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connected learning

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

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:

Earn Graduate Credit for CL Events

Earn Graduate Credit for CL Events

Connected Learning is Partnering with Lindenwood University to offer 1 or 2 College Credit for attending Connected Learning's professional learning events across our region.

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Dear Connected Learner, 

You can earn one hour of graduate credit from Lindenwood University through your participation in this learning event. In order to earn credit, you will complete the following steps:

1. Visit https://applylu.lindenwood.edu/applicationws.asp,  complete the Enrollment Form and pay with your credit card.  (Tuition fees are non-refundable)

2. Fully participate in learning activities

3. Complete the assignments and return by the deadline. See attached for additional information

As a Connected Learner, you have access to a student portal and can print out a copy of your unofficial transcript and/or single grade report by logging in, choosing the term FA WS 18 and going to the ‘My Transcripts’ or ‘My Grades’ section. Please follow the link below to login to your portal for the first time.  http://www.lindenwood.edu/technology/portal/student.html  Or, if you wish to request an official transcript, a transcript will need to be requested through this link http://www.lindenwood.edu/academics/transcript.html

The attached information will provide you with the requirements to earn one hour of graduate credit. If you have specific information regarding Cooperative Credit, please feel free to contact me at jedler@lindenwood.edu or by phone at 636-949-4612.

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February Newsletter

2/24

Learning and Leading the culture of IKEA

Educators around the globe are looking into other sectors to better understand how to create something special in our schools and classrooms.  Come learn how IKEA makes your experience special and how you can bring that back to your school/classroom.

COST: $5

2/26 - 27

Lee's Summit R-7 Schools would like to invite teachers and administrators to CONNECTMidwest. Participants will experience two full days of interactive, highly relevant professional learning opportunities

2/28 - 3/1
Embracing Diversity and Inclusion conference at Webster University a "Free-mium" conference with BOLD speakers, great insight and inspiring ideas.

3/1

Improv Skills for Educators

Come learn new Improv games, strategies and activities to build community with your colleagues and students!  Improv is so much more than comedy.  It's learning about discomfort, agreeing and running with an idea, it's truly listening to another person, it's empathy and putting yourself in another person's shoes.  You know what else?  It's FUN!  It'll make you laugh, it'll change how you interact with students.

COST: $10

A multitude of learning around VR and AR and its impact on society to come.  Register for this FREE event and check out all the learning

3/6

The New Normal: Reframing Diversity in Tech and Entrepreneurship

You can't innovate without diversity.  Period.  Yet most proposed solutions to increasing diversity in tech and entrepreneurship falls short.  SO what's the solution?  Kathryn Finney will address the very real, technological and historic barriers to increasing diversity in an ever-growing sector of tech and entrepreneurship and how companies from start-ups to non-profits can directly address those barriers in creating a "New Normal"

Cost: $15 - 55

3/10

Learning Space Design Scavenger Hunt

Great design is often elusive, especially to those (like me) who struggle with good design.  Learn, discover, grow, and shift your mindset in order to expand your possibilities.  Together let's uncover the experiences we want our students to have.  When we better understand the experiences we want our students to have we can then design your amazing space.  Learn how to bring your instruction to life and find amazing resources to revitalize your space.

COST: 5$

3/17

Seeds of Joy

You're met Jill Stratton right here at South.  If you enjoyed her, learn even more about bringing JOY into your life.  Bringing together evidenced-based research and a lively blend of music, personal stories, and reflection, this workshop is more of a mini-retreat for heart and soul. Come if you're curious, skeptical, hungry, or hopeful and leave with "seeds of joy" and strategies for increasing and sustaining happiness this spring and beyond.

COST: $45

3/31

Chromecamp

Chromecamp is an “unconference,” a free, non-commercial gathering of passionate educators who share an interest in a particular topic – in this case, the Chrome (the browser and OS) and the entire Google Ecosystem. Attendees volunteer to run sessions – conversations, not presentations – on specific topics related to this theme (or not – sessions can also be about social media or other educational concepts, but the emphasis is on Chrome and Google.)

COST: FREE

4/14
The Missouri Botanical Garden has an awesome event focused on sustainability just for your school and your students.  Check it out!

 

Resources

Simple steps to starting PBL in your class.

A List of Excellent Student Design Projects for Middle School Creativity

28 question stems to foster critical thinking (TOTALLY TIES TO TEI STANDARD 4)

Need a summer job?  Check out the Global Hack position attached.

6 non-education books educators read

Local resource to find out resources across our region.  Lit Around the Lou

Great Add-ons for Google Slides

VIDEO: Individualizing assignments in google classroom (great way to differentiate assignments for students.)

6 steps to make your next book study the best one yet

Grants to fund learning in and out of your classroom.

6 Excellent Google Mapping Tools to Develop Students Geo-Literacy

5 Downloadable Vocabulary Activities that Make Words Stick

 

Articles

Great things happen when you're bored: 5 fascinating things I learned by making myself bored

PLEASE TAKE YOUR HOOD OFF and other microaggressions all teachers commit 

Who couldn't use better (or more) sleep?  Learn how to fall asleep quicker

The Japanese use of the word "Space" might change how you view the world.

So as future jobs continue to shift, what does it mean for those that struggle academically that working in a grocery store may be a thing of the past? Amazon Go

Teachers as Learners: Moving from Unintentional to Engaged to Empowered -  Reminded me, we are either constantly refining our practice around the needs of our students and the world THEY are entering or we are saying their needs are irrelevant. 

Twitter is Like Going to the Grocery Store - “Not every idea you encounter on Twitter will go in your shopping cart.” Check out the “10 signs you might be ready to learn using Twitter.”

“If the learning in the classroom is all about what the teacher does, and less about what the students create, then what is the long-term impact that this will have on our students?”  How can students take content knowledge learned and create something new with it?  Read More.

Sad news about what kids are doing on their 1:1 chromebooks across the world.  YIKES!

11th graders poem rocks the world, what could our kids write that shapes their world?

50 blog ideas for educators.  Do you blog?  Do your students?  Why not?

When working alongside our colleagues, if we remember the principles of adult behavior we may have better friends, better colleagues and deeper engagement.

The importance of Deep Fun.  Having fun at work is far more than just ping-pong tables, although those are cool too.

The Key Trait that Einstein, Jobs and Divinci had in common.  HINT: It's not content knowledge.

Why your PLC meetings need a rubber chicken

New Executive Director - Press Release

For Immediate Release:

Connected Learning Hires New Development/Program Director

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ST. LOUIS, MO, October 4, 2017 -- Connected Learning is excited to announce the hiring of new part-time Development/Program Director Julie Lawson. Mrs. Lawson will serve as a community-facing ambassador for Connected Learning as well as a leader within the organization, lending expertise and insight to company-wide initiatives. Her role includes establishing a plan for continued growth, evaluating and analyzing all development efforts and developing appropriate strategies to address challenges, capitalize and expand successes and improve results.

 

Mrs. Lawson’s career has largely been in the nonprofit sector with some focus on educational initiatives. She recently launched Sentient Strategy, providing consulting to St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver area nonprofits in the areas of leadership development, strategic planning, marketing and related capacity building. She previously worked for FOCUS St. Louis, serving as the Executive Director for the Supreme Court of Missouri Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness (2015-2017), Vice President (2015-2017), and Adjunct Trainer for the Coro Women in Leadership Program (2006-2015). In addition, Mrs. Lawson served as President for the Board at Active Minds Institute, a charter school curriculum development organization.

In Mrs. Lawson’s 20 year career, she has raised more than 20 million dollars in new funds for small nonprofits, served as Executive Director of four nonprofits, and facilitated more than 100 learning workshops/events, primarily in leadership development. CEO, Dr. Christopher McGee shares,  “As Connected Learning continues to grow serving thousands of educators across our region, Mrs. Lawson will break new barriers for our organization and for area educators.  We will not only continue the excellence of learning and innovation we’ve started here but grow into new strategic ways to best serve our region.”

 

“Connected Learning is excited to move to a new phase of supporting teachers and schools,” says Dr. Robert Dillon, Director of Innovative Learning at School District of University City and Connected Learning Leadership Team member. “Mrs. Lawson’s focus on enhancing the conversation about modern learning coupled with the incredible leadership team and volunteers of the organization has Connected Learning primed to make a greater impact on change in St. Louis and beyond.”

 

 

Mrs. Lawson will begin her new role with Connected Learning on November 1.

 

 

About Connected Learning

 

Connected Learning is a non-profit organization that 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:

  • As hosts, Connected Learning plans, develops, and carries out events. This includes our flagship event, edcampSTL, as well as a number of events throughout the year that promote innovation and next practice.

  • As sponsors, Connected Learning is able to bolster other incredible learning opportunities through donations of our time, talent, and treasures.

  • As event supporters, we work with individuals planning events to provide logistical advice, ideas, and opportunities to market the event to our incredible network of learners and supporters.

 

To learn more, go to http://www.connectedlearningstl.org/

 

 

Contact:

Dr. Chris R. McGee

Chief Connecting Officer: Connected Learning

chris@connectedlearningstl.org

 

Reflections on A Mentor

I have been at a "new" job for the past year and have loved the experience thus far. Sharing this experience with now former colleagues has been strange. Strange in the sense that I do not get to see them every day of the school year. Celebrating this change with mentors has been really fun as well. However, there is one mentor who is not present to celebrate my success. His name is Loran Koprowski.

Loran Koprowski and I first encountered one another in 1991 when I was a high school student attending Central Visual & Performing Arts High School. “Mr. K” as we affectionately referred to him was hard to miss. He stood about 6’2″ and had black hair. Always dressed impeccably, he had a kind word for the students he encountered. Mr. K was the assistant principal. Most of us never saw the other APs, unless there was trouble. Mr. K was always front and center. He would learn names, figure out our likes/dislikes, and always made sure to ask how our classes were going. As I was going through this awkward stage of adolescence, Mr. K was always a person I consulted with as I went through the troubles of my home life. He was the person who I could tell anything and everything. Privacy and fidelity were always respected.

When I graduated, he made sure to send me a card and a $20 bill. We remained in contact while I was in school and was very supportive of me becoming a teacher. When I returned to St. Louis and started working at Sumner High School, I found out that Mr. K had a heart attack and was going through the process of recovery. During his recovery and return to administration, he was relocated over to Sumner High. We found ourselves together again, but this time in a role that was different than what we had known. We were colleagues.  This didn’t matter. Mr. K was the same positive influence on me. We would talk about life and career goals. We also told jokes and discussed how we could make things better. He was my sounding board and my greatest cheerleader. After 2 years at Sumner, he was transferred over to Clyde C. Miller Career Academy. A few years later, a position opened up for social studies there and he helped facilitate the move for me over there.

Mr. K and I worked together for another three years until he retired in 2010. He and his wife moved to Florida to live out their golden years. We called and emailed from time to time, but our paths would cross once more. In November of 2011, my wife and I adopted out first child, Noah. Noah was born in Tampa. Loran lived about 1 and 1/2 hours south of there. Knowing that we were in the state and awaiting clearance to go home, he invited us down to his house for the day. Julie and I had been stuck in a hotel or a hospital for over a week. We didn’t have family with us to share in the experience, but we had an old friend ready to help us out. We drove down to visit the Koprowski’s and our relationship evolved yet again. From that day forward, we referred to Loran and Debbie Koprowski as Noah’s “Florida Grandparents.” We had lunch, we talked about the “old” days and more important…we talked about life. I was grateful for his generosity that day and even more thankful for his love.

Loran Koprowski, Noah and Glenn Barnes at "Casa Koprowski" North Port, FL (June, 2013)

Loran Koprowski, Noah and Glenn Barnes at "Casa Koprowski" North Port, FL (June, 2013)

Our family returned to Florida one more time in 2013 for a vacation. We visited with him once again and had another lunch. Little did I know that would be the last time I would see Loran Koprowski. Loran died in August of 2015 of a heart attack while he was out boating with his wife. When I talked to Debbie, I was absolutely devastated. Loran was a father figure to me and a man I truly respected. He listened to me in adolescence and as a colleague. He allowed me to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. He allowed me take risks as a teacher and challenge the status quo. He encouraged me to continue improving my craft when so many others did not. He made me relaxed with a great sense of humor. Most of all, he taught me that family is everything. Loran was a family man and incredibly loyal to them. I have come to know his wife very well. I have watched his daughter and sons grow up over the course of almost 25 years that I knew him.

Every teacher needs a mentor like that. We need people in our life who can make a connection with us and meet us where we are. Loran Koprowski has a very special place in my heart and it is taking everything in me to get through this post without losing my emotions (I am tearing up thinking about him now). Believe me, there are so many stories I could tell (some still have me cracking up years later). I feel blessed to have made many connections with students, teachers and administrators during my time in SLPS. I hope to be half the person Loran Koprowski was, because in many ways he saved me from myself. He showed me how to do the right things as a leader, as a man, and as a friend. That level of mentoring is vitally important.

Be that mentor. Be that life changing agent for someone. Get to know your people on an intimate level and be sincere. I hope that our paths may cross some day and you can see a little piece of Loran Koprowski when we meet. Thank you, Mr. K!

By:  Glenn Barnes

Seeking Development/Program Director

Seeking Development/Program Director

Come Join the most EPIC team in the midwest!

Application Deadline 8/28/17

Who is Connected Learning?

Check us out!

Functions of the job

1. Serves as community-facing ambassador for Connected Learning.

2. Serves as leader within the organization, lending expertise and insight to company-wide initiatives. Leverages all essential skills and abilities to achieve goals.

3. Establishes a plan for continued growth including financial, human, and physical resources alongside the CEO and Board .

4. Develop organization wide processes, procedures, and systems for long-term success.

5. Assists CEO, Leadership team and Board in development and implementation of an annual and multi-year fundraising plan and strategy.

6. Sets and meets goals for partnership portfolio including fundraising and professional learning action goals. 

7. On a regular basis, builds and calibrates partnership portfolio in collaboration with peers, leadership team members, Board and CEO to ensure goals are met.

8. Evaluates and analyzes all development efforts and develops appropriate strategies to address challenges, capitalize and expand successes and improve results.

9. Cultivates and nurtures relationships within the partnership portfolio.

10. Achieves targets and goals within budget, and manages budget accordingly. 

Attributes of the Ideal candidate

Connected Learning seeks an innovative thinker.  A bold leader.  A developer of individuals and of a growing company.  Leadership experience in a non-profit, program, school, or association is essential. The emotional intelligence and political skills to manage on a personal and human scale the conundrums that emerge for organizations with a large passion and growing ‘membership.’ A desire to write and speak about what innovative learning looks like and how it is experienced by children and adults. A willingness to travel and present at conferences around the country. The skill to author and secure grants to grow the organization’s capital and ability to influence the region.  The proclivity to bridge the inherent tensions in the movement between authentic practice and innovation; competition vs. cooperation with other organizations; expansion into the private, urban and rural domains vs. dilution of core practices, etc. Financial acumen and fundraising experience. Management skills to supervise a small shop with large demands placed on it and to manage up to a board seeking vision and direction.

Scope and Compensation

Part time.  No more than 10hrs per week, annual compensation $10K - 20K  based on experience and outcomes.  Salary incentives can also be increased based on development milestones.

Additional Information

Connected Learning does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

Connected Learning is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

How to Apply

Email: chris@clstl.org Subject Line: CL Executive Director Search Committee

Application to include:

  • Cover letter addressed to the CL Executive Director Search Committee expressing interest in and qualifications for the position.
  • A current resume.
  • A statement of your leadership philosophy (1 – 2 pages).
  • Two examples of writing showcasing leadership or potential to the organization.
  • Three references (including email addresses, and telephone numbers) who can be contacted confidentially at the early stage of discovery.  These references will not be used unless you are notified.

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!

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! 

Check Out Some New Technology

Our very own Alexandria Mooney wrote a blog post for another site recently to recommend some cool new technology tools for her classroom. Have you tried Pixlr, Storymap, Hero Machine, Knight's Lab, or WeVideo before? If not, check out Alexandria's ideas for them here.

Do you have any cool new technology tools to recommend? We'd love to hear about them. Leave us a comment and we'll share it out! Or if try out Alexandria's and want to tell us how you used it in your class, send us a message at publicity@connectedlearningstl.org. 

-The Connected Learning Team

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Interview with Andrew Goodin

Student Introduction

When students make and create they are proud of what they make.  They feel good about what they make.  Questions that come to mind are how much of school work actually makes kids feel this way?  How can I have kids do more work like that?

Introduction

Andrew Goodin is a makerspace teacher at Grand Center Arts Academy and has been for the last three years. From the beginning Andrew had students design and create working solutions to real problems by using the D School Design Thinking Process.  He models design thinking in the makerspace by using it to continually improve the learning opportunities available. The results with students are impressive and Andrew has set up a fantastic example of what a makerspace is capable of in a school setting.

Andrew's Story

He started out discussing teaching with teachers and about how to make it better.  They started with a problem.  Kids needed computers in Andrew’s chemistry class.  Mastercard donated some computers and Andrew and his teacher friend Greg started a group called Tech Army after school.  This was a group of kids passionate about technology.  Kids gained a few skill in repairing hardware and loading software and were able to get computers up and running in Andrew’s class within three months.  He then began to question how he could engage kids in more learning like this.

This led to the next pilot program of makerspace at Grand Center Arts Academy in 2011.  It started small on Fridays only for one semester. Their budget was $100 for the entire year.  They made good friends with people who could give them resources and consumable material very quickly.  It was low tech

The following year in 2012 Andrew was hired on to do makerspace full time at Grand Center Arts academy.  

What does a typical day look like?

Makerspace is now a hybrid at GCA.  Andrew has more formal elective classes as well as time where students can drop in.  Everyday Andrew works on different skill building projects with kids in his classroom as well as individual projects that kids pick.  Seniors are now including their makerspace work as a part of their school portfolio that is submitted to colleges.  Andrew works with middle through high school age students.  

What are your goals and how do you know makerspace is working?

Goal 1:  Students use Design thinking applied to a problem.  By the end of the class students should be able to be a voice at the IDEO shopping cart challenge.  

Goal 2: building creative confidence by allowing kids to learn through failures and gain familiarity with certain tools.  

Goal 2.1Students build work in their digital portfolio so that it can be submitted to an open portfolio college after graduation

What would you say to someone starting a makerspace?

Start with design thinking and model design thinking to improve your makerspace.

Andrew credits the success that his makerspace is to implementing design thinking and continuing to iterate. 

Makerspace is not plug and play.  Different places will place different demands. 

Makerspaces do not look all the same, and they shouldn’t.  Makerspaces need to be flexible and need to be designed for the space and the users.  

What are some resources on Makerspace?

Invent to Learn- what is a makerspace, mindset, and how to start

Makerspace Playbook for schools- minus the tools section

Andrew’s Tumblr  with many book recommendations

How to contact Andrew and see the work his kids are doing. 

Makerspace Blog:  gcaamakerspace.wordpress.com

Makerspace Twitter:  @gcaamakerspace 

Makerspace Instagram:  @gcaamakerspace 

Personal Twitter:  @Mr_makerspace 

Outro

Connected Learning Playdate!

Waterway Car Wash-  Get a perk card for discounts as a teacher!

Who should we interview next?  email me at patrick@connectedlearningstl.org

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Interview with Rebecca Hare

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Interview with Rebecca Hare

This podcast features an interview with Rebecca Hare. Rebecca is a first career designer second year teacher who brings an interesting perspective on classroom design. Check it out! Who should I interview next? Leave a comment and let me know!

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