Wednesday, August 26, 2015

True Facts about Teens and Media

Being a teenager in 2015 is very different than it was in 1995. The teens of 1995 were on the forefront of learning to use the internet as part of their everyday lives, today's teens don't know how to live without it. They're focused on finding the latest-and-greatest app that will help them communicate better with their peers.

Check out this info graphic below that highlights how far teens and media have come-and imagine where they will go next.
Teens and Media Over the Years Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Friday, August 21, 2015

Time to Update

The new school year is here! And, as I have said previously, the summer has literally flown by. You may already have students in your classroom, may be getting ready for students to start soon, or may be in PD sessions in your district. In any case, there is a flurry of activity to get ready for a new school year. And, although you may have been there before, it is still an exciting time for you and your students. It is no different for online teachers either. Getting a course up and ready for a new group of students is always exciting—the anticipation builds as the online instructor prepares and makes sure everything is ready to go for that first opening day of the online course.

What do online teachers need to do to prepare a course? There are many steps—more if it is a brand new course that has not been taught before. But even if it is a course that has been taught over and over by the same online instructor, there are still things to do before the class actually begins.

Here is my TOP 10 checklist:

  1. Backup the course.
    It is always a good idea to back up the course before you do anything else. This will provide a way for the LMS administrator to restore the course if needed.
  2. Download the grade book.
    Once a course has ended, it is highly recommended that you download a copy of the grade book and store somewhere on your own computer or backup drive. Then, if a student questions the final grade you gave them, you can go back and look at their grade history. You will be able to view the grades without needing to ask the LMS administrator to restored your course.
  3. Reset the course.
    Resetting the course removes previous students, discussion posts, assignment attempts, and grades. It allows me to reuse the content without having to start completely over.
  4. Check website links.
    This is so important as web links change so quickly. This will ensure that everything that is linked to a website outside of the LMS is up-to-date.
  5. Check readings, like article links.
    Using articles that are out-of-date (older than 5 years) gives your students the impression that you are not up-to-date on your content knowledge. Some older articles may be seminal and thus appropriate.
  6. Check for content.
    Is there any content that needs to be added or replaced? Sometimes I find newer content that is more relevant to use either because of my own searching or because students in the previous section have found, and shared incredible resources.
  7.  Assignments.
    Are the assignments still appropriate? If an assignment didn’t work in the previous section of the course, now is the time to change it. But remember, anything you change must also be reflected in the course syllabus. So if you add or change an assignment in the course, it must be added or changed in the syllabus. Also check for due dates. Students in online courses get very frustrated when they see a reminder that says they have an assignment due and the date is already past.
  8. Grading criteria.
    Are the grading criteria, rubric, checklist (whatever form of assessment you use) still appropriate? Again, if you change the way something is graded, it must be reflected in the syllabus and/or the rubric.
  9.  Navigation and Visual Appeal.
    Do you like the way the course is laid out? Is it visually appealing? Can students navigate through the course without needing a lot of “handholding” from the instructor? Check the evaluations or emails you received from previous students. If you received a lot of questions about what to do, how to get to things in the course, etc., you will probably want to see if there is an easier way to organize the content. Adding a pacing chart for each section may be helpful. Providing a weekly announcement about where they should be in the course can also be helpful for students. Make the expectations clear at the beginning of the course. Can students jump ahead or do you want them to do things in a more linear fashion? Tell them what you want them to do. If you want them to make 3 forum posts per week, then you need to say that up front.
  10. Welcome email.
    Check the email you send out prior to the start date of the course.  Is the start and end dates of the course correct? Are there other updates that need to be made to that initial email? Do students know how they can contact you and when you are available? Make sure to give them the correct information about how to access your course—how to log in, where to find the course, the correct (possibly updated) enrollment code, etc. Remember, this is your first contact with the online students and you want to make a good impression.

I have never been a teacher, in the classroom or in the online classroom, who can walk in on the first day of class and teach the same things in the same way. How boring that would be for me. The students are not the same, so the teaching techniques I use have to be adjusted to meet their needs. It is the same in the online classroom. Online content can get stale, dated, or just plain dull.

This article, 9 Ideas to Keep Your Course Interesting, presents some great ideas for keeping your online course fresh and updated. Well worth the read (and it isn't very long).

Have a great new school year!

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New adds to the Student Personalized Learning System .  In this system are Family and Consumer Science modules that can be assigned to 6-12 grade level students. The content in these FCS modules are part of Culinary Arts curriculum   Here is the current listing with much more to be added:

Kitchen Management: Food Safety & Sanitation
Kitchen Management: Recipe Reading & Measuring
Kitchen Management: Safety
Family and Consumer Science: Cookies
Soon to be added:
     Family and Consumer Science: Quick Breads
     Family and Consumer Science: Dairy
     Family and Consumer Science: Eggs
     Family and Consumer Science: Fruits & Vegetables
and more
Thanks to the curriculum support of Waukee Schools FCS teacher Joanne McConeghy.  You too can help build content. Contact our AEA PD Online team to provide content and help expand our listing for students and teachers

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Upcoming Online Courses: Sept 1-Oct. 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 22017699991601
Dates: Setp. 2-Oct. 12, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Standards-Based Teaching I: Instructional Strategies
Register at 22024399991602
Dates: Sept. 2-Oct. 10, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Assess Student Learning Using Technology
Register at 22026499991601
Dates: Sept. 9-Oct. 6, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Mollie: Blended Learning
Register at 22015099991603
Dates: Sept. 9-Oct. 6, 2015
Credit(s) 2

OLLIE: Technology for Online Instruction: Moodle
Register at 22005399991601
Dates: Sept. 9-Sept. 29, 2015

Credit(s): 2

Pinterest: Using Pins, Boards, and More in Your Classroom
Register at 22022299991605
Dates: Sept. 9-Oct. 6, 2015

Credit(s): 2

Presentation Zen: Improving Your Approach to Presentations
Register at 22012399991602
Dates: Sept. 9-Sept. 29, 2015

Credit(s): 1

Google Sites
Register at 22012899991602
Dates: Sept. 13-Nov. 8, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Intro to Google Apps: Tools to Integrate
Register at 22014599991603
Dates: Sept. 13-Nov. 8, 2015
Credit(s): 2

17,000 Classroom Visits Can't Be Wrong
Register at 22026999991602
Dates: Sept. 14-Nov. 6, 2015
Credit(s): 3

What Great Teachers Do Differently
Register at 22020399991602
Dates: Sept. 14-Oct. 23, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Doing More with Google Drive - Classroom Application
Register at 22029499991601
Dates: Sept. 15- Nov. 15, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Intro to Google Apps: Tools to Integrate
Register at 22014599991605
Dates: Sept. 15-Nov. 15, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Examining: 7 Keys to Comprehension
Register at 22007099991601
Dates: Sept. 16-Dec. 4, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: Fierce Teaching
Register at 22018799991602
Dates: Sept. 16-Dec. 4, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Examining: How the Brain Learns
Register at 22017399991601
Dates: Sept. 16-Dec. 4, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed Ability Classes
Register at 22003499991602
Dates: Sept. 16-Dec. 4, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Examining: Overcoming Dyslexia
Register at 22003399991602
Dates: Sept. 16-Dec. 4, 2015
Credit(s): 3

India: Visions and Voices
Register at 22011599991601
Dates: Sept. 16-Oct. 28, 2015
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

OLLIE: Introduction to the Online Learner
Register at 22001399991603
Dates: Sept. 16-Oct. 6, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Mesoamerica: Visions and Voices Part I: Mexico: A Land of Contrasts
Register at 22006299991601
Dates: Sept. 17-Oct. 22, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Standards-Based Teaching II: Assessment and Grading
Register at 22025899991603
Dates: Sept. 23-Oct. 14, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Advancing Minds - An Educator's Guide to ADHD
Register at 22029399991601
Dates: Sept. 26-Dec. 2, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Advancing Minds - Assessing Written Language in Students
Register at 22029299991601
Dates: Sept. 26-Dec. 2, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Pinterest in the Classroom
Register at 22019999991605
Dates: Sept. 28-Oct. 25, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Egypt: Visions and Voices
Register at 22007699991601
Dates: Sept. 29-Oct. 27, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal)

Pinterest: Using Pins, Boards, and More in Your Classroom
Register at 22022299991606
Dates: Sept. 30-Oct. 27, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Professional Learning Communities/Data Teams' Role in Assessment/MtSS/RtI II
Register at 22026099991601
Dates: Oct. 3-Nov. 10, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renwal)

Google Sites for the Classroom
Register at 22025199991602
Dates: Oct. 5-Oct. 28, 2015
Credit(s): 1

Register at 22017299991604
Dates: Oct. 5-Nov. 27, 2015
Credit(s): 2 (renewal)

Introduction to Google Apps
Register at 22007899991604
Dates: Oct. 5-Nov. 8, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Reading in the Content Areas
Register at 22022499991602
Dates: Oct. 5-Nov. 6, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Total Participation Techniques
Register at 22020199991602
Dates: Oct. 5-Nov. 6, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Using the iPad in the Language Arts Classroom
Register at 22014799991601
Dates: Oct. 12-Nov. 16, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Spanish for Educators Online
Register at 22000799991602
Dates: Oct. 13-Nov. 24, 2015
Credit(s): 3 (renewal)

Building Social Studies Literacy
Register at 22017199991601
Dates: Oct. 14-Nov. 18, 2015
Credit(s): 2 (renewal)

OLLIE: Online Learning Instructional Design
Register at 22002799991602
Dates: Oct. 14-Nov. 17, 2015
Credit(s): 2

Understanding and Developing Multi-tiered System of Supports (MtSS/RtI) I
Register at 22024599991602
Dates: Oct. 14-Nov. 4, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal)