Category : Blended Learning

Blended Learning, Guest Post, Online Learning, Professional Development, Teaching, Uncategorized

The Open Source Remix


The Remix Culture

I love Bob Ross. I’m not sure if it’s his poofy hair, his soft voice, or perhaps his “happy little trees,” but nothing relaxes me more on a Saturday afternoon than sitting back and watching reruns of the 80s PBS sensation The Joy of Painting. Apparently, I’m not the only one. PBS Digital Studios created an homage to the painter/host by remixing clips from his shows into an uplifting song. Join nearly 11 million other fans by watching the tribute below.

The video above is a perfect example of what has been coined the remix culture, which is a society in which one is encourage to create new derivative works from the original work of others. Rather than viewing such activity as the theft of copyrighted materials, members of an open community deliberately share their work so that others can build upon and improve it. We have seen the power of this open source movement most clearly evident in the development of the software that powers many internet applications, Moodle and WordPress being two prominent examples.

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Blended Learning, IT Specialists, Professional Development, Teaching, Webinars

Google Classroom Tips and Tricks

GoogleClassroomAn archived recording of a live webinar event presented by Rachel Medieros and hosted by Christian Schools International.

Google Classroom helps teachers and students stay organized and enjoy a supplemented curriculum. In this webinar, Rachel Medeiros, a Google certified teacher and innovator, shared San Jose Christian School’s philosophy for technology integration and demonstrate how that philosophy works with Google Classroom, a free learning management system for Google Apps for Education schools. Click on the recording link below and learn the details of how to use Classroom, best practices for using it in your school, and the many great benefits for both students and teachers.

We were thrilled to see many of you were able to join us for the live event, and enjoyed watching you network and share ideas via the Twitter chat #CSI4EDU during the presentation. If you get a moment, search #CSI4EDU and check out what others had to say.

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Blended Learning, Professional Development, Teaching, Webinars

Presentation Tools for Classroom, Blended, or Online Content

presentation tool imageWebinar re-cap of a presentation by: Becci Zwiers from Inno-Versity

Are you tired of using PowerPoint and want to create more interesting presentations? Or are you looking for ways to create instructional content for you online or blended class? There are a variety of ways to present information to students in an engaging manner. In this webinar Becci explored use of Prezi and Powtoon Slides as alternative presentation tools. She also walked attendees through at Piktochart as a tool to create infographics. Finally, we got a crash course using Powtoon to make cartoon scenarios as instructional content for students.

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Blended Learning, Guest Post, Online Learning, Sevenstar

3 Benefits of Hosting a Hybrid Summer School Program

A guest post by: Bob Kraft, Director of Program Growth at Sevenstar. 

HybridSchoolWhy would you even want to entertain the idea of starting or expanding your summer school program? After all, summer is a time to slow down and recover from the school year! True. However, you may be missing a great opportunity to:

  1. Raise the academic bar at your school
  2. Build loyalty with current families/students
  3. Connect with new families/students to grow enrollment.

We understand there is a legitimate shortage of energy and resources during the summer. That is why we propose structuring a hybrid summer school where you offer a mixture of on-campus mini-events and a combination of online and/or traditional classroom academics. In other words, gain the benefits listed in the first paragraph above without taxing your staff and facilities.

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Blended Learning, Devices, Professional Development, Teaching, Webinars

Online & Blended Course Content – What Is Out There and How Can I Use It?

Blended_LearningA Webinar Re-Cap as Presented by: Becci Zwiers from Inno-Versity

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of content found online? Or certain there has to be a better way to find content for your class? There is! Enjoy this archived webinar to learn about Open Educational Resources (OER) and Learning Object Repositories (LOR) that are free and available for use in your classroom. These are items such as media, lesson plans, assessments and other activities that you can make use of in your class. The resources presented about were carefully curated to provide the most useful and well respected sources. See the list of these below.

About the presenter:
Becci Zwiers, a West Michigan native, is Inno-Versity’s in-house K-12 and Moodle guru. She’s the all-around life of the party. As a Calvin College graduate with a master’s degree in Gifted and Talented Education from Grand Valley State University, she brings a unique set of gifts and talents to Inno-Versity’s clientele. She has additional certification in Online Teaching from Michigan Virtual. Becci’s expertise morphs projects from basic concept to digital masterpiece. She is the champ curriculum writer and developer on the team. She is an experienced and impressive online trainer as well. Becci has taught over 30 online professional development courses over the past 10 years.

Becci will be teaching CSI’s online course for teachers and administrators called “Building a Blended Course.” This course is scheduled to begin mid-June through the month of July.

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Blended Learning, Devices, Professional Development, Teaching

EdTech Team Summit – Featuring Google for Education

EdTechTeamEveryone is invited to Google Apps for Education — June 23-24, 2016!

Sioux Falls Christian Schools in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is excited to be hosting the 2nd Annual “EdTech Team Summit – Featuring Google for Education.” This two-day event (with an optional pre-summit “dive deep” sessions on June 22nd) includes two keynote presentations, eight breakout sessions each hour, a demo slam competition, and a closing capstone session. Participants will be able to attend beginner through advanced sessions on the uses of Google Apps in the classroom for iOS, Chromebooks, Macs, and Windows machines. All presenters are Google Certified Teachers, Google for Education Certified Trainers, Google Employees, or teachers with local success stories in the integration of Google tools!

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Blended Learning, Online Learning, Professional Development, Teaching

Space for Student Voice

studentvoicePost by: Marita Damghani, online learning consultant for Christian Schools International

In a classroom full of a variety of students, it’s important for educators to find creative ways for individual students to have a voice in classroom conversations. For some educators, like Tyler Amidon from Denver (Colorado) Christian, it means giving students a platform to share their ideas and express themselves. For Tom Deelstra, high school vice principal at Chatham Christian Schools in Chatham, Ontario, it means students are actively involved in their learning as givers and not just receivers of information and ideas. And for Rachel Diephouse, a middle school teacher at Holland Christian School in Holland, Michigan, it means giving her students the opportunity to share what they know, think, and believe. In an environment where ideas like these are shared, questions can be asked and ideas can be stirred up by others. For great teachers, this is optimal and exciting learning. But Dan Meester, superintendent of Holland Christian Schools, points out that before any of that can occur, students need to care about what they’re learning enough to want to share it.

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Blended Learning, IT Specialists, Professional Development, Social Media, Webinars

The Power of Social Media for Leaders – Webinar Re-Cap

social media cubesIn today’s world, a school leader is called upon to communicate with his or her community on a daily basis. However, sending an email every day is not what is expected today. There are so many tools and so many mediums for us to use to communicate. Tyler Amidon from Denver Christian Schools and Mike Wiersma from Ontario Christian Schools demonstrated how they use many different tools to meet community members, students, and staff where they are in the 21st century. If you missed the live event, be SURE to catch the recording.

Click here to learn about daily podcasting, Twitter, Facebook, weekly blog posts, YouTube, Google Hangout, Instagram, Remind HQ, weekly timeline to teachers, backchannels, and more. All these tools, when used properly, can inspire and connect your community in more ways than you can imagine!

Those in the live event walked away with a myriad of new ideas to utilize immediately. The tips Tyler and Mike shared were attainable, useful, and shared with ideas for easy application. The entire hour was spent introducing educators to social media tools (some well-known and others new) and helped them understand great ways to integrate them in our schools communications to share God’s story with our communities.

View the Webinar Archive Here

Connect with Tyler (@TylerAmidon) and Mike (@MWiersy) on Twitter if you have any follow-up questions or comments. They’d love to hear from you!

As presented by: Tyler Amidon, Denver Christian Schools, and Mike Wiersma, Ontario Christian Schools in Nov 2015

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Blended Learning, Devices, Professional Development, Sevenstar, Teaching, Webinars

Flipped Classroom Adoption

flipped-classroomWritten by: Marita Damghani, Online Learning Consultant for Christian Schools International

Educators are often asked to set aside traditional education models to try something new. Flipped classrooms are often the new challenge. Those who are looking to make the switch can learn from those who are already doing it and are teaching others to do it successfully. I got the opportunity to be a panelist on a Sevenstar-sponsored webinar presented by teacher, researcher, and speaker Aaron Sams. This post is a collection of his tips and resources.

Educause, a digital tech-for-education non-profit, defines the flipped classroom as “a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions.”

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Blended Learning, IT Specialists, Online Learning, Professional Development, Sevenstar, Webinars

Social Media & Flipped Classrooms

professional-development-coursesIt is time to schedule some great professional development! During the month of November we are partnered up with two member school administrators and our online learning partner, Sevenstar, to share some great information. You have surely had conversation around how to best use social media as leaders in education, and you have begun to explore and understand best practices for flipped classroom formats. Take a moment to read about two upcoming webinar events to assist you in these ventures, and register to participate.

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