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The Connected Classroom

Information On and From EducationPlus' LearningLab

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Look for our new Fall 2011/Spring 2012 VLC catalog to land in your mail box soon! Included in over 15 pages of programming includes our various academies, tele classes, information on our ISTE affiliation, and the Midwest Education Technology Conference.

This Wednesday and Thursday, Martha Bogart, along with Ruth Litman-Block are in Alton, Illinois, to deliver more professional development for educators.

Martha and Ruth are discussing McREL/Marzano’s nine research-based instructional strategies for enhancing student achievement and ways in which to use technology with these strategies. They will also talk about planning technology-infused lessons or units that use effective instructional practices.

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Even more Digital Media classes are being added to our 2011-2012 catalog! Here’s the latest from Tech4Learning –

Digital Media Projects Using Pixie
preK-5 educators) FREE software
November 8   8:30-11:30am
$75 CSD member; $89 non-member
Create cross-curricular projects in both print and digital formats, then collaborate using Pixie 3. Pixie is an engaging; award winning, educational software for elementary students. Pixie combines an user-friendly paint program with text options, clip art, voice recording, with standards-based curriculum activities, helping students build 21st century skills as they develop podcasts, online storybooks, videos, and Flash animations. Get ready to address: MO State Standards, 21st Century Skills, Differentiated Instruction, RTI + much more!

Presentations & Portfolios Using Share
(6-12 educators) FREE software
November 8   12:30 – 3:30pm
$75 CSD member; $89 non-member
Learn how Share is an amazing 21st Century Authoring tool. Share makes it easy to create interactive presentations, PDF and Flash files, and web sites. You will learn how to access templates for design and productivity. Whether you have wanted to learn how to create portfolios, webpages, and brochures or create path animation, this workshop is for you. Learn about K12Share ~ Tech4Learning’s safe, online service for publishing student work created in Share.

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Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be featuring the 2012 Midwest Education Technology Conference Featured Speakers. Up first we have Kenneth Shelton and Lucy Gray. The Virtual Learning Center and the METC Advisory Committee are really excited to have them be part of METC this year!

Kenneth Shelton holds a M.A. in Education, with a specialization in New Media Design and Production. Ken has worked as an educator for 9 years- he has earned teaching credentials in both Social Studies and Technology Education- he and currently teaches technology at the Middle School level. Ken is a Google Certified Teacher, an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Discovery STAR Educator, and serves on the Board of Directors for Computer Using Educators (CUE). During his presentations, he covers a wide variety of educational technology, technology integration, creative expression, and instructional design topics.

Lucy Gray is an independent education consultant, working with a variety of institutions on 21st century learning initiatives. She has served in various capabilities related to educational technology at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory Schools, Urban Education Institute and Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education. Lucy founded the Global Education Collaborative, a network for educators interested in project-based learning in 2007. Like Ken, Lucy has also been awarded the Google Certified Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator distinctions. Lucy’s many professional interests also include mobile learning, digital equity, information literacy, and the incorporation of social media technologies into educational settings.

And don’t forget to look for @k_shelton, @elemenous, and @METC_CSD on Twitter!

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We’re requesting you please take a moment to fill out this short survey for us (especially you St. Louis area educators!) – your feedback will help us greatly as Cooperating School Districts’ New Links and HEC-TV develop new professional development opportunities and create student programs using distance learning. The purpose of this survey is to get your input on activities /interest/ usage of distance learning in your K-12 classroom, school, or district. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts; we appreciate your feedback. Press the button above to get to the survey.

Author and New Links content provider Amy E. Sklansky is working on a new videoconference for the 2011-2012 school year- details will come soon! In the meantime, don’t forget to revisit some of your favorite programs with Amy. This year, she will also be giving the first three schools who sign up for three videoconferences an autographed book for their school library!

Author Visit and Eggs-periments Videoconferences with Amy E. Sklansky
Using visuals in an interactive videoconference, author Amy E. Sklansky outlines stages of writing the book— research, revisions, artist’s sketches, etc. She also explains what happens inside an egg from fertilization thru hatching.
Availability: By Request ONLY | Audience: Grade(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2

Cooking a Book with Author Amy E. Sklansky

Author Amy E. Sklansky will put on a chef’s hat & coat to “cook” a book. Into her cooking pot go inspiration, drafts, revisions, pencil sketches, and more as she explains how an author’s idea becomes a published book.
Availability: By Request ONLY | Audience: Grade(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3

Inside a Poet’s Mind: Author Visit with Amy E. Sklansky
Amy E. Sklansky gives students a peek inside the mind of a published poet. Sharing poems from her own books, Amy discusses the various places a poet finds inspiration.
Availability: By Request ONLY | Audience: Grade(s): 2, 3, 4, 5

New Links members get a discounted rate on Amy’s author visits; and she’ll also Skype with schools, too. For more information, contact Rebecca Morrison at

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“Library media specialists empower students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information.” (AASL)

The Virtual Learning Center’s new LMS Academy focuses on the changing role of the Library Media Specialist in K-12 education today. Today’s LMS must play the versatile role of an instructional partner responsible for ensuring that students and staff are efficient and effective users of information. The academy will assist LMS personnel in teaching and connecting the new standards of AASL, ISTE and the NETS. Registration is open for all library media specialists to attend. Participants will:

  • Learn how to develop lessons that support the AASL, ISTE & NETS Standards
  • Understand the meaning of media literacy as it applies to 21st century skills
  • Network with colleagues working in school libraries across the area and globally
  • Learn digital tools that promote effective use of digital media for K12 students
  • Examine problem based activities, plus web & media literacy lessons
  • Examine best practices for Copyright & Fair Use
  • Explore digital citizenship and literacy curriculum resources
  • Contribute in an online learning community, such as Moodle or SchoolTown
  •   Research books by LMS experts such as Joyce Valenza & Kathy Schrock (one of the featured speakers at this year’s METC)
  •   Participate in 40 hours of blended learning professional development
  •   Attend one day of the Midwest Education Technology Conference

Participants will have an option to earn 3.0 credits through Lindenwood University for an additional cost of $60 per credit hour.

Dates and times of participation:

face-to-face classes at CSD

  • October 27 ~ 4- 7 pm LMS Academy Kickoff
  • November 7 ~ 8:30- 3:30 pm ~ Media Literacy tele class
  • December 8 ~ 4- 7 pm LMS academy class
  • January 26 ~ 8:30-3 :30 pm ~ Digital Citizenship tele class
  • March 8~ 4-7 pm LMS Academy Celebration

additional online and outreach activities

  • November 2 ~ online CSDVLC webinar 4- 5 pm
  • November 6-12 ~ Media Literacy Week in St. Louis ~ attend choice of event(s)
  • December 7 ~ online Free Cool Tools webinar 4- 5 pm
  • January 18 ~ online Digital Citizenship webinar 4- 5 pm
  • February 14 ~ attend 1 day of METC

Cost: $495 CSD Members/$595 Non-members. If you have questions, contact Stephanie Madlinger at or 314-692-1212.

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