The Connected Classroom is the EducationPlus Learning Division blog. Here are the top five most visited posts for the past month – did you contribute to the clicks?
#1 Making IT Happen: Will Blaylock
#2 2014 METC Conference Keynotes: Kevin Honeycutt and Lodge McCammon
#3 Student Journalists Cover METC Live
#4 Sharpen Your Skills and Open Up New Worlds!
#5 Stream Video from METC 2014
April Burton teaches at Francis Howell Central High School, and currently serves as Francis Howell School District’s Teacher of the Year. She was selected as one of the Midwest Education Technology Conference’s Midwest Spotlight Educator for 2014. This recognition honor leaders from the region in education technology, whose practices are making a difference for students as well as teachers.
In her 14 year teaching career, she has taught English and French in grades 8 through 12. April serves on her school’s Greek Squad which helps to provide teachers with information on the trends in Educational Technology. She believes that the key to student success is maintaining a fast-paced, technology enhanced classroom where cooperative learning and effective teacher input is the foundation.
As a large proponent of the flipped classroom, April has been featured in national and international articles, as well as has had her own articles published in professional journals. April has provided hours of professional development to teachers across the globe. Her website provides teachers with the information that they need to transition to a successful flipped classroom. You can see April this February at METC and follow her on Twitter at @MmeBurton.
METC is a program of EducationPlus.
Our friend Janine Lim is revisiting some of her older posts, so I thought I’d do the same- we started to blog regularly on The Wired Classroom in the spring of 2007! (Hard to believe it’s been four years now!) This post I’m sharing today is dated May 17, 2007 … enjoy!
Deep in the Swamp, in the warm morning sun…
Yesterday, we had a wonderful videoconference- actually two- with St. Louis author Donna M. Bateman. Donna, along with Dexter the Alligator, talked about life in the swamp. For our first session, we had 4 kindergarten classes (at 4 sites) connect- two schools in the Francis Howell District, one in Parkway and the final one from Fox. The kids were fantastic! For the second session, we had 2 Francis Howell second grade classes connect from 2 schools. The feel was a bit different than it had been for the first group, but these kids were on top of it. At the end of the session, they asked Donna questions about writing a book, where she lives, and her inspirations. Donna revealed that Deep in the Swamp is her first book but she already has ideas for a second. One participating teacher wrote me a lovely e-mail: “You made it happen! My students and I thank you for this authentic and meaningful learning experience. Connecting and interacting with the author has brought this story to life. We continue to appreciate the opportunities for powerful ways to grow!” Another wrote, “Just wanted to tell you how wonderful the VC was yesterday. It totally fit what we’re studying and I was not expecting it too. Awesome! Everything was perfect!”
Deb House, a Technology Para at Central Elementary School in St. Charles, Missouri, regularly coordinates and schedules videoconferences for teachers and students. Next week, two of her classes will be participating in collaborations with the Parkway School District. Here, she shares why videoconferencing works at Central Elementary in the Francis Howell School District-
I love using videoconferencing technology in the classroom because it enables me to introduce such a large variety of experts and topics to our students. Recently we did a videoconference with the Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas to conclude the 4th grade students science lesson on Animal Adaptations. Not only were the students animated and excited throughout the discussion with the Zoo, their test results afterward were the highest they have been to date on that subject!
You can get students excited about any subject or topic if you let them meet and discuss it with an expert. I would have to say my favorite videoconference was the one we did with a St. Louis author, Carolyn Lesser. The 2nd grade students and Mrs. Lesser brainstormed together about descriptive words and topic ideas – they even created a poem together during the videoconference! Mrs. Lesser made brainstorming and looking around you for ideas fun. Each of the students had a full page of descriptive words and ideas by the end of their time talking with Mrs. Lesser.
I hope to continue to help my students meet many more experts, learn about more topics and continue to “go” to more locations in addition to the Zoos, Museums, NASA, Baseball Hall of Fame and other schools we have visited so far!