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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Tag Archives: iste

Kevin Honeycutt, Will BlaylockThe 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 Making IT Happen: Will Blaylock

#2 2014 METC Conference Keynotes: Kevin Honeycutt and Lodge McCammon

#3 Student Journalists Cover METC Live

#4 Sharpen Your Skills and Open Up New Worlds!

#5 Stream Video from METC 2014

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William BlaylockMaking 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.

METC’s most recent Making IT Happen winner has been an invaluable part of the Rockwood School District. He has moved the district into the digital age by being a flexible leader who is constantly looking to see what tools and practices will serve his students and teachers well. At the same time, he is constantly evaluating current tools that are no longer relevant or do not meet district instructional needs. In his tenure, he has implemented many organizational structures including collaborative online productivity through Google Apps for Education, and has introduced bring your own device into the district to give students more access to digital tools.

As the Director of Technology in Rockwood, he has been integral in creating a digital learning environment where teachers and students can use technology seamlessly. He oversees the Instructional Technology Specialists who help classroom teachers use technology as part of their instructional practice. Leadership provided by our winner has been integral to the process of getting technology into the hands of students in the district. He models technology in all of his meetings with teachers, administrators and community members and highlights the work that Rockwood teachers are doing in their classrooms.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southeast Missouri State University, a master’s degree in teaching from Webster University and a master’s degree in strategic studies from Army War College in Carlisle, PA. He has leadership roles on several local, regional and international professional technology organizations and committees and also serves as Brigade Commander in the Missouri National Guard.  In addition to the Making IT Happen award, he has been recognized with awards for his work in education and technology and received medals including Meritorious Service, Missouri Conspicuous Service, Bronze Star and Humanitarian Service.

While he has been in instructional technology since 1997 and has greatly contributed to the use of technology in his district, his expertise has benefited the St. Louis area as well. He has served on the METC advisory Committee for many years, serves as adjunct professor at Webster University, and has served as president of the Educational Technology Association. His work in education has touched and influenced many people throughout his career and will continue to do so. Whether he is writing a grant to provide technology resources to teachers and students, or providing a vision to his district, Will Blaylock is truly Making IT Happen in the St. Louis area.

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METC-New-Color-LogoEducationPlus is excited to announce the creation of the Midwest Education Technology Community (METC), an educational technology resource that helps innovative learners connect.

The new METC merges the benefits of two great programs, the annual Midwest Education Technology Conference and the Missouri Education Technology Community, our affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

METC features the tagline, “Connecting Innovative Learners,” as educators who take advantage of METC resources seek out ways to connect with the latest technology, other educators and students.

METC educators engage learners and transform learning in their actions and reactions.  Our resources help the educator and the learner motivate, engage, transform and connect.

Our conference is one of the largest educational technology conferences in the nation with nearly 2,000 attendees.  During the conference, international and national experts share the latest in technology trends, local educational leaders share best practices for implementing technology in the classroom and educators get a unique opportunity to collaborate.

As an ISTE affiliate, METC provides educators a wealth of valuable resources including opportunities for networking and collaboration, discounts on registrations and educational resources and a connection to the global clearinghouse of resources that ISTE provides.

For more information on the new METC, please contact Stephanie Madlinger, director of teaching and learning, smadlinger@edplus.org, or Megan Moncure, METC conference coordinator,  mmoncure@edplus.org.

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midwest spotlight educator 2014

Top left to right: April Burton, Amy Taylor, Megan Chambers, Gina Hartman, Chris McGee  |  Bottom left to right: Robert Dillon, Christine Ruder, Nick Cusumano, Heidi Morgan, Kelly Gilchrist

The METC Conference’s Midwest Spotlight Educators is an honor that recognizes education technology leaders in the region, whose practices are making a difference for students and teachers. This is reflected in increased knowledge, improved skills and academic achievement by integrating technology into their instructional practices. The 2014 Midwest Spotlight Educators were selected, after an application process, by the METC Planning and Advisory Committee. Look for The Connected Classroom to profile each leading up to METC in February; in the meantime, click on the photo above to learn more about the selected Illinois and Missouri educators. Congratulations to the 2014 spotlight educator group! Each will present at least twice at the conference.

METC is a program of Cooperating School Districts and the METC ISTE affiliate.

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Several 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 are the latest:

Reinventing Project-Based Learning – Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age
By Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss, Reviewed by Will Blaylock

PBL BookReinventing Project-Based Learning is an outstanding resource to use when working with teachers on how to best implement Project Based Learning.  This is the first resource I have found that takes the teacher from beginning to end on how to plan, implement and assess project based learning.  The authors use vignettes throughout the book demonstrating real-world examples.  This should be very beneficial when working with teachers who are not eager to adopt this instructional model.  Most chapters include a realistic example, discussion on the topic and how-to’s when it comes to leveraging technology.  Technology use is woven throughout the book to amplify the positive effect it can have on the learning process.  An interesting and timely topic of discussion within the book is the development of a Professional Learning Community to facilitate the implementation of Project Based Learning. I highly recommend this book to increase personal learning as it relates to Project Based Learning!

1-to-1 Online Learning: Laptop Programs that Work
By Pamela Livingston , Reviewed by Cindy Marston

1-to-1 Online LearningThis book is an  in-depth and practical guide for administrators, teachers, and parents.  As a second edition, it contains chapters on programs using tablet PCs and effective use of Web2.0 resources.  The book is well-organized into three parts, allowing readers to easily  locate the information they seek and skim what may be marginally relevant.  Part 1 describes the possibilities of a 1-to-1 program, with specifics from several schools, including Whitfield  School right here in St. Louis (page 43),  and a chapter that summarizes the research and lessons learned from early adopters.  Part 2 discusses the critical steps of planning and implementation, including a “must read” chapter on professional development for teachers.  Finally, the chapters in Part  3 contains practical information regarding classroom management, helping to answer the essential question: What does teaching and learning look like when every student has a computer in front of them?  Based on her research, Ms. Livingston makes strong and  persuasive arguments that “students get to the thinking levels faster when they have their own digital assistants to help them.”

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As posted yesterday, for the 2013 METC, several of the Midwest Education Technology Conference Advisory Committee members have read some of the books being offered at the METC book store  and are providing brief reviews on the content.

2012 metc book store selectionPlaying Games in School: Video Games and Simulations for Primary and Secondary Schools edited by Atsusi “2c” Hirumi, reviewed by Tom Swoboda

Playing Games in School is an extraordinary resource for teachers and administrators looking to utilize gaming in the classroom. The book investigates the rationale behind using video games in the classroom. It examines the types of students who are entering our classrooms and the effect both psychologically and physiologically that video games have on those students. A solid case is made for the educational benefits of video games. Additionally, the book discusses the alignment of gaming with NETS.

Section II of the book is a valuable resource for all science, math, language arts, social studies and health and fitness teachers. This section gives educators recommendations of games that can be used as well as examples of best practices, reviews of games and instructional methods.

The final sections of the book give educators a look at how to plan, integrate and facilitate student learning through the use of video games. To conclude the book, several educators give their perspectives on gaming in the classroom. Different types of gaming are discussed as well as a look at some of the barriers that can be involved with gaming in the classroom.

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This year, several of the Midwest Education Technology Conference Advisory Committee members have read some of the books being offered at the METC book store   and are providing brief reviews on the content. We’ll offer their reviews throughout several posts, starting here:metc bookstore

Digital Storytelling- Guide for Educators
by Midge Frazel, reviewed by Robert Dillon

This book is an excellent resources for teachers, technology integrators, and school leaders. It takes a fresh look at the importance of storytelling in schools. For as long as there has been language, there have been oral histories that have been passed down generations based on stories.

Today’s connected world creates new opportunities for students with storytelling and specially digital storytelling skills. Frazel uses the ISTE NETS for students to showcase how digital storytelling can grow student’s technology IQ. The book provides outstanding resources and clear explanations.

The author walks the reader through all steps of the process from planning, to creating, to presenting the digital story. In addition, Frazel writes some specific chapters about classroom engagement, using story to support explanation of family history, and using story to build community connection. This easy read is ideal for educators looking to build engaging learning opportunities for students in this essential learning area.

2012 metc book store selectionEnergize Research Reading and Writing

by Christopher Lehman, reviewed by Bill Bass

While this book isn’t really a technology book, the connection between research and technology has never been greater. When we want to know something, by and large we turn to these technological tools to help us out. Through his book, Christopher Lehman makes a connection for the reader between the reading and writing that is done by using real world examples and giving us the ability to implement the strategies regardless of the level of tech in a given classroom.

METC is a program of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis

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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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Greg Lawrence MITCooperating School Districts’ ISTE Affiliate (Missouri Educational Technology Community) is currently seeking nominations for the Making IT Happen
 Award. Making IT Happen is an internationally recognized awards program 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. Do you know an educator who makes IT happen in their school or district? Please complete the brief nomination form by
January 25, 2013.

Rena RockwellWinners will be awarded at the annual Midwest Education Technology Conference and later acknowledged at ISTE’s national conference. Past affiliate winners are Diana Dell, Greg Lawrence, Ruth Litman-Block, and Rena Rockwell. In addition to Making IT Happen, there are many ways METC recognizes our members. Below are the annual award opportunities:

  • Outstanding Teacher

    This award recognizes and honors one teacher who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education.
  • Outstanding Leader

    This award recognizes and honors one leader who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education.
  • Outstanding Young Educator
    This annual award is presented to an outstanding young educator (under the age of 35) who demonstrates vision, innovation, action, and transformation using technology to improve teaching and learning. The work of the selected educator will reflect ISTE’s mission and purpose and can be used to model best practices in the field. Anyone may nominate an eligible candidate, including affiliates.

The nomination form for these awards is also taking submissions until January 25. Learn more about the METC Affiliate at csdvlc.org.

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2013 Midwest Spotlight Educator Linda J. Dougherty is a high school librarian and district library chair in the Northwest R-I School District, and is surprised by her reputation as a social media maven and tech toy geek. Linda belongs to the ISTE’s Special Interest Group Media Specialists, SIGMS, where she has built her PLN by presenting at the 21st Century Digital SIGMS Playgrounds.  She is a member of ALA, AASL, ASCD, MASL, MSTA, is a DEN Star, and a Google Apps for Education District Administrator. Linda blogs and tweets with the Geek Tribe, aka, TL Virtual Café librarians. Follow her on Twitter at @ldougherty.

Linda 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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