GWAEA Digital Learning Update

to ensure success for all learners - September 2016

Welcome to a new year! The GWAEA Digital Learning Team is excited to share and learn with area educators this year. Please check out our blog to learn more about what educators are thinking and learning about. We are always growing and learning about new innovative things going on in classrooms, so feel free to listen to The EdTech Takeout (our podcast) and participate in a Think, Make, Innovate makerspace challenge to learn with us!

Think, Make, Innovate: Makey Makey Classic Game

This challenge focuses on game design, circuits and coding using Makey Makeys and Scratch programming. The students took the classic game of Operation and remade it into their own creations. In this episode, we feature 4th Grade students from Bowman Woods Elementary.

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

Scratch Made Operation Game Using Makey Makey by Josh Burker

Getting Started with Scratch

Think, Make, Innovate: Makey Makey Classic Game

Episode 12 - The Summer Sizzle

Listen to the Summer Sizzle - August 31, 2016

It's back to school time so Mindy and Jonathan use this episode to reflect on their summer learning. Discover what they saw at ISTE & iPadU, learn about their hands-on experiences with Google Expeditions, and revel in Mindy's new status as a SeeSaw Ambassador!

Youtube in the Classroom

With over 6 billion hours of video watched each month on YouTube*, this video service is quickly becoming a popular venue for education content, delivery, and construction. In this 3 day course, participants will learn how to navigate this reservoir of content safely, upload and edit their own video content, and to effectively organize their videos for maximum educational impact. Participants will align these skills with the Iowa Core (specific to their area of instruction) and 21st Century Technology Skills. *

When: 9/29/16 & 10/5/16 8:30am-4:00 p.m & 10/12/16 4pm-6pm Online

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

Register: Course Number: 4681-16-01 Fees: $25

Credit:R, PR, SAR - 1 Sem. Hrs.

Register and learn more here.

Twitter for Educators: Connect, Share, Grow!

This online class explores how teachers and administrators can use Twitter to connect, share and network with other educators from around the world. With Twitter you can find great resources, keep up with educational trends, collaborate on global projects, and get the inspiration you need for your classroom. Twitter is free and available for all devices. It's also easy to learn, so sign up today and discover what it can do for you! No experience required.

When: 10/19/16 4:30pm-5:30pm

Where: Grant Wood AEA Northern Facility 4401 6th Street S.W. Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

When: 10/27, 10/03, 11/10,11/17 - Online Learning

Register: Course Number: 4856-16-01 Fees: $25

Credit: R - 1 Sem. Hrs.

Register and learn more 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, October 27th, 2015, 8:00-4:00

Where: Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

Learn more at

Register for the Event at
Preregistration is required.

Teachers who participate will need to provide their own laptop

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 how to share information about themselves online & Students are taught how to act respectfully online

Why This Matters

In today’s marketplace, content that our students create and share online is “becoming the new CV” (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2013).

“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).

Students are online, how are we teaching them to be good digital citizens and build a positive digital footprint? If you want to learn more about what we can do contact your GWAEA technology consultant and take a look at Exploros which is a free resource that aligns with Common Sense Media information about Digital Citizenship.

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ITEC Fall Conference

Monday, Oct. 10th, 8am to Tuesday, Oct. 11th, 3:30pm

730 Third Street

Des Moines, IA

ITEC is an ISTE affiliate who promotes the use of technology in education by demonstrating to its members, other educators and the public developments in the use of educational technology and how its use supports teaching and learning. The ITEC Conference is October 11-13, 2015. It will be held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IA. The conference is open to all educators and administrators in Iowa and beyond.

George Couros, this year's keynote speaker, is a learner, educator, and Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership consultant. He am also the author of "The Innovator's Mindset". He believes we need to inspire our kids to follow their passions while letting them inspire us to do the same.

More information about Sunday workshops and registration can be found on the here on the ITEC Site.

Want to learn more about #GoOpen or Open Educational Resources

There will be a couple of webinars to learn more about #GoOpen from Kristina Peters, US Department of Ed Tech Fellow.

#GoOpen is a national movement of districts and states transitioning to the use of openly licensed educational resources in place of traditional instructional materials. The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology officially launched #GoOpen on October 29, 2015 and has seen incredible growth and support across the country.

This informational session will cover:

  • Overview of openly licensed educational resources
  • #GoOpen history
  • What it means to become a #GoOpen District
  • What it means to you as a school librarian or tech coach
  • Next steps
  • Q&A

Webinars will be held -

Monday, Sep. 12th, 11-11:30am

Monday, Sep. 19th, 1:30-2pm

More information, RSVP and links can be found here.


Saturday, Sep. 24th, 10am-3:30pm

415 12th Avenue Southeast

Cedar Rapids, IA


Want to learn how to develop your own app? Join us at The Imagination Iowa App-A-Thon. It is a springboard to kick start app development for high school students.

Apply online at:

For questions please contact Kristine Sorensen (Director of K–12 Education) at 319-382-5128 or

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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