Category Archives: Announcement

Fostering the Next Generation of Storytellers

eMINTS is partnering with KCDigiKids!
eMINTS will be collaborating with KC DigiKids and the KC DigiStory Center on a project focused on bringing digital storytelling into the classroom.

The eMINTS National Center is pleased to announce that we have paired up with KCDigiKids on a new project to help develop a comprehensive storytelling curriculum for grades PK-12.  KCDigiKids was founded in June of 2013, and are working to develop the “next generation of digital storytellers” in the mid-west.  The project is currently in the early stages, but will result in a “curriculum that can be used by educators as formal units of instruction and by non-profit leaders as after-school and summer learning projects.”  The students will experience hands-on learning activities that will utilize a variety of technology platforms and digital formats.  These units will help educators bring digital storytelling to into the classroom as a way to help students reflect, build community, think creatively, become media literate, and much more.

To learn more about KCDigiKids, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Coding in the Classroom

Not every child will grow up to be a historian, yet there is value in teaching history. Not every child will be a mathematician, yet there is importance in teaching math. What about teaching computational thinking? Computational thinking is a way of describing and solving problems that applies higher level critical thinking. How can programming be a productive addition to an already overloaded curriculum? Consider this quote from Steve Jobs.

“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”

— STEVE JOBS, THE LOST INTERVIEW

AgentSheets Logo
AgentSheets is a software program that lets you create your own agent-based games and simulations using drag and drop, rule-based programming. For more information on AgentSheets and Scalable Game Design, visit scalablegamedesign.org.

Programming encourages children to use technology to solve problems, first by designing games, then by transitioning to STEM-oriented simulations. Learning to program with Scalable Game Design and AgentSheets software introduces computational thinking patterns using motivational and interesting methods tied to the core subjects. The benefits include enriching learning, elevating critical thinking and expanding 21st century and STEM skills.

eMINTS is offering a course in Scalable Game Design. The pilot begins in August and the course will be offered again in the spring. If you are interested in coding in the classroom, please fill out our eLearning interest form.

Carla Chaffin is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Join Us in Celebrating Digital Learning Day on February 5th!

Can you imagine education without technology?  In order to prepare the next generation for college and for their place in the workforce, it is very important that students and teachers embrace the benefits that modern instructional tools can provide.

This is why thousands of educators answer the “call to action” and join the celebration of Digital Learning Day each February.  A national event designed to allow educators to gather virtually to share and discuss the successes and challenges that they are experiencing with integrating digital tools in their classrooms.

To help build this awareness and to promote enhanced instruction with modern technology tools, join us by participating in national Digital Learning Day which is scheduled for February 5, 2014!  The online event will feature demonstrations, interactive lessons, presentations, resource sharing, tips, and even tricks designed for classroom educators that possess a passion for incorporating powerful digital tools into their lessons.

Here are some ways you can participate…

I hope to see you participating and making a difference with digital learning on Digital Learning Day!

-Doug Caldwell, EdS, is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.

Why you should register for the 2013 eMINTS Annual Conference…

“The eMINTS conference is the best opportunity there is to find out what kinds of new and exciting things eMINTS teachers are doing in their classrooms! How often do like-minded people that share similar resources get to really think out of the box? It is a time for rejuvenation for me!!”      -Allison Byford (PD4ETS Graduate)

“I’m looking forward to seeing what’s new out there and discussing with other teachers how classrooms are changing from traditional learning to collaborative problem solving.”     – Klista Reynolds (Veteran eMINTS Teacher and PD4ETS Graduate)

“I am excited to learn about new resources that I can share with other teachers on how to better prepare when implementing Common Core State Standards that require the use of technology.  I hope I learn about new websites and tools that will help with this implementation.”  -Tysha Roughton (Veteran eMINTS Teacher)


Many education and technology conferences are expensive, running over a thousand dollars (or more!) per person — money most of us just don’t have to spare. Not only that, many take place out of state and in large cities, which can significantly add to the cost to attend. Despite this barrier, it is important that teachers, technology specialists and administrators are able to attend professional development conferences like these.  Lucky for us, there are more affordable options and one of them is right here in central Missouri.

The eMINTS Annual Conference welcomes all educators and takes place each year in Columbia, Missouri, with the 2013 conference fast approaching, running from February 27 – March 1, with registration closing soon, on January 25. For those that don’t know, the eMINTS National Center is a non-profit organization that has offered quality professional development programs for K-20 educators since 1999. They’ve reached classrooms all over the country and even have participants as far away as Australia. While it’s highly recommended to participate in the full eMINTS program for the most rewarding experience, those on a budget can get a taste of the program at the annual conference, which takes place over three days and offers various price options for those who wish to attend all (or part) of the conference.

If you are still unsure on whether to attend, you should take a look at the full conference schedule ahead of time. The eMINTS crew has some enriching sessions planned for this years conference and are welcoming two phenomenal leaders in education as keynote speakers. On Thursday, February 28, Ken Shelton brings us the keynote presentation called Generation NOW: 21st Century learning. This interactive keynote will be exploring ways that current digital resources “can foster increasing degrees of engagement from a teaching, learning, and creating perspective”. Then, on Friday March 1, the keynote speaker will be Dr. Howie DiBlasi with Building Better Teachers: Habits of Highly Effective 21st Century Classrooms, which focuses on “the most important ingredient of a great education: effective teachers”. For more information on the keynote speakers and their conference sessions, check out the full description of each session on the conference website.

In addition to the keynote speakers, the conference schedule is full of sessions for all interests, tackling various 21st century teaching topics, technology and tools. Some of the topics featured include:  Backwards Design, Collaboration, Edmodo, Inquiry, Apps, iPads, Google, Twitter, SMART Notebooks, and much more. View the full schedule online for detailed descriptions of all the sessions and workshops taking place throughout the conference.

I think that the most appealing aspect of the conference is that almost all of the speakers and participants are real eMINTS teachers who’ve seen real results. It’s an anticipated yearly event where all these great minds come together to share their wisdom and insights with those who attend. Learning is a lifelong skill and conferences like the eMINTS Annual Conference provide opportunities to expand your knowledge and further develop your skills as an educator, allowing for that exchange of information to flourish outside of individual classrooms and school districts and to reach educators all over the world. If you are interested in attending, you should act now — registration closes next Friday, January 25th.

For more information or to register for the eMINTS Annual conference, please visit the conference website or www.emints.org.

Sign-up Now for eLearning Fall 2012 Courses

Don’t forget to check out the new eLearning for Educators online professional development courses for fall semester at: http://www.elearningmo.org/register/fall-2012/ eLearning courses are available to educators across Missouri and in all other states.

New courses for this semester include “Flipped, Upside-down, and Blended Instruction for the K-12 Classroom” and “Going Mobile K-12: Capturing the Power of Smart Phones, Tablets, Apps, and More.” Many of the standard favorites are also available including “Classroom Management,” “Algebraic Thinking in Elementary School,” and “Google Tools for Schools.”

Courses cost $150 per person and graduate credit is available for an additional $100 per credit hour. Registration closes on September 19. Courses begin October 3 and conclude by November 20. Start your registration process today! For more information about eLearning for Educators see the website at: http://www.elearningmo.org/

Brought to you by the bloggers for the eMINTS National Center.

Supporting Thinking Through Cognitive CoachingSM

Welcome Back!  We hope you are off to the start of a wonderful school year!  The eMINTS National Center has been hard at work all summer long preparing learning opportunities for you!

Image used with permission.

We are excited to be hosting another eight day Cognitive CoachingSM Foundations Seminar in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Cognitive CoachingSM  Model helps produce self-directed individuals.  Here is what people have said after attending the Cognitive CoachingSM  Foundations Seminar-

  • “Coming into CC, I thought I would really struggle with the purpose of coaching being to take the coachee where he/she wanted to go… I thought it would be difficult to let go of where I wanted him/her to go.  Throughout the trainings though, my thinking changed with my experiences. The trainings were totally engaging to me and really affected the way I view myself as a leader and even as a conversationalist.  My expectations were more than exceeded!”
  • “Cognitive CoachingSM  has made me a better listener. I have to really practice holding back my own thoughts and opinions during a conversation and remember that the conversation is about helping the other person to think, not about getting my ideas in the air.”
  • “The knowledge and skills that are learned in the 8 day Foundations Seminar can be applied in all aspects of personal and professional life. The tools and experience are worth the time and money spent attending training.”

The dates for the upcoming St. Louis Foundations Seminar are:
September 26 and 27, 2012
October 24 and 25, 2012
November 28 and 29, 2012
January 16 and 17, 2013

The Foundations Seminar is a great professional development opportunity for all instructional coaches, administrators, teachers, and anyone interested in improving their communication skills to support others in planning, reflecting, and problem-resolving. Participants who attend the eight-day seminar will be a certified Cognitive CoachSM.

To learn more and register for the seminar go to http://www.emints.org/professional-development/other-pd/cognitive-coaching/

Space is limited so register today!

Brooke Higgins, Carmen Marty, and Terri Brines are Instructional Specialist, Cognitive CoachingSM Agency Trainers, and bloggers for the eMINTS National Center.

eMINTS Weekly Update

Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year with eMINTS! The Weekly Update feature resumes beginning today. Updates are published weekly on Mondays except for holidays.

eLearning for Educators: Fall registration is now open until Wednesday, Sept. 19. The Fall 2012 semester is from Oct. 3 – Nov. 20, 2012. Courses cost $150 per course. Optional Graduate Credit is available at an additional fee of $100 per credit hour through the University of Missouri-Kansas City or University of Missouri-St. Louis. A limited number of scholarships are available. You can even apply for a scholarship that reduces the cost of an e-Learning course to $75 by filling out an online form. Scholarships are limited to one per applicant. Limit 3 scholarships per one district. There are three NEW course offerings this semester:

  • Thinking Critically with Data (all)
  • Going Mobile K-12: Capturing the Power of Smart Phones, Tablets, Apps and More (all)
  • Flipped, Upside-down and Blended Instruction for the K-12 Classrooms (all)
  • Some of the additional courses available for the Fall 2012 semester are:
  • Algebraic Thinking in the Elementary School (elementary)
  • Beyond Your Schoolyard:  An Intro to GPS, Geocaching and Google Earth (all)
  • Classroom Management (all)
  • Differentiating Instruction:  Empowering All Learners (all)
  • Early Childhood: Creating a Language-Rich Environment  (early childhood)
  • Google Tools for Schools (all)
  • Heart of Science Instruction (secondary science)
  • Improving Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (secondary)
  • Instructional Approaches for Teachers of English Language Learners (all)
  • Leading Schools in a Web 2.0 World (administrators)
  • Special Students in Regular Classrooms:  Technology, Teaching and Universal Design (all)
  • Teaching Writing in the Elementary Classroom (elementary)

To see the complete list of courses offered this semester, go to: http://www.elearningmo.org/register/fall-2012/.

Share the Good News: Do you have something special to report about your school or classroom? An honor or award that has been presented? Share the good news with your eMINTS colleagues across the US and world by sending details about the good news to emints-info@emints.org.

New eThemes for the Week of August 13, 2012:

  • Africa: National Parks – These sites are about Africa’s National Parks. Learn about the animals, the climate, and the purposes behind why National Parks play an important role in Africa. Includes a link to an eThemes resource on the continent of Africa.
  • Circus Acts and Animals – These sites focus on circus animals, acts, and performers. There is historical information about circuses, plus photographs, audio files, and video clips.
  • Teaching Tips: “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey – These websites are about Sean Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.” There are summaries of the habits, as well as advice and lesson plans for incorporating the 7 Habits into the daily lives of teens. Includes a link to eThemes resource, Goal Setting.

Updated eThemes for the week of August 13, 2012:

  • Literature: “Dear Mr. Henshaw” by Beverly Cleary -These sites are about the book “Dear Mr. Henshaw” by Beverly Cleary. There are several hands-on classroom activities including how to make a lunch box alarm. Students can take online quizzes over vocabulary and events from the book. Includes eThemes Resources on Beverly Cleary and letter writing.
  • Literature: “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs – These sites are about the short story “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs. Includes full text of the story, quizzes, lesson plans, and vocabulary worksheets. There are also links to games about short story elements and a booklist of other horror stories and books. Includes links to eTheme resources on Story Elements and Character Traits.

Become a Blog Contributor: Share your insights and thoughts with eMINTS blog followers and fans. Contribute to the blog and community learning by submitting a blog post, resource link, online tool or teaching tip.

Monica Beglau is the Executive Director of the eMINTS National Center.

FUNdamentals of Learning: An Intel Webinar

We have often talked about PLN (Personal Learning Networks) in the blog but I thought I might share a specific site that you may want to add to your PLN.  It is the Teachers Engage site from Intel.  This is a community of educators K-12 and the focus is transforming learning with the integration of technology.  It is free to register and provides many helpful ideas and tools to use in the classroom.

There are discussion boards, webinars, unit plans, and various communities you can join to meet your particular interests and needs.  The resources that are provided are excellent and there are so many of them.

I mentioned webinars, an example of one of the webinars you should attend is tonight, Aug. 7th at 6:00 Central time. Doug Caldwell, Debbie Perkins, and Julie Szaj, all eMINTS Instructional Specialist, will be presenting a webinar called The FUNdamentals of Learning.   In this webinar, they “will present on websites that help teachers and students get, become, stay engaged. Focusing on middle school-aged resources, they will show tools and have participants brainstorm classroom uses with an emphasis on back to school planning.”

If you are interested in the Teachers Engage or just want to check out a webinar, come and join them tonight and see if maybe Teachers Engage is a site you might want to add to your PLN.

Terri Brines is an eIS and Cognitive CoachingSM Trainer for the eMINTS National Center.

Doug Caldwell, eMINTS Instructional Specialist

Edutopia Hartville Profile: Meet the eIS…Doug Caldwell

Yesterday Edutopia featured an article in their “Schools That Work” Section about the eMINTS implementation in Hartville, Missouri.  Tonya Wilson’s and her 6th grade students were the stars. The article and video both give a glimpse of Tonya’s classroom and how eMINTS has transformed not only her teaching but her own learning as well.

In the video Monica Beglau, Executive Director, and Doug Caldwell, eMINTS Instructional Specialist, share what makes eMINTS successful in both improving teacher effectiveness and raising student achievement. The keys to the success of the program lie in its continued professional development spread throughout the year being relevant to the teaching, connected to the learning, and supported by face-to-face coaching.

Doug Caldwell, the eIS featured in this profile video provides that support and more. The Instructional Specialist at eMINTS take on several roles in the eMINTS organization.

Doug Caldwell, eMINTS Instructional Specialist

Doug lives in Lynchburg, Missouri, (pop. 75). He has been with eMINTS for 12 years and has trained countless teachers. While working at the eMINTS National Center he wears many hats. Not only does he facilitate eMINTS Comprehensive Professional Development sessions he also visits teachers in their classrooms to help them implement what they are learning through coaching, consulting, and collaborating. Doug is a Senior Trainer for the Intel program, presents at local, state, and national conferences, supports district technology staff as part of the eMINTS4Techs program, provides custom PD including training for veteran eMINTS teachers, and serves on various committees. He does all this with his ever present easy going  attitude and smile on his face.

Tell us about your connection with eMINTS. What eMINTS program/s have you participated in? Who is/was your eMINTS Facilitator? What eMINTS accomplishments are you most proud of? And if you haven’t had the opportunity yet to become part of our eMINTS “family”, what might be the most appealing part to you?

The eMINTS National Center is a non-for profit organization that has provided comprehensive research-based professional development services to educators since 1999.