Monthly Archives: October 2009

Winter Holidays Videoconference Registration Deadline Approaching!

World renowned children’s author, Patricia McKissack, teaches students how to write over distance learning. During hands-on and highly interactive videoconference sessions, participating students discuss plot, themes, character development and more. Patricia will also post to her blog and answer students questions during her series. Next up on her three part writing series: Winter Holidays Around the World.

Chinese New Year : London
Chinese New Year

In the first videoconference, the author meets with the participating teachers to discuss the goals of the author visit and refers them to the book she will be discussing, Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters. In the second, the author dialogs with the students, discussing winter holiday traditions and how she wrote her book about Christmas on a Virginia plantation in 1859. In the third videoconference, she gives feedback to students about the writing and illustrations the students have done. Past winter holidays students have written on include Chinese New Year, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Ramadan.

We hope to see you this holiday session! Here are the dates – please register no later than November 1 with Rebecca Morrison:
Teacher Session: Thursday, November 5 at 4 pm CT
First Student Session: Tuesday, November 24 at 11 am CT
Second Student Session: Tuesday, December 15 at 11 am CT

The cost for this three part series is $650 for New Links to New Learning members, $750 for nonmembers.


Virtual Learning Center & Flickr

cadre 1To see pictures of the latest Virtual Learning Center activities, make sure to visit our Flickr page:

We have current and past photos of our academies, videoconferences, tele classes, the Midwest Education Technology Conference, and special events gathered in one place. The photos above are of the most recent Ritenour iTEA Cadre I meeting in October. All of the pictures are public and most can be found in Creative Commons!

October 2009: Creating SMARTBoard Lessons to Engage and Motivate Students

orienting the SMART BoardCreating SMARTBoard Lessons to Engage and Motivate Students
October 28 & 29, from  4:00-7:00 pm
$138 CSD member; $214 non-member
(One Grad. Credit Available)

Do you already have a SMART Board and consider yourself a user? This intermediate class is for you! Come learn the advanced features of the SMART Board and create lessons. Become adept at creating recordings of what you do on the SMART Board for future playback! Find out how to use the video player that comes with your SMART Board to annotate videos. Learn how to attach audio files to objects on the SMART Board, and how to save items that you use often and want to share to the My Content folder. We’ll show you how to find hundreds of lessons that have already been created for use on the SMART Board. You’ll be able to create your own usable lesson, either from scratch or by tweaking a downloaded lesson.

There is limited space available- sign up at

Next Mental Health Videoconference – November 12

Sign up today for  Autism Spectrum Disorders on November 12 @ 4 pm CT: Autism is the third most common developmental disorder in the United States. It affects 1:150 individuals and its cause remains unknown. Research today is focused on early diagnosis and intervention. This 1 hour presentation will provide an overview of autism spectrum disorders, current controversies in the headlines, goals for symptom management, identification of available treatment options, and resources. Presented by Brenda A. Brown, MSN, CPNP, Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Email Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts by November 9 if you want to participate in this professional development session for K-12 educators. New Links members get this program free, non members pay just $85.

Baikonur and the Soviet Space Race

Recently, Lafayette High School in the Rockwood School District participated in Baikonur and the Soviet Space Race, offered by the Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center.

This free videoconference  attempts to fill in the gaps in our understanding of the Space Race, as seen from the other side: namely, the Soviet Union. The content provider looks at both their successes and failures, as well as the modern reality of the Russian space program being located in the independent country of Kazakhstan.

I’d like to share some feedback I got from the school on this interactive videoconference from the Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center:

Our interaction today was one of the most educationally engaging and valuable that our school (read that, 48 videoconferences last year) has participated in. Your “product knowledge” was extensive and complex, and, truly, we would LOVE to spend another hour discussing this topic with you. As videoconference planner, I try so very hard to locate conference experiences of relevance and quality, such that the deviation from class lesson is no deviation but enrichment, and, wow, this presentation was off the charts. Thank you, sincerely, and thoroughly. If you could really speak with us again, please let us know. We don’t want to overextend our welcome, but, you and the information and passion you shared are the rare real deal.