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The Connected Classroom

Information On and From EducationPlus' LearningLab

Monthly Archives: September 2012

2013 Midwest Spotlight Educator Ben Grey is the Chief Information Officer for Oak Lawn- Hometown School District 123.  He works to implement an integrated communications strategy that provides strong connections between staff, students, parents, and the community. He is a professor in the Master of Education in Literacy program at Judson University where he teaches the course, “Technology in Literacy Instruction.” To read more about Grey’s work, please visit and Follow him on Twitter at @bengrey.

Ben is one of nine educators chosen as spotlight speaker at the Midwest Education Technology Conference. This special designation honors leaders from the region in education technology, whose practices are making a difference for students and teachers. METC,  a program of Cooperating School Districts, celebrates 30 years in 2013.

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Today is the kick off of the 2012-2013 Library Media Specialist Academy at Cooperating School Districts. It happens to coincide with next week’s free worldwide Library 2.012 Virtual Conference. Library 2.012 starts October 3rd. This conference is being held online, in multiple time zones, over the course of two days (three actual calendar days when including all time zones). This year, there is a global schedule of 150 accepted presentations and 10 keynotes; last year there were almost 10,000 attendee logins. Martha Bogart, seen above at one of last year’s LMS sessions, and who is leading the academy this year, is encouraging her Library Media Specialists to participate.

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Today the Learning Division’s Laurie Milburn, a Special Education Improvement Consultant, conducted a brief webinar that highlighted one important step involved in writing and submitting a successful MAP-A: APIs. Alternate Performance Indicators must be thoughtfully chosen prior to designing MAP-A activities and collecting MAP-A data. To learn more by accessing the archived version of the webinar, click on the photo above.

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Happy Birthday Google! Celebrating 14 years of innovation, cheers to our Missouri Google  Certified Teachers:

  • Bill Bass
  • Diana Dell
  • Cindy Lane
  • Stephanie Madlinger
  • Kyle Pace
  • Alexandria Pepin Mooney
  • Joshua Wilmsmeyer

Google Certified Teachers are exceptional K-12 educators with a passion for using innovative tools to improve teaching and learning; creative leaders who understand their local needs and can spread innovation as a recognized expert; and ambassadors for change who model high expectations, life-long learning, collaboration, equity & inclusion, and innovation. They also are expected to develop a “Personal Action Plan”; lead at least three local professional development activities over the course of 12 months; actively participate in the Google Certified Teacher Online Community; share the impact of their work with other Google Certified Teachers through an end-of-year reflection.

Look for plenty of Google related professional development from Cooperating School Districts and the Midwest Education Technology Conference (METC) this school year.


Cooperating School Districts’ Learning Division provides support to K-12 schools and staff by leading or hosting professional development sessions that are of interest to many educators.

Dr. Sharon Faber, president of Faber Consulting, is an internationally recognized speaker with over 30 years of experience as an educator. Her roles include being a teacher, building and central office administrator, university professor, and staff development trainer during the course of her career. Dr. Faber has taught almost every grade level, and she has been an English and Reading Supervisor, Director of Leadership Training, and Middle School Facilitator. She was a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Belmont Abbey College. With that experience, Dr. Faber has written extensively in the areas of literacy and leadership at the middle and high school levels including the best sellers, How to Teach Reading When You Are Not a Reading Teacher (2006) and How to Teach Academic Vocabulary (2010). Dr. Faber comes to St. Louis for several teacher workshops in October and November:

  • Beating the Odds for All Students: Making the Playing Field Equal, 10/17: Participants will examine preconceptions students from poverty have toward education and school as well as the differences between student and teacher expectations of school.
  • How to Teach Academic Vocabulary So Kids Can Remember, 10/18: Learn what the research tells us is the best way to teach academic vocabulary to your students so they will retain what they know in long-term memory.
  • How to Teach Writing When You’re Not a Writing Teacher, 11/5: Learn practical writing strategies that can be used with students in any content area to help them retain what they learn.

Detailed information on online registration, costs and locations can be found at; look up programs either by date or name. For questions, contact Tiffiny Creech.

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2013 Midwest Spotlight Educator Greg Lawrence is currently the Technology Facilitator for the Wentzville School District. Greg has been instrumental in training and supporting Wentzville’s 200+ high school educators as they began their 1:1 Student Initiative. He has worked with many school districts and presented at many regional and state conferences. He is a Discovery STAR educator, serves on the METC Advisory Board, ETA of STL Board, is a SMART Certified Trainer, and an adjunct professor for Missouri Baptist University. In addition to being selected as a Midwest Spotlight Educator, Greg was also honored with the Making IT Happen Award  from the Missouri Educational Technology Community, the METC ISTE affiliate. Follow him on Twitter at @greglawrence.

Greg is one of nine educators chosen as spotlight speaker at the Midwest Education Technology Conference. This special designation honors leaders from the region in education technology, whose practices are making a difference for students and teachers. METC,  a program of Cooperating School Districts, celebrates 30 years in 2013.

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Today, participants are exploring each component of the “Ten Essentials” that integrate character education into academic learning and the culture of a school and a district. Diane Stirling, of CHARACTERplus, is leading this seminar at Cooperating School Districts. This workshop is one of three required for Basic Certification in Character Education.

The Ten Essentials (condensed)

  1. Community consensus
  2. Character education policy
  3. Identified and defined traits
  4. Integrated curriculum
  5. Experiential learning
  6. Evaluation
  7. Adult role models
  8. Professional development
  9. Student leadership
  10. Sustaining the program

To see other Learning Division professional development opportunities, including technology integration, Special Education, MELL, plus others, visit

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