eMINTS School Spotlight: A Day in Kingston

1604-spotlight-swoosh-newsltreMINTS School Spotlight: Kingston

Featuring A Day in Kingston by student Katherine Hensley

In a little town, on a quiet road in Northwestern Missouri, sits an unassuming school building. The community has used this building for the last 140 years to provide their children with a quality education. This tradition of quality education is not only continuing, but Kingston 42 is leading the way in innovative educational practices.

Over the last two years, the teaching staff of this K-8 district has been receiving training through the eMINTS program. The staff focuses on maximizing the potential of all students through individualization, discovery learning, and integrating technology. The school has taken many steps forward. The latest example of this innovative thinking is the new schedule taking place in the 5th through 8th grade.

Gone are the days of the traditional departmentalized hourly schedule. The students are now provided a list of tasks that need to be accomplished during the school day. The students are equipped with laptops and are able to choose in what order they accomplish the assigned tasks. Students accomplish these tasks by working individually or collaboratively with peers and teachers. Throughout the day, teachers are available to provide individualized conferences, mini-lessons, and also schedule group meetings for direct instruction. Student achievement is continually monitored on a real time basis.

When the two lead teachers in this project were asked to create an article about what was happening in the school, they responded by having the students tell the story themselves. One student, reflecting on her experience at Kingston 42, wrote the following:

A Day in Kingston

By: Katherine Hensley
I have attended Kingston 42 Elementary since I was 3 years old. As I grew, so did the competence of my education. I am learning more now than I ever did last year, or any of the years prior. I feel the reason for my exceptional education is because of the constant evolution of teaching. I went from white boards to laptops, and the changes haven’t stopped there. We have no set schedules with the exceptions of recess, lunch, and any scheduled lectures/specials.  We are given assignments to complete by the end of the day. Attending this school has given me opportunities to earn my independence, teach myself how to manage my time wisely, and has given me a chance to explore new things.

With the school working toward truly maximizing the potential of all students and adults in the building, students are not only seeking and learning factual information but doing so in a manner that allows real world application. Students must seek information to accomplish a task, evaluate the information and source for validity, and then execute a plan to use that information to accomplish the assigned task. All these skills are what students of today will need to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Submitted by the staff of Kingston 42

From Executive Director Lorie Kaplan

Note from Executive Director Lorie Kaplan

Lorie Kaplan

Dear eMINTS Community Members,

It is with a mix of sadness and excitement that I am writing to let you know that after nearly 16 years at the eMINTS National Center, I have decided to leave the organization at the beginning of June in order to pursue other opportunities. It has been a true honor to have had the opportunity to lead such an exceptional organization.

The Dean of the MU College of Education will be hiring a replacement for my position soon and during this transition period, Christine Terry will serve as interim executive director of the Center.

I want to take just a moment to express my sincere gratitude to all of the educators and other partners in the eMINTS community that have been on this journey with us. I have had the privilege to collaborate with so many dedicated educators and education advocates both in Missouri and beyond. I have loved hearing the stories from individuals about the impact that eMINTS has made in their school or classroom, or on a particular student. I know that together as a community, we have made a powerful difference on what is possible for children.

I especially want to thank the incredibly talented and dedicated eMINTS staff that I have had the pleasure to work with for so many years. You are what makes this organization great and I have been proud to work alongside you.

Over the past 16 years, the eMINTS staff have not only continued to provide some of the best and most comprehensive professional learning for teachers, but also added many more ways to move the needle in education. As a team, we have developed new programs for district administrators, affiliate trainers and instructional technology coaches, as well as created high-quality, flexible learning options through eLearning courses and a robust online community.

I believe that the eMINTS team has had an incredible impact on education already, but I know this group is never content to stop learning, growing and innovating. I am optimistic about the future of the eMINTS National Center and I look forward to seeing the amazing accomplishments and contributions they will make in this next chapter.


Lorie Kaplan

eMINTS Executive Director

oDreams: Summer Coding Events in STL & JC

oDreams: Summer Coding Events in STL & JC

There are two oDreams coding events coming up this summer:

  • The St. Louis Summer Coding Institute will be held July 18-19 at UMSL in St. Louis Missouri from 8:00-5:30 on both days.
    • Participants can choose to take AgentSheets 2D or AgentCubes Online 3D game training.
    • Both are free and offer a $500 stipend along with free software. There is a limit of 20 participants per group.
    • To reserve a seat, please complete this form
  • A second coding event, the Jefferson City Summer Institute, will be held July 21-22, 2016 in Jefferson City, Missouri with the location to be determined. More details coming soon.

For more information on the oDreams Project, visit the project site.

i3 Update: April 2016

i3 Validation Grant Update: April 2016

As reported in last month’s newsletter, the eMINTS National Center was awarded a $12 million “Investing in Innovation” (i3) grant from the U. S. Department of Education (DOE). Project teams have been energizing grant start-up activities. Here’s a report:

The DOE requires i3 program grantees to find matching private sector support. We are pleased to announce that eMINTS has secured more than the mandatory $3 million in matching funds through cash donations and in-kind contributions. Thanks for this support goes to KC Audio-Visual, Dropbox, Inc., SMART Technologies, Google Foundation and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and individual donors.

The recruiting stage of the project is in full swing. The management team is making calls, contacting high-need districts in Alabama, Arkansas and Utah to discuss participation in the five-year project. To date, 52 districts are in the pipeline to participate with more in communication with the recruiting and evaluation teams. The project will ultimately serve up to 56 schools with 450 teachers and over 24,000 students.

Thanks to careful planning by Brooke Higgins, eMINTS Instructional Specialist, the Springdale Arkansas school district recently hosted a visit from eMINTS’ Lorie Kaplan and Christine Terry and administrators from two Arkansas districts interested in participating in the i3 grant; with Severin Roberts, the Director of Advancement for the College of Education, Sherri Wilson, Executive Director for Advancement and Gina Sholtis, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement, all at the University of Missouri Columbia. The MU contingency made the long trip south to learn about eMINTS PD first hand.

Guests attended a training session and observed math, science and language arts classrooms and talked with a PLC team. Teachers described how the eMINTS PD program made a huge difference for them, that the long hours were worth it because they always had something to take straight back to the classroom, and how their students and peers were waiting each day to see new PD from the day before. In one classroom, the teacher was interacting with students using online tools while off-site for the day.

The visitors said they were impressed with the caliber of learning in the classrooms, especially the way students were working together and deeply engaged in learning with technology. Christie Terry reports that “the visit was fabulous!”

And, looking forward, the i3 management team is planning an event, to be held in May and hosted by the MU News Bureau, to showcase the project. Details will be available soon, so stay tuned.


ISTE 2016: eMINTS Schedule

Print_ISTEeMINTS at ISTE 2016!

Join eMINTS from June 26 – June 29, 2016 in Denver, CO at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference & Expo. More information at ISTEconference.org. Catch eMINTS at the following events and presentations:

eMINTS Schedule

Sunday, June 26

Monday, June 27

Tuesday, June 28

eLearning: Registration opens April 27


Registration for the summer semester of eMINTS eLearning opens April 27

Registration opens April 27, 2016. Courses run from June 8 – July 26, 2016.

Course offerings for summer semester include the following:

  • Assessment in 21st Century Classrooms Intel
  • Chromebooks in the Classroom
  • Digital Age Learning with iPads
  • Google Tools for Schools
  • More Google Tools for Schools
  • Online Tools for Digital Age Learning
  • The Role of Questions in the Early Childhood Classroom

Follow us on Twitter at @elearn4edu for discount codes and updates!

Click for more information about the eMINTS eLearning program.

Click for information about taking our courses for graduate credit.


The 2017 Innovation Institute: Register now!

i2-Logo2-brookeThe 2017 Innovation Institute: Infusing Learning with Technology

Springdale Schools and the eMINTS National Center invite all educators to the 3rd Annual 2017 Innovation Institute: Infusing Learning with Technology. Registration has officially opened for the June 7 & 8 conference at Har-Ber High School in Springdale, AR! Register and learn more at the Innovation Institute Website.

This event is perfect for any educator including district and building leaders, teachers, instructional coaches, preservice teachers and more. Attendees get to connect, discover, and transform technology practices to support teaching and learning.

Register now!



Call for presentations for i2 in Springdale, AR!

Call for presentations for Innovation Institute, June 8 & 9, 2016!

Calling all presenters! Don’t miss your chance to present at the Innovation Institute taking place June 8 & 9 in Springdale, AR! The call for presentations is closing soon! Submit your presentation proposal today! More info at: https://sites.google.com/a/sdale.org/i2-google/presenters

Who: The Innovation Institute inspires educators to CONNECT, DISCOVER, and TRANSFORM learning.

What: We are looking for exciting and inspiring speakers to host educators at our 2-day learning event. The perfect place for educators to come together and learn from each other!

When: June 8-9, 2016 – 8am-3:30pm

Where: Springdale, AR from at Har-Ber High School, Springdale, AR (see map).

Why: Our institute is designed to CONNECT participants with others who utilize best practices in educational technology. Participants will DISCOVER innovative ways to using technology tools to engage students in meaningful learning experiences. They will leave with new strategies and skills to TRANSFORM learning in their classrooms.

How: Our call for presentations is now open and will remain open until Monday, February 29, 2016. Please review the Presenter Information page before submitting your session proposals. Presenters submitting proposals will be notified by March 15, 2016.


Happy Digital Learning Day! Get $50 off!

Happy Digital Learning Day! Get $50 off your total!

The eMINTS National Center is helping spread the word about Digital Learning Day on February 17th, 2016, and we would like you to join in!

It’s a day thousands of schools and local communities across the country recognize great teaching practices and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes with the help of digital tools.

To celebrate, we’re offering $50 off our online professional development courses! Use code DLDAY2016 for $50 off your total for the upcoming semester of eMINTS eLearning for Educators courses. Code valid until 2/18. Register and view course list though our online catalog.



White Paper: Connections and Convergence: eMINTS and Personalized Learning

We are excited to share our recent white paper titled Connections and Convergence: eMINTS and Personalized Learning. This paper describes and contrasts the two primary paths to designing personalized learning environments in U.S. K-12 schools: 1) the technology-driven path, and 2) the pedagogical- and student-driven path. The paper explains how Springdale Public Schools and eMINTS National Center in the University of Missouri (MU) College of Education approach the pedagogical- and student-driven path.

Download Connections and Convergence: eMINTS and Personalized Learning (PDF)