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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Lab

Making IT Happen is an internationally recognized awards program from ISTE for educators and leaders in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. The program identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation. The Midwest Education Technology Community (METC) ISTE affiliate is pleased to honor our latest Making IT Happen educator.

Andrew Wall Making it Happen

EducationPlus’ Stephanie Madliger (left) and Jennifer Tiller (right) award Andrew Wall with ISTE’s Making IT Happen award at the 2015 Midwest Education Technology Community Conference.

Andrew Wall is a third grade teacher at Harvest Ridge Elementary School in the Francis Howell School district. According to colleagues, Andy utilizes any available technology to help his students reach beyond the classroom walls. After seeking grants for his students, he has integrated Minecraft and green screen productions into his classroom. Andy’s imaginative utilization of QR has enticed staff members to snap and read stories his students have published with their kindergarten buddies. As parents await their student’s conference with him, they capture the code and view data of their child’s most recent achievements.

Andy is technology’s #1 cheerleader and among the top contenders in the his school district. Andy has hosted numerous Tech Tuesday mini PD sessions and served as an instructional technology specialist. He was the key contributor to the planning, promotion and presentations of a recent building Tech Fest. Andy uses YouTube, e-mail and his personal blog to share solutions to problems being faced by colleagues. Andy has been described as motivational and never judgmental. In other words, he is a fantastic individual to represent the ISTE Making IT Happen Award.

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16456332072_0f09cdcde9_zAfter you attend the METC Conference on Tuesday, consider a night out with like-minded educators!

The Midwest Education Technology Community (METC) will have a  meet up at Big A’s in historic downtown Saint Charles Tuesday evening for continued conversations and a little fun. After you attend the Exhibitor Reception, Student Innovation Stations or Show-Me a Movie Reception, relax and grab some dinner, then join the gathering. Beginning at 7:30 pm, Big A’s sponsors a weekly Trivia Night. You may want to join this event individually or with a team, or just come by for food, drink and entertainment.

There is parking on the riverfront and the Embassy Suites Hotel Shuttle travels to Big A’s. All food and drinks are on you, so you may want to check the Big A’s website bigasontheriverfront.com for the menu choices and pricing. Big A’s is located at 308 North Main Street. Follow them on Twitter @BigAs308. We hope you are able to make it for a night out!

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The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom is an exhibit which commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Library of Congress website that has a wealth of information, including a rich multimedia library. According to the website, “the social, legal, and political forces that battled discrimination for decades won a major victory with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—the most significant piece of U.S. civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. With eleven sections, the act prohibited various types of discrimination in voting, public accommodations, public facilities, public education, federally-funded programs, and employment. It was a culmination of civil rights advocates’ efforts to gain federal protection for the basic citizenship rights of African Americans.” Take some time to click around, experience the exhibit and share with your students!

Learn more about:

• The Segregation Era (1900–1939)
• World War II and Post War (1940–1949)
• Civil Rights Era (1950–1963)
• The Civil Rights Act of 1964
• Immediate Impact of the Civil Rights Act

Show_Me_Movie-10th-AThe Connected Classroom is the EducationPlus Learning Division blog. Here are the top five most visited posts for the past month– did you contribute to the clicks?

1)  Here’s the Debut of the 2014 Show-Me a Movie Winners!

2)  Dr. Troy Hogg: Making IT Happen

3)  Creating a Cultural Responsiveness Classroom Environment

4)  2014 in review

5)  Achieving Rigor with Marzano Essentials

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The Midwest Education Technology Community Conference advisory committee is excited to bring back book reviews of materials that we will offer at the conference in just a couple weeks! Drew McAllister has reviewed a trio of books for us, here’s his take on the second book in the series:

hybridOver the past few months, I have been reading a trilogy written for those looking to design or aid in the design of online courses or blended learning experiences. Grounded Designs for Online and Hybrid Learning, edited by Atsusi “2c” Hirumi and published by ISTE, consists of the following titles: Design Fundamentals, Designs in Action and Trends and Technologies.

Designs in Action:

Hirumi refers to this volume as “the heart” of the Grounded Designs series. I heartily concur. Of the three volumes, Designs in Action comes closest to a practicable guidebook for designing learning activities for an online course. The chapters may be grouped into three categories: general instructional models, subject-specific strategies and general strategies.

… read more of Drew’s review, including the sections on general instructional models, subject-specific and general strategies here. You’ll also find links to his review of the other two books in the Grounded Designs series.

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The 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. Web 2.0 How-to for Educators is one of those selections! Now in its second edition, the book is by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum. The book’s audience is K-12 educators and technology coordinators. Cindy Lane, part of the Discovery Education PD Team, Google Certified Teacher and Google GeoEDU Teacher Advisory Board Member, reviews it:

web 2.0This simply written book is a go to for every teacher who not only wonders about web 2.0 tools but how to effectively use them in the classroom. Every chapter goes through the minimal tools that every teacher should have basic knowledge about and then crosses into the how and why of the tool. I loved the well-written descriptions and basic overview of specific tools and plan on using this as a resource for years to come. Gwen and Lynn did their best to highlight tools that have been around for awhile (and still not used to their capacity) There are also additions from different instructional specialists with their own views of the tools… Grab this book and reference it as you begin your journey to become tech savvy!

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Thank you all who had students submit 130 movies to the 2014 Show-Me a Movie Contest! Choosing the winners in each category was a difficult task for the panel of judges, who spent a full day reviewing the movies, entry forms and student reflections. The winning movies will be shown at the Midwest Education Technology Community Conference on February 10th. Congratulations to the following movies, our winning science, technology, engineering, math and art-themed submissions:

Makey Makey Still

Still from Makey-Makey by Warren Elementary students

Elementary

Show-Me a Story  Francis Howell’s Sawmill
John Weldon Elementary, Francis Howell School District
Sponsor Marcia Riley

Show-Me Something New  Makey-Makey
Warren Elementary, Francis Howell School District
Sponsor Missy Kelly

Show-Me Your Creativity  Using Recycled Materials to Make a Checker Board
Buder Elementary School, Ritenour School District
Sponsors Janel Hubbard, Christine Phillips

Middle School

Show-Me a Challenge  Girls in STEM
Orchard Farm Middle School, Orchard Farm School District
Sponsor Heather Hinze

Show-Me Your Community   Using Art in the Real World
LaSalle Springs Middle School, Rockwood School District
Sponsor Rebecca Schweizer

Show-Me Your Creativity   Fluorescent vs Incandescent Light Bulbs
LaSalle Springs Middle School, Rockwood School District
Sponsor Rebecca Schweizer

High School

Show-Me a Challenge  Distractive Driving Campaign
Liberty High School, Wentzville School District
Sponsor Molly Kleiber

Show-Me Your Creativity  Les Fleurs de la Vie
Francis Howell Central High School, Francis Howell School District
Sponsor Michelle McCune

Thanks to our judges who took the time to review the movies. Also, thank you to our sponsors: EducationPlus, Fontbonne University, Kikkerland Design Inc., Lindenwood University and St. Louis County Library.

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