Weekly Update – Belated – 2/8/12

Congratulations to Joplin, MO School District for Recognition: Special congratulations to the Joplin, MO school district for TWO special recognitions of the work their district is doing in educational technology and eMINTS. Joplin Superintendent, C.J. Huff, was selected by eSchool News as a 2012 Tech-Savvy Superintendent. See the article at: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/02/01/meet-our-2012-tech-savvy-superintendent-award-winners/7/ The district was also featured in an article in Education Week. The article tells of how eMINTS trainer Klista Reynolds and others came to grips with the realization that their high school and tech center were gone and other schools were severely damaged. Read the complete article and see an accompanying video at: http://tinyurl.com/7s8a5b7

eMINTS Blog Discusses eMINTS Instructional Model and “the Basics”: For a thoughtful discussion about the eMINTS instructional model and how to think about eMINTS and the strong knowledge base often needed by students before they can move on to more complex topics and skills see: http://blog.emints.org/ Start a discussion with others and use the blog site as another place to share your ideas and strategies.

(^That’s us!-ZE)

New and Updated eThemes

See the eThemes website for the latest new and updated eThemes resources: http://ethemes.missouri.edu/new_themes?locale=en

Monday Message: October 10, 2011

Red autumn leaves

Click for source.

A few announcements for your Monday morning…

Congratulations to East Elementary in Jefferson City (MO): Congratulations to teachers, principal and staff at East Elementary in Jefferson City, MO for a great article in the Jefferson City Tribune recently: http://www.newstribune.com/news/2011/sep/27/east-elementary-puts-technology-grant-use/

New Look for eMINTS Moodle: Our Moodle was recently upgraded to version 2.1 that has many new and improved features. There are a few known issues with the upgrade, however:

1.       Some facilitators (individuals with ‘non-editing teacher’ permissions) did not upgrade completely. If you need immediate access to PD modules, send a message to support@emints.org<mailto:support@emints.org<mailto:support@emints.org%3cmailto:support@emints.org>> We are looking for a global solution but can fix individual accounts manually (during business hours) by request for the time-being.

2.       Google Chrome browser bugs with Moodle cause some features not to display properly. Try an alternate browser

3.       Slow load of some features (HTML or wiki editors) so user sees code instead of ‘human language’ in dialog boxes. Please be patient until new Moodle site can build caches that will improve performance.

4.       Incomplete access to editing or input boxes – try dumping your own browser cache or reducing your screen display size (Ctrl + – key in most browsers)

If you continue to experience issues with accounts, access, or content, please contact support@emints.org<mailto:support@emints.org<mailto:support@emints.org%3cmailto:support@emints.org>> and include as much specific information (URL, symptoms, text of error messages, etc.) so that we can work through them and arrive at solutions.

New eThemes for the week of October 10, 2011

Literature Awards: Missouri Building Block Award Nominees 2011<http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/1964>

The websites will lead you to information about the authors and illustrators for the Missouri Building Block Nominees for 2011. The activities provided will encourage creative lessons involving the nominated books.

Teaching Tips: STEM Initiative<http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/1965>

These sites offer an explanation of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiative for schools. Educators can utilize the variety of links for activities, competition opportunities for students and grant information. Several of the sites have brief videos explaining why STEM is important and what it involves. Educator blogs are available for connecting with others for lesson sharing. Free webinars are offered on several of the sites. Includes a link to an eThemes Resource on inquiry-based learning.

Monday’s Message: Thinking with Technology

eMINTS will be offering the Intel Teach “Thinking With Technology” course this summer at no cost to Missouri educators interested in becoming Intel Master Trainers. “Thinking with Technology” is research-proven professional development for all K-12 classroom teachers, those who have eMINTS or eMINTS4 All classrooms and those who don’t but would like to learn more about technology and teaching. Ask yourself these questions:

* Do teachers come to you for advice on integrating technology into their curriculum?
* Are you proficient using software, e-mail, and the Internet for instruction?
* Will your district/organization support you as a leader of technology professional development?

If you answered “yes,” then you’re ready to be a Master Trainer! Any certified teacher can become a Master Trainer. You’ll receive free, comprehensive instruction, facilitation support, and curriculum review by a certified Senior Trainer from eMINTS to prepare you to recruit and deliver the course to teachers in your area. Master Trainers typically invest a few hours completing out-of-class homework in addition to the 4-day course they must complete. Master Trainers also commit to delivering the course to at least 10 teachers after they have completed their training. All materials to instruct your colleagues will be provided to you at no charge. You’ll recruit participants and deliver the 32 hours of training sometime during the 2011-12 school year or summer of 2012. Master Trainers who deliver the course to at least ten teachers by September 2012 will be eligible to receive a free Flip camera for their school.

Interested? Contact Cathie Loesing; loesingcs@emints.org for more information or to sign up to attend the course. The 2011 Intel training will be held in Columbia on July 20 and 21 (Days 1 and 2)and on July 27 and 28 (Days 3 and 4) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Participants must attend all four sessions to be certified as a TWT Master Trainer. Lunch and snacks will be provided each day. Participants (or their districts) are responsible for any travel expenses. A Flip camera will be raffled off on Day 4 of the course.

What happened?

It’s been a busy and hectic past couple of weeks, but we’re still here. Look for things to resume as normal next week. Until then, check out the message from eMINTS Director Monica Beglau in regards to the tragedy in Japan:

With the world’s attention focused on the natural disasters occurring in Japan, many teachers may want to take this opportunity to work with their students on disaster planning and to develop a deeper understanding of changes to the earth’s surface that may result in catastrophes for human beings. The natural disasters in Japan also highlight how man-made structures such as nuclear energy plants can be affected and create additional hazards. eMINTS has developed a unit/lesson plan and provided many resources for teachers to use in working with these topics in the classroom. While the grade level listed for the unit/lesson plan is “Grade 4,” the concepts are also important in middle and high school. Creative teachers will be able to adapt the unit/lesson plan by increasing the difficulty of the task and having older students work with students from other grade levels where possible to develop school-wide plans. See http://www.emints.org/resources/index.shtml for more information.

Special thanks to the Safe America Foundation for the use of their materials in the unit/lesson plan. The Safe America Foundation is dedicated to improving the safety of Americans by making them aware of threats, encouraging them to prepare and through the distribution of safety products. A 501.c.3 nonprofit organization chartered in 1994, Safe America works in partnership with corporate, governmental, public and private sector organizations and other nonprofits to develop programs targeting emerging safety issues or to bring new insight or new technologies to persistent threats – at home, work or play. Learn more at: http://www.safeamerica.org/

Additional Information: Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas and Illinois districts may also wish to participate in the multi-state earthquake preparedness drill on April 28th. For more information on the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut see: http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/

Missouri-specific information is available from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at: http://dese.mo.gov/commissioner/documents/ShakeOut-letter.pdf