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The Connected Classroom

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Monthly Archives: November 2007

The Fact vs. Opinion videoconference dates for the 2008-09 school year are:
Teacher Session: February 17, 2009 @ 4 pm
Session I: March 3, 2009 @ 1 or 2 pm
Session II: March 17, 2009 @ 1 or 2 pm


Nonfiction Writing: Fact vs. Opinion with Arlene Zarembka, co-author of To Establish Justice with Pat McKissack Dates: Jan. 30 teacher 4-5 pm;  Feb. 13 student I 1-3 pm;  March 12 student II 1-3 pm
Teachers, this is a really wonderful videoconference series from New Links to New Learning– to learn more about the book, visit this link.  This book takes a look at the Supreme Court’s role in civil rights in the United States, discussing Native Americans, women, Japanese Americans and African Americans throughout the history of the country. This series is great for middle school and high school students; both authors participate, talking about the issues within the book and the writing of the book.Interested? Let me know! Each session is one hour- students meet at 1 OR 2 p.m. CST. My new e-mail address: The cost of the series is $400 for New Links members, $500 for non-members.

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Above the gardenAllerton GardenMETC bag coming in handyI’m back!  Since early November I’ve been off- getting married and honeymooning- not blogging.  While many of my v/c colleagues were in Indianapolis, I was in Kauai, Hawaii!  I have to say work didn’t cross my mind that often, but there were a couple times when it popped into my head.  My husband and I didn’t schedule too many things to do- we tried to go with the flow- there were two places we had to be at a certain time- one was a luau (awesome) and the other was a visit to a place called the Allerton Garden. It is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden-and we have to make reservations in advance, and get there at a certain time, or we’d miss out. I was a bit curious, since St. Louis has a pretty nice botanical garden itself, where a time table isn’t a factor. I learned why in laid back Kauai we had to be there when we were! We pulled up to a lovely garden- manicured lawn, plumeria everywhere, lush and beautiful.  We were advised to wear bug repellent, which also piqued my interest, and to bring plenty of water. When we first got there, I thought- why?? This looks like the typical botanical garden, but I didn’t see bugs and I could definitely see a soda machine next to the gift shop.

Well, of course, we learned why- we hopped on a tram- and drive 15 minutes down to the Allerton Gardens (the pic of me is “above” the garden). The picture next to it, of the palm trees and river, is after we got down- you can see hints of it past my right shoulder. The place where my picture was taken wasn’t even visible once we got down to the garden- too many trees blocked the view up. The garden, once owned by the Allerton family (of Chicago), is on the south shore of the island, and down down down. (Kauai is covered in green mountains- they filmed the Jurassic Park films here, as well as parts of King Kong and South Pacific). We had a guided tour that lasted about two hours- and there were plenty of mosquitoes and no drinking fountains along the way.  (Luckily, we listened to the advice and we were covered and carrying bottles). The Allerton family owned the land and starting in the 1930s started to develop it- maybe that’s not the right word- but they created these various “rooms” with plants and trees, and added these lovely statues, fountains and waterfalls. It was a amazing. (I wasn’t really thinking about work at this point, but I’m coming to that). Our guide told all about the history of the family, the gardens, and how at one point the Queen of Hawaii lived on the land (well before the Allertons).

One of our fellow tour mates then asked the guide if there was a book on the Allerton Garden. Answer: no. The National Botanical Garden (several locations) had a book the featured the Allerton Garden, but there wasn’t anything published about the Allerton Garden itself, solely. Then the lady asked the guide, what about a video? The guide said, well, no, nothing had been produced.  That’s when I began to think about work- I thought how cool would it be to have a videoconference from here? From this beach where sea turtles come to nest? Where this one tree- which had been discovered in Hawaii not long ago- lived? There was so much about the place- architecture, history, botany, engineering- that would be perfect for an educational videoconference! But then… I put the thought out of my mind- I was on my honeymoon, after all! (By the way, the third photo isn’t us at the garden, but on a hike the day before- I threw that photo in because it was another time I thought of work- my husband dutifully hitched the METC bag on his back that carried our bottle waters and towels).

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mainf-4720d76faf3ad.jpgI’m pleased to let you know the Super Early Bird registration  for the Midwest Education Technology Conference has been extended to December 15th!  This is the 25th anniversary of the METC, and it has grown so much we needed a new venue to hold this great education & technology conference.  In February, you can attend the METC at the St. Charles Convention Center, just west of St. Louis, over the Missouri River.  METC speakers include Rem Jackson, David Warlick, Larry M. Buchanan,Mike Butler, Steve Dembo, and Gail Lovely.  Strands include, but are not limited to, Library Technology Integration, Digital Media, Web 2.0, and Handheld Computers.For more information on METC, visit 

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Sperreng Middle School in the Lindbergh School District is going to participate in two GNG videoconferences on Global Environmental Issues.  According to the GNG website, the following discussion will take place: “Recent media attention has clearly exposed the link between our reliance on natural resources, such as oil, and the environmental damage this need can inflict on the planet. As one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide (surpassed only recently by China), the United States is clearly part of the problem. The question we ask today is: What – if anything – should the U.S. do about it?”   National Resources Defense Council  employees will talk to the participating students about climate studies, global warming, and the environment, with GNG facilitating.


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The Sucessful Videoconference over IP meeting for November is cancelled; I’m going to be out of the office and Ruth & Martha have training on November 12 (the second Monday of the month) that they must teach. We look forward to seeing our group in January!

pill-pic.jpgNovember Mental Health in Children & Adolescents Videoconference

(K-12 educators & support staff) * 4 – 5 p.m. CST on 11/20/2007

 This videoconference is presented by Lynn Baer of BJC Health. Participants will connect to the workshop from their school over interactive videoconference. 

Teens & Prescription Drug Use: There is a new and disturbing trend that teachers, administrators, and parents need to be educated on.  Teens are now abusing prescription drugs at an alarming rate, which can cause serious health problems or death.  Learn about the reasons why teens are abusing prescription drugs, the types of medications teens are using, and how easy they are to access.  With increased knowledge about this trend, schools can help identify and guide students and their parents to some much-needed answers.  A question and answer session will conclude this hour-long videoconference.

Don’t miss out on this important session.  Reservations will be taken until Friday, 11/17/07- contact CSD to reserve your spot in this very popular series!  New Links members, this is free; for non-members, it is $50/site.

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Cooperating School Districts will again conduct a series of videoconference dialogs this year between 3-4 high schools on the topic of race relations.  High school students from different demographic areas of the St. Louis metropolitan area (urban, suburban, and rural) and other parts of the U.S. will have an opportunity to talk with each other in a series of five videoconference dialogs. A trained facilitator from the group  A World of Difference will oversee the conversations.  The session breakdown is as follows: 

Session 1 – Developing a common language to talk about racism, stereotyping, discrimination and prejudice.

Session 2 – What I learned growing up.

Session 3 – How inclusive is my school?

Session 4 – What procedures and policies would make my school more inclusive?

Session 5 – What can I personally do to change things?

All dialogs take place 1-2:00 p.m. CT.  Dates so far:  Nov. 14 & Dec. 12

(2008 dates will be determined as soon as the facilitator gets back to us with his schedule)

Jan. TBD;  Feb. TBD;  March TBD

High school teachers- interested? Contact Martha Bogart if you’d like to participate!  Martha’s phone number is 314-692-1258 and her e-mail is

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