GWAEA Digital Learning Update

to ensure success for all learners - November 2016

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EdTech Take Out

Join Mindy and Jonathan as they talk technology in education!

There was a lot to talk about this week, including more updates to Google's Explore feature and new tweaks to Twitter. Learn how to amplify student voice (and choice) with Choose Your Own Adventure Stories and discover the tech tools that Mindy and Jonathan recommend for making the most of this exciting medium. Finally, there is an extra large helping of tech nuggets for you to chew on.

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

Learn more about How to Listen to Podcasts on Every Device in this blog post by Jonathan Wylie.

Think, Make, Innovate: Building Community Using 3D Printing

This challenge focuses on building community using 3D printing. In this episode, we feature elementary students from the Johnson STEAM Academy in Cedar Rapids, IA.

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 Resources:

Our Lesson Plan


Makerbot Video

123D Design App

Makerbot Printshop App

Cubify Draw


Virtual Reality in the Classroom - Google Expeditions

Having students travel to the Great Wall of China is a bit pricey, but how about taking them there virtually? Grant Wood AEA has a Google Expeditions kit for our districts to do just that! The digital learning team will be offering a workshop for educators who are interested in using Google Expeditions in their classroom along with other virtual reality apps. Take a peek at Beth Swantz's blog post to see one classroom's experience. Workshop information is coming soon, so make sure you sign up to be on the Digital Learning Update to get an email when details are finalized.

Learn more about Google Expeditions on the DLGWAEA site!


If you didn't make it to ITEC this year you can still check out the GWAEA Digital Learning Team's here. The resources for the sessions on:

  • Google Slides for the Win
  • Creating a Virtual Presence: Learning Outside the Classroom
  • The Power of Podcasting
  • Confessions of a Digital Hoarder
  • Let's Gamify This!
  • Choose Your Own Google Classroom Adventure
  • iPad Apps to Tap Student Creativity
  • Unleash Your Alter Ego- Instructional and Tech Coaching
  • Getting Started with VR and Google Expeditions
See GWAEA Seminar Series Sessions

National presentations brought to you locally be Grant Wood AEA

Creating Schools and Classrooms that are FUTURE READY

GWAEA is happy to welcome Thomas Murray who serves as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools at the Alliance for Excellent Education in Washington DC share how Future Ready Schools help district leaders plan and implement personalized, research-based digital learning strategies so all students can achieve their full potential. Districts and schools across the nation are transforming into ones that are Future Ready, revamping such aspects as teacher empowerment, personalized professional learning, innovative learning spaces, community partnerships, digital learning initiatives, among others. This hands-on session will inspire educators and provide free tools and resources to empower school staff to transform their schools and classrooms into ones that better prepare students for the world they face tomorrow.

December 7, 2016 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Location: Benton Community Middle/High School 600 First Street, Van Horne, IA 52346

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


Register Online:

Course Number: 19448-16-01 Registration deadline: Nov. 23, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.

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

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

Defined Stem- Provided Free for GWAEA Schools!

Grant Wood AEA is offering schools a new online resource called Defined STEM. Defined STEM weaves curriculum strands into a personalized learning experience, unique for each student. Defined STEM provides real-world relevance and application opportunities to K-12 students through performance tasks, literacy tasks, constructed responses, and high-interest video. Contact Mindy Cairney or Amber Bridge if you are interested!

Students are taught to act respectfully online

Our AEA BrightBytes scores indicate we are teaching students more frequently about what it means to act respectfully online, but there is still a significant number of teachers aren't educating their students about this at all. We are fortunate that many of our students and teachers have access to technology in the classroom. Contact your GWAEA digital learning consultant to have us help support good digital citizenship in your classroom

Why This Matters

“Instead of restricting access, we should educate young people to participate [in the digital world] responsibly, ethically, and safely. Through proper use of social networking sites, students learn social media etiquette and cultivate their digital citizenship” (Wang et al., 2013).

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

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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