Tag Archives: project-based learning

Bring on the STEAM in July!

photo by Stephanie Madlinger
photo by Stephanie Madlinger

We have several edtech offerings this summer, but for one week in July, it’s going to get a bit STEAMy, with design thinking, coding and project based learning scheduled! Registration is still open, so you can sign up today!

July 13-14: STEAM-ing It Up: Design Thinking in the Classroom; learn from Debbie Fucoloro and Christine Ruder. Beginning with essential questions, they will explore many strategies and practices available to maker educators– makerspace and PBL processes that include: LEGOs, littleBits, squishy electronics, Sphero, wearable computing, Arduino, recycling and robotics, coding and more… all of which allow educators and students to share, engage, explore and collaborate on their learning journey together.

July 15: Adventures in STEM: Learn to Code; Debbie Fucoloro continues to share her best practices in drag and drop programming in a hands-on, game-like constructivist atmosphere.

July 16: Project Based Learning & 21st Century Skills in the Elementary Classroom with LEGO Educationjoin Steffanie Forbes and Laura Jackson has they guide you through hands-on activities that cover modeling in science, math, engineering, language arts, reading, social studies and literacy– using LEGOs. 

July 17: Project Based Learning & 21st Century Skills with LEGO EducationSteffanie Forbes and Laura Jackson focus on the secondary classroom in their second day at EdPlus. Explore real world math, science, renewable energy and engineering, plus simple & motorized mechanisms and physics, again, in hands-on activities.

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February 2013 Top Reads

feb 5Here are the top five blog posts for the past month on The Connected Classroom — have you read them?

(1)  Students Front & Center @ METC 2013
(2)  February 11: Best Practices Conference
(3)  Announcing the Winning 2012 Show-Me Movies
(4)  Reinventing Project-Based Learning
(5)  Free Opportunities for Teachers this Week in St. Louis

Reinventing Project-Based Learning

Several of the Midwest Education Technology Conference Advisory Committee members have volunteered to read the books being offered at the METC book store  and are providing brief reviews on the content. Here are the latest:

Reinventing Project-Based Learning – Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age
By Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss, Reviewed by Will Blaylock

PBL BookReinventing Project-Based Learning is an outstanding resource to use when working with teachers on how to best implement Project Based Learning.  This is the first resource I have found that takes the teacher from beginning to end on how to plan, implement and assess project based learning.  The authors use vignettes throughout the book demonstrating real-world examples.  This should be very beneficial when working with teachers who are not eager to adopt this instructional model.  Most chapters include a realistic example, discussion on the topic and how-to’s when it comes to leveraging technology.  Technology use is woven throughout the book to amplify the positive effect it can have on the learning process.  An interesting and timely topic of discussion within the book is the development of a Professional Learning Community to facilitate the implementation of Project Based Learning. I highly recommend this book to increase personal learning as it relates to Project Based Learning!

1-to-1 Online Learning: Laptop Programs that Work
By Pamela Livingston , Reviewed by Cindy Marston

1-to-1 Online LearningThis book is an  in-depth and practical guide for administrators, teachers, and parents.  As a second edition, it contains chapters on programs using tablet PCs and effective use of Web2.0 resources.  The book is well-organized into three parts, allowing readers to easily  locate the information they seek and skim what may be marginally relevant.  Part 1 describes the possibilities of a 1-to-1 program, with specifics from several schools, including Whitfield  School right here in St. Louis (page 43),  and a chapter that summarizes the research and lessons learned from early adopters.  Part 2 discusses the critical steps of planning and implementation, including a “must read” chapter on professional development for teachers.  Finally, the chapters in Part  3 contains practical information regarding classroom management, helping to answer the essential question: What does teaching and learning look like when every student has a computer in front of them?  Based on her research, Ms. Livingston makes strong and  persuasive arguments that “students get to the thinking levels faster when they have their own digital assistants to help them.”

You Can’t Beat Free PD!

Last Saturday, Discovery Education and the Virtual Learning Center of Cooperating School Districts hosted a free educational technology mini-conference. The 2011 Spring Virtual Conference was streamed live with guest speakers sharing their knowledge about online publishing, project-based learning, geocaching and more. Thousands of educators from across the world gathered in their homes or at various locations around the globe to learn, collaborate, and network.

As a free professional development opportunity, CSD offered this the live stream event for St. Louis area educators to participate in from our building, plus we offered hands-on training and instructional technology assistance. The participants were able to choose between watching and discussing the live stream of Discovery Educator Network guest speakers or collaborate in smaller group sessions hosted by the instructional technology trainers in the VLC. The participants brought their own wireless device or used one in the Technology Enhanced Learning Environment (tele) of CSD. Our special guest was Discovery Education Professional Developer Cindy Lane. Cindy shared many of the hidden treasures of DE streaming.

Teachers from ten different districts in Missouri and Illinois attended this event. Attendees also received information about the VLC professional development opportunities and how to become a member of the Discovery Educator Network.

“I am so excited about all that I learn every time I come here,” one teacher from Warren County R-3 Schools shared. Two 4th grade teachers from the School District of Clayton stated that they would be sure to come back for the free trainings CSD offers on Discovery Education streaming– those are offered every-other-month on Mondays. The next session- the final one for this school year- is this upcoming Monday, May 9th. Click here to learn more about this free all-day training. Registration is required.