Monday, April 27, 2015

OER 101: What are Open Educational Resources and Why Are They Important? has lots of ongoing communities and webinars on many topics.  On February 18, 2015 they sponsored a webinar on Open Educational Resources (OER) to explain the basics and provide ideas on how teachers can create and use OER in their classrooms.

In their webinar they address these topics about OER:
  • How did OER start? 
  • What was the motivation behind creating resources that are freely available for other's use? 
  • Also, how do I create my own? 
  • Have I been creating resources that could almost qualify as OER?
  • Where can I find Open Educational Resources and use them in my classroom?
Click this link to watch they webinar and learn more!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Moodle Moment: Moodle 2.8

As a quick note, we will be updating our Moodle servers soon.  We are scheduled to update our test server May 15, our PD server May 22, and our K-12 server June 26.

We are still deliberating whether we will upgrade to Moodle v2.8 or v2.9.  v2.9 is being released May 11, so we will test it out to see if there are any potential bugs to be worked out (typically those are fixed within the first 2 weeks of release, meaning that the PD server will by just on the cusp of being bug-free.  If we feel v2.9 isn't quite ready, we'll go instead to v2.8.

Here is a look of the new features in v2.8.  Note, the following is an official playlist of 8 videos from Moodle.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gaming Supports the Universal Construct: Flexibility and Adaptability

The Universal Constructs were identified following an analysis of the competencies and habits of mind needed for future successes in careers, college and citizenry. They include:
  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Communication
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Productivity and Accountability
But how do you help students develop proficiency around the Universal Constructs? One possible answer is through gaming. Video games provide opportunities for students to use thinking skills that may later be applied to real-world situations. 

Watch the video below as it explains how video games can support students in becoming flexible and adaptable.

Coming Soon (June 2015)
Universal Constructs Self-paced Course
Learn about what the Universal Constructs are, why they are important, and how to help students become proficient with them in life inside and outside of school.
Watch for more information on our blog or on Twitter

Monday, April 20, 2015

Online Courses for Summer supporting STEM endorsement

Interesting learning more about Science, Engineering or adding credited courses for your STEM endorsement? These online courses are offered this summer and fall.

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Self-Paced Course: The Practicing Educator

AEA PD Online announces a new Self-Paced Course called The Practicing Educator.  The course can be found on our training system (, and like other self-paced courses, is available for one license renewal credit.  This course, with consultation from the Board of Educational Examiners, provides educators with "must know" information related to state and federal policies, as well as other responsibilities important for the profession.

Intended Audience: All educators
Cost: $60, paid at the end of the training
Credit: 1 license renewal credit
Time to complete: 15 hours+
Instructor: Evan Abbey (

To access the course:  1) go to and login, 2) click on the “catalog” tab (underneath “courses” at the top), and then select “The Practicing Educator (License Renewal)” from the list, 3) click the register button in the pop-up text.

This course features 12 commonly requested modules:
Ethics for Educators
Seclusion and Restraint - (Chapter 103B)
Bullying Prevention
Harassment in the Workplace
Diversity Awareness and Cultural Competence
Copyright and Fair Use
Bloodborne Pathogens (OSHA)
Right to Know (OSHA)
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
HIPPA (Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act)
COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse*

* - When you are finished with the course (including the final assignment and payment), you will want to print off the certificate to this training separately (in addition to the course transcript you will receive in the mail), as the certificate is required for re-licensure with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

* - IMPORTANT: Also, since you will be completing the Mandatory Reporter training as part of this Self-Paced course, there is no separate $25 fee for the training.

Current Self-Paced Course Titles:
• Digital Citizenship
• Financial Literacy
• Google Apps 101
• Para-Educator Roles and Responsibilities
• Social Media
• The Exceptional Learner
• The Exceptional Learner (Drake Graduate credit)
• The Iowa Framework for School Counselors
• The Practicing Educator
• Using Iowa AEA Online’s Resources

Courses Coming Soon:
• Personalized Learning (May)• Blended and Online Learning (May)
• Universal Constructs (June)
• Project-Based Learning (August)

Financial Literacy Self Paced course for Teachers

Learn more about how to embed financial literacy into your classroom or work with youth. Financial Literacy has just been added to the Self Paced Learning system for teachers. You can take the entire course for license renewal credit for $60 upon completion of a lesson plan and reflection, or learn more with the individual content modules without obtaining credit.
Individual modules:
  • Financial Literacy: Saving
  • Financial Literacy: Banking
  • Financial Literacy: Payment Types
  • Financial Literacy: Credit Scores
  • Financial Literacy: Financial Planning

Making Connections

 Who do you connect/identify with as an educator? There is a lot of interest on being a connected educator, but how do you make those connections? Do you regularly read blogs, tweets, Facebook pages (besides your own), Pinterest, or use other social media tools to get and stay connected? Is your connection just "lurking" or do you really interact with others on a more personal level? What is your level of participation?

"Participation in online communities of practice is a legitimate way of improving professional practice--and it should be recognized as such", according to the February 2013 report, Learning with Connected and Inspired Educators.

What does connected education look like in practice? Check out these ideas from practicing educators: What ‘Connected Education’ Looks Like: 28 Examples From Teachers All Over

Resources to Explore:

Books to Explore

  • The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
  • The Relevant Educator, Tom Whitby
  • Connected Leadership: It's Just a Click Away, Spike Cook
  • All Hands on Deck, Brad Curri

Book Club Ideas and Resources

Hope you are making good connections that allow you to continue to develop your own personal learning networks.

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

TLC Launch Event Resources

If you are tweeting about the April 15, 2015 Launching Teacher Leadership event, please use this hashtag:  #iatlc
On April 15, 2015 the Iowa Department of Education will host Launching Teacher Leadership: Operationalizing the TLC Plan. The audience for this event is Cohort 2 TLC schools in Iowa. The event will he held at the Iowa Events Center, 730 Third Street, Des MoinesIA 50309. 

Goals for the day include:
  • To deepen knowledge of the change process in order to support all school personnel in a teacher leadership system.
  • To engage in collegial conversations that focus on integration and alignment of educational improvement efforts that will be impacted by the teacher leadership system in order to support these efforts in a systematic way.
  • To establish/revise/revisit the district's vision for the teacher leadership system and determine/revise/create a communication plan that allows the district to set goals and action steps to carryout the vision.
  • To create structures and schedules conductive to collaboration and professional learning that will allow for the teacher leader system to be impactful.
You can learn more about the event and register on the Department of Education webpage or by contacting Lora Rasey (
You may view the agenda for April 15, 2015 by clicking on the file cabinet below. 
Breakout Rooms: The breakout sessions for districts will be facilitated by AEA. Please go to the breakout room that corresponds to your AEA.  
 Great Prairie:  Room 305-306
Mississippi Bend:  Room 316-317
Heartland:  Room 314-315
Grant Wood:  Room 312-313
Green Hills and North West:  Room 302
AEA 267:  Room 303
Prairie Lakes and Keystone:  Room 304

April 15 Participant FilesClick on the file cabinet to access documents you will use during the April 15, Launching Teacher Leadership meeting. 

Parking Lot : Click here to add your questions to the parking lot. Questions may be focused on the content you've discussed today, questions to which you'd like other school teams to respond, or questions for our lunchtime panel.
Evaluation and Feedback : Please click on the photo to provide you feedback regarding Launching Teacher Leadership.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Find AEA PD Online at Upcoming Conferences

AEA PD Online will be either have a booth and/or be presenting at upcoming conferences.  It's a great opportunity to stop by and meet our staff.  At the booth/sessions you can learn about new and upcoming opportunities for you to use AEA PD Online with your students or staff.  Upcoming conferences include:
Stop by and say hello.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Upcoming Courses: May 1-June 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.

Mollie: Blended Learning
Register at 22015099991505
Dates: May 6-June 8, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Coaching Authorization
Register at 22020499991501
Dates: May 13-June 17, 2015
Credit(s): 4 (renewal only)

Plan, Create, Instruct: IBA Conference 2015
Register at 22026699991501
Dates: May 13-June 17, 2015
Credit(s): 2

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

Supporting Technology Literacy in Elementary Classrooms with Scratch Programming
Register at 22024299991503
Dates: May 18-June 22, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Examining Dyslexia: Remediation that Works!
Register at 22022899991503
Dates: May 20-July 15, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: 7 Keys to Comprehension
Register at 22007099991503
Dates: May 20-July 15, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: Engaging Troubling Students: A Constructivist Approach
Register at 22003299991503
Dates: May 20-July 15, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: How the Brain Learns
Register at 22017399991503
Dates: May 20-July 15, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: Literacy & Learning in the Content Areas
Register at 22012999991503
Dates: May 20-July 15, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: Overcoming Dyslexia
Register at 22003399991504
Dates: May 20-July 15, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: Secrets of the Teenage Brain
Register at 22019199991505
Dates: May 20-July 15, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: The Gifted Brain: Science, Secrets & Synapses
Register at 22022199991503
Dates: May 20-July 15, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Iowa Core Fraction Domain for Grades 3-5
Register at 22023299991501
Dates: May 25-July 13, 2015
Credit(s): 2

"Write" On Ways to Meet the ICC K-5 Writing Standards
Register at 22020299991601
Dates: June 1-July 3, 2015
Credit(s): 2

17,000 Classroom Visits Can't Be Wrong 
Register at 22026999991601
Dates: June 1-July 24, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Creatively Thinking with MinecraftEdu
Register at 22026399991601
Dates: June 1-July 3, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Introduction to Google Apps
Register at 22007899991602
Dates: June 1-June 29, 2015
Credit(s): 2

OLLIE: Introduction to the Online Learner
Register at 22001399991601
Dates: June 3-June 23, 2015
Credit(s): 1

OLLIE: Online Learning Instructional Design
Register at 22002799991601
Dates: June 3-July 7, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Powerful Project Based Learning
Register at 22024699991601
Dates: June 3-July 10, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Google Sites for the Classroom
Register at 22025199991601
Dates: June 8-July 2, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Intro to Google Apps: Tools to Integrate
Register at 22014599991601
Dates: June 8-Aug. 2, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Introduction to Google Apps
Register at 22007899991601
Dates: June 8-July 12, 2015
Credit(s): 2

MOLLIE: Blended Learning
Register at 22015099991601
Dates: June 10-July 14, 2015
Credit(s): 2

OLLIE: Online Assessment, Feedback, and Evaluation
Register at 22009899991601
Dates: June 10-July 14, 2014
Credit(s): 2

Presentation Zen: Improving Your Approach to Presentations
Register at 22012399991601
Dates: June 10-June 30, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Computational Thinking with Scratch
Register at 22025099991601
Dates: June 15-July 13, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Using Formative Assessments to Drive Instruction and Design Interventions
Register at 22025499991601
Dates: June 15-July 16, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Moodle Moment: Rubrics

Today's Moodle Moment is long overdue.  We take a look at how to create and use rubrics within Moodle.  The process is not only a time saver for teachers in leaving feedback, but it leads to more in-depth assessment.

Monday, April 6, 2015

1:1 Presentation: Creating Student Developed Digital Content

AEA PD Online is excited to be presenting "Creating Student Developed Digital Content" at Iowa's 1:1 conference on Wednesday, April 8, 2015.  The session runs from 10:15 to 11:15 in room 314 at the Iowa Events Center.

View our presentation below.

For additional information contact:
Rob Brookhart
Deborah Cleveland

Personalized Learning & Digital Citizenship

Below we will post the presentation for our Wednesday session on Personalized Learning & Digital Citizenship at the 1:1 conference.  The session runs from 11:30 to 12:30 in room 315 at the Iowa Events Center.

Personalized Learning System
Summer Cohort Registration
Excellence & Ethics Curriculum handout
Facilitated v. Personalized
System Functions & Features

28 Days of OLLIE Webinar overviewing the system

Presentation Slideshow

Friday, April 3, 2015

Gaming vs. Gamification Conversation


The concept of “gaming” vs  “gamification” came up in a conversation with colleagues, again. We were discussing what makes it gaming and not gamification. Are we just splitting hairs? Or, are the two words interchangeable?

According to Osterweil and Klopfer, both MIT professors, gamification too often means “making a game out of learning…,” and “undermines what they see as a real opportunity for games to radically, albeit playfully, transform education.”

 Many educational games are just designed as 'drill and kill' via a computer screen and the fact that teachers tend to use the games as rewards instead of starting points for learning. “The game should be an experience, where kids get to explore and problem-solve,” Klopfer said. “Then a teacher or a peer can help them make the connection between the game experience and concepts that can be generally applied.”

Check out this STEM game: The Radix Endeavor

More Resources for Teachers

The following Prezi, by Marin Burrett, highlights some resources teachers can use with their students. It includes games, apps, assessment tools, etc. 

Have a great weekend!

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

Medication Administration trainings

In conjunction with the Iowa Department of Education, we are revising the Medication Administration trainings.  All non-nurses in Iowa who dispense medication are required to complete training in medication administration.  In addition to the main training, there are several other trainings specific to individual cases (e.g. nebulizers).

Changes to the trainings will be completed over the next week.  The updated medication administration manual will be made available in mid-May.

To access the Medication Administration trainings:

1. Go to
2. If you do not have an account, click the “Register here” link.  Fill in the required fields.  Be sure to select your AEA first, then your district, and then add district password.  If you do not know your district password, please visit with your supervising nurse or building administrator, or contact

3. Once you have an account, login
4. Make sure you are on the “courses” tab, and then click the “catalog” tab underneath. 
5. From the list, select the Medication Administration training(s).  You can filter the list by clicking on the Medication Administration button on the right.  Once you click on the training, click on the “register” button that appears below.
6. On the first screen, you will need to click the “continue” button.

7. You are now in the training.  Proceed through the training by clicking the “next” button, and completing the quizzes at the end of the sections.
8. Once you are finished with the training, you will see directions to “Go to UR”.  This is our registration system and acts as a 2nd verification.  Make sure the information is correct.
9. Once you return back to the training system, make sure you are on the “courses” tab, and click on the “completed” tab underneath.
10. You can select the training, and then underneath, click on the “certificate” button to bring up a certificate of completion.

For questions regarding the content

Wednesday, April 1, 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 :

Anishinabe/Ojibwe/Chippewa: Culture of an Indian NationUnitSocial Studies
Anne Frank: One of Hundreds of ThousandsUnitSocial Studies
Background on the Patriot Attitude Toward the MonarchyLessonSocial Studies
Balancing Three Branches at Once: Our System of Checks and BalancesUnitSocial Studies
Benjamin Franklin's Many "Hats"LessonSocial Studies
Chronicling America: Uncovering a World at WarLessonSocial Studies
Congressional Committees and the Legislative ProcessLessonSocial Studies
Declare the Causes: The Declaration of IndependenceUnitSocial Studies
Dr. King's DreamUnitSocial Studies
Empire and Identity in the American ColoniesUnitSocial Studies
"Animal Farm": Allegory and the Art of PersuasionUnitLanguage Arts
A Story of Epic Proportions: What makes a Poem an Epic?LessonLanguage Arts
Aesop and Ananse: Animal Fables and Trickster Tales (K-2)LessonLanguage Arts
All Together Now: Collaborations in Poetry WritingLessonLanguage Arts
Dramatizing History in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"LessonLanguage Arts

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.