Wednesday, January 28, 2015

28 Days of OLLIE Starter Kit

28 Days of OLLIE will begin in just a few short days and we can’t wait. To assist you in planning your participation in the OLLIE community, AEA PD Online has created the 28 Days of OLLIE Starter Kit. The Starter Kit contains information about what will be happening in the OLLIE community each day in February.

There are three ways to view the 28 Days of OLLIE Starter Kit.
  1. Download the Starter Kit PDF found here.
  2. View the Starter Kit in a Moodle lesson here.
  3. View the 28 Days of OLLIE calendar found here. At the top of the calendar, move it from January to February)
No matter which way you choose to look at the starter kit, the information contained in it will help you begin to plan your participation in the 28 Days of OLLIE.

Whether you want to simply observe the community or jump into all 28 days of learning opportunities, we are confident that you’ll find something that will interest you.

Hope to see you in the OLLIE Community!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Five Tips for Dealing with Combative Students in the Online Environment

See more at:
Five Tips for Dealing with Combative Students in the Online Environment - See more at:
Five Tips for Dealing with Combative Students in the Online Environment - See more at:
Five Tips for Dealing with Combative Students in the Online Environment - See more at:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

AEA PD Online's eCurriculum content for Vocational Agriculture

Did you know that AEA PD Online K-12 System has online content created by teachers that can be used in their Vocational Agriculture classes (downloaded and added to your Moodle or Canvas course).  Check out these (additional content is added all the time so come back often) :

Principles of Agronomy
Agricultural Marketing
Farm Management
Survey of the Animal Industry

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Feature: Visual Design

The"Eyes" Have It!

No doubt you have heard that we are now in the digital age, are constantly being bombarded by a barrage of visual images, and that the learning style of the new generation of students is more visual than many of those in previous generations. So, what does that mean when creating online content for our students?  Do we just add a bunch of images, slideshows, videos, etc., to our courses? Not quite.

Adding images to learning is vital. Allowing learners to absorb content using more than one cognitive channel, in addition to the text, is one way images can enhance the learners experience. But of course, we don't want to add images just to add images. We can utilize images to help with the navigational structure of a course. Different fonts and typeface can be used to separate elements when a lot of text is necessary. Appropriately sized graphics and color can also be used to draw the eye to a certain place.

A blog post, by Neha Goel (Nov. 14, 2014), highlights 4 questions to ask yourself before using visuals in your course:
1.     Do visuals decrease the content overload?
2.     Do visuals make the content comprehensible?
3.     Do visuals help keep learners connected to the course?
4.     Do visuals convey what you wish to tell the learner?

Read Goel’s complete blog post here:

What kinds of projects can you do with your students to help them sort through the barrage of information? I just learned a new word—“infopics”. An infopic is a photo with text layered on top that is designed to communicate a message. To learn more about it, watch this video:


I hope you got some ideas from watching the video that you want to use with your students. AEA PD Online would love to hear how you incorporated infopics into your classroom. 

Please share with us!

In the Spotlight

Class Responder is a service that teachers can use to distribute quizzes to students and gather results as soon as students answer the quiz questions. ClassResponder can be used through your web browser or through their free iPad apps. There is an app for teachers and an app for students. Students don't have to create accounts to participate. Students simply enter your classroom code to join your ClassResponder activities.

It also offers pre-made quizzes. Like other student response systems, Class Responder is a way to deliver short review quizzes to your students. You can use the service to make quizzes to use at the end of a lesson to quickly check for your students' understanding of your lesson's main points. You can turn on ClassResponder's instant feedback option for your students so that they don't have to wait until everyone is done before they see their own scores.

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

AEA PD Online Instructional Designer

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Upcoming Courses (Feb. 1-Mar. 15, 2015)

See below for a list of upcoming online professional learning opportunities. To register, click on the activity number listed with each course. To conduct your own search for professional development classes, download the AEA PD Online app at or click here to go to the AEA PD Online catalog.

EL Bridge Online Workshop
Register at 22017699991502
Course Dates: Feb. 2-May 17, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Glogster: Project-Based Learning with Multimedia
Register at 22009099991503
Course Dates: Feb. 2-Feb. 22, 2015

Credit(s): 1

Register at 22017299991511
Course Dates: Feb. 2-Mar. 27, 2015
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Leading Authentic Place-based Student Investigations: Water
Register at 22012699991502
Course Dates: Feb. 2-April 26, 2015
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Photoshop Elements: Digital Imaging in the Classroom
Register at 22000499991503
Course Dates: Feb. 2-Feb. 22, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Presentation Zen: Improving Your Approach to Presentations
Register at 22012399991506
Course Dates: Feb. 4-Feb. 24, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Supporting Technology Literacy in Elementary Classrooms with Scratch Programming
Register at 22024299991501
Course Dates: Feb. 9-Mar. 16, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Using Iowa AEA Online Databases in the Science Classroom
Register at 22009299991501
Course Dates: Feb. 9-Mar. 23, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Pinterest: Using Pins, Boards, and More in Your Classroom
Register at 22022299991505
Course Dates: Feb. 11-Mar. 10, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Sharpen Your Critical Thinking Skills
Register at 22008999991501
Course Dates: Feb. 12-Mar. 26, 2015
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Google Sites
Register at 22012899991507
Course Dates: Feb. 15-April 12, 2015 
Credit(s): 2

"Write" On Ways to Meet the ICC K-5 Writing Standards
Register at 22020299991503
Course Dates: Feb. 16-Mar. 20, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Register at 22017299991512
Course Dates: Feb. 16-April 10, 2015
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Elements: Moving to Mobile Learning
Register at 22023099991501
Course Dates: Feb. 17-Mar. 17, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Learning China
Register at 22007599991501
Course Dates: Feb. 17-Mar. 24, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

MOLLIE: Designing Online Lessons, Including SoftChalk
Register at 22017999991505
Course Dates: Feb. 18-Mar. 24, 2015
Credit(s): 2

OLLIE: Online Learning Instructional Design
Register at 22002799991503
Course Dates: Feb. 18-Mar. 24, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Standards-Based Teaching I: Instructional Strategies
Register at 22024399991501
Course Dates: Feb. 28-Mar. 21, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

iMovie: Digital Video in the Classroom
Register at 22000399991503
Course Dates: Mar. 2-Mar. 22, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Iowa Core Fraction Domain
Register at 22023299991501
Course Dates: Mar. 2-Apr. 13, 2015
Credit(s): 2

MovieMaker: Digital Video in the Classroom
Register at 22000699991503
Course Dates: Mar. 2-Mar. 22, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Pinterest: Using Pins, Boards, and More in Your Classroom
Register at 22022299991508
Course Dates: Mar. 4-Mar. 31, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Intro to Google Apps: Tools to Integrate
Register at 22014599991506
Course Dates: Mar. 8-May 3, 2015
Credit(s): 2

iPods & iPads for the Classroom
Register at 22004199991505
Course Dates: Mar. 9-Apr. 5, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Reading in the Content Areas
Register at 22022499991502
Course Dates: Mar. 9-May 1, 2015
Credit(s): 2

What Great Teachers Do Differently
Register at 22020399991506
Course Dates: Mar. 9-Apr. 17, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Learning Japan
Register at 22013999991501
Course Dates: Mar. 11-Apr. 20, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

The Mexican-American Experience: Introduction to Chicano Studies
Register at 22010099991501
Course Dates: Mar. 12-Apr. 22, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Coming Soon: 28 Days of OLLIE

Coming soon! AEA PD Online will launch the Online Learning for Iowa Educators (OLLIE) community with the 28 Days of OLLIE. The month of community learning, will begin on February 1, 2015.  Throughout the month there will be coordinated opportunities for educators to connect with each other, engage in, and learn from each other about teaching and learning online. It is our hope that the connections that are formed among and between the community members will extend beyond the 28 days and lead to a community of online teachers that can support each other in future work.

Currently, the community is being built, but if you would like a sneak peak at the community click here.

Iowa Core Website

The Iowa Department of Education has created a new website for the Iowa Core.  AEA PD Online: Live had a chance to record Dr. Brad Niebling demonstrating the different functions and resources on the site.  Watch this recording to learn more.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Feature: Just Browsing

Browsers—Love or Hate Them

I have been feeling very frustrated with the browser that I thought I would never leave! It has been slow and freezes up for no apparent reason. So my solution was to update to the latest, greatest, newest version. But of course that can cause other issues.  So, I have been asking around—what browser do you typically use and like? The one I thought I “loved” is not getting rave reviews from my colleagues. Why? It’s because it doesn’t, or isn’t, using the HTML 5 standards for web browsers. Why should I care about HTML5 Standards? What the heck is HTML5?

HTML5 is the future of web browsing. It is build on the following principles:
  • Less dependence on plugins for functionality.
  • Scripting should be replaced with markup whenever possible.
  • Device independence (i.e., available on all devices and providing the same end experience).
  • Public development process so people can see what’s going on.

As a web user, you will benefit from HTML5 because it fixes the most glaring problems in HTML4. Web sites will have better web standards, which will result in more efficient content and improved performance. As HTML5 is adopted across the board, web pages should start to load faster, less bandwidth should be used, and battery life on mobile devices ought to last longer. Plus, you won’t have to keep so many plugins like Flash and Java updated.
If you want to see more about HTML5, go to this website:

So, why did I bring this up at all? Some things have not, or appear to not be working when I use my current browser (Firefox).  

AEA PD Online is now recommending that you may want to use a browser other than Firefox for the online courses or trainings you are taking. Switch to Google Chrome or use Safari (there is Safari for Windows) and you will probably have a much better experience.

Other Sites to check out:

Check your Internet browsing speed:
Try it with all the browsers on your desktop and compare.

How well does your browser support html5? Use this test to find out:

Peacekeeper is a free and fast browser test that measures a browser's speed. (takes about 5 minutes but is fun to do).

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.
AEA PD Online Instructional Designer

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

AEA PD Online's eCurriculum content for Foreign Language

Did you know that AEA PD Online K-12 System has online content created by teachers that can be used in their Foreign Language classes (downloaded and added to your Moodle or Canvas course).  Check out these (additional content is added all the time so come back often) :

Mandarin Chinese I
Mandarin Chinese II 
Spanish I 
Spanish II 
Spanish 3: Grammar with a Twist: NICA Quest 
Spanish 4
Beginner Spanish 
Chinese for You: Shanghai
Conjugating Regular Verbs in the Present Tense in Spanish
French I: Au cafe
Peggy Teaches Chinese