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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Lab

Category Archives: Digital Media

In 2014, The Connected Classroom had about 11,000 views. We’re excited that over half of the top five posts for the year highlight the awesome work that three educators in the region are doing in our schools. The single busiest day of the year was January 21st and the most popular post that day was Midwest Spotlight Educator: Heidi Morgan.

top 2014 posts

Heidi Morgan | Will Blaylock | Sarah Spaunhorst

Here are the top five most-read posts for 2014:

1)  Spotlight on Sarah Spaunhorst @ METC 2015

2)  Hangout with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

3)  2011 Show-Me a Movie Winners…

4)  Making IT Happen: Will Blaylock

5)  Midwest Spotlight Educator: Heidi Morgan

Thank you for reading The Connected Classroom and we look forward to many more great posts in 2015!

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Midwest Education Technology Community Conference Monday workshops- half or full day- are one of the highlights of the annual event. These preconference workshops allow participants to dive deeper in subject matter, get hands-on time with new platforms and projects, plus network with other edtech-minded colleagues.

Precon 2014 PhotoSearch available precons by workshop category or conference strand, or view the entire list. Registration is open and space is limited for these sessions! [Photo credit: METC 2014 Student eNews Bureau]

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123 sci center eventWe are excited to share that we have a free day of learning planned with Discovery Education.

Designed specifically for Missouri educators and taking place at the Saint Louis Science Center, this event will be filled with learning and networking. Discussion topics will highlight creative ways to engage students and invigorate your STEAM curriculum using the latest 21st Century tools and Discovery Education resources.

Covering all subject areas and grade levels, we’ll fill the gaps with helpful information on navigating Discovery Education, talk about the new and exciting enhancements for 2015, and uncover some resources that you never knew you had!

DE Day of Learning: STEAM-ing it UP! takes place 1/23. Register online, today! On the day of the event, a light breakfast and lunch will be provided by Discovery Education. [This event’s registration is now full].

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We know it is Monday, but we wanted to make sure you knew about our new regular posting to Facebook- our ‘Friday Quote’!

Friday Quote CollageAt facebook.com/edpluslearn we are sharing inspirational and educational quotes from across time and subject matter. We invite you to comment and share on these quotes each week. We’ve compiled our first three in this blog post – from First Lady Abigail Adams; astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and astronomer, astrobiologist, author Carl Sagan. Who will turn up at the end of this week?

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edplus.orgTeachers and students have been submitting their projects for the Show-Me a Movie Contest, celebrating its 10th year in 2014! To see complete rules and guidelines, please visit edplus.org, under student learning.

Show-Me a Movie is a program of EducationPlus and the METC ISTE affiliate. This year, specific categories go with certain divisions and all movies must have a theme of either (or a combination of) science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). As always, all sources must be properly cited in the credits of the movie. The deadline is December 5.

The updated rubric to be used by the judges has a total of 60 points. The lowest score a winning movie can receive is 50 out of 60 points. The movie with the highest score (as long as it is 50 or higher) for its division and category will be the winner. Winning movies will be featured at the Midwest Education Technology Community Conference in February.

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flippedbookThe Midwest Education Technology Community Conference advisory committee is excited to bring back book reviews of materials that we will offer at the conference this February. Two area educators volunteered to read and review Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement. This book, an ISTE publication, has identified its audience as administrators, curriculum coordinators, educators (6-12) and technology coordinators.

Have you read this book? Here’s what our reviewers had to say:

Reviewed by Angela Cartee, Professional Learning Technology Specialist, Special School District
What is the best use of face-to-face time with students? That’s the one question posed by Jonathon Bergmann and Aaron Sams in their newest book Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement. Is it inquiry? Problem Solving? Discussions? Problem-based Learning? Guided Practice? Direct Instruction? The answer is,“yes!” There is no one answer because flipped learning is not a set process or a single strategy. It is a transformation that focuses on learning rather than teaching.

The authors offer a deeper understanding of what flipped learning is, the benefits and implementation ideas. This book is a “why to” that answers many pedagogical questions about instruction. It offers a deeper explanation of individualized learning and learner-centric classrooms. If you’re looking for more (and better) ways to integrate technology into the classroom, you’ll find them here.

Transforming classrooms, faculty meetings, or professional development sessions can be difficult; however, this book offers scenarios and suggestions to keep you thinking.

Reviewed by Eve Diehl, Library Media Specialist, Parkway School District
In this book, Jonathon Bergmann and Aaron Sams first remind readers of the basic idea of the “flipped classroom,” in which direct instruction is given primarily through videos that students access outside of the class time, while in-class time is used for activities traditionally considered to be homework. The main focus of the book is to inspire teachers to move beyond these basics to the concept of “flipped learning,” which extends the idea of the flipped classroom. The introductory chapters describe some of the philosophy behind flipped learning and the key components that need to be present in the classroom to meet the model. The authors introduce us to the “One Question” that guides the flipped learning model, “What is the best use of face-to-face time with students?”

The book emphasizes the idea that flipped learning is a grassroots approach to educational reform. It is something meaningful that teachers can do to transform their classrooms, without depending upon a mandate from above. This is illustrated through the subsequent chapters of the book as we hear personal stories from teachers all over the country who are finding success with the flipped learning model. The stories come from a wide variety of content areas, including social studies, English and even physical education. The teachers reflect on the “One Question,” and all teachers in the book conclude that direct instruction is not the best use of face-to-face time; they realize that in-class time is more effective when it is student-centered, not teacher-centered.

One appealing aspect of all the personal stories is that they seem attainable since the teachers implement the flipped learning model through a gradual process. The teachers start off Year 1 at the basic “flipped classroom” level, where they mainly focus on making videos. Then, in subsequent years, they all realize the need to take the model further into flipped learning, which involves different things for different teachers and content areas. Some of the characteristics of flipped learning include allowing students to move through content at their own pace, demonstrating mastery of a topic in creative ways, interacting with and teaching peers and developing stronger relationships with their teachers so individual learning needs are met. This book provides a strong mix of theory and practice that will enable teachers to put the flipped classroom to work right away at whatever level they feel comfortable.

Purchase this book, and others, at METC. Or, order beforehand (at a discounted rate) and pick up your new reads at the conference.

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