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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Category Archives: Blogs

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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The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog, which transitioned from The Wired Classroom to The Connected Classroom last year:

Here’s an excerpt: 4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 14,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals! Click here to see the complete report.

2013 Midwest Spotlight Educator Josh Stumpenhorst is a 6th grade Language Arts & Social Science teacher from Naperville. He is an ISTE Emerging Leader, OfficeMax Innovative Educator, Those Who Excel Classroom Teacher Nominee, ICE Educator of the Year, Illinois Education Association Educator of the Year and the 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Josh has presented technology and education topics at Illinois ASCD Conference, Illinois Reading Conference, Illinois Computing Educators Conference, EDCamp Chicago, Reform Symposium 3, and ISTE. In addition to presenting, Josh blogs about his experiences at and you can follow him on Twitter @stumpteacher.

Josh is one of nine educators chosen as spotlight speaker at the Midwest Education Technology Conference. This special designation honors leaders from the region in education technology, whose practices are making a difference for students and teachers. METC,  a program of Cooperating School Districts, celebrates 30 years in 2013.

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Don Goble is passionate about Media Literacy; he recently wrote a blog post on 21st century skills and Media Literacy (also the topic of his Midwest Education Technology Conference presentation). Today, which also happens to be Digital Learning Day, that post is featured on USA Today‘s Education page, the Teacher Lounge.

Don teaches full-time at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Missouri. Don serves as the Broadcast Technology Instructor, Co-Director of LHS-TV, and a Ladue School District Video Producer. In 2011, Don was recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator. He was also named as the 2011 Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Educator of the Year by the Gateway Media Literacy Partners.

Take a moment to check out Don’s post!

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#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…

Ashley Deckelman and Amy Johnson are Technology Integration Specialists in the Parkway School District in St. Louis, Missouri. The TIS department provides instructional and technological leadership to administrators, faculty and staff, facilitates the development of teaching practices in the classroom using technology as an instructional tool and serves as a resource for curriculum coordinators and teachers to help facilitate the integration of technology into the curriculum. As Premium New Links members, Parkway has access to Whirlidurb videoconferences at no additional cost! Here, Ashley and Amy share their experiences videoconferencing this year.

So far, Parkway School District has participated in three different videoconference programs through Whirlidurb, with another one scheduled in December.  Overall, these videoconferences have been very beneficial to student learning due to the preparatory activities, the opportunity to interact with classes around the country, and the real life connections students are able to make.

Two of the conferences have been the Book Blitz program with a kindergarten class at Green Trails and a first grade class at Shenandoah Valley Elementary.  This style of program features a read aloud and a writing component.  The students began the conference by brainstorming some ideas about what Thanksgiving means to them.  Then students interacted with the Book Blitz host, as well as two other classes that were located throughout the country.   It was a great learning opportunity and provided different perspectives from kids living in different regions.

Another type of conference is the Community Helpers program on meteorologists.  The focus of this conference was on how community helpers keep us safe.  In this case, the first grade classes at Hanna Woods Elementary had just completed a weather unit in science.   The students were able to ask authentic questions of an expert in the field as a culminating activity.  At times the meteorologist asked questions of the participating classes which allowed them to transfer knowledge.

Kindergarten classes at Hanna Woods Elementary participated in another type of program, Show and Share.  This program focused on living and nonliving things.  Each class had to bring items to the conference that they could describe so other classes could infer if the object was living or nonliving.  This reinforced vocabulary skills as well as letters and sounds.

We have found these videoconferences to be well organized learning opportunities for 21st century learners.  Learning extends beyond the walls of a classroom with connections made across the country.   We would like to thank CSD and New Links for providing Parkway School District with these wonderful opportunities.

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We’re wrapping up our posts on 2012 Midwest Education Technology Conference Featured Speakers with returning favorite Rushton Hurley and one of our new speakers, Paula Naugle.

Rushton Hurley was last year’s METC Keynote. One of our attendees from 2011 noted: “The enthusiasm of Rushton Hurley was contagious! He inspired me and I wish all my colleagues could hear him.” Well, here’s their chance! Rushton has lived on three continents as a Japanese language teacher (he holds masters degrees from Stanford University in Education as well as East Asian Studies); he has been a principal of an online high school; he is a teacher trainer & educational technology researcher, and is school reform consultant. He founded and is Executive Director of the educational nonprofit Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of videos by and for teachers & students. Additionally, Rushton is the Program Director of MERIT (Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology) at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College. He focuses on connections between engaging learning and useful, affordable technology, the power of multimedia, and the professional perspectives & experiences of teachers at all levels.

Paula Naugle has taught for 35 years. In 2004, Paula realized that she had a lot to learn about technology integration and it then became her passion to learn as much as she could about all things Web 2.0. Some of the web tools that are used in her 4th grade classroom include Edmodo, Skype, GlogsterEDU,, Google docs, and BrainPOP. Paula is a Microsoft Innovative Educator, a PBWorks certified teacher, a Promethean trainer, a member of the Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council of Louisiana, a Discovery STAR Educator, and one of the organizers for #edcampLouisiana. Paula maintains a classroom blog, a professional blog, and a class wiki. She is passionate about preparing her students for their futures as 21st century digital citizens.

Follow Rushton on Twitter @rushtonh and Paula on Twitter @plnaugle. The Midwest Education Technology Conference is on Twitter, too, @METC_CSD. Registration for the conference opens the first week of October.

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