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About educationtoday

EducationPlus is a consortium of public school districts in the St. Louis metro area and the Learning Division provides professional development to educators- public, private, or parochial in all subjects (a sampling includes Ed Tech, Character Education, Special Education, English Language Learners...) The Connected Classroom blog is a blend of all of our professional development offerings, plus resources we think you will find helpful in a K-12 setting. We also like to share resources and events from organizations and cultural institutions in the St. Louis metro area. Thanks for clicking on our blog; we encourage you to visit daily- or subscribe- and feel free to share posts via social media or comment on any post!

2017-18 Tech Academies

Research continues to affirm that the most impactful professional learning is sustained over time and embedded in collaborative teams.

Join a cohort of like-minded leaders to enhance your learning all year long in one of six academies!

STEAM-ing Up STEM Academy
METC is excited to offer this NEW academy just for you! STEAM is everywhere! It is hard to come up with any occupation that doesn’t involve STEAM. The focus on STEM began with the notion that students need more opportunities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math related fields. The National Science Foundation estimates that 80% of the jobs created in the next decade will require some form of math and science skills. With the increase enthusiasm for Project Based Learning (PBL) these two concepts complement each other. Learn more and register hereThis academy includes admission to the METC Summer Institute, July 10-11.

Begins Tuesday, August 29

MakerEd Academy
METC LogoOur METC is excited to offer a focused academy on the MakerEd Movement for educators who enjoy inventing, designing and tinkering, and believe creativity and innovation are catalysts for student engagement. Maker and design thinking experiences foster a culture of asking questions, solving problems, and develop an “I can do that!” confidence in young people. When we combine problem-solving activities with technology, and the basics of rapid prototyping and digital fabrication, the sky’s the limit! Learn more and register here. This academy includes admission to the METC Summer Institute, July 10-11.

Begins Wednesday, August 30

MO Google for Education Academy
Google for Education Logo

If your district has gone Google, and you are feeling lost, then GAFE Academy is for you! If you are looking to Googlize your teaching, sign-up for this year-long academy, attend the 4th annual Missouri Summit Featuring Google for Education AND the 35th annual METC Conference. Become a METC GAFE Master, by completing the coursework and presenting at the annual METC conference. Learn more & register here.

Begins Monday, September 18

Library Media Specialist Academy
The LMS Academy focuses on the changing role of the Library Media Specialist in K-12 education. 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 includes one day attendance at the METC Conference. Learn more and register here.

Begins Wednesday, September 27

Technology Leadership Academy for Teachers
Women at computerThe TLA for teachers will assist educators in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to use technology as a tool for more effective and efficient integration in their classrooms. Various free digital portals, applications and resources will be explored including Google & Microsoft applications & SAMR. This long-term academy is for all media or tech specialists, and classroom teachers. Registration includes one day attendance at the METC Conference. Learn more and register here.

Begins Thursday, September 28

Technology Leadership Academy for School Leaders
The TLA will assist in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to use technology as a tool for more effective and efficient leadership in their schools. This long-term academy is for all educational leaders (superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, curriculum or tech coordinators). Registration includes one day attendance at the METC Conference. Learn more and register here.

Begins Wednesday, October 4

Can’t Miss #METC Summer PD!

Join us this Summer for Maker Spaces, Google, Coding, SAMR & more! Check out the can’t miss Summer PD workshops you’ll want to register for today.

See our full calendar here.


Break Out of Your Classroom & BYOB

Wednesday, June 7 – Thursday, June 8

Two days of professional learning like you’ve never seen before! Fun, collaborative learning with participant-driven sessions and Breakout Expert Learners onsite to help you design and problem solve. Learn more and register here.

DBDM Has Gone Google

Thursday, June 15

This workshop wil infuse Google into your PLC and the Data-Based Decision Making Process. Learn how other in the region are using DBDM to meet the needs of all their students, experience the 6-step DBDM process. Work smarter with this user-friendly tool and SEE your impact. Learn more and register here.

Google Mania: Mini Boot Camp


Monday, June 19 – Tuesday, June 20

Join area Google Certified Teachers in this two-day workshop. Speed Geek style presentations on day one will show you 8-12 features and strategies you can use in your classroom. Diver deeper on day two to find the hidden treasures that will knock your socks off! Learn more and register here.

LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 – Grades 5 and Up


Wednesday, June 21

This hands-on workshop is for educators just getting started with LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3. Learn how to build your robot, how to use programming blocks and see the connects to Common Core. Learn more and register here.

LEGO Education and Maker Spaces (Grades 1-8)

Thursday, June 22

Looking to set up a Maker Space but you don’t know where to start? This one day workshop will show you how to utilize LEGO Education bricks, curriculum and activities to set up a Maker Space that promotes hands-on, minds-on learning. You’ll learn how to incorporate robotics into Maker Space projects at both the elementary and middle school levels. Learn more and register here.

METC Summer Institute: Building STEAM & Making Spaces 

METC Summer Institute 2017

Monday, July 10 – Tuesday, July 11

Making, coding, designing and more! This two day event is for the creative and innovative educator, as well as those content teachers of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and the Arts.  Talented STEAM “makers” will come together to share at our two day Summer Institute. Krissy Venosdale and Steve Dembo will help us kick off the event & several midwest STEM & Maker educators will share what they have learned, and how they make innovative projects and complete engaging activities in their flexible spaces. Learn more and register here.

SAMR Institute and Camp


Wednesday, July 19 – Thursday, July 20 (optional Saturday, September 20)

The SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) model, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, allows teachers to reflect on how technology is being integrated in the classroom. This framework provides another way for educators to visualize and discuss HOW technology can be integrated and HOW it can transform instruction and learning. Learn more and register here.

Creating Coders Camp

Wednesday, July 26 – Thursday, July 27 and date TBD.

There are over seven thousand spoken languages in the world. Did you know that coding is thought of as THE new world language? This language is one that will be vital to your students’ future.  However, how do you introduce coding to your students when you have so much content to cover? Believe it or not, coding can be infused into your current lessons to meet both needs all the while engaging your students like never before! Learn more and register here.

Congratulations to our #METC17 Conference Game Winners

We have tabulated the results of our conference game and are happy to announce TEN random winners, including the Grand Prize Winners of a two day 2018 METC Conference Scholarship! 


Christina Eddleman Independence
School District 
 METC18 two-day scholarship
Stacey Stubits St. Charles
School District 
 METC18 two-day scholarship
Allison Crumley Academie
 METC Summer Institute
two-day scholarship
Betsy Parrish Knox Elementary
 METC Summer Institute
two-day scholarship
Alix Lasker Academie
 Google Mania two-day
Rhonda Waters Richland R-IV
School District
 Google Mania two-day
Jennifer Orton Knox County R-1
School District
 SAMR Institute & Camp
three-day scholarship
Shantel Baranowski Richland
School District
 SAMR Institute & Camp
three-day scholarship
Jana Gerard Francis Howell
School District
 Breakout of Your Classroom
& BYOB two-day scholarship
Michelle Wilkerson Hancock
School District
 GooseChase subscription

KTRS550 ‘Issues in Education’ Broadcasting LIVE from #METC17



For Immediate Release

Contact: Christine McDonald


Issues in Education to Broadcast Live at 2017 METC Conference

Issues in Education is partnering with the Midwest Educational Technology Community (METC), a resource of EdcuationPlus, to broadcast from the 34th annual METC Conference. The live broadcast will be Tuesday, February 14 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Issues in Education is an influential, national forum that provides a meaningful voice for leaders in education, healthcare and business to share their vision and expertise on the issues that impact 21st century learning across all markets.

The February broadcast of Issues in Education will be held at the 2017 METC Conference, the largest educational technology conference for educators in Missouri, and will focus on creativity and innovation in education.

Discussion topics and scheduled participants include:

 Welcome & Introductions

  • Dennis M. Young, President & CEO, Ittner

 METC Conference Overview & Purpose

  • Bill Bass, Innovation Coordinator, Parkway School District, ISTE Board Member
  • Stephanie Madlinger, Director of Educational Innovation & METC, EducationPlus
  • Christie Terry, Executive Director, eMINTS

New Realities & Emerging Technologies

  • Manuel Herrera, Coordinator of 1:1 Programing, Affton School District
  • Chris Kilbride, Superintendent, Ritenour School District
  • Eric Knost, Superintendent, Rockwood School District
  • Student from Pattonville School District

Transforming Schools

  • Bob Dillon, Director of Innovation, University City School District
  • Jim Elkins, Cisco Networking Academy Instructor, North Technical High School, SSD
  • Keri Skeeters, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Wentzville School District
  • Student from North Technical High School, SSD

Digital Citizenship

  • Donna Jahnke, Superintendent, Ladue School District
  • Orlando Sharpe, STEM Program Director, YMCA Community Development & STEMpact Facilitator
  • Julie Smith, Adjunct Professor, Southern Illinois at Edwardsville & Webster University
  • Student from the Ritenour School District

Closing Thoughts & Discussion

  • Matthew Goodman, Executive Director, EducationPlus
  • Jennifer Tiller, Chief Academic Officer, EducationPlus

Optimizing Human Performance & Experience

  • Dennis M. Young, President & CEO, Ittner

Issues in Education is founded by ITTNER Architects who believes in optimizing human performance and experience through informed design. These conversations are aired live on The Big 550 KTRS Radio, streamed nationally, and then videotaped to serve as a valuable resource with access online.

The 2017 METC Conference will be held at the St. Charles Convention Center from February 13 – 15, 2017. Presenters and attendees from more than twenty-two states will interact with experts in the field, learn from neighboring schools and share best practices. To learn more about the METC, visit

To learn more about Issues in Education, visit

#METC17 Preconference Workshops Update- Nearing Capacity & Sold Out

Several preconference workshops are nearly capacity, with two already sold out. If you’re interested in registering for a preconference workshop, we strongly recommend that you do NOT delay your registration.

Preconference workshops are offered for those who want more in-depth instruction on specific subjects. #METC17 preconference workshops are Monday, February 13- with full day or half day workshops available.

(Workshops listed in bold italic are nearing capacity – fewer than 10 seats remain. Those struck out are sold out).

Register soon, so that you don’t miss out!

Below is the current list of available preconference workshops at #METC17.

Click the headings to read more information about each workshop.

Full Day Workshops

P01- Code Studio- K-5 Computer Science Fundamental Curriculum

P02- Robotics in the Classroom. Fewer than 10 seats remain

P03- METC Digital Learning Leadership Summit

Half Day Workshops (AM)

P04- Automating Your Workflow with Google

P05- BreakoutEDU- Fostering Creative Problem Solvers in your Classroom through Gamification of Content  This Workshop is FULL

P06- Cyber Aware School Audit: Are You Ready? Fewer than 10 seats remain

P07- Google and SAMR

P08- Google Certified Education GAFEcamp. Fewer than 10 seats remain

P09- If They Can Design It, They Can 3D Print It

P10- I Wish Google Could…

P11- Podcasting 101

P12- STEAM-Y Force & Motion

P13- WeDo 2.0 Workshop: Make Science Come to Life

Half Day Workshops (PM)

P14- Basic to Advanced Google Tools: Drawings, Forms and Slides

P15- BreakoutEDU 2.0 Building Breakouts: Creating Customized Breakouts for Your Classroom and Content. Fewer than 10 seats remain

P16- Building Capacity: Survive, Adapt & Thrive! Fewer than 10 seats remain

P17- Crack the Code: Teaching Kids to Code  This Workshop is FULL

P18- #FutureReady Librarians: Unleash the Leadership!

P19- Getting Started with Google and ISTE Standards for Primary Students

P20- High Tech & Low Tech Solutions to Closing the Feedback Loop

P21- If They Can Design It, They Can 3D Print It, part II

P22- Produce Videos with a Chromebook? Absolutely! Fewer than 10 seats remain

P23- Teaching Science and Math Through Robotics

P24- Virtual Reality in the Classroom: Create Your Own Expedition. Fewer than 5 seats remain