Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Free Online Lesson Building Tool for Iowa Educators

SoftChalk Cloud is an online lesson-building tool that is extremely easy to use.  The tool is great for teachers using flipped learning or other blended learning models, and the cloud-based lessons can be used in any LMS (or even stand-alone).  Normally, a license is $500/yr, but teachers in the state can get a license for free through AEA PD Online.  

View the lesson below to find out more and how you can secure your own Softchalk Cloud account.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Proper Attribution of Sources


Citing sources is always an issue when using the Internet. How do you use the proper citations for materials you, or your students, find online?

Using Creative Commons materials is a good way to go as long as you follow the licensing conditions. And that includes proper attribution. The CC website includes some examples that are good, pretty good, all the way to not acceptable. You can see the examples here:

When should students (and instructors) in online courses be citing their sources?

Most online courses include some kind of discussion. There are ground rules, sometimes called netiquette, for participating in the online discussion. One of the ground rules, besides be polite, kind, patient, participate, respect for others ideas, no flaming, no yelling... , is cite your sources. If you use material that is not "yours" or includes intellectual property from others from books, magazines, newspapers, in-print or online, photos, etc., then you MUST cite your sources. Proper attribution is a must.

The instructor is the model for the students. Students will follow the lead of the instructor. Making proper attribution of sources a requirement is one way to get the students in the habit of always citing their sources.

What about Fair Use? Fair Use is an option if you meet the criteria.

"The Center for Social Media and Washington School of Law at American University are sponsoring development of a growing number of Fair Use Best Practices statements that inform a fresh approach to the subject and make it easier than ever to know what's fair. The Best Practices statements follow recent trends in court decisions in collapsing the Fair Use Statute's four factors into two questions: Is the use you want to make of another's work transformative -- that is, does it add value to and repurpose the work for a new audience -- and is the amount of material you want to use appropriate to achieve your transformative purpose? Transformative uses that repurpose no more of a work than is needed to make the point, or achieve the purpose, are generally fair use."
 from Copyright Crash Course, retrieved from on November 18, 2015.

Some resources that will help you understand the difference between content curation and content-scraping can be found here:

Other Resources:

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Inquiry in the Science Classroom Supporting Scientific and Engineering Practices coursemeets STEM Endorsement

A new online course titled "Inquiry in the Science Classroom Supporting Scientific and Engineering Practices" will soon be added to AEA PD Online course listings. This course supports Science and the Next Generation Standards adopted by the State of Iowa.  This course also also qualifies for credit for the STEM endorsement through Drake and Grandview.

It will be a 3 credit class that will provide an introduction, discussion, and preparation for the Science and Engineering practices that are a part of the Iowa Science Standards taken from Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). By the end of this course the learner will be exposed to the 8 practices, will see examples of how the practices might be included in their instruction, and develop their own strategies for including the practices within their own situation.

Look for it to be available this spring! You will be able to find this course and others at

Monday, November 16, 2015

Blended Learning in Action

Read about how schools are using Blended Learning in Action. Read these snapshots from schools that are making blended work from Tech and Learning

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Upcoming Courses: Dec. 1, 2015-Jan. 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 click here to go to the AEA PD Online catalog.

Effecitive Teacher Mentoring and Coaching
Register at 22025799991602
Dates: Dec. 2-Dec. 30, 2015
Credit(s):1 (renewal only)

Latino Lit
Register at 22006399991601
Dates: Dec. 2-Dec. 30, 2015
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

Building Social Studies Literacy
Register at 22017199991601
Dates: Dec. 8, 2015-Jan. 12, 2016
Credit(s):2 (renewal only)

Developing Student Directed Learning
Register at 22010499991602
Dates: Dec. 10, 2015-Jan. 21, 2016
Credit(s): 3 (renewal only)

iEvaluate 1.2
Register at 22017299991607
Dates: Jan. 4-Feb. 26, 2016
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Assess Student Learning Using Technology
Register at 22026499991602
Dates: Jan. 5-Feb. 1, 2016
Credit(s): 2

Incorporating Quality Questioning for Student Engagement and Learning
Register at 22024499991602
Dates: Jan. 6-Feb. 10, 2016
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

MOLLIE: Blended Learning
Register at 22015099991604
Dates: Jan. 6-Feb. 9, 2016
Credit(s): 2

OLLIE: Technology for Online Instruction
Register at 22005399991602
Dates: Jan. 6-Feb. 9, 2016
Credit(s): 2

Professional Learning Communities/Data Teams' Role in Assessment/MtSS/RtI I
Register at 22025999991602
Dates: Jan. 6-Jan. 27, 2016
Credit(s): 1 (renewal only)

"Write" On Ways to Meet the ICC K-5 Writing Standards

Register at 22020299991602
Dates: Jan. 11-Feb. 12, 2016
Credit(s): 2

Advancing Minds-Assessing Written Language in Students
Register at 22029299991601
Dates: Jan. 11-Mar. 14, 2015
Credit(s): 3

Introduction to Google Apps
Register at 22007899991605
Dates: Jan. 11-Feb. 14, 2016
Credit(s): 2

Reading in the Content Areas
Register at 22022499991603
Dates: Jan. 11-Feb. 12, 2016
Credit(s): 2

Supporting Technology Literacy in Elementary Classrooms with Scratch Programming
Register at 22024299991603
Dates: Jan. 11-Feb. 15, 2016
Credit(s): 2

What Great Teachers do Differently
Register at 22020399991604
Dates: Jan. 11-Feb. 19, 2016
Credit(s): 3

OLLIE: Introduction to the Online Learner
Register at 22001399991605
Dates: Jan. 13-Feb. 2, 2016
Credit(s): 1

Read and Learn Spanish
Register at 22007199991601
Dates: Jan. 13-Feb. 24, 2016
Credit(s): 2 (renewal only)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Online Course Design Revisited

Instructors new to online teaching are always concerned about the design of their course(s). Having a layout that is pleasing, easy for students to navigate, with clear instructions is an art in and of itself.
Sometimes just having something to look at and compare one course to another is very helpful--a checklist of sorts. Check out this infographic for a design checklist for elearning:

The Perfect eLearning Course Design Checklist Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

For more specifics about each point in the checklist, visit The Perfect eLearning Course Design Checklist Inforgraphic.

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

eCurriculum Content Iowa Teacher shares what she built

Did you know that AEA PD Online K-12 System has online content created by teachers that can be used in your classes (downloaded and added to your Moodle, Canvas or Schoology course).  Here is a list of new content that was just added from an Iowa teacher.  To see this click on eCurriculum Catalog icon under Teacher Resources. REMEMBER- these are meant to be teacher facilitated courses.

Here is one shared by Kayla Bousum from Johnston Schools currently available for use in the classroom. Check back for more as this will be expanded upon over school year.  Thanks Kayla!
  • Money Management
(You too can share what you have built. Contact any AEAPD Online Team member)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Find AEA PD Online at the 2015 ISCA Conference

This Monday and Tuesday, AEA PD Online is at the Iowa School Counselor Association Conference.  Evan Abbey and Rob Brookhart will present "Success Skills Curriculum: Mastering the Arts and Science of Excellence and Ethics"  

"In partnership with Character Counts in Iowa and the Institute for Excellence and Ethics, AEA PD  Online has available a 40-module online curriculum free for all Iowa Schools.  This session will give a demonstration of the curriculum as well as provide first-hand experiences from schools that have used it.  Find out how to access the curriculum as well as how to access professional development for it."

We will also be giving away a free self paced course as a door prize.  Stop by our booth to learn more and let us know how you are using our services.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

EdCite: Build, Send, and Review Assignments Easily

EdCite is a K-12 platform that allows teachers to build lessons, send them to students, and review their students results. The platform includes:

  • A teacher curated library of lessons/assignments
  • Interactive question types
  • Features that allow assignments to be shared with colleagues
  • Easy distribution and tracking
  • Flexible use for practice or assessment
  • Automated grading and time-saving features
"I'm easily able t use Edcite to enhance and adjust my current curriculum along with accessing a large library of ready to use assignments. Edcite will definitely be part of my daily lesson plans!"

Mike Karosen, Gunderson High School

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New adds to the Student Personalized Learning System

With our partnership with WaterRocks from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach new items have been added to the Student Personalized Learning System .  In this system are Science modules that can be assigned to K-2 grade level students.  Here is the current listing with much more to be added:
  • Tall Grass Prairie EcoSystem
  • Water quality from Dept of Natural Resources
  • Watershed from Dept of Natural Resources
  • Ada Hayden Park Wetlands
  • Visit a Chicken Farm
  • Water Quality Monitoring Program    

Monday, October 19, 2015

7 Digital Deadly Sins

Pride, lust greed, gluttony, envy, wrath, and sloth-the seven deadly sins have been with us for hundreds of years. However, in today’s digital world we are faced with a whole new set of moral dilemmas.

The Seven Digital Deadly Sins pulls together true stories of individuals who have succumbed to the Seven Digital Deadly Sins and forces us to ask ourselves how we are impacting the digital world and how the digital world is impacting us?

This multimedia rich site will help individuals reflect deeply on their digital life.

Click here to learn more about the Seven Digital Deadly Sins.