Friday, January 29, 2016

28 Days of OLLIE Starter Kit

AEA PD Online is excited to announce that The 28 Days of OLLIE Starter Kit is now available. 

AEA PD Online has created the 28 Days of OLLIE Starter Kit to help you get started in the OLLIE Community events and conversations during the month of February. The Starter Kit contains 28 days of information, activities, and resources. It doesn’t matter if you want to just observe the community or if you want to jump into all 28 days of learning opportunities, we are confident that you’ll find something that will interest you.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Conversation with the 2015 iNACOL National Blended & Online Learning Teacher of the Year

The Blackboard K-12 Innovative Teaching series is offing this upcoming webinar.

Need some inspiration?  Join us Monday for a conversation with Paula Barr, the iNACOL Blended & Online Learning Teacher of the Year for 2015. Paula will share her perspective on how blended and online teaching improves student engagement, provides for greater personalization of learning, and how a veteran classroom teacher has adapted to a new teaching and learning environment. Paula will share examples of successes and challenges she experienced in the journey of becoming an outstanding blended learning teacher. Paula recently had the opportunity to meet with and share about personalized learning within the blended learning environment utilizing flipped learning with colleagues at Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China.
Register today.  There are limited seats for this special session. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

AEA PD Online and Heartland AEA are teaming up to provide teachers, instructional coaches and administrators in Heartland AEA with a Blended Learning Cohort. The first learning opportunity in this series is "Blending/Flipping Your Classroom”. This face-to-face three day course for license renewal credit is meant to deepen your learning around blended and flipped classroom models.  The first part of this course looks at specific examples of blended learning and key components of teaching in such a manner.  Throughout all of the coursework, directions are available in an online platform. This is not about a specific Learning Management System (LMS) but instead about the pedagogical changes and tools needed to blend or flip your content.

Learning Goals or Targets
  • Participants will apply Blooms Taxonomy to the use of blended or flipped classrooms
  • Participants will explore flipped learning opportunities and tools
  • Participants will understand the challenges and benefits of various blended learning models
  • Participants will explore creating and applying essential questions and connections beyond the school walls
  • Participants will learn to weave formative, summative assessments as well as adaptive learning that are well suited to blended and flipped learning environments
Class Dates: March 29, April 20 & May 12, 2016
Class Times: 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

If you are interested in finding out more or want to sign up for this learning opportunity go to*

More learning opportunities for this cohort on blended learning, instructional design and assessment to follow.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Science Courses for credit and STEM Endorsement

These online science courses have been approved for the STEM Endorsement through Drake University and Grand View College.  If you are interested in taking this class for your knowledge or for to obtain the STEM Endorsement, you can find out more or sign up by clicking on these links:

Inquiry in the Science Classroom-Supporting Science and Engineering Practices-  2 credits Online February 1-March 18, 2016   Activity # 22030399991601

Physical Science for Elementary Teachers  3 credits  June 6-July 29, 2016  Activity #: 22031499991701

Earth Science for Elementary Teachers (K-5) 3 credits  June 13-August 20, 2016  Activity #: 22031999991701

Monday, January 18, 2016

Learning Opportunities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day is hosting a special event for Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

One size does not fit all when it comes to student learning. This webinar, led by Shanna Peeples, 2015 National Teacher of the Year, is based on her experience as a teacher in Title I middle and high schools, as well as her work with refugee students, English language learners, and students in remedial classes. Shanna encourages teachers to focus on achievement for students in humanizing and empowering ways.

Bringing together the various strands of differentiation, RTI, and other protocols, this session will help teachers and administrators create effective learning experiences for students. Join Shanna for this live, interactive event to learn how to bring out the best in all of your students. She will field questions from attendees after her presentation. This webinar will deliver both practical strategies and inspiration to educators and administrators working toward success for all of their students.
This webinar is January 18, 2016 at 3 pm standard time.  Click here to register for this webinar.

There are a number of online resources available for teachers for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Check out some of these links:

Friday, January 15, 2016

What's Your Mindset?

This week I was introduced to a term I was not familiar with, “growth mindset” through my Twitter feed. So, of course, I had to go explore it some more as it sounded intriguing.

What is mindset? To get a really good understanding, go to this website, Mindset, and click on the link, What is it? Briefly, mindset can be one of two ways of thinking. A person can have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. This image provides a good visual of the basics of both mindsets:
As I look at the “characteristics” of both, I can see where I fall with my own mindset. Sometimes my mindset is in the growth mindset—when I am really, really interested in learning something new that seems important to me. When I am in this mindset, I continue to try until I can do it or have succeeded—doesn’t matter if I am smarter or more talented than someone else. I have a positive attitude.

But there is also the side of me that flips into the fixed mindset when I am faced with things I am not that interested in—I end up in that area I call “can’t”.  I can’t succeed because I am not that talented, not that smart, etc. My attitude when I am in a fixed mindset is not very positive, can be quite negative in fact.

We all know a person or persons who may exhibit these two mindsets—one person sees the glass half full, the potential and possibilities, while the other sees the glass have empty, and only dwells on the negatives. I had just never thought about it being a mindset before. The exciting idea is that a growth mindset can be learned.

The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”

To explore more about this concept check out these resources:

What will you do to move your thinking closer to a growth mindset?
What will you do to help your students learn to think with a growth mindset?

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Coming Soon: 28 Days of OLLIE

AEA PD Online is excited to announce that the 28 Days of Online Learning for Iowa Educators (OLLIE) will be starting on Feb. 1, 2016 and continue throughout the entire month of February.

The Goal
The goal of "28 Days of OLLIE" is to form connections among and between OLLIE community members that will extend beyond the 28 days and lead to a community of online teachers that can support each other in future work around teaching and learning in online environments.

This place will be an ongoing learning community which will be available for you all year long to ask questions, find support and learn more as you work to blend/flip/online your course work with students. 

How to Participate in the 28 Days of OLLIE
Begin by joining the community here:
If you have an account with, you can log in and select "Enroll Me"
If you do not have an account with aeak12online, you will need to create one and log in to the system. Once you have done this, click on this link and select "Enroll Me".
Once you are enrolled in the community you will receive regular updates about the 28 Days of OLLIE and ongoing OLLIE Community events.

You can also acces
s updates about the 28 Days of OLLIE and the OLLIE community by following us on social media or via our blog

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Upcoming Courses (Feb. 1-Mar. 15, 2016)

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 clickhere to go to the AEA PD Online catalog.

Advancing Minds: An Educators Guide to ADHD
Register at 22029399991602
Course Dates: Feb. 1-Feb. 29, 2016

Combining Character Education and Curriculum Content
Register at 22028299991602
Course Dates: Feb. 1-Feb. 29, 2016

Creatively Thinking with MinecraftEdu
Register at 22026399991603   
Course Dates: Feb. 1-May 8, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

iEvaluate 1.2
Register at 22017299991609
Course Dates: Feb. 1-Mar. 25, 2016
Credit(s): 2  (renewal only)

Inquiry in the Science Classroom-Supporting Science and Engineering Practices
Register at 22030399991601
Course Dates: Feb. 1-Mar. 18, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

Introduction to Google Apps in the Classroom
Register at 22029199991602
Course Dates: Feb. 1-Feb. 29, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

Online Effective Programming for Integrated Students on the Autism Spectrum
Register at 22031299991601
Course Dates: Feb. 1-June 2, 2016

Pinterest in the Classroom
Register at 22019999991609
Course Dates: Feb. 1-Feb. 28, 2016
Credit(s): 2
Personalized Learning: Helping Your Students Take Charge of Their Learning
Register at 22027099991603
Course Dates: Feb. 3-Mar. 1, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

Pinterest: Using, Pins, Boards, and More in Your Classroom
Register at 22022299991610
Course Dates: Feb. 3-Mar. 1, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

Assess Student Learning Using Technology
Register at 22026499991603   
Course Dates: Feb. 9-Mar. 7, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

French Essentials for Educators
Register at 22019499991601
Course Dates: Feb. 2-Mar. 8, 2016
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Sharpen Your Critical Thinking Skills
Register at 22008999991601
Course Dates: Feb. 11-Mar. 17, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

Methods of Teaching Fine Arts
Register at 22027899991605
Course Dates: Feb. 15-Mar. 7, 2016
Credit(s): 1
Elements: Project Based Approaches
Register at 22007999991601
Course Dates: Feb. 16-Mar. 30, 2016
Credit(s): 2

Read and Learn Spanish
Register at 22007199991601
Course Dates: Feb. 16- Mar. 22, 2016
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Resource Alignment for School Libraries
Register at 22031799991601
Course Dates: Feb. 16-May 10, 2016
Credit(s): 1

MOLLIE: Designing Online Lessons, Including SoftChalk
Register at 22017999991603
Course Dates: Feb. 17-Mar. 22, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

OLLIE: Online Learning Instructional Design
Register at 22002799991603
Course Dates: Feb. 17-Mar. 22, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

Standards-based Teaching I: Instructional Strategies
Register at 22024399991603
Course Dates: Feb. 17-Mar. 12, 2016
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only) 

Using Formative Assessments to Drive Instruction and Design Interventions
Register at 22025499991603
Course Dates: Feb. 17-Mar. 9, 2016
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Using Iowa AEA Online Databases in the Language Arts Classroom
Register at 22006599991601
Course Dates: Feb. 19-April 11, 2016
Credit(s): 3

Total Participation Techniques
Register at 22020199991603
Course Dates: Feb. 22-Mar. 25, 2016
Credit(s): 2 

Learning Japan
Register at 22013999991601
Course Dates: Feb. 23-Mar. 22, 2016
Credit(s):1 (renewal only)

Examining Dyslexia: Remediation that Works!
Register at 22022899991603
Course Dates: Feb. 24-May 6, 2016
Credit(s): 3     
Examining: Bullying From Both Sides
Register at 22002099991605
Course Dates: Feb. 24-May 6, 2016

Examining: Differentiated Instruction: Taking Learning to a Whole New Level
Register at 22030999991601
Course Dates: Feb. 24-May 6, 2016

Examining: How the Brain Influences Behavior
Register at 22017499991603
Course Dates: Feb. 24-May 6, 2016

Examining: Secrets of the Teenage Brain
Register at 22019199991603
Course Dates: Feb. 24-May 6, 2016

Examining: Teaching Math to 21st Century Students
Register at 22024999991603
Course Dates: Feb. 24-May 6, 2016
Credit(s): 3  
Examining: The Gifted Brain: Science, Secrets & Synapses
Register at 22022199991602
Course Dates: Feb. 24-May 6, 2016
Credit(s): 3
Examining: Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction
Register at 22004899991604
Course Dates: Feb. 24-May 6, 2016
Credit(s): 3  
The Mexican-American Experience: Introduction to Chicano Studies
Register at 22010099991601
Course Dates: Feb. 25-Mar. 24, 2016
Credit(s): 1 (Renewal only)  
Glogster: Project-Based Learning with Multimedia
Register at 22009099991603
Course Dates: Feb. 29-Mar. 20, 2016
Credit(s): 1 
How Do You Teach Reading-Speaking the Language of the Book Whisperer
Register at 22019399991603
Course Dates: Feb. 29-Mar. 25, 2016
Credit(s): 1  
Photoshop Elements: Digital Imaging in the Classroom
Register at 22000499991603
Course Dates: Feb. 29-Mar. 20, 2016
Credit(s): 1
Pinterest: Using Pins, Boards, and More in Your Classroom
Register at 22022299991611
Course Dates: Mar. 2-Mar. 29, 2016
Credit(s): 2 
Presentation Zen: Moving Beyond the PowerPoint
Register at 22031399991601
Course Dates: Mar. 2-Mar. 29, 2016
Credit(s): 2 
Understanding and Developing Multi-tiered Systems of Supports (MtSS/RtI)I
Register at 22024599991603
Course Dates: Mar. 5-Mar. 29, 2016
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Pinterest in the Classroom
Register at 22019999991610
Course Dates: Mar. 7-Apr. 3, 2016
Credit(s): 2

What Great Teachers Do Differently
Register at 22020399991605
Course Dates: Mar. 7-Apr. 15, 2016
Credit(s): 3

Introducing Asian Literature
Register at 22011099991602
Course Dates: Mar. 8-Apr. 11, 2016
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Increasing Cognitive Complexity to Enhance Student Learning
Register at 22025699991603
Course Dates: Mar. 9-Mar. 30, 2016
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Spanish for Educators Online
Register at 22000799991603
Course Dates: Mar. 10-Apr. 21, 2016
Credit(s): 3 (renewal only)

iEvaluate 1.2
Register at 22017299991610
Course Dates: Mar. 14-May 6, 2016
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

iMovie: Digital Video in the Classroom
Register at 22000399991603
Course Dates: Mar. 14-Apr. 3, 2016
Credit(s): 1

iPods & iPads for the Classroom
Register at 22004199991604
Course Dates: Mar. 14-Apr. 10, 2016
Credit(s): 2

MovieMaker: Digital Video in the Classroom
Register at 22000699991603
Course Dates: Mar. 14-Apr. 3, 2016
Credit(s): 1

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Check out a SoftChalk Short Courses and Webinars

SoftChalk is a very useful tool for creating digital content.  If you would like to learn more about the different features of this program, click this link.  They offer several webinars and short courses each month covering a variety of topics like:
  • An Overview of SoftChalk Cloud
  • An Overview of SoftChalk Create
  • TextPoppers, Images and Hyperlinks
  • Navigation Features and Sidebars
  • Embedded Media
  • Interactive Learning Activities: The Presentation Group
  • Interactive Learning Activities: The Scoring Group
  • Quizzes, Quiz Groups and SoftChalk ScoreCenter
  • StyleBuilder, eBook Builder and Google Analytics
To find out more information or register for one of their short courses click this link.

This tool is available for Iowa educators through AEA PD Online.  To find out how to obtain license information click this link.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

It's a new year! That means making New Year's resolutions--at least some people still do that. I try, but never seem to be able to follow through for very long. Perhaps it is because the resolutions I seem to make are too specific, or too vague. But the new year does provide a feeling of a fresh start even though it is still the middle of the school year.

What will you do to make your classroom "new", fresh, or exciting during the long winter months ahead? Will you try out a new piece of technology or software program?

Check out these list of educational apps:

Perhaps you want to start small--focus on one subject area.
Here are some places to begin:

You could focus on building your own knowledge base by consistently connecting with other educators by reading a blog or two written by a wide range of educators and experts. Here is a list of Must-Read IT Blogs, compiled by EdTech, The 2015 Honor Roll: EdTech's Must-Read K--12 IT Blogs.

Choose one, or try several, but the key is to be consistent and try it more than one time. And don't forget to have fun with it.

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.