admin

About admin

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far admin has created 61 blog entries.

2017

Two Summer Coding Opportunities: Sign up today!

Two Summer Coding Opportunities: Sign up today!

odreams-emintsAre you an educator interested in introducing your students to coding and computational thinking?

  • Two FREE summer coding opportunities   
  • FREE Agent Cubes Software
  • Earn up to a $500 participant stipend
  • Graduate credit available!

Through the grant-funded oDreams project, eMINTS will be offering two professional learning experiences this summer:


St. Louis Summer Institute

What: 3 day face-to-face workshop and 4-week course.
Where: University of Missouri Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO
When: June 20-22, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The 4 week online course is completed at your own pace.
To register, complete this form: St. Louis Summer Coding Institute


Critical Thinking and Game Design 2017 Online Course

What: 6 week online course
When: Beginning June 21, 2017.

To register, complete this form:Critical Thinking and Game Design 2017 Online Course

For more information, please contact Carla Chaffin.

View the details of the courses, including purpose and learning objectives

View the oDreams Project website

2017

eMINTS at #METC17: Register Now!

eMINTS at #METC17: Register now!

There is still time to register for the 34th Annual METC Conference! Join eMINTS for this exciting professional learning opportunity taking place February 13 – 15, 2017 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St Charles, MO.  

eMINTS staff will be presenting the following sessions: 

Session Time Presenter
Cool Tool Duel Tuesday, Feb 14 @ 1:00pm Carmen Marty & other St. Louis Education Technology Specialists:
Pokemon Go in the Inquiry-based Classroom Tuesday, Feb 14 @ 2:20pm Michelle Kendrick & Christie Terry
Administrators, Ramp up your Role with Technology Integration Tuesday, Feb 14 @ 2:30pm Cara Wylie
Innovations in Ed Tech Tuesday, Feb 14 @ 3:25pm Michelle Kendrick & Christie Terry
Ignite the Leader Next Door Wednesday, Feb 15 @ 9:15 am Cara Wylie & Michelle Kendrick

For more information or to register, visit the METC Conference website.

Register for METC!

Closing the Digital Divide with help from Generation YES

Closing the Digital Divide with help from Generation YES

GenYES_LogoSuccessful eMINTS teachers who want to increase their impact in schools now have a new resource to turn to: Generation YES, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with twenty years of experience developing student-led technology support and professional development. As you know, the eMINTS model inspires teachers to use technology to create effective Digital Age learning spaces. So, it is only natural for teachers who have participated in eMINTS programs to build upon their own knowledge and experience and truly incorporate students as part of their school’s transformation efforts.

Highly qualified educators and IT staff don’t have enough hours in the day or the capacity to provide real-time support and training opportunities for students and faculty. Generation YES offers support by creating a web-based platform and curriculum to harness the energy and technology expertise of students in grades 4-12. These students collaborate with educators and other adults to integrate 21st century technology in schools, improving the learning process. While this strategy has become increasingly popular as a ‘homegrown’ model, Generation YES has the experience and existing structure to ensure the success and growth of the program in schools.

The GenYES program, unlike traditional top-down professional development strategies, provides a unique approach to teacher training for technology integration. The program creates a partnership between technology literate students and teachers in the school. This is designed to develop and deliver practical uses of technology into the teachers’ classrooms in order to meet standards and improve student learning. Because of the way that GenYES builds these learning partnerships, it supports such education reform initiatives as real-world relevancy, 21st century skills, problem solving, lifelong learning, technology integration, and collaboration/teamwork for both teachers and students. These initiatives are woven into the fabric of all of the national and state standards for students and for teacher professional development. GenYES also addresses the following:

  •       The need for new methods of teaching and learning to empower students. There is a need for a learning environment where students see the relevance of their education and develop self-esteem resulting from successful contributions to their world.
  •       The need to address the overburdening of educators and the complexity of today’s many technologies. GenYES student technology leaders can make a huge impact on helping teachers in today’s schools.
  •       The need for a learning paradigm that allows students and teachers to work collaboratively to address problems and increase academic skills and intellectual performance. We need to expand the ideas of what students can do to help reform schools. Students are an important resource for teachers. The capabilities of children are often underestimated.
  •       The need to provide equitable access to technology resources. Many schools and homes do not provide sufficient access to computers and networks. Rural and large city schools are especially ill equipped to prepare their students for their futures in an increasingly technological world.
  •      The need to improve student reading and writing skills within the context of content area instruction. By integrating problem solving, research, and presentation skills using technology, students improve these essential communication skills seamlessly.

Generation YES is about trusting in the power of youth to meaningfully contribute to their experiences in education. Please visit genyes.org for more information about the GenYES program including research, whitepapers, implementation models, and news. To inquire about bringing GenYES to your eMINTS school, please email support@genyes.org.

Higher Ed Get Their Game On with eMINTS

Higher Ed Get Their Game On with eMINTS

IMG_0025The White House estimates that by 2018, more than half (51 percent) of STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields. In order to meet this demand, there’s a new call to prepare higher education faculty and pre-service students to include computational thinking, coding, and computer science into the classroom.

One way to address the shortage is through video game development. Students love games, and the computer skills needed to make games are easily translatable.

The MU College of Education’s eMINTS program was awarded a second CS4HS Google grant for Scalable Game Design for the 2016-17 school year. The goal of this grant is to develop a program of professional learning for faculty. The faculty then work with pre-service teachers to help them understand the value and importance of computational thinking and how they might incorporate coding activities into their subject area curriculum.

Curriculum development is particularly important for serving students who are largely left out of the tech industry. eMINTS research with partner school University of Colorado found that students from groups that are underrepresented in technology fields are more likely to continue with courses and after-school clubs that have a STEM focus.

A workshop to teach faculty was held in October 2016 and included faculty from several different higher education institutions. There is also an effort to train several MU College of Education students to teach coding to third to fifth grade students though the Adventure Club, a Columbia Public Schools-based after-school program.

For more information on eMINTS and the original CS4HS grant, visit: https://sites.google.com/a/emints.org/coding/.

A Roadmap to Empowering Learners with PBL

A Roadmap to Empowering Learners with PBL

Project-based learning is learner-centered, offering students more voice, choice, authenticity, engagement, and ownership than traditional projects. In project-based learning (PBL), students develop unique solutions to meaningful, real-world problems, learning key understandings and skills during their work on the project, not before.  Integrating PBL into classroom practice requires a desire to empower students in our global and digital society, an adventurous spirit and a bit of planning. eMints eLearning for Educators is offering “Empowering Learners with PBL”, a professional development course which will provide you with the tools and skills you need to plan and implement PBL experiences in your classroom.  
The course begins with the essential elements of PBL , introduces you to a roadmap of the PBL experience design and implementation process, and looks at ways to weave voice, choice and technology into your approach to PBL. By the end of the course, you will have a fully developed a PBL experience and a plan for implementing it with your students. The 7 week long course is entirely online, begins February 22, and costs only $99.  To register, go to elearningmo.org.  Graduate credit available.

Meet an eMINTS Teacher: Holly Linneman

Meet an eMINTS Teacher

Holly Linneman, Multi-grade Intermediate (Grades 4-6) Teacher, Windsor Street Montessori School, Columbia, MO

1604-linneman-emints-teacherHolly Linneman is in her seventh year of teaching at the Windsor Street Montessori School in Columbia, MO. She is currently teaching the multi-grade intermediate group (grades 2 through 4). Holly began her eMINTS4All professional development program in summer 2014.

Holly deliberately connects her students’ interests and talents to their learning by discussing the major topics and concepts that will be covered during the year with them. Her students play a significant role in determining how the units are presented and taught. Students discuss their interests as a group and as individuals. If some of their interests are not already contained in the major topics and concepts planned to the school year, Holly incorporates their interests into the curriculum. Holly uses weekly one-on-one conferences with her students to continue learning about their interests and talents so that she can continuously personalize their learning experiences.

Students in Holly’s classroom experience high levels of ownership in their learning. Holly believes that students become engaged in their learning by beginning with ownership in their classroom. Holly related how her students were somewhat distressed to learn that their Fall Open House was to be a “parents only” event. Her students wanted to be on hand to show their parents around their classroom and explain how they learned each day. At their request, Holly helped her students use an app called “Audio Boom” to ensure that their voices were part of the Open House. The Audio Boom app allowed students to create QR codes that were strategically placed around the classroom. When parents scanned the codes with their Smart Phones, the app played a short recording by a student describing that area of the classroom and how it contributed to student learning.

Holly also scaffolds her students’ sense of ownership in their learning as she and each of her student build rubrics for projects they are working on. Her students start with more structured experiences in grade 4 and gradually build to becoming more autonomous learners by grade 6.

Reaching out to peers and others is an essential element in Holly’s professional growth plan. She believes that the only way to get better at something is to have a sounding board composed of people you trust.

This teacher profile was originally featured in the white paper Connections and Convergence: eMINTS and Personalized Learning by Monica Beglau and Christine Terry. To view this paper, click here.

Teachers needed for Genius Hour and Coding Workshop

Teachers needed for Genius Hour and Coding Workshop starting in February

Are you a 7th – 12th grade teacher interested in a Genius Hour or in introducing your students to coding? A Pathways Project funded by DESE is providing an opportunity to teachers in Central Missouri.

eMINTS will offer an innovative blended professional learning experience.  You may choose from one of two tracks: Genius Hour or Computational Thinking through Game Design.

Where:  Assessment Resource Center (ARC) –  2800 McGuire Blvd, Columbia Missouri 65201 (https://arc.missouri.edu/)

When: February 21st and 22nd and 1 day in late March to be scheduled with participants.

Teacher Stipend: $200 for course completion + $300 for participation in our NSF-funded study including implementation with students

Teachers in the coding track will step into the world of 3D online game design. You will attend two days of face to face PD and complete 4 weeks of an online course followed by a final day in late January before implementing the project with your students. You will also learn about the guided discovery method, Scalable Game Design, used to teach game design and coding. The 4-week online course will consist of weekly assignments, and the expectation is you will need about 3 hours or less per week working at your own time and pace to complete the work. This is a course for non-computer science teachers, but we welcome computer science teachers as well. The online Critical Thinking and Problem Solving with Game Design course and related software are free and you receive a $200 stipend for completing the course.

Once you complete the professional development, you will need about 5 one-hour class periods with students to complete one game with AgentCubes Online software. Students in the program pick up the drag and drop coding easily. They are engaged and excited about making an online video game. The critical thinking and problem solving transfer into other areas and enhance their learning. The program has been highly successful in introducing students to coding and showing transfer of learning. The students begin with a simple game of Frogger and can move to high levels of Scientific or Mathematical simulations. One year of Agent Cubes software is provided free of charge.

Teacher Stipend: $200

Teachers participating in the “Genius Hour” track will learn how to guide students through the process of identifying and carrying out STEM-based community-engagement projects that are driven by students’ own interests and curiosity. You will learn to mentor students as they select their inspiration, focus their goal-driven project, pitch their project, implement the project, and present their results to an authentic audience. This approach will connect students’ passion to STEM fields and careers, making STEM personal and mission driven. You will attend 2 days of face to face training followed by a 4-week online community of practice. In the community facilitators and peers will share example projects, inspirational ideas, and plans for implementing genius hour. In late January, you will come back to Columbia for one additional day of PD and inspiration before implementing the project with your students.

Reserve Your Seat: To reserve a seat for this opportunity, fill out this form.

Seats are limited so sign up today!

For additional information contact: chaffinc@emints.org

2016

New Prices! New courses! Register Dec 7 for eLearning Courses

New Prices! New courses! Register Dec 7

eMINTS eLearning for Educators is about to get even better.

1611-w17-el4e-re-opens-soon-585x280We’re reducing the price of our facilitated courses to $99. That’s more than fifty percent off the previous price. 

 As part of the eMINTS National Center and the University of Missouri College of Education, our mission is to deliver high-quality, research-based, and low-cost professional development for educators.

 We think $99 for high-quality, facilitated professional development is a tremendous value that is hard to beat.

 We’re introducing more new courses, including courses about design learning, PBL, and computational thinking.

 Our spring courses will include the following:

  • Design Thinking in the Classroom
  • Empowering Learners with PBL
  • Innovative Teacher Leaders in the Digital Age
  • ELLs in the Mainstream Classroom
  • Recognizing Students with Dyslexia and Other Related Disorders
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Introduction to Computational Thinking

And coming soon:

  • New website
  • New course designs
  • New formats for courses

Registration for spring semester starts Dec 7, 2016. Courses begin February 22, 2017.

Please continue to send us feedback about our courses. We take into consideration every comment and request and often incorporate suggestions into future offerings.

Lein Shory

eMINTS eLearning Program Coordinator

Visit elearningmo.org for more information on the eMINTS eLearning for Educators program. 

STEM Professional Learning Opportunity

Teachers Needed for STEM Professional Learning Opportunity

1611-pathways-stem-coding-genius-hour-sm

Are you a 7th – 12th grade teacher interested in exploring the Genius Hour concept or in introducing your students to coding? A Pathways Project funded by DESE is providing an opportunity to teachers in Central Missouri this Fall.

In December eMINTS will offer an innovative blended professional learning experience.  You may choose from one of two tracks: Genius Hour or Computational Thinking through Game Design.

Where:  Assessment Resource Center (ARC) –  2800 McGuire Blvd, Columbia Missouri 65201 (https://arc.missouri.edu/)

When: December 6 & 7 and 1 day in late January to be scheduled with participants.

Option 1: Coding Track

Teacher Stipend: $200 for course completion + $300 for participation in our NSF-funded study including implementation with students

Teachers in the coding track will step into the world of 3D online game design. You will attend two days of face to face PD and complete 4 weeks of an online course followed by a final day in late January before implementing the project with your students. You will also learn about the guided discovery method, Scalable Game Design, used to teach game design and coding. The 4-week online course will consist of weekly assignments, and the expectation is you will need about 3 hours or less per week working at your own time and pace to complete the work. This is a course for non-computer science teachers, but we welcome computer science teachers as well. The online Critical Thinking and Problem Solving with Game Design course and related software are free and you receive a $200 stipend for completing the course.

Once you complete the professional development, you will need about 5 one hour class periods with students to complete one game with AgentCubes Online software. Students in the program pick up the drag and drop coding easily. They are engaged and excited about making an online video game. The critical thinking and problem solving transfer into other areas and enhance their learning. The program has been highly successful in introducing students to coding and showing transfer of learning. The students begin with a simple game of Frogger and can move to high levels of Scientific or Mathematical simulations. One year of Agent Cubes software is provided free of charge.

Option 2: Genius Hour

Teacher Stipend: $200

Teachers participating in the “Genius Hour” track will learn how to guide students through the process of identifying and carrying out STEM-based community-engagement projects that are driven by students’ own interests and curiosity. You will learn to mentor students as they select their inspiration, focus their goal-driven project, pitch their project, implement the project, and present their results to an authentic audience. This approach will connect students’ passion to STEM fields and careers, making STEM personal and mission driven.  You will attend 2 days of face to face training followed by a 4-week online community of practice. In the community facilitators and peers will share example projects, inspirational ideas, and plans for implementing genius hour.  In late January, you will come back to Columbia for one additional day of PD and inspiration before implementing the project with your students. 

To reserve a seat for this opportunity go to this link:

Reserve a seat

Seats are limited so sign up today!

For additional information contact: chaffinc@emints.org

2016

Meet an eMINTS Teacher: Sue Adams

img_14171Meet an eMINTS Teacher

Sue Adams, K-8 Gifted Education, Southern Boone School District, Ashland, MO

Sue Adams is in her 21st year of teaching. She has taught learners at a variety of levels including college, high school, and now primary, elementary and middle school. She has a background in Health and Physical Education and is currently teaching K-8 Gifted Education in the Southern Boone County School District in Ashland, MO. Sue is finishing her third year of professional development in the eMINTS Comprehensive program.

Getting her gifted students to participate in planning their own instruction has been a challenge. Sue often finds that gifted students are uncomfortable with planning what they want to learn because they have rarely been asked to do so. She overcame her students’ reluctance by breaking the task of planning their own learning down into smaller pieces. She started by presenting an interesting topic, such as Rube Goldberg machines, to students and getting them to think about creative ways that they might want to investigate the topic. She then moved her students into thinking about how they would demonstrate what they learned and how they would present their findings. From there, Sue engaged her students in creating rubrics to evaluate the many different products they came up with. Giving students options in a way that is carefully scaffolded with the desired goals and objectives in mind has been a successful way for Sue to reach her overall goals with her students. “My goal, and why eMINTS has been so important for me, is to constantly push my students to the edge of their learning.”  

Sue describes how student engagement in her classroom might appear to be “chaos” to the casual observer. However, what is really happening is the social and emotional engagement and growth that occurs when her gifted students get the opportunity to be together as learners. The students already all have an internal love of learning so getting them motivated is not a problem. Rather, the goal is to get her gifted students to reflect on their learning in ways that help them better understand themselves. Sue related that her eMINTS professional development helped her to examine the questions she was using as prompts for her students’ reflections. She was getting the same superficial responses until she changed the questions she asked her students, requiring them to think more critically.

Sue believes every learner, gifted or not, can be introspective about their learning at a level that is meaningful to them. She feels that it is up to the teacher to ask the types of questions that push students to engage in deeper introspection.

Another key feature of helping students to reflect on and personalize their learning is ensuring that the end products they create are presented to an authentic audience. Whether students are presenting to peers, to students who are younger or older than them, or their work is being published online in the form of YouTube videos or other methods, Sue finds her students striving harder to perfect their work.

Sue gave an example of a unit centered on creating an “Inventor’s Fair” to showcase how she uses technology tools. Students had to learn about and define the process of invention by studying several different inventors’ successes and failures. Using an app that allows students to summarize and share their findings about specific topics using digital “sticky notes,” Sue’s students had a visual model and used it to figure out how to organize what they learned from their research. They quickly determined that notes with information about an inventor’s birth date or place of residence had little to do with what they were interested in, namely, how the inventor’s successes and failures contributed to the students’ understanding of the process of invention. Students were engaged because they were focused on what they were doing and the digital tool enhanced their conversations and collaboration. Sue recalled, “It was what every learning day should be!”

Sue feels that peer collaboration through eMINTS and Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) has made her a “braver” teacher because it gives her the confidence to take risks knowing that if she needs feedback, it is always available in a collegial atmosphere.

Sue’s advice to others on the journey towards personalizing learning for students is to strive to break those old teaching habits that are rooted in the cycle of the teacher always being in control or being the one who is right.

This teacher profile was featured in the white paper Connections and Convergence: eMINTS and Personalized Learning by Monica Beglau and Christine Terry. To view this paper, click here.