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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Category Archives: Distance Learning

New Videoconference from HEC-TV Live!:
Abraham Lincoln and the Passage of the Thirteenth Amendment

Date:  March 21, 2013
Times: 10 to 11:00 a.m. or 1 to 2:00 p.m. CDT
Grade Levels: 7-12
Complete information and registration online

Join us for this exciting exploration.  Ask your questions of archivists and historians & bring history to life!

It’s January 1865.  Abraham Lincoln has just been re-elected President of the United States in November of 1864. With the Union public hoping against hope for an end to the seemingly endless Civil War and results on the battlefield looking to make that result more and more likely, President Lincoln decides to move forward for passage of Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the historic legislation to end slavery in America.  This program will focus on the story of the passage of this historic legislation.

In conjunction with their upcoming Social Action Campaign, “Stand Tall: Live Like Lincoln,” which kicked off on February 12, Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed film Lincoln, a DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox film, in association with Participant Media, will be distributed to all middle and high schools, both public and private, throughout the United States when the film becomes available on DVD.  As part of that initiative, this program will include excerpts from the film Lincoln as well as pre-recorded interview excerpts from Steven Spielberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tony Kushner and others.  Students will also interact with, and ask questions of, Lincoln scholars joining us for the program.

The program will focus on three major areas related to passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. First, we’ll look at Lincoln’s motives for the amendment.  Why did he believe it was necessary when he had already issued the Emancipation Proclamation?  Second, we’ll explore the timing of the historic passage. The Amendment had already passed in the Senate in the spring of 1864 but failed that same spring in the House of Representatives. Flush with re-election victory and an increased number of Republicans elected to the new Congress that was set to start its session in March of 1865, why did Lincoln decide to pursue passage in January 1865 in a lame duck final session of the outgoing Congress rather than waiting until March?  And third, we’ll explore the political process of getting the legislation through the House of Representatives. What deals were made? What politicians made a difference?

The videoconference program will consist of several segments. Student questions and comments for our expert guests will be included in each segment of the program. The program will include excerpts from the film Lincoln as well as pre-recorded interview excerpts from Steven Spielberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tony Kushner and others.

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We wanted to share this upcoming free opportunity, perfect for science classrooms! On March 8, just go to the WetlandsLIVE homepage and click on the webcast link to connect to the Bay of Panama and learn how wetlands connect us. A web chat will follow & students can ask questions of wetland experts.

• Webcast of “Wetland Connections”: 1-1:30 p.m. ET/ 12-12:30 p.m. CT
• Web chat with experts: 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET/ 12:30-1:30 p.m. CT

Birds, fish, and other migratory species don’t recognize state or international borders and need wetlands and habitats located in many states and countries in order to survive. The Bay of Panama is a Wetland of International Importance and millions of migrating birds use the mudflats to rest and refuel. Participants will learn about the importance of mangrove swamps (a type of wetland) as a nursery for hammerhead sharks. If you can’t watch on March 8, “Wetland Connections” will be archived as streaming video to watch anytime.

To join the web chat, go to The following experts are looking forward to answering your questions:
– Rosabel Miro, executive director of the Panama Audubon Society
– Zuleika Pinzon, Panama director of MarViva, an organization that supports the conservation of marine and coastal resources
– Erin Cooper, a biologist with the USDA Forest Services, who specializes in wetlands
– Jillian Jablonski with the USDA Forest Service

WetlandsLIVE LogoWetlandsLIVE is geared to students in grades 4 to 8 and provides teachers and students with a fun, informative, and interactive way to learn about wetlands. WetlandsLIVE is on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.  WetlandsLIVE is brought to you by the USDA Forest Service, Prince William Network, and many other partners. It’s website has lesson plans, information in English and Spanish, archived videos, and more.

In addition, all schools are eligible to enter the WetlandsLIVE video contest. Highlight a service learning project, art or music activity, field research or monitoring, restoration or any project focusing on wetlands. Earn $1,000 for your school. For more information on the video contest, click here. The deadline for submissions is March 31.

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iPad webinarThere’s more to this photo than you think! This afternoon Cooperating School Districts’ Martha Bogart connected to teachers in Marshfield, Missouri. Topic of discussion: iPads in the classroom. Martha is providing this professional development interactively over WebEx. She’s sharing images of her iPad via her desktop and discussing various apps with the group. Participants are asking questions and she’s responding in real time, and showing them various techniques, and talking through demonstrations. What were some of your favorite iPad apps?

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bookstoreHave you visited the book store section of the Midwest Education Technology Conference website? There are several selections available- for children and adults- interested in all things technology!

If you are interested in purchasing books prior to the conference in February, you can place a pre-order. Your order will be ready for pick-up at METC at the St. Charles Convention Center. All titles have a METC discount; by ordering before or at the conference, you’ll save!

METC celebrates its 30th anniversary February 11-13, 2013, and is a program of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis.

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DEN Fall Virtual Conference, VirtConLIVE!, takes place October 20th! This annual conference from Discovery Education is a blended event, a combination of virtual presentations and face to face gatherings. Participants can view the sessions from their own home or attend one of the many face to face events- like the one hosted at Cooperating School Districts- for free (prior registration is requested).

To celebrate the Discovery Educator Network’s (DEN) 10th Virtual Conference, they’ve made some exciting shifts to the event.  For the first time, every session will be broadcast LIVE, so attendees will be able to see the presenter’s that are sharing, along with their presentations. Discovery Education added:

• More sessions
• More Face 2 Face (F2F) events
• More opportunities for you to get involved!

Educators of all subjects & grade levels are invited to this free event (even breakfast and lunch are provided to you if you attend at CSD). To get register for the event, or to get more information about F2F events, hosting an event, presenting or the schedule, visit the main conference page. Remember, new tech makes for even bigger treats!

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Distance Learning consists of many technology facets, allowing for a variety of learning opportunities, including e-Learning, online projects, and videoconferencing. In the Distance Learning Academy offered by Cooperating School Districts, participants will learn and experience methods of hybrid learning while also participating in projects with other classes. Additional uses of distance learning through point-to-point videoconferencing (VC) and multi-point connections using a Polycom, LifeSize or Cisco system will be examined. Participants will also learn and use other collaborative technologies such as Google Docs, blogs & wikis. This academy is designed to immerse participants in collaborative projects over distance learning – they will develop supplemental curriculum for project-based learning activities & lessons over the course of the sessions. The value in creating this personal learning network (PLN) is in the networking and connections between the participants and the distance learning experience throughout the academy. Participants will meet face to face at CSD and:

• Understand the definition of distance learning and become comfortable with – – – Videoconferencing, Skype & Google Apps
• Learn distance learning etiquette
• Understand social networking protocols
• Develop a collaborative Personal Learning Network
• Explore blogs, wikis, and other free collaborative online tools
• Examine problem based activities & lessons
• Participate in webinars

Dates:  Oct 17 | Nov 15 | Jan 10 | Feb 12 or 13 (METC) | March 12 | April 23 | participants choose to attend at least one webinar

Time: 4-7 pm each day, except for attendance to the Midwest Education Technology Conference (METC) which is 8:30 am – 4:15 pm

Cost: $395 member ; $495 non-member (includes the book) | Register Online

Please join colleagues and network with other area educators on September 14 to hear keynote speaker Jane Swift, Former Governor of Massachusetts, talk about the future of online learning. Jane Swift has taken a lead in advancing accountability and high standards for schools, teachers, and students. As Governor she also continued to advocate educational reform and called for the state to provide a college education for foster children in its care. Jane is in much demand as an advocate for educational reform to ensure our students are prepared with 21st Century Learning Skills for their college & career pursuits.

This symposium is hosted by one of Cooperating School Districts’ online learning partners, K¹². In addition to Jane Swift’s keynote, you’ll become informed about the features and benefits that online learning brings to student engagement and achievement. All products and services discussed on September 14th are from one of District’s-Choice: online learning premiere companies:

• A+: Product Training and New Version Preview
• Aventa Learning: Blackboard 9.1 Training and Preview Built in Remediation
• Middlebury College Foreign Language Offerings
• K-5 Curriculum

Register today! This event is free and takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; lunch is included. For additional information regarding the content of this event contact: Ruth Block.

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CSD is pleased to announce our professional development academies for 2013 through our Learning Division! These academies are sessions that meet throughout the school year. Visit our website at to see all of our listings. Click on the image above to see information on Blended Learning Academies, Bullying Prevention Series, Distance Learning Academy, Emerging Teachers Academy, Integrated Technology Educators Academy, plus more. Most academies include optional graduate credit through CSD’s partnerships with local universities.

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Is your district focused on career and college readiness?

You’ll be interested to know that EdisonLearning has signed onto Cooperating School Districts’ online learning program, District’s-Choice. EdisonLearning will provide high quality STEM eCourses and assessment using eValuate™. eValuate™ enables educators to:

  • Assess student progress and adjusts instruction accordingly
  • Analyze data to adjust achievement gaps and address them by focusing resources in the right places
  • Improve student achievement and engagement in learning

CSD will host a meeting on August 21 at 4 p.m. for districts and high schools that have an interest in further exploring this program. eValuate™ (or its predecessor, Tungsten), has been used successfully in Missouri schools for the past 10 years. The informational session will include descriptions from clients of how involved Missouri schools use the program to achieve high levels of school performance. A demonstration also will be offered so that participants can receive first hand information on how the program works. Edison reps will answer questions and will schedule follow-up sessions with any educators wanting further discussion. Enroll in this free session by e-mailing

On August 23, CSD will host a free meeting at 4 p.m. for districts and high schools that have an interest in EdisonLearning eCourses. eCourses (for grades 7-12) are dynamic online courses designed to engage 21st century students in rigorous coursework. From dropout recovery solutions to full-time virtual programs, EdisonLearning delivers a dynamic, media-rich learning experience. eCourses incorporate the best of “brick & click” practices for your virtual learning program. eCourses provide a robust, easily deployed and standards aligned curriculum solution with the flexibility to support a variety of online programs and student needs.

Differentiating features of the eCourses include:

  • State standards and Common Core alignment
  • Unique focus on STEM
  • Multiple learning modalities
  • Individual student customization
  • Real-time progress tracking
  • Consistent structure and design
  • Accessible cloud-based delivery platform
  • Assessments to measure mastery

A discussion and demonstration will be offered on August 23 so that participants can receive first hand information eCourses and virtual learning. Representatives from Edison will be on hand to answer questions and will schedule follow-up sessions with any districts wanting further discussion. Register by e-mailing Both meetings will be held at CSD’s 1460 Craig Road location in St. Louis, Missouri.

For questions on District’s-Choice Online Learning,
also known as DCOL, contact Ruth Litman-Block.

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