheduled, although in a different section of the St. Charles Convention Center, are the preconference workshops for the 30th annual Midwest Education Technology Conference). For questions on either event, contact CSD’s Conferences & Events Coordinator, Karen Vaughan at kvaughan@csd.org.

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For over two decades, Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT) has provided school districts with knowledge, devices and services in the arena of assistive technology. MoAT Programs such as ETC and AT Reimbursement have enabled thousands of students with disabilities access to assistive devices they have used to unlock the curriculum and achieve academically.

Presenter David Baker is a program coordinator at Missouri Assistive Technology | Emphasis will be placed on the increasing use of tablet devices as assistive technology

This professional development session on Thursday, February 28, 2013 will provide participants with a hands-on update focused on the latest trends and devices in assistive technology. Emphasis will be placed on the increasing use of tablet devices as assistive technology. In addition, time will be given to helping participants understand MoAT programs and services and how to access them to better serve the individuals they work with. CSD is accepting registrations until February 21 online. For questions on this upcoming PD, contact Laurie Milburn at lmilburn@csd.org.

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blogging bookSeveral of the Midwest Education Technology Conference Advisory Committee members have volunteered to read the books being offered at the METC book store  and are providing brief reviews on the content. Here’s the latest:

Making Connections with Blogging by Authentic Learning for Today’s Classrooms
by Lisa Parisi & Brian Crosby, reviewed by Bev Byrd

If you are interested in blogging, want to know how, if you need ideas of what to blog, I recommend Making Connections with Blogging, Authentic Learning for Today’s Classrooms.  You will be able to get through this book quickly and begin blogging with confidence.  This book provides a clear understanding of the pedagogy of blogging from beginning to end, and how it relates to standards while clearly showing the educational value it provides students. Parisi and Crosby walk you through every step of blogging from permissions slips to moderating while providing several examples and ideas of blogging in different subject areas and age levels.

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