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The Connected Classroom

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Make-A-SplashTanya Avrith‘s passion stems from a strong desire to effect change and inspire others to explore how they can use the technology to help differentiate individual students’ needs, provide a vehicle for collaboration and allow for deeper purpose and voice in student learning. Her CharacterPlus National Conference keynote addresses digital citizenship:

Rebranding digital citizenship is not an option. It is an imperative. It is our professional and moral responsibility as educators. We need to rebrand digital citizenship so that it becomes part of our daily practice. The technology itself, and our guidance on its use, needs to have a regular place in the classroom and in our students’ lives at school. We need to empower our students to have a voice and learn as citizens of a connected world.

At the conference, she will also present on the following topics:

  • Harnessing the Power of Social Media & the Web
  • Building Your Early Footprint
  • Helping Parents Embrace their Children’s Digital Life

Tanya holds a M.A. in Educational Technology and a B.A. in Communication Studies from Concordia University in Montreal as well as a B.Ed from the University of Ottawa. Tanya is a connected educator with strong ties to her PLN. She also is a Google Certified Teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. Learn more about Tanya and her work at tanyaavrith.com.

Register for the CharacterPlus National Conference today; it takes place June 15-17 in St. Charles, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. CharacterPlus is a resource of EducationPlus.

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The Virtual Essay Contest deadline for METC attendees has been extended! Submit your essay for a shot at winning an iPad Air 2. Show us what you learned using the latest the in digital media — be creative with your message and telling your story.

Simply pick your favorite online tool and make a connection between your experience at the METC Conference and the theme motivate, engage, transform, connect!

5456308_731972923The creativity challenge for the 2015 contest is to incorporate the students that participated in conference. This includes the METC eNews Student Bureau, the IT Student Support team, the Show-Me a Movie Contest or the Student Innovation Stations from the Exhibitor Reception.

To see all the requirements and criteria, please visit the METC website. The new deadline for submission is March 30, 2015. Contact Megan Moncure for questions.

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Join us in a series of fun and engaging workshops where educators will have the opportunity to work with LEGO Education kits and technology to bring Common Core and NGS to life! Participants will work through hands-on activities that cover modeling in science, math, engineering, language arts, reading, social studies and literacy that will provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and build their 21st century skills. Bring engaging and motivating programs into your classroom! Topics will vary by session (review descriptions when you register for your event). LEGO Education manipulatives available include:

•  WeDo Robotics: STEAM
•  StoryStarter: ELA, Reading, Social Studies, Science
•  MoreToMath Primary Math
•  MINDSTORMS Robotics EV3: Explore real world Math, Science, Renewable Energy and  Engineering.
•  Simple & Motorized Mechanisms: Physical Science, Physics, Renewable Energy, and Engineering.

Brad FlickingerProject Based Learning & 21st Century Skills in the Elementary Classroom with LEGO Education has open registration dates of May 5, July 16 and October 22.

Project Based Learning & 21st Century Skills with LEGO Education has open registration dates of May 6, July 17 and October 23.

Visit the EducationPlus professional development calendar to register. Photo credit: Brad Flickinger

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In celebration of Digital Learning Day this year, the EducationPlus METC ISTE Affiliate would like to encourage you to share your digital learning online with our community. Throughout the day on Friday, March 13th tag your ideas, learning and activities with the #DLday hashtag along with #METC15. During the day we will periodically share and repost through our Twitter and Instagram accounts. Follow and join the learning at @METCedplus.

The Midwest Education Technology Community (METC) also invites you to view the archives by streaming the keynotes, featured speakers or spotlight educators or by simply searching through the  resources shared online at metcconference.org.

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The CharacterPlus National Conference is offering six pre-conference workshops this year. Each pre-con is a half-day workshop, taking place from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1-4 p.m. If a participant is taking part in a morning and an afternoon pre-con, lunch will be provided. Here are two of the pre-cons being offered, we will share out more in future blog posts!

Charles presentingInspired Leadership that Transforms School Culture
Topic: School Climate & Culture | Audience Grade Level: Elementary | Experience Level: Beginner | Presenters: Lynn Clapp & Jim Schneider, Vertical Performance

What are the keys for creating a culture of character in schools? Leaders thatvalue the skills of relationship building and staff empowerment can spark and sustain a genuine “love” for a collective purpose. This experiential presentation will offer ideas and activities to enhance or transform school culture!

Courageous Conversations About Race
Topic: Diversity & Race in the Classroom | Audience Grade Level: K-12 | Experience Level: All | Presenter: Dr. Charles Pearson, EducationPlus

Have you ever wanted to have a dialogue in your class or among peers about race but didn’t know where to begin? Would you use a protocol that facilitates productive dialogue about this sometimes difficult topic? This workshop explores the “Courageous Conversation” method, providing you with foundational knowledge and skills that you can apply to a relevant dialogue about this challenging topic. Through small group work and practice, you will understand the agreements and conditions of “Courageous Conversations” and be able to apply the “Courageous Conversation Compass” as a tool to support effective discussions.

Registration is now open for the general conference as well as the pre-cons. Pre-conference fees are $75 per workshop for members and $85 per workshop for non members.

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Nominations and applications for Midwest Spotlight Educators open today! The 2016 conference marks the fourth year we’ve spotlighted educators whose practices are making a difference for students and teachers.

Spotlight EducatorsSpotlight educators receive special recognition and free attendance to the METC Conference. They also share their best practices in at least two sessions (see some of our 2015 speakers here). Those selected as spotlight educators must be a certified educator in [new states added!!] Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee must have completed the submission process and have extensive experience in edtech.

Educators who wish to be considered should provide two references and also produce a two-minute video that demonstrates their presentation skills. Learn more by visiting metcconference.org.

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gj keynoteThe Connected Classroom is the EducationPlus LearningLab blog. February’s favorite blog posts featured the Midwest Education Technology Community Conference and student work! Here are the top five most visited posts for the past month– did you contribute to the clicks?

1)  METC 2015 Virtual Conference Available Online Now READ HERE
2)  Midwest Education Technology Community Meet Up READ HERE
3)  Here’s the Debut of the 2014 Show-Me a Movie Winners! READ HERE
4)  STL Student Summit on Race 2015 READ HERE
5)  Andrew Wall: Making IT Happen READ HERE

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