Category : Professional Development

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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Online Learning, Professional Development, Sevenstar, Teaching, Webinars

Dual Credit is the New AP – Webinar Re-Cap

WebinarWith so many options and so little time to work ahead, high school students are looking to school administrators and guidance counselors to have creative solutions to help them get the biggest bang for their buck before they graduate. Are you prepared with a myriad of great options?

John Pohlman and Lou Anne Beadle, from Sevenstar, discussed how online dual enrollment opportunities are becoming game-changers for Christian school students. The need for these kinds of courses is growing, and Sevenstar is expanding program offerings to meet those needs! CSI member schools get access to these options through CSIonline Academy.

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Givaway, Online Learning, Professional Development, Sevenstar, Webinars

Scholarship Giveaway for Webinar Participants

WebinarDual Enrollment is
the New AP

Wednesday, October 21  |  1–2 p.m. EDT

Presented by: John Pohlman
and Lou Anne Beadle from Sevenstar

With so many options and so little time to work ahead, high school students are looking to school administrators and guidance counselors to have creative solutions to help them get the biggest bang for their buck before they even graduate. Are you prepared with a myriad of great options?

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Blended Learning, Devices, Givaway, IT Specialists, Professional Development, Teaching, Uncategorized

Back to School Giveaway Celebration!

giveaway1Welcome to the new school year! We want to celebrate this milestone with you by starting off with two exciting drawings. Today, we’ll introduce you to the GoogleFEST giveaway and opportunity happening in Lansing, Michigan. Then, in just a couple days, we’ll post the information about two online course scholarship drawings! So, stay tuned.



Announcing GoogleFEST!

Many schools are making use of the apps, devices, and programs Google has created to make education more efficient and student centered. The folks at Google have created GoogleFEST, a one day professional and personalized learning conference for educators. The topics being covered by the keynote speaker, author and teacher Pernille Ripp, and the workshop leaders will surely enhance how you use technology in the classroom. We want to encourage you to sign up for the registration give-away ($95 value – covers one participant’s registration and parking) below and share the opportunity with your administrators and staff.

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

Building a Blended Course – A Summer Professional Development Experience

Professional_Development_Logo“Blended learning” is the catch phrase in K-12 education today. Christian schools span the spectrum of participation integrating blended learning into their classrooms: some are fully on board, while other schools have yet to dip their toes in. The online class Building a Blended Course is a great opportunity for educators to understand blended learning and to be equipped with helpful tools for implementing their own blended learning courses.

This summer, Christian Schools International is offering the Building a Blended Course for the second time for K-12 teachers and administrators. Beginning June 15, 2015, the course is asynchronous and allows for summer vacation schedules; it’s designed to cover seven weeks of content but allows eight weeks for completion (ending August 3).

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IT Specialists, Professional Development, Teaching, Webinars

Why Schools Need Curriculum Mapping – Webinar Re-Cap

PrintWebinar led by: Dan Beerens & Mike VandenBerg, Dynamics Internet Solutions

Dan and Mike uncovered many reasons why schools need to be mapping curriculum. Their digital solution is unlike any other. During this webinar, Dan gave us a virtual tour of Curriculum Trak, the web-based tool that Christian schools use to drive their school improvement process. In this webinar he also explored the new faith learning integration tool. Check out the latest way to track curriculum over subject areas and grade levels. This tool even allows schools to network, sharing great ideas, curriculum standards and lesson plan ideas.

View the webinar recording here.

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Blended Learning, Guest Post, Professional Development, Teaching, Webinars

When We Start with Kids: Personalizing Learning with EDIFY

student-laptopsGuest post by: Meghan Daniel, Senior Education Consultant for Kickstand, LLC

Christian Schools International was recently introduced to the folks at Kickstand, LLC and their latest individualized learning product, EDIFY. Take a moment to explore their website to see how EDIFY is being used by students and teachers. Dan Hoekstra, a science teacher from Grand Rapids Christian High School (a CSI member school in Grand Rapids, Michigan) is currently piloting the program in his classroom. He will be sharing his experiences in a webinar hosted by Kickstand, LLC on April 13, 2015. Register here to attend.

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