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Book Release Event Programs of Change: Volume 2

Book Release Event Programs of Change: Volume 2

A small group of passionate educators gathered in August to begin a journey. Each telling their story of innovation, creativity, change and personal growth. These stories, with the help of Dr. Robert Dillon, have come together to truly highlight our amazing region. Without a publishing company, without pre-sales, without financial support from many foundations, we persisted. Our region's educators deserve to be published, we are so excited to tell their stories!

Order

Volume 1 and 2 are available here. Preorder Volume 3 or the complete series here.

Outline of the event:

10:30 - 11:00 Welcome and networking

11:00 - 12:00 8, 6-minute presentations with a short break in between, TED-style delivered by the authors of Volume 1.

12:00 - 12:15 Throughline of the stories and setting up of the next storyline found in Volume 2 delivered by Dr. Robert Dillon

12:15 - 12:45 Book signing by authors/educators.

Slide Deck from the Event:

Photos From The Event

Connected Learning at MADE

Connected Learning at MADE

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Makers. Artists. Designers. Entrepreneurs. All have a space in MADE.

We had a great time with educators around our region touring this amazing space, playing on the laser cutter, CNC router, embroidery machine and having fun MAKING together. Learning, light dinner, and drinks were included.

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About MADE:

MADE is the place where St. Louis Makers, Artists, Designers, and Entrepreneurs create and collaborate. Our co-founders, Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer (the guys who brought you Third Degree Glass Factory), acted quickly when a makerspace chain went bankrupt in St. Louis, leaving over 500 local makers in the lurch. Our friends at Cortex gave Jim and Doug the tools they needed to get started, literally. We snagged all the machinery from the old place and hustled on out of there. After a year spent rehabbing a 100-year old brick bunker of a building on Delmar, we plugged in our gear, polished up the terrazzo floors, and opened our doors in November 2018. There is work in this world only you can make. Your side hustle, your bright idea, your passion project. MADE is where it’s going to happen. From the ground up. With your own two hands.



We Enjoyed:

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  • Demo on the laser cutter

  • Demo on CNC router

  • Demo on the embroidery machine

  • Create with a hands-on activity


We also:

  • Toured the amazing space

  • Learned more about MADE and the thriving Maker community

  • Walked away with something YOU made

  • Learned about how you and/or your school can become members of MADE

Reflection on the Midwest Global Teaching Dialogue

Reflection on the Midwest Global Teaching Dialogue

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The 2019 Midwest Global Teaching Dialogue  was hosted on Saturday, January 5, 2019 9AM-2PM at the Missouri History Museum. This event aimed to discuss the importance of global competence for 21st century learners and to explore effective practices in global education.  The Midwest Global Teaching Dialogue was sponsored by the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and featured area leaders in global education.

Event Outcomes:

  • an understanding of Sustainable Development Goals and how to inspire students to use your content to solve world problems

  • a practical guide to begin engaging students in global PBL

  • hearing from students on the skills they have developed in global education learning about Department of State sponsored teacher and student exchange programs

  • Effective K-12 Global Education Practices

  • And much, much more


Special thanks to our event partners:

United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

IREX

United Nations Association St. Louis

iEARN

Missouri History Museum

Session Descriptions:

“Museum Literacy: Bring the World to your Students with Museum Teaching Strategies” The ability to understand museum spaces and artifacts is a learned skill, one that’s vital to the cultivation of lifelong, global learners and to helping students develop a greater empathy for cultures around the world. Museum literacy also helps students connect the skills they learn in the classroom to new subject matters and environments. But many students face barriers when trying to learn in museums. Discover how you can ensure your students are prepared to make the most of a museum visit.

“Sustainable Development Goals: Engaging Students in Solving World Problems” United Nations Association of Saint Louis Board Members Carlos Suarez and Luz Rooney will be holding a workshop about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they play a role in today’s society. From the creation of the post-2015 agenda, and how individuals can contribute toward its progress, this will be an informative session to share information and resources that will inspire our generation to drive progress towards the global goals.

“K-12 Effective Practices in Global Education”  Join currently practicing educators as they share their favorite resources in globalizing education.  Explore the four avenues of access to globalizing your classroom: content, instructional strategies, assessment and professional learning. Participants will learn how to select and use appropriate technology and media to communicate with diverse audiences and increase cultural understandings to expand opportunities for young people to have meaningful, educational global experiences.   

“Learn with the World: Connecting Students in Global Virtual Projects” Want to integrate global interaction into your classroom? Join us for a practical guide to beginning global collaborative virtual projects.  Learn how to connect with teachers and students around the world and build cross cultural communication, recognized diverse perspectives and global inquiry skills. Resources, technology tips, and global competency strategies will be shared.  Strategies are applicable for K-12 educators in all disciplines.

“Student Panel: Student Exchange Programs and the Importance of Global Education to 21st Learners”  Hear from current and former U.S. Department of State sponsored exchange students about the global competencies, aptitudes and perspectives they have developed from their exchange experiences.  Students will discuss the application process, how to encourage students to apply and reflect on the value of integrating global competencies into existing best practices.

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2019 Midwest Global Teaching Dialogue Schedule

8:30AM-9:00AM Registration and Coffee/Pastries

9:00-9:50 AM Introductions and Keynote Speaker

10:00 -10:50 Session 1

11:00-11:40 Lunch Break

11:50-12:40 Session 2

12:50-1:30 Panel Discussion:

1:30-2:00 Closing Remarks/ Invitation to follow up events


Organizer: Katherine Korte Katkorte@connectedlearningstl.org

Photographer Jacki Saxton

Photographer Jack Goetz




Chomecamp IL

Chomecamp IL

The first annual ChromecampIL (at least in Southern Illinois) was a success!  The Alton High School tech department rolled out the red carpet for the educators who showed up from two states and 5 counties. Swag included a BloxelsEDU kit, a Google Mini, a Google Chromecast, and a Chromebook courtesy of Trinity3 Technology.  With the help of Mike Wielgus and Adam Geisen from Triad District #2, we were able to make this unconference event one for the books.  Be sure to join us on Saturday, March 7, 2020 for ChromecampIL


Special thanks to Matt Derrick, tech director and his team and Elaine Kane, Curriculum Coordinator for making the event special.



First Ever Apple Summit

First Ever Apple Summit

Wrap Up

We were so excited to partner with our local Apple representative to bring to life a new event. For years we’ve been putting together the Missouri Summit features Google in Education and it was time for us to honor all of our districts that support Apple Products. We had a call for presenters (which then registered for free) and we built a session board of a myriad of topics around the Apple Ecosystem. We secured our keynote speaker, Rebecca Hare, on Practical Creativity and partnered with Ladue School District to help make the event a premier learning experience for our region. The day was a huge success. See details below and join us next year!

Event Schedule

8:30am - 9:00 Registration

9:00 - 9:10 Welcome

9:10 - 10:10 Keynote

10:10 - 10:30 Break

10:30 - 11:20 Session 1

11:20 - 12:20 Lunch on us :-)

12:20 - 1:10 Session 2

1:20 - 2:10 Session 3

2:20 - 3:00 Wrap

Summit Session Board

Session board hosted in Numbers

Session board hosted in Numbers

Keynote - Rebecca Hare

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Practical Creativity

Unlocking the 5 key aspects of creativity in yourself and your students.

Session Descriptions

Jana Gerard    Learning Specialist for Educational Technology - Lindenwood University
They gave me these iPads. Now What?    
Do you have access to iPads but you aren’t sure what what to do with them? This session will cover the basics of Apple Classroom and using Google and Office apps. We will also look at apps for math, literacy, presentations, and student engagement. At the end of this session you should know the basics of what you can do with those iPads!

Greg Lawrence    Director of Technology - Wentzville Schools    
Creating In Hand: More Powerful Than You Think    
It’s time for our students to create and what’s amazing is the mobile devices they carry around in their pockets (I know you have noticed the white earbuds) can compose music, produce a movie, design a poster, and so much more!!! Come experience and rethink the power of iPad/iPhone and how it can transform learning in our learning spaces. Your students are more powerful than you think!

Don Goble    Media Teacher and Speaker - Ladue School District
Six-Word Story, Six Unique Shots: Enhancing Writing Through Multimedia     
Explore an activity that brings the writing process to life with digital storytelling. A simple six-word story, created as a video with six unique camera shots, allows students the ability to tell a powerful visual story. This presentation will guide educators through a unique project that addresses the fundamentals of media literacy, filmmaking, and the digital storytelling process.

Robert Dillon    Director of Technology - University City School District    
Sync Your Digital Space to Support Excellent Instruction
Learning space continue to be digital for more students. It is essential that teachers and leaders think like designers to sync their instructional goals with the digital space that guides the learning. This session with look at core principles that can support this achievement creation for students.

Colleen Skiles    Teacher - Troy R-3 School District
HyperKeynote? HyperPages? Hyper What?    HyperPages? HyperKeynote? 
It does not matter the platform it starts from, what matters is the learning that takes place. The concept behind “hyper” is the increase in critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, connection and real-life engagement. Make any lesson “hyper” with AppleEdu, include multiple platform and application integration, personalize learning, and  increase reflection from the learner and the educator. Let's get Hyped!

Sadie Lewis    Instructional Innovation Specialist - Mehlville School District    
Clips in the Classroom    
Video creation doesn't have to be a long process using advanced software. Clips is an iOS app for making and sharing fun videos with text, effects, graphics, and more. Using Clips, students can plan their video and start creating right away - allowing them to focus on content and creation. In this session, attendees will experience video creation in Clips, learn the easy to use tools, and walk away with lesson ideas that can be used in the classroom.  

Rob Lamb    Teacher - Pattonville School District
Infographic Use and Creation in the Classroom.
In this session we will discuss ways to incorporate infographics into the classroom and also how to successfully create them with Pages and Keynote. This will also include several lesson ideas to help students better understand how to navigate through an infographic and techniques to follow the breadcrumbs back to the source of the information presented to determine its validity. Takeaways will be provided.

Michael McCann    Instructional Technology Coach - Wentzville Schools  
iPads for Littles    
Guide your littlest learners through a creative journey on the iPad. Help students use different types of media to become content creators. In this session, we will utilize different apps that range from easy to use to more complex. Participants will gain insight on how to scaffold a lesson on the iPad as well as differentiate for different learners. Participants will need an iPad with the following: access to the camera and microphone, Clips app, Garageband app, and iMovie app.

Lonni Long    ESL Teacher - Troy R-3 School District
Language and Literacy development for Newcomer EL Learners
It is so easy and engaging for students new to the country to use the Ipad to promote English Literacy and Language development.  With guidance, students can create books to support their learning of sight words, vocabulary words, and sentence structure.

Stephanie McCreary    District Technology Specialist - Pattonville School District 
Personalized Publishing: Voice & Choice
See 15+ examples of how students can publish their writing/learning, from podcasts to e-books to videos. Publishing refers to any type of writing OR communication of ideas & information. 90% of the session is hands-on. Choose 1 app you want to explore in this hands-on session. Bring your iPad & headphones. Make sure you are updated to iOS12 and you have the latest version of Keynote and Pages.

Jennifer Orton    Innovative Learning Specialist - Knox County R-1 Schools 
Stop Searching and Start Creating!
The App Store has thousands of apps to choose from and searching can be time consuming and overwhelming! Stop searching and focus on the Apple apps that come with your iPad! This session will focus on the iPad how you can use Apps such as Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Clips and iMovie to create, learn, and collaborate in your classroom today!

Kristie Lehde    Technology Specialist - Ladue School District
Reminders- the unsung hero of organizational tools for teachers and administrators.
Attendees will experience the vast number of options that the Reminders app offers in keeping todo lists organized and easy to maintain. From general todo lists, to being reminded of a list when I walk into a specific place, to alarms reminding of tasks that need completion, and communicating and collaboration todo lists with teammates, will make any educators life more efficient and effective.

Tammy Hasheider    District Technology Specialist - Pattonville School District
Everyone Can Create - Posters, Infographics, Movies, Oh my!
When students create, they learn and remember. Using ideas from this session both teachers and students can become creative communicators and innovative designers. This is a hands-on session where you will learn new ways to create professional looking posters, flyers, infographics, and even movies with Keynote, Pages, Quicktime, Photobooth, and iMovie.

Christine Ruder    Teacher - Rolla Public Schools & Debbie Fucoloro    Teacher - Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Make Learning a Snap: Using Student Images for Deeper Understanding 
Heard of #BookSnaps? Let’s try #LearningSnaps! First, use Keynote to have students create personal learning-mojis. Then, use the learning-mojis with iPad apps such as, Book Creator, SeeSaw, PicCollage, Google Slides, or Padlet, etc. to have your students illustrate their thinking about concepts they are learning in class. Using #LearningSnaps allows students to reflect and share their understanding in an engaging, personalized manner. 

Images from the event

EdcampSTL 2019

EdcampSTL 2019

From the moment the doors opened at 7:00, the energy was high among the planning team, volunteers, and attendees for a great day of learning at EdCamp St. Louis. That energy only continued to grow throughout the day as educators engaged in conversations and sharing around a wide range of topics in education.


The morning began with a kickoff session with all 350 attendees in the auditorium - complete with a tshirt cannon! Starting as a whole group helps to get everyone on the same page - especially those who are new to edcamp.


Following kickoff, attendees jumped right into developing the days session schedule. In less than 30 minutes, all 20 session posters were full of ideas ranging from student voice to flexible seating, social emotional learning to new tech tools. The day was full of amazing conversations and great sharing as attendees attended four rounds of sessions and collaborated on shared notes documents.


Reflecting on EdCamp St. Louis, I think a huge factor in the success of the day is the volunteers. From the months of planning by a team of volunteers, to the minute-by-minute schedule of the day, to the student volunteers - EdCampSTL wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the volunteers and the attendees who show up, excited to learn and grow!

Partnership with the Black and Brown Teaching Trust

Partnership with the Black and Brown Teaching Trust

We were SO LUCKY to get the opportunity to partner with the Black and Brown Teaching Trust to kick off Black History Month by raising a glass to Black and Brown educators!

The purpose of the event was to connect educators of color with each other for a chance to celebrate our roles in public and private education. These educators of all levels had a chance to share their experiences from their career field, build strong professional learning networks and kickback to enjoy some good company. We know It is important for students to be able to see teachers from all different backgrounds and experiences. It is equally important for educators to receive the same perspective. Cheers to our Black and Brown Educators!

Special Thanks to @darionrobinson for letting us collaborate on your vision!

First Ever unGala!

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Our organization has been around for three years. We’ve been doing okay, but we recognize the need to do some serious fundraising if we would like to see this mission continue.

Our Goals:

  • Raise $20,000

  • Have the event attended by 100+ people

  • Recognize the impact our organization is having on our region

  • Provide an experience that mimics our core values

The event was held at Third Degree Glass Factory on 10/4 starting at 6pm. Below are some of the Pre-unGala images:

Run Of Show:

6:15 - Welcome and information on navigating the unGala, Dr. Christopher McGee, Founder & CEO and Julie Lawson, Executive Director

6:45 - Glass Blowing Demo, 3rd Degree Glass Company

7:15 - Welcome from the Board of Directors, Brenda Watt

Keynote Speech, Carey Davis, Head Football Coach, Hazelwood Central High School; former starting fullback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Closing Comments, Dr. Amy Peach

8:30 - Silent Auction closes


Maker Stations

Throughout the evening there were 8 stations for attendees to participate in. These stations encouraged attendees to connect with one another and learn a new concept or skill. The stations below were shared:

  • Art Bot

  • Virtual Reality

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Foil boat challenge

  • Graffiti wall

  • Makey Makey

  • LED Creations

  • Meet Others Scavenger Hunt


Results

  • 130 attendees

  • $15,654.93 raised

  • Shared the impact our organization is having on our region from last year’s data:

    • 17 Professional Learning events

    • 43 Hours of Professional Learning

    • 1591 educators attended our events last year

    • 68,413 total hours of professional learning awarded last year

    • Total savings of $1,562,552.92 to our region’s schools and districts.

  • Provide an experience that mimics our core values

    • Innovative set up unlike others have experienced

    • Connecting and learning were positioned at the core of the event


Thank You!

Board of Directors

Brenda Watt, President

Phyllis Ellison

Dr. Amy Peach

Dr. Basiyr Rodney

Paul Krussel

Brian Wellinghoff

Dr. Donna Jahnke

Founder and CEO

Dr. Chris McGee

Executive Director

Julie Lawson

Leadership Team

Bill Bass

Chuck Baker

Glenn Barnes

Derek Bridges

Chris Campbell

Patrick Dempsey

Robert Dillon

Michael Dragoni

Samuel Fishburn

Mauel S. Herrera

Greg Lawrence

Rob Lamb

Sadie Lewis

Chantell Mason

Lance McClard

Dr. Katrice Noble

Dr. Kacy Seals

Julie Szaj

Matt Weld

Aubresha Young

Emanuel Young

Sponsors

Innovative Technology Education Fund

Missouri State Teachers Association

Stifel Nicolaus

Edge Hill

Interstate Studio

Color Art

Steelcase

Global Hack

Sentient Strategy

Webster University

Silent Auction Sponsors

Bar Method

Bloxels

Blue Iguana

Cannoli’s Restaurant Crest Bowl

Cooper Hawk

Cugino’s Restaurant

Dollhouse

Fitz

FLOAT

Jilly’s

Just Dance

Magic House

Makey Makey

Missouri Botanical Garden

Morgan Ford

Painting with a Twist

Pappy’s/Bogart’s

Pasta House

PBS

Prana Yoga

Raising Cane’s

Event Program

First ever Spedcamp!

First ever Spedcamp!

In the last several years, the type of students served in special education classrooms has shifted from students simply needing academic remediation to a larger population of students with emotional disturbances, significant difficulties with executive functioning and regulation, intellectual disabilities, and medical needs. The need for trauma-informed teaching and modification of curriculum is increasing.  With Special School District employees spread out all over St. Louis County the opportunities to connect with colleagues are few and far between.  The job of a special education service provider presents many unique challenges that make professional collaboration imperative to not only student success but also to staff growth and well-being.

On Saturday, September 8th, Connected Learning, and Jennifer Ferguson hosted the first SPEDcampSTL at Long Elementary from 8:30-12:00.  Eighty educators from across St. Louis County, some from Jefferson County, and as far south as Cape Girardeau gathered together to discuss topics such as racial bias and equity in special education, the impact giftedness has on emotional regulation, behavior intervention and modification, parent involvement, language therapy data collection ideas and strategies, music therapy, and staff well-being.  Participants connected not only during the three breakout sessions but also virtually through Flipgrid videos in which they reflected on what they hoped to gain from the morning.  The event concluded with giveaways from Adam Welcome and Kids Deserve It, Burgess Publishing Company, Boardmaker, and Flipgrid. SPEDcampSTL was a testament to the growing need for professional collaboration in the special education community.

- Jenifer Ferguson

Check out the session board and collaborative notes: http://www.bit.ly/SPEDCamp18

Enjoy some of the media from the day's learning here:

TLC Podcast

Glenn and Chris share the story of Connected Learning!

KickstartED a huge success!

Our first ever KickstartED was a huge success!

The event was the first of its kind for our region and we think it's just what we need to bring innovation to life!  Participants paid $10 to attend the event.  Schools that wanted to pitch an innovation project paid $20.  The event started off with 7 schools giving a 1 minute pitch to the room:

Special thanks to ITEF for donating an additional $1000 for the winning project.

After schools were done pitching the room.  Everyone was challenged to meet the presenters, ask questions and determine who gets their vote.  Whoever has the most votes gets to take home all of the money!



At the end of the event everyone took their ballot and voted for their favorite project.  We tallied the votes and at the end of the night there could only be one winner.


Winning $1460 for their project was Rockwood South Middle School's Tiny House Project!

Chromecamp 2016

This past Saturday Connected Learning hosted ChromeCamp 2016 at Fox High School.

The event brought together 130 local educators and administrators for an un-conferences focused solely on Google apps for education. An un-conference is where all the attendees create the day's learning agenda and are in charge of their own learning. This half-day event had sessions from Google 101 all the way to Design Thinking with Google. Overall, the attendees led 30 different sessions and shared their wealth of knowledge on a variety of important teaching topics.

Miss ChromeCamp but want to catch up on all the great sharing? No fear! Click the button below to access all the day's awesome resources. 

#GivingTuesday

Connected Learning has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Companies and individuals interested in supporting Connected Learning on #GivingTuesday are encouraged to connect with our partnership page www.connectedlearningstl.org/partnerships.

Growing up did you ever have a teacher that made a tremendous impact on your life? A teacher that you could tell truly cared about his or her job, and showed it through the way they taught. Teachers are the people who educate our youth, who in turn become our leaders, doctors, lawyers, police officers, and much more. They give us the tools to prepare us for not only education but also life.


At Connected Learning, we are an organization that engages educators through professional learning experiences that are done differently to elicit a different response. Every dollar we acquire supports education through the development and expansion of professional learning networks. These networks to provide advice, support, ideas, and opportunities to our incredible community of learners and supporters. All of these avenues make our connected community stronger to give teachers the tools they deserve.

 

About Connected Learning

Connected Learning supports those who desire to learn more, are willing to take risks, and think differently about the problems we face in education today. Connected Learning does this by hosting, sponsoring, and supporting events.  

Connected Learning is able to maximize its mission of supporting a deeper level of connected learning through these tasks:  

  • We released our first podcast available on itunes (for free).

  • We expanded our board of advisors from 3 to 5 seen here: http://goo.gl/BAhEoH

  • We secured an accountant to oversee our finances through quickbooks online.

  • We expanded our volunteer leadership team from three to twelve leaders of our program seen here: http://goo.gl/BAhEoH

  • We expanded our programming to include events like Playdate, BreakoutEDU, Urban Design Challenge, Chromecamp, Edcamp Leadership and Edcamp Express.

  • We’ve developed new relationships with: Cambridge Innovation Center, EdSurge, Pattonville School District, Fox School District, Ferguson-Florissant School District and the United States Department of Education.

  • We’ve established a working relationship called “The Edcluster” which includes other organizations supporting teacher and education development such as MoreNet, Education Plus, Google Education Group, Educational Technology Association, and TeachSTL.

  • Our mailing list has reached over 2200 emails and subscriptions to our newsletter.

We want to continue doing this great work for teachers and we will do it free of charge. We are fortunate to get funding from amazing sponsors and donors like yourselves. o please, participate in #GivingTuesday by supporting us today! 

Miss EdSurge 2015? See what you missed here:

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Miss EdSurge 2015? See what you missed here:

This month Connected Learning partnered with several organizations to put on EdSurge St. Louis. The event, held at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS), brought together administrators and school leaders on a Friday and then teachers on a Saturday to interact with a variety of education technology vendors. Edsurge showcases the latest and greatest in education tools and allows educators to talk directly with the creators. If you missed the event, looks through the list below and check out what these awesome companies are doing!

Actively Learn          @activelylearn

BirdBrain Science    @birdbrainedu

Branching Minds     @branchingminds

Collabrify.IT              @collabrify

CourseKicker            @coursekicker

Curriculet                 @curriculet

Drawp                       @drawpedu

Echograde                @echograde

Edthena                    @edthena

Edusight                   @edusight

Edutect                     @edutect

FutureMakers         @futuremakers

Hapara                     @hapara_team

Kiddom                    @kiddomapp

LearnBop                 @learnbop

Makkajai                  @makkajai

Mathspace               @mathspace

Mr. Elmer                 @mrelmerllc

Pagamo

Panoramaed            @panoramaed

Ponder                     @ponderlabsinc

Schoolzilla               @schoolzilla

Scrible                      @scrible

Edulastic                  @edulastic

ThinkCERCA           @thinkcerca

Edcourage              @edcourage_edu

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BreakOut EDU

Last week we hosted St. Louis's first ever BreakOut EDU session. As the name suggests, the goal of the session was for teachers to "break out" of a room by solving puzzles in order to unlock the key. The catch? They only got 45 minutes to do it. The BreakOut experience gamifies learning and is meant to show teachers the fun of challenging students to work together and solve their own unique problems in the classroom.

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We had 4 different groups come together to solve the riddles and break out in time. The participants came from many different school districts including Union School District, St. Louis Gateway STEM Academy, Soulard School, Affton School District, Principia School, the Disruption Department, and the Innovative Technology in Education Fund. These strangers had to collaborate with each other and think creatively in order to solve the challenges of our BreakOut. Some escaped in time, some were very close, and for others it was a struggle. The one thing everyone had in common? They agreed it was not only challenging, but also engaging and fun!

But don't take our word for it. We have actual footage from the event and we will post reflections from these groups on what they thought about the experience. Connected Learning had a lot of fun hosting the event and we look forward to offering more BreakOut sessions in the future! If you'd like more information about BreakOut or how to host one at your school, send us an email: publicity@connectedlearningstl.org!

 

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It's Connected Educator Month!

At Connected Learning, we're all about bringing the best teachers around St. Louis together to improve education for all. We believe that teachers have the best knowledge, skills, and ideas because they are practicing it in their classrooms every day. If only there were a way to share all these successes and also get re-inspired from the successes of other local teachers who are giving it their best for their students?! 

That was the teaching conundrum that led us to create Connected Learning. We want to give teachers learning opportunities that give them voice and choice in their professional growth. October is Connected Educator month which reminds us to step back from the daily classroom grind and find new inspiration for our teacher through connecting with other educators. Think that sounds like what you need? Then join us at our next learning event! 

Next event: PLAYdate 

People Learning and Asking Y (PLAY) is a time for teachers to gather and share their classroom successes or ask fellow teachers for ideas to improve their instruction. The set-up is simple: for three hours teachers will have the chance to propose a room discussion topic and share or walk around to explore rooms for ideas. The learning isn't forced, but you are guaranteed to walk away with many ideas and fantastic new connections! 

Check out pictures from our last PLAYdate and register from this FREE learning opportunity today! 

STL's Newest Resource: the EdCollabitat

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STL's Newest Resource: the EdCollabitat

The University of Missouri St. Louis just opened up a new space on their campus dedicated to innovating education. It's called the EdCollabitat. The College of Education turned what used to be an old library into a completely re-designed, modern learning space. The Chancellor of UMSL and the Dean of the College of Education were there to celebrate the opening and tell the story of how UMSL first conceived of this undertaking. Born with the principles of the Stanford D.School in mind, the EdCollabitat will serve as a space to inspire design thinking for everyday problems in education. Design thinking is all about asking the question "What if" to imagine creative new solutions for decade-old problems. The EdCollabitat has three main goals that will guide it's function in the College of Education: to explore possibilities in education, to design and build solutions and to create a plan to implement these new ideas. 

Within the space there is a collaboration area, a makerspace, and even an area for local edupreneurs to work on their startup education companies in partnership with MasterCard. There is no shortage of innovative technologies in the space that also add to the learning inspiration. Robots, drones, a green screen, video games, and more enhance the space and reinforce the EdCollabitat's goals. The most important mission, however, is what the EdCollabitat means for local schools. It represents an opportunity to bring teachers together to collaborate professionally and help elevate the education that students in St. Louis receive. It further represents a new opportunity to connect secondary with higher education. 

Last night was just the beginning of what lies ahead for the EdCollabitat and the great work being done at UMSL's College of Education. So, go check it out! 


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Urban Education Design Challenge 2015

This week Connected Learning teamed up with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Education Technology and hosted the first ever Urban Education Design Challenge here in St. Louis. Thanks to our gracious sponsors at the CIC (4240 Duncan Ave) and the Innovative Technology Education Fund (ITEF) for providing us a venue and refreshments for this special event. We had a packed house of professionals from a variety of fields come together to go through the design thinking process together and work toward improving St. Louis education. The design thinking process started from the Stanford Design School and is a step-by-step method for imagining and then implementing new solutions to everyday problems.  Here is the format we used for our Urban Design Challenge:

With the the groundwork in place, the rest of our challenge rested in the hands of the participants and the first step was to empathize. We had the participants learn about each other’s educational backgrounds. In order to overcome the challenges of urban education, and especially given the history of race in St. Louis, it was a critical starting point. We invited all these strangers together to tackle a major issue and in order to work together design thinking requires you put yourselves in each other’s shoes to see the problem from a new perspective. 


The next step was equally as important to the night’s success: defining the problem itself. The ultimate goal for the night followed this template: “How might we ACTION WHAT for WHOM in order to change SOMETHING by A TIME?” And each group came up with their own rendition of the equation. They used this as a jumping off point for the ideating and prototyping phases of the design thinking process. Here are examples of how each group defined the problem:

Then, each team had to brainstorm like crazy to create as many solutions to their specific problem. We had so many post-it notes all over the room that showed just how many possibilities are out there to defy our conventional solutions to urban education.

    

 

 

After the brainstorming period, we separated the team members to go learn more about the other teams’ solutions. Then, the entire room could fuse together a solution based on all the ideas in the room. Each group then constructed a prototype solution using unconventional materials to convey their solution to the other teams.

    

 

 

The first ever Urban Education Design Challenge produced well-defined problems and creative solutions to tackle issues facing St. Louis schools. Connected Learning now looks forward to testing and re-ideating these solutions to improve education for all St. Louis students.