Monday, March 30, 2015

New Self-Paced Courses

There are several new self-paced courses coming later this spring from AEA PD Online.  Self-paced courses provide busy educators with an opportunity to learn valuable information on their schedule for relicensure credit.  The upcoming course titles and topics include:

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This course provides staff with a clear vision around the roles and responsibilities of paraeducators related to:
  • IEP Review
  • Behavior
  • Supervision
  • Confidentiality

The Practicing Educator
The Practicing Educator self-paced course provides educators with “must know” information related to state and federal policies, as well as other responsibilities important for the profession.
  • Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse
  • Bloodborne Pathogens (OSHA)
  • Right to Know (OSHA)
  • Ethics for Educators
  • Copyright and Fair Use
  • Seclusion and Restraint - (Chapter 103B)
  • Bullying Prevention
  • Harassment in the Workplace
  • Diversity Awareness and Cultural Competence
  • FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
  • COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)
  • HIPPA (Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act)

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Financial Literacy in May 2015
As part of the Iowa Core’s 21st Century Skills, all students need a firm foundation in financial literacy.  This course provides that foundation as well as steps on how to integrate financial literacy into your curriculum regardless of the learners’ age or subject area.
  • Financial Literacy: Introduction
  • Financial Literacy: Saving
  • Financial Literacy: Banking
  • Financial Literacy: Payment Types
  • Financial Literacy: Credit Scores
  • Financial Literacy: Financial Planning

Blended and Online Learning in May 2015
This Self-Paced course gives participants an overview of the basics for online learning in a variety of contexts.  This includes with different grade levels, for blended learning in the context of your face-to-face classroom, and for adults as well as for students
  • Introduction to Online Learning
  • Blended Learning
  • Technology for Online Instruction
  • Online Instructional Design
  • Designing Online Lessons
  • Online Facilitation
  • Online Assessment & Feedback

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Student Personalized Learning System (SPLS) in May 2015
Learn about AEA PD Online’s new Student Personalized Learning System.  The self-paced course will provide you with an overview of personalized learning and ideas on how you can integrate the system into your instructional practice.
  • Introduction to AEA PD Online Student Personalized Learning System
  • Using the Student Personalized Learning System
  • Integrating the Student Personalized Learning System into Student Learning
  • SPLS Content Overview
  • Conclusions

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Universal Constructs in June 2015
Learn about the Universal Constructs and formulate a plan to support the development of these critical habits of mind in your students.
  • Introduction to the Universal Constructs
  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Communication
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Productivity and Accountability

Friday, March 27, 2015

Moodle Moment: Advanced Glossary Usage

For our Moodle Moment this Friday, we look at three different implementations of the Moodle Glossary within your course.  This includes automatically linking definitions when the term appears elsewhere in the course, posting a random glossary entry in a block on the front page, and exporting the terms to automatically generate quiz questions.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Connect with AEA PD Online at the 1:1 Conference

Be sure to connect with AEA PD Online at the 1:1 Conference on April 8, 2015.

Stop by our booth, tell us about your favorite e-learning tool, and discover how AEA PD Online can support your e-learning needs.

You can also attend our 1:1 conferences sessions. Sessions include:

  • 9:00 Creating Your Own Self-paced Professional Development w/ Linda Carroll
  • 10:15 Creating Student Developed Digital Content w/ students from the Waukee CAPS program
  • 11:30 Everyone is Talking about Learning Management Systems w/ Jamie Fath
  • 11:30 Personalized Learning with Digital Citizenship
See you there!

Click here to learn more about the 1:1 Conference.

Online Courses Support STEM Endorsement through Drake and Grand View

With the Dept of Education’s inclusion of a STEM endorsement, AEA PD Online, Grand View University and Drake University are pleased to announce a partnership to build online content for teachers who are interested in gaining more knowledge and experience in STEM, obtaining a STEM endorsement, or working on a Masters with a focus in STEM at either Grand View or Drake.
Look for these and many other learning opportunities:
More content will be added in the near future. You can learn more about these and other courses at

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Blended Learning Practitioners' Circle 101: April 6-May 29, 2015

The Alvo Institute, Grantwood AEA, and AEA PD Online are excited to offer another session of The Blended Learning Practitioners’ Circle 101.  After rave reviews from the first session, we are running “From Theory to Practice: An Overview of Blended Learning” again this spring. Join us for an eight-week exploration of blended learning with a focus on moving from theory to action. Whether you are new to blended or refining your current blended model, this exciting collaborative will help you deepen your practice, expertise and vision. Alvo’s Practitioners’ Circle brings together researchers and educators from across the country to form a virtual innovators’ roundtable. We are fortunate to be joined by the blended practitioners from around the country who will share their experience from the field.

In this 8-week intensive PD, practitioners will have opportunities to learn, try things in their classrooms or schools, reflect, refine and share, each week.  Participants will have an opportunity to discuss current research, explore Alvo’s educator-designed resources, test classroom-based examples of blended practices, share their experiences and learn from the nation’s earliest and most successful blended learning pioneers.

Required readings and scheduled webinars are planned. Webinar dates and times will be announced closer to the start of the class.  All webinars will be recorded if participants cannot attend the live event. Most dates have two options for attending webinars as indicated below:

Register Online at (If you have never registered with ALVO before, you will need to first create an account.)

Registration Fee: $220

AEA PD Online is offering 3 license renewal or graduate credits (Drake,Viterbo, Morningside) for the course, if participants are interested. These costs are in addition to the $220 registration fee:
$25 - License renewal
$135 - Morningside credit
$225 - Drake credit
$225 - Viterbo credit

Fun in an Online Course


How do you create "fun" in an online course? This is a discussion that the students in one of my online courses have been discussing--the original question was more about characteristics of effective online instructors. Several students mentioned that an effective online instructor makes the learning "fun". Does that mean an online instructor who has a great sense of humor and it shows up in the online environment? Or, does it mean that the learning activities are engaging and "fun"?

Yes--probably both ideas are "correct". I think I can be funny--sometimes (don't ask my personal kids, because they just groan when I think I am being funny), but my sense of humor may not appear in an online course. So, in my case, I just hope my personality shows through in other ways.

What else can an instructor do to make it "fun"? Is the course for a student in grades K-12 or for an adult learner, like teachers taking online courses for professional development? Does that make a difference?

Think about how you learn. Is learning easier for you if you are having fun doing it and so the time just flies? Can all learning be fun or does some of it just have to be boring? How much does the attitude of the learner play into this? As you can see, I have a lot of questions but not many answers.

Ideas? I would love to hear from you!


In the Spotlight: Formative

This is a program that is described as

"A superb assessment resource which allows you to gain real-time feed back through tests, quizzes and even allowing students to annotate a document that you upload. Set up your quiz/test using true/false statements, longer text answers or students can draw the answer. You can setup a marking key meaning that the site will mark the answers for you and give instant data on who is correct. Your students can either have their own free account or they can access the material using a link." 

Also advertised as: Any grade, any subject, any devise. Have you used it with your students? If so, how did it work for you?

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

AEA PD Online Instructional Designer

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Financial Literacy

While the Student Personalized Learning System is still in pilot phase we are working to add content that supports the curriculum.  In this system is a Financial Literacy module that can be assigned to K-2  grade level students.  It is called "Financial Literacy K-2".

Watch for more Financial Literacy content for students and a Financial Literacy course (for credit and individual modules not for credit) for teachers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Upcoming Webinar on Digital Citizenship Curriculum

Are you looking to develop a comprehensive digital citizenship curriculum for your building?  On March 24th, Meadowbrook school in Weston, Massachusetts will describe the process they went through to develop a program for their K-8 program.  There will also be a question and answer segment where they can answer questions. This interactive webinar is hosted through  To learn more or register, click here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Science eCurriculum Content Updated

Two of the Physical Science courses: Waves and Forces and Motion that are in the eCurriulum Catalog on AEA PD Online K-12 Learning Management System have been updated where possible to change as much  flash and java to HTML 5. If you have been using this content, you can download and restore these into your class or if you are interested in checking them out you can go to the AEA PD Online K-12 Learning Management System and choose eCurriculum Catalog or use the links below

Waves (once you sign in and have teacher access) : Preview the E-Curriculum on AEA K-12 Online;  Download the E-Curriculum
Forces and Motion (once you sign in and have teacher access): Preview the E-Curriculum on AEA K-12 Online; Download the E-Curriculum

Moodle Moment: Wikipedia Filter

Our latest Moodle Moment takes a look at a new feature on our system, the Wikipedia filter.  This filter makes it quick and easy to add a link from text to a Wikipedia entry.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Digital Citizenship Modules for K-2

While the Student Personalized Learning System is still in pilot phase we are working to add content that supports the curriculum.  In this system are Digital Citizenship modules that can be assigned to K-2 grade level students. The content in these Digital Citizenship modules was taken from Common Sense Media.  Teachers, administrators and counselors of school districts could assign any or all of them to their students.   Here is the current listing:

Digital Citizenship K-2: Safety

Digital Citizenship K-2: Searching

Digital Citizenship: K-2 Cyberbullying

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

AEA PD Online is Looking for Instructors

AEA PD Online is looking for educators who would like to share their expertise with others by developing and teaching online professional development courses. Instructors have  the opportunity to teach outside of the traditional professional development times.

AEA PD Online offers interested individuals many supports, which include:
1. Online Learning for Iowa Educator (OLLIE) courses
  • Introduction to Online Learners (Course description and registration info here).
  • Technology for Online Learning  (Course description and registration info here).
  • Online Learning Instructional Design (Course description and registration info here). 
  • Online Facilitation (Course description and registration info here).
  • Online Assessment, Feedback, and Evaluation (Course description and registration info here).

2. An instructor toolbox located here .
3. Support with course development and design
4. Assistance marketing your course to Iowa educators
5. Online teaching mentors who will offer support as you teach your first class

Interested in teaching for AEA PD Online  this summer? Take a look at the Infographic "Steps to Teaching for AEA PD Online" below and then contact

Upcoming Courses: April 1-May 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.

Supporting Technology Literacy in Elementary Classrooms with Scratch Programming
Register at 22024299991502 
Dates: Mar. 30-May 4, 2015
Credit(s): 2

MOLLIE: Online Teaching Best Practices
Register at 22019699991503
Dates: April 1-May 5 , 2015
Credit(s): 2

OLLIE: Introduction to the Online Learner
Register at 22001399991506
Course Dates: April 1-April 21, 2015
Credit(s): 1

OLLIE: Online Facilitation
Register at 22009699991503
Course Dates: April 1-May 5, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Standards-Based Teaching I: Instructional Strategies
Register at 22024399991501
Course Dates: April 4-April 25, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Building ELA Foundational Skills - The Voweletics Method
Register at 22016699991505
Course Dates: April 6-May 31, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Incorporating Quality Questioning for Student Engagement and Learning
Register at 22024499991501
Course Dates: April 7-April 28, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Learning Japan
Register at 22013999991501
Course Dates: April 8-May 6, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Presentation Zen: Improving Your Approach to Presentations
Register at 22012399991507
Course Dates: April 8-April 28, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Effective Teacher Mentoring and Coaching
Register at 22025799991501
Course Dates: April 11-May 9, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Register at 22017299991515
Course Dates: April 13-June 5, 2015
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Register at 22017299991516
Course Dates: April 13-June 5, 2015, 2015
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Assess Student Learning Using Technology
Register at 22026499991501
Course Dates: April 20-May 21, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Google Sites
Register at 22012899991508
Course Dates: April 26-June 21, 2015
Credit(s): 2

How Do You Teach Reading-Speaking the Language of The Book Whisperer
Register at 22019399991505
Course Dates: May 4-May 29, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Using the iPad in the Math Classroom
Register at 22014199991501
Course Dates: May 4-June 8, 2015
Credit(s): 2

MOLLIE: Blended Learning
Register at 22015099991505
Course Dates: May 6-June 9, 2015
Credit(s): 2

OLLIE: Technology for Online Instruction Moodle
Register at 22005399991503
Course Dates: May 6-June 9, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Pinterest: Using Pins, Boards, and More in Your Classroom
Register at 22022299991509
Course Dates: May 6-June 2, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Coaching Authorization Online
Register at 22020499991501
Course Dates: May 13-July 7, 2015
Credit(s): 4 (renewal only)

Presentation Zen: Improving Your Approach to Presentations
Register at 22012399991508
Course Dates: May 13-June 2, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Friday, March 6, 2015

Games in the Classroom

"The reason most kids don’t like school,” says Seymour Papert, “is not that the work is too hard, but that it is utterly boring..”

I think that we can agree that educators have a tough job--teach the core curriculum, administer the required assessments, keep the students engaged, and, oh yes, somehow make it fun to learn. When I was in the classroom I felt that after soccer, baseball, etc. --all the spring sports practices/games began, I was just treading water with the students. They were no longer as easy to engage. They came to school tired from late practices, or games, and were more interested in the replay of the game they had played the night before and who was on which team.

How do teachers engage students in curriculum that is "utterly boring"? Playing games? Classroom time is precious. There are a lot of digital tools--how do you pick the "best" ones? How can you use digital games intentionally to support skills, problem solving, creativity, deep learning? How can digital games help scaffold learning for students? Does it promote digital citizenship? What about parent concerns?

Watch the following video from Playtime Online, for some help with answering some of these questions:

Other Resources to Explore:
Game on!

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

AEA PD Online Instructional Designer

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New adds to the eCurriculum Catalog to add to your Blended Classroom

Did you know that AEA PD Online K-12 System has online content created by teachers that can be used in their classes (downloaded and added to your Moodle or Canvas course).  Here is a list of new content that was just added.  REMEMBER- these are meant to be teacher facilitated courses :

Composition and Content in the Visual ArtsUnitFine Arts
Allegory in PaintingUnitFine Arts
What's in a Picture? An Introduction to Subject in the Visual ArtsUnitFine Arts
Music from Across America for K-5UnitFine Arts
Jazz and World War II: A Rally to Resistance, A Catalyst for VictoryUnitFine Arts
Genre in the Visual Arts: Portraits, Pears, and Perfect LandscapesUnitFine Arts
“House by the Railroad”: A Painting and a Poem for the Common CoreUnitFine Arts
The Argument of the Declaration of IndependenceUnitSocial Studies
"A Raisin in the Sun": The Quest for the American DreamUnitSocial Studies
300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae: Herodotus's Real HistoryUnitSocial Studies
A Landmark Lesson: The United States Capitol BuildingUnitSocial Studies
African-American Communities in the North Before the Civil WarUnitSocial Studies
African-American Soldiers After World War I: Had Race Relations Changed?UnitSocial Studies
African-American Soldiers in World War I: The 92nd and 93rd DivisionsUnitSocial Studies
After the American Revolution: Free African Americans in the NorthUnitSocial Studies
American Colonial Life in the Late 1700s: Distant CousinsUnitSocial Studies

This is a small showcase of the new items, check out all of our content by subject. If you are not a teacher in the system, watch this video on how to become a teacher in the K-12 Moodle Server.

Monday, March 2, 2015

28 Days of OLLIE By the Numbers

Take a look at the connections made during the 28 Days of OLLIE. Thank you for all of your participation.

Heartland Career Fair - This Wednesday

We will be at Heartland AEA's Career Fair this Wednesday from 2:00 - 5:00.  It will take place at 6500 Corporate Drive in Johnston, Iowa, and is a free event to all educators.  In addition to having several school districts on hand to recruit potential new teachers and employees, there will be other post-graduate institutions (including us!) on hand to highlight graduate degree programs or other license renewal opportunities.

Click here for more details.