Monday, March 4, 2019

Iowa Story: Indianola Elementary TAG Teachers Blends their Classroom

Hear from Shari Shaw and Brian Baker, Gifted and Talented teachers at Indianola's four Elementary Schools as they talk about how they use flipped learning to extend their time with their gifted and talented students.

Quotes from 5th grade TAG math students:
  • “I understand the concepts easier as the learning is much clearer, and I’m developing math concepts quicker.”
  • “I can check my own work instantly and on Ed Puzzle there are questions during the video to see if I am understanding the concept as I watch the video.” 
  • “I really like watching the videos as I can rewatch them until I have a clear understanding of the concepts. All of this saves me time as I am able to get more of the work completed in the classroom and get help from the teacher if I need it.” 
  • “It is fun as I am able to learn at my own pace.” 
  • “Blended and flipped learning helps me understand the concepts, it is less time consuming and makes math easier.” 
  • “We watch the video to learn the concept then talk about what we don’t understand.”
We would

We would LOVE to share your story. If you would like to be interviewed for the Iowa Story of Online, Blended or Flipped Classrooms please contact us- Denise Krefting or Melissa Wicklund.   We have several other teacher video of those who have volunteered to contribute. They can be found on in our Google Community with the filter "Blended Videos from Iowa Teachers.

If you are interested in learning more about professional development for blended learning, here is the information on AEA Online's Blended Learning Cohort (video listings are also here under the tab Iowa Teachers Blending/Flipping)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Virtual Snow Days


With weather issues causing schools to cancel school due to snow and extreme cold this article from the Des Moines Register is very timely. Estherville Lincoln Central schools in northern Iowa is handling snow and extreme cold school days virtually so they don't have to make them up.  Something for other schools to consider.

Read Des Moines Register article.

The Blend Flip Cohort professional development  from AEA Learning Online can help by training teachers to do this effectively.  Learn more about this
 professional development here or contact AEA Learning Online at support@aealearningonline.org.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Blending Flipping Course 1 to begin- Sign Up Now

Blending Flipping Your Classroom cohorts series is  available for teachers this winter at Heartland AEA annd Keystone AEA.  Course 1 "Blending/ Flipping Your Classroom 1: Introduction" the start of the four course series will begin January 23rd offered at Heartland in Johnston and  January 24, offered at Keystone AEA. 

These cohorts consist of 4 courses that teachers and administrators can take through out a 1 1/2 year period.   Credit is available at a significantly reduced rate.
 
The first course (Blending/ Flipping Your Classroom 1- Introduction is a three day face-to-face training on "Blending/Flipping your classroom 1" for one license renewal credit.  There is a secondary and an elementary version

The second course is a fully online course "Blending/Flipping 2- Blended Instruction" as well as an elementary option for two credits (license renewal and graduate) which is available to those who have completed the first course.

The third in the series is "Blending/Flipping Your Classroom 3: Designing Online Lessons" which will take place as a blended model with two days face-to-face and the rest online for those who have completed the first two courses. This course is also two credits (license renewal and graduate).  

 Finally the fourth in this series is "Blending/Flipping 4: Activities and Assessment "which will take place as a blended model with two days face-to-face and the rest online and is also 2 credits (license renewal and graduate) for those who have taken the three other courses.  

The last three courses in the series (six credits) can also be applied to the Drake Online Teacher certification for those that are interested.  Learn more about the cohort here.

If you are interested in signing up or finding out more about the first course in the series offered at Heartland.  This course is also offered in June in Green Hills AEA. Sign up coming soon!

Heartland AEA: Blending/Flipping Your Classroom Course 1: Introduction- face to face 1/23/19, 2/6/19 and 2/21/19  1 credit LR online  More information and Signup:  https://prodev.aeapdonline.org/4DCGI/22044292111901INV&True*
Keystone AEA:  Blending/Flipping Your Classroom Course 1: Introduction- face to face 1/24/19, 2/7/19 and 2/21/19  1 credit LR online  More information and Signup:  http://bit.ly/2EZtx9W

Please share this with anyone who may be interested:

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Kuemper Teacher Softchalk Lesson of the Week

Congratulations to Christina Tait from Kuemper Catholic Middle School.  Her Softchalk lesson, Opera Stew, was selected by Softchalk as a lesson of the week.

This introduction to opera lesson teaches students what exactly opera is, some of the vocabulary and what goes on behind the scenes for the production.

Each week Softchalk selects a stand out, top notch, lesson from SoftChalk Share and features it across their social media platforms. SoftChalk Share is an Open Education Resource (OER), learning object repository with thousands of free learning materials (used in blended learning environments, online learning environments, flipped classrooms and more...) created by educators just like the ones listed below.
These lessons are interactive, engaging and cover a wide variety of subjects. Through these, you can see the endless possibilities SoftChalk has to offer and learn something new in the process. 

Educators in Iowa are able to obtain Softchalk from AEA Learning Online at no additional cost. If you are interested please contact us Denise Krefting, Evan Abbey or Melissa Wicklund.  You can learn more about best practices of using this tool in our Blending Flipping Cohort course 3.  Learn more.

Success Stories, Insights by African American males: New Content Added

Just added to the Student Personalized Learning System (http://learning.aeak12online.org/) and available in AEA Learning Online's Moodle server for download into your LMS:  Success Stories, Insights by African American Males: Workbook.

Hear from the author of the content:

"Success Stories Insights by African American Men" is an inspirational collection of stories by 19 African American Men. Four are current college students from urban America and four are former student athletes and alumni of the NFL, Chris Ward, Steven Holden, Michael Montgomery and Reginald Grant. The collection includes views from a wide range of occupations, actors, writers, law enforcement, business professionals and much more.

With this workbook, students can read interesting stories and improve academic skills, including critical thinking (extraction of facts from each story and pre-writing organization). Students can compare their lives to the stories in the text and develop essays. This is accomplished by reading the text and using the tools after each story and in the back of the text.

“African American males want the same things as everyone else, a family, a job an education, the opportunity to live the American dream. “ J. Everett Pearsall, Executive Director of the National Alliance of African American Athletes. I, nor most African American males don’t want any handouts or hand me downs, just the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.  But, being an African American male in American is a unique experience.  No matter your background the examples of perseverance, determination and focus are a roadmap for success.

Here are a few of our stories, enjoy.

Reginald Grant, MSEd
____________________________


 You can access this module in the Student Personalized Learning System by searching for it or choosing the category Counseling or At Risk.  Because it is an elective, students can also search for and access the content themselves.  If you have a Learning Management System, you can look at the content in our Moodle Server through this link and download the back-up from the course to be uploaded into your LMS.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Waukee APEX Students Create Content for Peers in the Student Personalized Learning System



A team of students from Waukee High School’s Aspiring Professional Experience Program (APEX) have created a personalized learning module on the career of a Pharmacist.

The students who were a part of this project are (L to R) Tawfeeq Alimami, Chason Yan, Emma Shepard, and group lead, Mikayla Schneider. These students are enrolled in the Exploration of Health Sciences and Medicine class offered at APEX.

Throughout this module, students will learn:
  • What a career in Pharmacy looks like
  • The requirements and steps to become a Pharmacist
  • Why we need Pharmacists?

This module is mainly designed for High School students.

AEA Learning Online is a program where students can use modules to learn more about a specific topic. AEA offers a countless number of topics and information provided for a variety of different learning levels and grades. This program is a great tool to use to help assist your learning.
________________________________________ 
AEA Learning Online thanks these students and their teacher Cindy Snell for their hard work on these modules.

To learn more about these modules, you can visit http://learning.aeak12online.org/ click on catalog then Employability and Careers: Pharmacy and the tab Statewide or enter the criteria in the search.

You can also have your students create content in our system. If you are interested in having students create content, teachers creating content or using the system please contact Denise Krefting, Melissa Wicklund or Craig Mohr.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Professional Development: Blending/Flipping Your Classroom Cohort

Blending Flipping Your Classroom cohorts series is  available for teachers this winter at Heartland AEA.  Course 1 "Blending/ Flipping Your Classroom 1: Introduction" the start of the four course series will begin in February offered at Heartland in Johnston and will be offered in June at Grant Wood and beginning in January for Keystone AEA. Sign up coming soon for these sessions.

These cohorts consist of 4 courses that teachers and administrators can take through out a 1 1/2 year period.   Credit is available at a significantly reduced rate.

  • The first course (Blending/ Flipping Your Classroom 1- Introduction is a three day face-to-face training on "Blending/Flipping your classroom 1" for one license renewal credit.  There is a secondary and an elementary version
  • The second course is a fully online course "Blending/Flipping 2- Blended Instruction" as well as an elementary option for two credits (license renewal and graduate) which is available to those who have completed the first course. 
  • The third in the series is "Blending/Flipping Your Classroom 3: Designing Online Lessons" which will take place as a blended model with two days face-to-face and the rest online for those who have completed the first two courses. This course is also two credits (license renewal and graduate).  
  •  Finally the fourth in this series is "Blending/Flipping 4: Activities and Assessment "which will take place as a blended model with two days face-to-face and the rest online and is also 2 credits (license renewal and graduate) for those who have taken the three other courses.  

The last three courses in the series (six credits) can also be applied to the Drake Online Teacher certification for those that are interested.  Learn more about the cohort here.

If you are interested in signing up or finding out more about the first course in the series offered at Heartland.  This course will also be offered at Keystone AEA and Green Hillis (June). Sign up coming.

Heartland: Blending/Flipping Your Classroom Course 1: Introduction- face to face 1/23/19, 2/6/19 and 2/21/19  1 credit LR online  More information and Signup:  https://prodev.aeapdonline.org/4DCGI/22044292111901INV&True*

Monday, December 3, 2018

AEA Online Learning Supports Iowa Digital Learning Plan: OER 

As many of you are aware, Iowa’s Digital Learning Plan is the result of a collaborative effort between the Iowa Department of Education (Department), Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), the American Institute for Research (AIR) and many stakeholders. (See document here).

AEA Learning Online has many opportunities for districts to use in support of this Digital Learning Plan. The first we will discuss is how we support Open Educational Resources.

According to the IDLP,  schools should have available and use High-Quality Digital Learning Content. According to the plan “One effective way to provide high-quality digital learning materials at scale is through the use of openly licensed educational resources. These resources may be used, modified, and shared without paying any licensing fees or requesting permission.”

The IDLP mentions that the use of Open Licensed Educational Resources will help districts.  “There are advantages other than just cost savings. Openly licensed materials can be more accurate than traditional textbooks because they can be updated continually as content changes. Openly licensed materials also allow teachers to exercise their own creativity and expertise so they can tailor learning materials to meet the needs of their students.”  

“In addition to openness, the OER movement emphasizes collaboration and an ongoing process. When the curriculum is “closed”, it becomes static and unchanging. It is not easily adaptable and able to be changed at a moment’s notice. Teachers often used printed textbooks created by a publisher, a process that stifles the creativity and flexibility within the classroom. It also stifles the opportunities that teachers have to think reflectively about the curriculum in general.”

In an effort to bring all of the stakeholders and content for Iowa together, AEA Learning Online has purchased an OER Hub (https://www.oercommons.org/hubs/aeaonline) where teachers and even students can go.  As written in the IDLP “This hub pulls together national collections of OER content, as well as collections of content created by Iowa educators. The hub also supports a digital space that helps educators select, align, evaluate, adjust, and create educational resources. Districts or schools can create their own hub group space to support work big or small, be it curriculum development or PLC collaboration. AEAs and other statewide entities can support groups of teachers from multiple districts more easily, connecting teachers from across the state.”  “On the hub, AEA Learning Online supports several collections of OER. This includes our OLLIE e-curriculum for online pedagogy, as well collections of Iowa-teacher generated content for participants in our Blending/Flipping cohorts. In the future, additional collections of e-curriculum will be available through the hub platform.”

AEA Learning Online offers an OER self-paced course as professional development in support of this change in practice.  Teachers can take this course for 1 license renewal credit or take the sections for knowledge.  Found in the Teacher Training System (https://training.aealearningonline.org) “OER-Open Educational Resources (One License Renewal credit)” will take teachers through each of these learning modules:
OER Introduction
OER Passport: OER Overview
OER Passport: Creative Commons
OER Passport: Overview of OER Commons
OER Passport: Searching, Tagging and Saving OER Commons
OER Passport: Sharing and Evaluate OER Commons
OER Passport: Creating and Remixing OER Commons
OER Conclusion

If taken for no credit teachers can go through any of the above modules individually.


AEA Learning Online has also produced an OER Passport that can be used as a structure for districts or individuals to learn about OER.  This passport supports scaffolded learning and you can “stamp” your progression on trainings in the use and application of OER:

OER Primer
Join Up
Search/Tag
Share Out
Get Published
Next Gen OER


If you have interest in any of the above learning opportunities for yourself or your staff, or would like copies of the OER Passport contact AEA Learning Online at support@aealearningonline.org  or Denise Krefting (dkrefting@aealearningonline.org) or Melissa Wicklund (mwicklund@aealearningonline.org)


Friday, November 30, 2018

Iowa Story: Urbandale Teacher Blends her 3rd Grade Classroom

Hear from Elizabeth Whitver, 3rd grade teacher at Webster Elementary in  Urbandale, Iowa as she talks about blending and flipping with her 3rd graders.. She will share how she found out about blended/flipped learning, what the benefits for students were, and why she chose this route.


We would LOVE to share your story. If you would like to be interviewed for the Iowa Story of Online, Blended or Flipped Classrooms please contact us- Denise Krefting or Melissa Wicklund.   We have several other teacher video of those who have volunteered to contribute. They can be found on in our Google Community with the filter "Blended Videos from Iowa Teachers.

If you are interested in learning more about professional development for blended learning, here is the information on AEA Online's Blended Learning Cohort (video listings are also here under the tab Iowa Teachers Blending/Flipping)

Monday, November 26, 2018

AEA Online Learning Supports Iowa Digital Learning Plan: Digital Citizenship

As many of you are aware, Iowa’s Digital Learning Plan is the result of a collaborative effort between the Iowa Department of Education (Department), Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), the American Institute for Research (AIR) and many stakeholders. (See document here).

AEA Learning Online has many opportunities for districts to use in support of this Digital Learning Plan. We will now discuss is how we support Digital Citizenship for teacher and students.

According to the IDLP,  colleges should Rethink Teacher Preparation.  “Education is constantly changing.  Teacher preparation programs are an important part of making sure that our future educators have a solid foundation of not only teaching and learning but also learning about how to use technology.  Technology to help students learn and grow as learners and digital citizens in and out of the classroom.  “ This is also true of those currently in the field.

By Fostering Ongoing Professional Learning districts support the IDLP “Professional learning and development programs should transition to support and develop educators’ identities as fluent users of technology; creative and collaborative problem solvers; and adaptive, socially aware experts throughout their careers.” “Programs also should address challenges when it comes to using technology learning: ongoing professional development should be job embedded and available just in time.”

A National Recommendation adopted by Iowa suggests that districts “Provide pre-service and in-service educators with professional learning experiences powered by technology to increase their digital literacy and enable them to create compelling learning activities that improve learning and teaching, assessment, and instructional practices.” By designing pre- and in-service professional learning opportunities that are aligned specifically with technology expectations outlined within state standards and that are reflective of the increased connectivity of and access to devices in schools.

Districts should also think about “Instructional Practices for Student-Centered, Personalized Learning.”  “The majority of Iowa districts are 1:1 which changes the way teaching and learning happen within classrooms and beyond the classroom walls.  As access to technology increases, so does the importance of guiding students to use technology in a  “meaningful, productive, respectful, and safe” way in and out of the classroom.  A basic understanding for the teacher is a great way to start. “

In support of the IDLP and Iowa Core 21st Century standards, AEA Learning Online offers a Digital Citizenship Course within the Training System (https://training.aealearningonline.org) for one license renewal credit, or individual modules can be taken without credit or cost.  Within the course, teachers will gain a basic understanding of Digital Security, Digital Netiquette, Digital Literacy, and Cyberbullying and Online Safety.  These core topics are essential for teachers to help guide the learning and help students make good choices when navigating our connected world.

Once teachers have a better understanding of digital citizenship topics, districts then could move toward how students navigate the digital world as digital citizens. Providing students opportunities to practice with teachers and other students, learn important topics, use curriculum that best meets the needs of all learners, and facilitate discussions with students in a safe place about their digital footprint.

AEA Learning Online offers Digital Citizenship modules for students to take on our Student Personalized Learning System (https://learning.aeak12online.org).  The SPLS has content for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.  The K-8 grade content is based on Common Sense Media’s digital citizenship curriculum and offers students further opportunities to share, watch videos, and discuss as a class. The K-8 content also has an added feature of the modules being read aloud for those students who may need extra support.  The 9-12 content is based on Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship.  It supports safety and appropriate technology use in these areas:
●    Digital Commerce
●    Digital Communication
●    Digital Health and Wellness
●    Digital Law, Rights and Responsibilities
●    Digital Literacy
●    Digital Netiquette
●    Digital Security
Districts and teachers can assign any or all of this content to students as desired.

If you have interest in any of the above learning opportunities for yourself or your staff, contact AEA Learning Online at support@aealearningonline.org  or Denise Krefting (dkrefting@aealearningonline.org) or Melissa Wicklund (mwicklund@aealearningonline.org)

Look for the next post where we will discuss how AEA Learning Online supports Open Educational Resources discussed in the IDLP.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

AEA Online Learning Supports Iowa Digital Learning Plan: Blended Learning

As many of you are aware, Iowa’s Digital Learning Plan is the result of a collaborative effort between the Iowa Department of Education (Department), Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), the American Institute for Research (AIR) and many stakeholders. (See document here).

AEA Learning Online has many opportunities for districts to use in support of this Digital Learning Plan. The first we will discuss is how we support Blended and Online Learning.

According to the IDLP,  schools should “Foster Ongoing Professional Learning”.  Professional learning and development programs should transition to support and develop educators’ identities as fluent users of technology; creative and collaborative problem solvers; and adaptive, socially aware experts throughout their careers.

 Districts should also “Develop a teaching force skilled in online and blended instruction”. Our education system continues to see a marked increase in online learning opportunities and blended learning models in traditional schools. To meet the demand, institutions of higher education, school districts, classroom educators, and researchers need to come together to ensure practitioners have access to current information regarding research-supported practices and an understanding of the best use of emerging online technologies to support learning in online and blended spaces.  Including:

Technology can enable personalized learning or experiences that are more engaging and relevant. Mindful of the learning objectives, educators might design learning experiences that allow 40 students in a class to choose from a menu of learning experiences—writing essays, producing media, building websites, collaborating with experts across the globe in data collection—assessed via a common rubric to demonstrate their learning. Such technology-enabled learning experiences can be more engaging and relevant to learners.

Personalized Student Learning

Technology enables personalized pathways for student learning through active and collaborative learning activities. Clearly defined sets of learning outcomes guide instruction. The outcomes, and the aligned curriculum, instruction, and assessment, reflect the multidisciplinary nature of knowledge; prepare students for our participatory culture through attention to digital literacy and citizenship; and attend to general skills and dispositions, such as reflection, critical thinking, persistence, and perseverance.
Administration and school board provide leadership ensuring that policies and resources equip teachers with the right tools and ongoing support to personalize learning in their classrooms.

AEA Learning Online offers a Blended Learning Cohort as professional development in support of the pedagogical changes teacher must go through to be effective and successful online educators. These cohorts consist of 4 courses that teachers and administrators can take through out a 1 1/2 year period (time period can change depending on need).   Credit (no-credit option as well) is available at a significantly reduced rate.
  
●    The first course, "Blending/ Flipping Your Classroom 1: Introduction" is a three day face-to-face training on "Blending/Flipping your classroom 1" for one license renewal credit.  This introductory course will build pedagogical awareness using Bloom's Taxonomy and Depth of Knowledge for learning about blended learning models, flipped classrooms, the modern learner, essential questions, and summarize and formative assessments in an online environment. Participants will experience a blended learning opportunity each day.  (There is an Elementary version and a Secondary Version)
  
●    The second course is a fully online course "Blending/Flipping 2- Blended Instruction" for all grade level teachers as well as an elementary option for two credits (license renewal and graduate) which is available to those who have completed the first course.  This course digs deeper into what a blended classroom looks like expanding from course 1.  Participants will create a blended unit that can be used in their classroom using best practices of design, content, assessments and collaboration. (There is an Elementary version and a Secondary Version)
  
●    The third in the series is "Blending/Flipping Your Classroom 3: Designing Online Lessons" which will take place as a blended model with two days face-to-face and the rest online for those who have completed the first two courses. This course is also two credits (license renewal and graduate).   This course is divided into two parts: Spoken Lesson best practices and design and Text Based Lesson best practices and design. Participants will create a video  and a text based lesson created in Softchalk that can be added to their flipped or blended unit.
  
●     Finally the fourth in this series is "Blending/Flipping 4: Activities and Assessment "which will take place as a blended model with two days face-to-face and the rest online and is also 2 credits (license renewal and graduate) for those who have taken the three other courses.  This final cohort course is divided into two parts: creating rigorous and relevant activities and developing appropriate assessments for these activities. These activities and assessments can be added to their flipped or blended unit.
  
These courses are also meant to support those teachers who wish to move their classes to totally online but scaffolding their knowledge from face to face, to blended to eventual online creation.  This can be done in combination with the OLLIE coursework offered by AEA Learning Online and Drake University. The last three courses in the series (six credits) can also be applied to the Drake Online Teacher certification for those that are interested.   Learn More Here

Offered in conjunction with the Blended Learning Cohort are the OLLIE (Online Learning for Iowa Educators) online courses. These courses take teachers to the next level with facilitation, assessment and feedback intended to help teacher complete the Drake Online Teaching Certificate and support facilitated online instruction.

AEA Learning Online also offers self paced content on Blended Learning and Personalized Learning found in the Teacher Training System.  These courses can be taken for learning and/or credit  any time from anywhere in a self paced environment.
If you have interest in any of the above learning opportunities for yourself or your staff, contact AEA Learning Online at support@aealearningonline.org  or Denise Krefting (dkrefting@aealearningonline.org) or Melissa Wicklund (mwicklund@aealearningonline.org)

Look for our next post where we will discuss how AEA Learning Online supports Digital Citizenship discussed in the IDPL.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Teachers at Indianola Complete Blending Flipping Cohort

Congratulations to these teachers from Indianola Schools who have completed the 4 courses in the Blending Flipping in your Classroom Cohort.

Front to Back: Alison Sauter (Indianola Technology Integration Coach), Shaen
Polasky, Jill Oliver, Samantha Jensen, Mindy Percy, Lisa Stone, Ronda Priebe, Denise Krefting (AEA Learning Online K-12 Instructional Designer,Karen Sorensen, Mitch Curtis, Linda Warner, Wendy Arch and Richard Kazmerzak.


These classes which are offered at several AEAs and even as PD for school districts (such as Indianola CSD) are : Blending/ Flipping Your Classroom 1: Introduction (Elementary and a Secondary version), Blending/Flipping 2- Blended Instruction (Elementary and a Secondary version), Blending/Flipping Your Classroom 3: Designing Online Lessons and Blending/Flipping 4: Activities and Assessment.  They are offered for license renewal credit, graduate credit or no credit depending on what credit type the participant is interested in.  6 of these credits also qualify for the Drake Online Teaching Certificate. Learn more about the cohort here.

If you are interested in learning more about the Blending Flipping in your Classroom Cohort you can check out this site or contact Denise Krefting or Melissa Wicklund at AEA Learning Online.