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The Connected Classroom

Information On and From EducationPlus' LearningLab

Monthly Archives: April 2011

In a world where instructional technology is becoming more prevalent in K-12 classrooms, some changes are developing in our annual digital storytelling contest… look for news on Show-Me a Movie coming soon to a (computer) screen near you! (click on the image to go to our website).

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Two NEW! tele Tech4Learning classes have been scheduled for June 13 at Cooperating School Districts!

In the morning, learn how to work with student to create cross curricular projects in both print and digital formats and collaborate with their peers using Pixie 3! There is a new look and feel to Pixie3. So bring your questions, projects  and lesson plans and get ready to address: State Standards, 21st Century Skills, Differentiated Instruction, RTI and much more! You’ll learn how  easily you can convert your existing Pixie projects to Pixie 3, and learn how to use all of Pixie 3’s new features – including multi-page projects and real time collaboration, new tools and functionality.

During the afternoon, learn how Share is an amazing 21st Century Authoring tool. Share makes it easy to create interactive presentations, PDF and FlashR files, and web sites. You will learn how to access templates for design and productivity. Integrating  technology into your curriculum will be engaging and fun. Join us to brainstorm and collaborate to address Curricular Objectives and then, put the technology to work for you. Whether you have wanted to learn how to create portfolios, webpages, brochures or create path animation, this workshop is for you. Engage, Create and Share.

Think about attending both and stay for an entire day of learning! Each session costs just $74 (member and nonmembers alike!) and it includes the software being discussed. For less than $150, you can get a full day of Learning on Pixie 3 and Share, plus get to take the software home with you! Registration will open soon on our website,!

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NEW! Digital Citizenship: Preparing Students for an Online World is July 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Cooperating School Districts’ tele in St. Louis, Missouri.

Do you know what type of digital footprint you are creating? Anyone using the web and mobile devices leaves a digital footprint. We teach our children how to be safe within the physical community, but what about norms for appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use?

Class time will include discussion on:

Digital Access | Digital Commerce | Digital Communication | Digital Literacy | Digital Etiquette | Digital Law | Digital Rights & Responsibilities | Digital Health & Wellness (carpal tunnel, ergonomics, etc.) | Digital Security (self-protection)

Cost: $149 CSD member; $189 non-member
(One Graduate Credit available at an additional fee)
Register here.

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Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works will be June 20, 21 & 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Cooperating School Districts. This three-day tele class is $369 for a CSD member and $459 for a non-member. (If you choose, you can get two graduate credits through Lindenwood University with this course). This class is based on the material in Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Participants will use this book and get hands-on experience with technology integration.

This class maybe for you, if:
• You are looking for research-based instructional strategies to improve student learning;
• You  would like to learn how to use technology with these instructional strategies.

During this workshop, you will 1) learn about Marzano’s nine research-based instructional strategies for enhancing student achievement, 2) discuss ways in which to use technology with these strategies, and 3) begin planning technology-infused lessons or units that use effective instructional practices.

Purchase of the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works is recommended, but not required. Book cost: $27.98; let us know if you wish to add this option to your registration.

Register here.

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Yesterday before James Otis Thach came to CSD for his videoconferences, I went to Fox High School in Arnold to watch Tatiana Kennedy’s Russian I class Skype with Ermine Gymnasium in Novosibirsk, Russia. (Gymnasium = School). The Virtual Learning Center advised Ms. Kennedy on best practices for making such a connection. The Skype call took place from 7:15 to 7:50 a.m. (central daylight time). The students in Novosibirsk- which is in Siberia- reported it was actually close to eight o’clock in the evening for them!

The American class at Fox High School had ten students, and the Russian class had about a dozen students- all girls- participate. Two teachers sat in on the Russian side- one was the English language teacher, along with Irina  Lepihova. Irina was part of the group that visited Cooperating School Districts’ last fall. At Fox, I was in attendance, as was the principal, Dr. Kevin Rossiter, who introduced himself and spoke to the students for a few minutes. One of the district’s network technicians was also on hand, as he set up the equipment for the class. A big thank you to him!

The students at Fox were learning Russian, and the students at Ermine spoke English very well. Conversation flowed well. The biggest hurdle seemed to be that neither site’s mics could pick up everything all the students said- especially those furthest away- so there was some repetition (but is that so bad, considering the kids were practicing their foreign language skills)?

Topics discussed included celebrities, movies, climate, and families. The Russian students sang all of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain– more verses than I recognized! It was a pretty amazing connection. The students had exchanged email addresses and were going to continue with their communication. I hope to see more Skype or H323 videoconferences come out of this partnership.

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James Otis Thach, a published author who spent part of his childhood in St. Louis (he actually shared his first grade class photo from Glenridge Elementary in Clayton with the kids!), came to Cooperating School Districts today and conducted four free videoconferences with area students.

Elementary & middle school students in the Francis Howell School District, the Ladue School District, the Rockwood School District, the Parkway School District and the School District of Clayton connected with James- and each other- for a multimedia presentation to talk about the writing process, including inspiration, research, drafts, illustrations and proof reading.

James shared his three books with the students and read the first chapter of his newest book, The Seal Pup. (Click here to get a little taste of how one of the videoconferences started today). He encouraged the students to do what they love; he stressed he found success by following his passions. For those of you were able to participate what was your favorite part of the videoconference?

If you were not able to participate in one of today’s programs, you can still hear James read The Seal Pup‘s first chapter by visiting his website, Thanks again to James for visiting the Virtual Learning Center on a trip home- we appreciate the time and energy you bring to St. Louis classrooms!

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