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The Connected Classroom

Information on and from EducationPlus' Learning Division

Tag Archives: professional development

Craig Wagganer’s professional career has focused on leadership, team building, professional development and building relationships. Having overseen multiple boards and staffs, Craig has developed effective communication, leadership and team building skills that have benefited numerous organizations. He presents two Support Staff Academy (a program of EducationPlus) sessions this June:

Thursday, June 26, 2014 | 8:30 – 11:30 AM
$59 Member, $74 Non Member | Register online
Presenter: Craig Wagganer, LeadersBridge

Learn witty and interactive approaches to increasing communication skills. We’ll share how to T.H.I.N.K before you speak; understand the power of listening and the effect it has on both sides of communication; and how to facilitate effective communication that fosters a growth atmosphere. The workshop is entertaining, fast-paced, and interactive.

Thursday, June 26, 2014 | 12:30 – 3:30 PM
$59 Member, $74 Non Member | Register online
Presenter: Craig Wagganer, LeadersBridge
Together we’ll explore the heart of leadership; the vertical relationship in leadership that pertains to being efficient; and the horizontal line of leadership that deals with being effective. At the end of the time together each participant will have experienced and integrated three keys to make their leadership a real plus.

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Thomas Jefferson | Flickr The three-week institute Thomas Jefferson: Personality, Character and Public Life, offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities, will take place at Boston University from July 8 to 26, 2013.  Speakers include R. B. Bernstein, Peter Hatch, Joanne Freeman, Jan Lewis, and Peter Onuf. The institute will seek to deepen our understanding of one of the most important figures in American history, a figure who is fascinating, influential, inspiring, and embattled.

Focusing on Jefferson’s personality and character and connecting them to his public career will be the theme of the first week, followed by an examination of  his views on religion, his role as a family man, and his correspondence with John Adams. In the final week, the Institute turns to slavery, science, and money.

The application and further information (like the stipend for teachers is $2,700; itinerary and speaker bios) is at the institute’s website.

During the three weeks, participants will also ponder some larger questions:

  • Is the intimate life knowable?
  • Does it connect to the public man or woman?
  • Do we each fashion our own version of Jefferson to reflect our values and needs?
  • What is Jefferson’s legacy?

Discussion will include pedagogical questions:

  • What role should biography and primary sources play in history instruction?
  • How does teaching biographies fit with state standards and high stakes testing?
  • How do we teach intimate information about famous Americans to young people?
  • How can teachers be honest and realistic yet still inspire students and encourage citizenship?

Learn more by visiting

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Guest blog post by Robert Dillon and Chris McGee, edcamptSTL organizers. Dillon is principal of Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School in St. Louis County; McGee is a Curriculum Coordinator for Science and Social Studies for the Webster Groves School District,  also located in St. Louis County. Follow Bob and Chris on Twitter.

We have all experienced long-form, conference professional development, and we have probably all experienced individual professional development that had you with a book on your couch learning about something new to implement in the classroom, but it has only been a few years since the opportunity to receive just-in-time professional development has been widely available to educators. This is the type of support that you receive that is focused on your needs, in real-time that connects you with colleagues in your field.

Chris McGee

Just-in-time professional development is one of the goals of the the edcamp concept that is spreading across the globe. Edcamp allows educators to have conversations that they want, about the topics that they want, in a space that they want. Since the first edcamp just a few years ago, educators have been gathering on Saturdays with the hope of building learning allies with educators in their community and beyond. Just-in-time for Monday, teachers and leaders are receiving the resources, supports, tools, and energy that they need to make Monday better than Friday for their students.

Robert Dillon

The second edcampSTL will take place on February 9 at Hixson Middle School in Webster Groves. Even before this post, there are already 200 area educators signed up to participate in the event. There is a growing number of educators that are looking for ways to be more innovative, define their own success, and create new learning experiences for their kids. Many of them are growing and learning as connected educators on Twitter, and this group of learners and educational leaders have felt the power of Edcamp, and they are signed up and bringing colleagues to this just-in-time professional development experience.

Take the time to register today for edcampSTL. A day of handcrafted learning that is designed by the participants to meets your needs has been the elixir for so many educators around the country to propel them to a new level of passion in their classroom instruction. There is no greater time than now to receive your booster shot of just-in-time professional development courtesy of edcampSTL.

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Today at Cooperating School Districts we had two professional development sessions take place, including a seminar (left), Transition to College: Services for Students with Disabilities in Post-Secondary Education presented by Julia Edwards, Assistant Dean of Disability Support Services from Ozarks Technical Community College. Growing enrollment of students with disabilities in post-secondary education have generated considerable interest in discussion on accessibility of higher education for students with disabilities- the session provided information for educators and service providers which can assist in a successful transition to college for students.

Also at 1460 Craig Road was a CPI- Non Violent Crisis Prevention refresher course (right). Participants in attendance completed the full 8-hour initial Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training Program prior to attending their first refresher training with Bruce Hunter; it’s recommended that participants attend these refresher trainings on a yearly basis to renew their skills. To learn how you can participate in future workshops for either program, consult CSD’s event calendar.

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Next week, it’s our last Wednesday Webinar for this school year- hard to believe! On May 9th, find out what Cooperating School Districts’ Virtual Learning Center has in store for summer tele (technology enhanced learning environment) workshops and how you can earn Lindenwood University graduate credit for them! In this 60-minute webinar, learn from lead instructors Martha Bogart and Stephanie Madlinger the types of workshops being offered at CSD, what you can expect of the professional development, and when you can take them. To register for this free webinar, visit this link. Can’t log on at 4 o’clock on Wednesday? No worries, this event, like all of the others this school year, will be archived and you can catch it when you have free time.

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Today St. Bridget of Kildare utilized one portion of their membership in New Links- free professional development on videoconferencing/distance learning from Program Coordinator Rebecca Morrison (left).

The participants received an overview of what videoconferencing is, and what it can accomplish, plus how to find content. The main focus of the discussion, however, was on the benefits of New Links membership. At the end of the hour-long session, one teacher said about New Links- you do all the work!

We’re really excited to be working with this new group of enthusiastic teachers- they want to do both H323 videoconference connections through their Polycom and use Skype; they were eager to learn more about content provider programs as well as collaborations between classrooms. One teacher’s ears pricked up when she heard about Author Visit and Eggs-periments Videoconferences with Amy E. Sklansky. Other topics of interest included connecting with zoos and to a bee keeper. It was a great conversation to start of the new school year.

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Martha Bogart is teaching a three-day class this week called Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Today is the second day of the workshop; class started yesterday and concludes on Thursday.

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BYOL is becoming increasingly more popular in K-12 schools- for instructional technology professional development and for classroom use! Bring your own laptop allows you to use great Web 2.0 applications on your own computer- making it even easier to access them at a later date.

THE Journal recently featured an article called The ABCs of BYOL on one Ohio school district’s bring your own laptop effort for students- and the issues that arise from it, like teacher prep, parental buy-in, and equity.

Locally, Lindbergh Schools has a BYOL program. Their program is called Lindbergh Laptop Friendly Schools and has been up and running since January 2011. According to the district, “[s]tarting with the second semester of the 2010-2011 school year, LHS students will be able to access school and Internet resources through the use of their personal computing device such as netbooks, laptops, iPads, tablets, slates, etc.  Other schools will follow during the 2011-2012 school year.” As they note on their website, “[t]his is a young deployment and we hope students and parents will find it useful and educational.”

Many of the Virtual Learning Center‘s programs- including the Midwest Education Technology Conference- offer BYOL workshops for educators. This summer, in the tele, participants may bring their own computer rather that use one provided by the VLC’s lab. However, some tele classes are exclusively BYOL, such as the Google workshops and Tech4Learning workshops- allowing us to offer more PD to St. Louis area educators.

So what do you think of BYOL- for schools, for PD?

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Here’s a look at a some past Google workshops held here at Cooperating School Districts. The VLC is glad to say that more K-12 education classes are coming this summer! Check out the TELE schedule to see when we are offering Where in the World: Teaching with Google Earth & Google Maps Google Feng Shui, and Google Search and Stuff.

For each of these classes, registered participants must bring their own laptop with wireless Internet capabilities. Also, participants must have a previously set up Google Account and/or Gmail Account. In addition, for those taking Where in the World, a free version of Google Earth must be downloaded to the laptop they bring.

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Be sure to attend one of the informal Birds of a Feather meet-ups between 1:50 and 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Midwest Education Technology Conference. At the “BOF” sessions on the 15th and 16th, the attendees will group together based on a shared interest. These discussions will occur without any pre-planned agenda. You can take this time to participate in a casual discussion about technology and its effect on learning and education. Learn from educators who share a similar interest such as social networking, media specialists, mobile learning, IWBs, online learning, professional development, or other instructional technology topics. In addition, keep in mind the Twitter hashtag for these sessions will be #bofMETC.

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