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The Connected Classroom

Information On and From EducationPlus' LearningLab

Monthly Archives: January 2012

We are eleven years into the 21st century, and the world has changed. Technology has created a “printing press” moment in the history of mankind and is affecting every system we now know. The emerging educational system is giving students a voice in their education and empowering them to THINK, LEAD and SERVE. The realization that our present, “industrial model,” educational system is no longer viable is both very scary and very exciting at the same time. We have before us the opportunity to create something new!

In our special Leadership Breakfast at the Midwest Education Technology Conference, speaker John C. Carver, Superintendent of the Van Meter School District in Iowa, will share thinking on how technology infused into the characteristics of effective instruction impacts teaching and learning. With web 2.0 tools, students are moving from being consumers of knowledge to creators of knowledge. Van Meter School District learners have stepped through the looking glass by utilizing mobile and stationary computer labs.

Attend METC’s Leadership Breakfast and learn more about the school district’s transformation while interacting with other area administrators and board members! Special pre-registration is required- sign up for this event when registering for the general conference. METC is a program of the Virtual Learning Center of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis.

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As Program Manager, I want to take a moment and thank our Show-Me a Movie Digital Storytelling Contest sponsors for 2011.

The winning student filmmakers receive a swag bag at the reception on February 14th, courtesy of mostly local sponsors. Thank you for your generosity!

The movies will be showcased at the Midwest Education Technology Conference two weeks from today.  2011 sponsors include:

Tech4Learning  |  Cooperating School Districts  |  St. Louis County Library     CHARACTERplus  |  Tessler Promotions  |  Allegra Printing

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The 2012 Midwest Education Technology Conference is just around the corner- the first day of the conference are the precon workshops. These are either half or full-day professional development sessions. We have almost 30 this year on February 13th! We’re going to highlight some of them in this blog post, and others in future posts. Preregistration is required for these METC sessions. (Some sessions are full and are noted so on the website) . Information registration and all sessions can be found here.

Engaging Students with ActivInspire and Promethean Boards
Christina Lowery
Location: Hazelwood School District, Learning Center Training Lab, 15995 New Halls Ferry Rd., Florissant, MO 63031

Are you interested in learning more about Promethean Boards and ActivInspire? This workshop for beginners will explore the basics of the ActivInspire software. You will learn how to create your own engaging lessons as well as use pre-made resources from Promethean Planet. No previous experience with Promethean Boards or ActivInspire is necessary!

One Take Videos in the Classroom (BYOL)
Amy Cordova
Location: Cooperating School Districts, Conference Room C, 1460 Craig Rd., St. Louis, MO 63146

Ever wanted to be a moviemaker, but felt intimidated by all of the editing it involves? Come and learn how you can use videos in your classroom without any editing of the video. In this session you will learn about one take videos, their popularity, and how you can use them in your classroom for instruction and evaluation.

The HOTS For Discovery Education streaming (BYOL*)
Greg Lawrence, Troy Gill
Location: St. Charles Convention Center, Room 103, 1 Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, MO 63303

Take a look at how Discovery Education streaming can be used to transform your students into critical thinkers. This is much more than just a video service! Together, we will learn how to take images and videos from Discovery Education streaming and integrate them into Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, PhotoStory and much more. Attendees will learn how to reach beyond basic classroom projects and be motivated and engaged through creating digital projects which require a much higher level of critical, innovative thinking.
* BYOL Requirements: Laptop with internet connection. Mac: Must have iPhoto, GarageBand and iMovie. Windows: Must have PhotoStory and Windows Movie Maker.

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The 29th annual Midwest Education Technology Conference is coming up in mid-February! Sessions will take place at the St. Charles Convention Center on Monday (there will be a few offsite precons), Tuesday and Wednesday, February 13-15th.

In the event you are unable to attend METC in person, we’re pleased to share that some of our sessions will be streamed live, for free, and later archived. Keynote speakers will be streamed on February 14 and 15th; and each of the featured speakers will also be streamed. Those sessions will later be archived for viewing. This service is courtesy of Conference Technologies, INC.

Another way to participate in METC, whether you can participate at the conference or from elsewhere, is to follow the backchannel chat on Twitter. METC has a Twitter account-  @METC_CSD. Information regarding the conference will be tweeted out to our followers. In addition, we will be utlizing the hashtags #METC12 and #METC. By following those hashtags, you can learn tips, tricks, thoughts & ideas from attendees and presenters on content being shared at the conference!

We are looking forward to your participation at METC 2012. To learn more about the conference, or to register, visit

METC is a program of the Virtual Learning Center of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis.

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learning about Discovery Education Science on a Friday afternoon from Stephanie Madlinger

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Come hear Mark McLeod’s keynote – “Planting a Seed to be the Best!,” plus choose from 26 breakout sessions at the St. Louis Regional Professional Development Center/ Cooperating School Districts’ annual Best Practices Conference at the St. Charles Convention Center on February 28, 2012!

The best of the best from local schools will share their best practices with participants. This year’s theme is Honoring Teachers, Classrooms and Schools That Get Results.  You can read more about it here . A sample of breakout sessions include:

  • Multifaceted Differentiation– Michele Cherry, Wentzville SD
  • Google Tools to Improve Professional Collaboration– Lydia Spoor, Ritenour SD
  • How to Improve Student Achievement in Math by NOT Grading Homework– Jonathan Isaacson, Hillsboro SD
  • Interactive Learning Strategies that Increase Student Engagement– Peggy Dersch, CSD, Jana Reiter, Parkway SD
  • Conferring with Confidence– Julie Linck, Pattonville SD
  • Questioning Techniques that Maximizes Student Engagement– Mark McLeod
  • Closing the Gap One Learning Target at a Time– Courtney Rejniak, Dan Tripp, Parkway SD
  • Creating a Sense of Cultural Literacy– Bertha Richardson, RPDC
  • Vocabulary Strategies for Secondary Students: Making it “Click”– Mitzi Brammer, Special SD
  • Raising the Bar, Lowering the Cost– Don Jeffries, Windsor C-1 SD

You can finish the day at the CSD Winter Conference with keynote Mark McLeod as he explores strategies used by administrators to successfully lead schools. Mark’s keynote address on positive leadership through instructional supervision, relationship building, effective instruction, student-teacher motivation and more promises to be inspiring and motivating! This session is an additional $30 and includes dinner.

Graduate credit is available for an additional fee. For additional questions please contact Karen Vaughan at or call 314-692-1250 or Dave Sanders at or call 314-692-1219. Register online. CSD members just pay $60 for attending.

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History in the First Person: Stories of the Civil Rights Movement
Dates: February 9, 2012 | Times: 10-11:00 a.m. or 1-2:00 p.m. CT
Grade Levels: 5-10 | Cost:  NO CHARGE | Registration Required

Take your study of the Civil Rights Movement to individuals who participated in the struggle.  Interact via videoconference with three individuals whose actions made a difference in civil rights for people in their native St. Louis as well as throughout the nation.

Program Description from HEC-TV Live!:
What was it like to grow up black in America in the 1940s, 50s and 60s? What did it mean when words like “equality” and “justice” seemed to have a different meaning for you than for others in American society? What was it like to be inspired by leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr.?  Why would you have chosen to participate in the struggle for Civil Rights?  For this very special program, take your study of American history and the Civil Rights Movement in America to the individuals who participated in the struggle.  Ask these questions and more as you interact with three individuals whose actions made a difference in civil rights for people in their native St. Louis as well as throughout the nation.

Our focus in this program will not be exploring the details of America’s struggle for Civil Rights throughout its history, but it will be to provide students the rare and important opportunity to speak directly with those who lived during one chapter in that time and are excited to share their experiences with others. What would your students like to know about what it was like to live and work during this time?  Our guests for both programs were participants in CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), the St. Louis Jefferson Bank boycott of 1963, the 1964 protest for minority employment opportunities at the Gateway Arch, and the creation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday as well as many other events related to Civil Rights.  These four main topics will be used as examples for students to provide both content and context and also an organizational framework for the program.  Web resources related to these events as well as short biographies of our guests are included in the pre-program activities for students to use to prepare for the program and develop questions to ask the guests during the program.

This program is the first in a recurring series of HEC-TV Live! programs dealing with stories of the Civil Rights Movement in America. Subsequent programs will provide students the opportunity to interact with individuals who made significant contributions in the struggle for rights for other minority groups and women.  If you’d like to be placed on our HEC-TV Live! e-list to receive updates about future programs in the series, please e-mail us at

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