GWAEA Digital Learning Update

to ensure success for all learners - February 2017

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With so many new types of digital devices, educational software and mobile apps continuously developed, it’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest advancements in educational technology. In some classrooms and out-of-school programs across the country, educators are doing some pretty amazing things with technology. Yet, these pockets of innovation are confined to a small number of schools and communities. Digital Learning Day was started as a way to actively spread innovative practices and ensure that all youth have access to high-quality digital learning opportunities no matter where they live.

Learn more and participate in Digital Learning Day on February 23, 2017 here!

2017 National Ed Tech Plan

The National Education Technology Plan is the flagship educational technology policy document for the United States. The Plan articulates a vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible.

NEW - Friendly Disruption Podcast

There is a new podcast The Friendly Disruption produced by Craig Barnum, Technology Director for College Community School District, and Maggie Picket, Iowa Department of Education AT Consultant. The Friendly Disruption Podcast is targeted to educators looking to improve their practice. Their conversations and guests focus on digital tools, particularly in the area of assistive technology. Connect with the hosts using their twitter handles or tweet to @fdisruption.

The first two episodes are now available. Check them out and share with other educators to learn more about practical application for these tools!

Episode 1 — Read & Write for Google and Dr. Jerry Valentine

Episode 2 — Kevin Honeycutt and Snap & Read

EdTech Take Out

Join Mindy and Jonathan as they talk technology in education!

Mindy & Jonathan's Top Trends for 2017

In the latest episode, Mindy and Jonathan predict the edtech trends that they think are going to make a big impact in classrooms this year. They talk about whether we still need a desktop operating system and make plans for an iPad challenge. A box of six tech nuggets is also included at no extra cost!

Email the show, or send a voice memo to, and see show notes with all the links from this episode at

Think, Make, Innovate

Amber and Jason team with local classrooms to complete a makerspace challenge. Each episode includes curriculum connections!

Think, Make, Innovate: Wearables - LED Lit Bags

Think, Make, Innovate: Wearables - LED Lit Bags

In this challenge, we worked with the Iowa City Home School Assistance Program on one of their maker projects. For this project, the students sewed drawstring bags, then lit them up with LEDs. In addition to the classic maker skills of sewing, the students used conductive thread, twinkler circuits, and LEDs.

We would love to see what you make! Join our Maker Community by sending us your photos or videos through social media and tag @dlgwaea or send an email to and we will post them on our website,

Our Lesson Plan

See GWAEA Seminar Series Sessions

National presentations brought to you locally be Grant Wood AEA

Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need

Zac Chase is a thought-leader on combining pedagogy and technology for teaching and has led schools and systems in Canada, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa, and Pakistan to consider the intersection of learning, inquiry, reflective pedagogy, technology, and project-based learning.

As we thrive to provide learning that is equitable and personal for all learners, there is a growing desire to re-examine education and learning. Educators use the phrase "school 2.0" to think about what schools will look like in the future. Moving beyond a basic examination of using technology for classroom instruction, Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need is a larger discussion of how teachers and school leaders can change student education, learning and our physical school spaces to reflect the changing nature of our lives brought on by new technologies.

March 1, 2017 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Location: Grant Wood AEA 4401 Sixth St. S.W. Cedar Rapids, IA

Target Audience: K-12 Administrators, Teachers, Teacher Librarians, Consultants, Instructional Coaches, District Leaders


Download Form:

Register Online:

Course Number: 19450-16-01

Registration deadline: Feb. 15, 2017 at 6:00 a.m.

Educators in Grant Wood AEA area for non-credit $40

Outside of Grant Wood AEA area for non-credit $65

Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.

Google Apps for Education (Google Suite): Advanced

This course is designed to be the NEXT STEP for teachers implementing Google Apps for Education in an existing classroom structure. Participants will have the opportunity to revise and revitalize their current teaching practices, through online learning and integration in the classroom by participating in individualized coaching conversations. These conversations will provide focused goals for each participant tailored to their classroom and Google experience.
Prerequisite: Participants must have taken Google Apps for Education: Basics or equivalent in-depth experience in Google Apps for Education usage AND have a classroom of students for implementation practice.

Class Structure: The course will begin and end with face-to-face experiences. Between those sessions, participants will select online self-paced learning modules that best fit their teaching practice and skill level which they will implement in their classrooms. During the self-paced section, participants will schedule two coaching conversation with facilitators.

March 1, 2017 & April 25, 2017 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Location: Grant Wood AEA Southern Facility 2301 Oakdale Blvd Coralville, IA 52241

Weekly Asynchronous Online Learning to be completed weekly between these two dates.

Target Audience: PreK-12 Individual(s) responsible for integrating technology tools into their curriculum, Teachers, Teacher Librarians


Download Form:

Register Online:

Course Number: 4862-16-01

Fees: Total for Renewal $ 25

EdCamp Iowa 2017

Saturday, Feb. 25th, 8:30am-3pm

415 12th Avenue Southeast

Cedar Rapids, IA

What is an EdCamp?

EdCamp sessions are NOT 'sit and get' presentations. EdCamps are about discussion and thinking and problem-solving. We build the agenda first thing in the morning and then spend the rest of the day talking, sharing, and learning. Come prepared to participate!

Learn more about EdCamps and EdCamp Iowa here:

Register for EdCamp Iowa here. Workshop

What: is offering free workshops for K-5 educators and content-area teachers as well as librarians, tech-ed specialists interested in teaching the elementary school computer science curriculum.

Who: Dr. Ben Schafer of the department of computer science at the University of Northern Iowa

When: Thursday, March 2nd, 2015, 8:00-4:00

Where: Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa, Grant Wood AEA, 2301 Oakdale Blvd, Coralville, IA 52241 - 5th Floor

Learn more at

Register for the Event at

Preregistration is required.

Teachers who participate will need to provide their own laptop

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Final details are being finalized and we will announce featured speakers and registration information very soon! Keep checking the site and details will be emailed out too.

Building Bridges Technology Conference

Tuesday, April 25th, 8am-4pm

4401 6th Street Southwest

Cedar Rapids, IA

The “Building Bridges: Eastern Iowa Assistive Technology Conference” will provide an opportunity to see first-hand the latest in assistive technologies (AT), practices, and services for school-age students with disabilities. This AT conference will serve as a unique opportunity for professionals, parents, administrators and service providers to exchange and gather information on the current status and assistive technology tools available for consideration.

2017 Building Bridges Conference Flyer

Registration is open.

  • Educators in Grant Wood AEA area, Total for non-credit $ 75
  • Outside of Grant Wood AEA area, Total for non-credit $ 100
  • Registration is not complete until all fees are paid in full.

Teachers help select assistive technology for their students

Our AEA BrightBytes scores indicate only some of our educators help select AT tools for their students. Many students can use a tool to help make learning easier for them, this could range from a screen reader to a simple dictionary tool. Grant Wood AEA provides assistive technology support for educators and students. If you want to learn more we are hosting the Building Bridges AT Conference in April and learn more from the Friendly Disruption Podcast (both featured in this update).

Why This Matters

Teachers who are involved in assistive technology decisions feel greater ownership over the process, and they are more likely to use assistive technology in their classrooms (Bray & McClaskey, 2013).

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Please contact your digital learning consultant in your district is interested in getting their Brightbytes- Clarity data.

Register today! Iowa 1:1 Institute

Wednesday, April 5th, 8:30am-3:30pm

730 3rd Street

Des Moines, IA

It is time to get ready again for the Iowa 1:1 Institute. Registration and call for sessions is open. Learn more about the Institute here.

The Iowa 1:1 Institute exists to:

  • Help 1:1 districts learn from each other about innovative teaching, learning, and administrative practices that are occurring in their districts;

  • Build excitement and ‘buzz’ around 1:1 laptop computing initiatives

  • Help others who are interested in 1:1 computing learn more about how to get started and be successful.

The day is designed to engage school leaders around the ways they can help ensure that their technology initiative is used as a vehicle to enhance the learning environment.

Featured presenter:

Dr. Robert Dillon, Director of the Research Institute at BrightBytes, a national education think tank dedicated to promoting innovation and best practice in all classrooms. Prior to this role, he served the students and community of the Affton School District as Director of Technology and Innovation.
Register for the Event

Submit a Proposal to Present

About Us

The Grant Wood Digital Learning Team works with AEA 10 schools to help them integrate technology in the classroom. We work with teachers and administrators on-site, and at Grant Wood facilities. Each school district is assigned a Technology Consultant from the Digital Learning Team to help facilitate the ways in which we can help schools improve teaching and learning with technology.
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