Got a great idea? Slam It!

Got a great idea? Slam It!

The Idea Slam ’18, sponsored by the METS Group and REMC Association of Michigan, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 from 7:00 – 10:00pm.
The Idea Slam is a fast-paced “pitch fest” and networking event for educators. Selected projects will be presented and attendees will vote on their favorite ideas. The winning project will receive a minimum of $1,500 towards their innovative educational idea.
The rest of the evening is an informal meet-up with fun conversations and delicious offerings from the new Downtown Grand Rapids venue, the Knickerbocker, owned by New Holland Brewing Company.
What makes the Idea Slam possible and successful?
YOUR IDEAS! Submit a proposal by clicking the link below. If chosen as a finalist you will be assigned a pitch coach to help you prepare for the event.
Idea Slam Pitch Rubric

Please contact the METS group at if you have any questions!

Pitch proposals are due February 9, 2018 at midnight.


REMC Association Communications Job Posting

The REMC Association is seeking to contract with an individual to assist with developing communication/marketing resources focused on Association supported projects and activities. These resources will be in formats suitable for social media, newsletters, inclusion in email, etc.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Post items to various social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook
  • Write posts or articles highlighting a REMC project for the MACUL Community blog and other blogs or newsletters
  • Subscribe to and monitor educational and leadership blogs, twitter accounts, YouTube, and other social media from Michigan and national organizations to find relevant tie-ins to existing REMC projects for the purpose of “mining” and sharing and sharing the best REMC resources.  
  • Work with the Association’s public relations firm on the drafting and posting process as well as maintaining the organization image/messaging
  • Send information to be shared publicly to the Executive Director for review
  • Create a presence/knowledge of REMC offerings (indiv. and state) and help with communicating these out through social media (e.g. when a local REMC has an event.)
  • Expand REMC participation in Twitter chats by supplying local REMCs with a guide outlining Twitter chat expectations, tips and a list of chats in which to participate. Coordinate/lead Twitter chats (within existing chats)
  • May be asked to provide trainings to REMC Directors on implementing these same social media skills and tools to help with our REMC/ISD marketing to local constituents.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Background in education
  • Experience with public relations/marketing/communications
  • Established social media presence
  • REMC Association awareness and understanding
  • Independent learner
  • Must be motivated and able to work with minimal supervision
  • Strong verbal and written communication and organizational skills
  • Skillfully uses technology to accomplish work related tasks
  • Knowledgeable about and able to use social media aggregators/social network automation applications
  • Understand the role social media plays in outreach/messaging for the Association

Working Conditions and Compensation

  • Work 6 – 8 hours a week for the first six months. The number of hours required will be evaluated at the end of the first six months
  • Year one – Nov. 1 – June 30, 2018 – then depending on evaluation of need, become an annual contract, with options to renew on a yearly basis
  • The need for this position and the quality of the work will be reviewed annually by the REMC Association Executive Board
  • Home office environment. Selected candidate will provide the tools (computer, internet) and resources/supplies.
  • Contract amount: $20 per hour
  • Subscription to specific required tools will be provided to make posting to multiple sites easier/automatic
  • Reports to REMC Association Executive Director

Application Deadline: October 27, 2017

Applications should be submitted online at

Questions should be directed to Sue Schwartz, Executive Director,

Simple Ways to Represent Thinking

Simple Ways to Represent Thinking

I just want to take a moment to share a couple tools and ideas for representing thinking. No matter what we teach or facilitate, we want ideas and understanding to be shared. The tools described below provide options for people to show what’s swirling in their minds. Given the visual options involved, these platforms can be used with non-linguistic strategies, modelling, and more. They can also be used across grade levels and subject areas. Here is a breakdown:

  1. AWW App – A whiteboard tool on which you can add text, shapes, drawings, images and more. There are options for real-time collaboration and adding additional pages. You can export the finished product without creating an account, or you can register to build a library. See my example at the bottom of this post.
  2. AutoDraw – This is a Google Experiment, and it has many similar features to the AWW App. It does not support collaboration, but it is simpler. You can also choose a drawing option that will predict what you are trying to draw. The predicted options show on the top toolbar for you to select.

There are other options out there (Google Drawings is a notable one), but these are less known and have some useful features. Take a few minute to try them out. Explore the menus for options and think about how you might use them in an upcoming lesson or meeting.

Sample AwwIce formations on beach with people

Student Technology Showcase @ The Capitol

Student Technology Showcase @ The Capitol

We are looking forward to you and your students joining us again for the 2017 Student Technology Showcase (STS) at the Capitol on December 6, 2017. Each year, the STS affords students the opportunity to demonstrate innovative uses of technology for learning.  The STS is consistently attended by legislators, guests, media members, and for the first time ever the Governor of Michigan attended last years showcase.

This year’s STS at the Capitol is supported by MACUL, AT&T, and Michigan Virtual. This support has allowed the showcase to remain one of the premier student showcase events in the U.S.

You are invited to bring a team of up to four students to demonstrate how they are applying technology in their learning.  Students are expected to prepare professional presentations that will be on display during one of three sessions. While each session lasts roughly 90 minutes, these sessions are arranged around capitol logistics. We will do our best to accommodate requests for specific sessions.

In an effort to provide the opportunity for more schools to participate, only up to one team per school and two teams per district will be accepted.

Deadline for registration is November 4, 2017.

When you register your team you MUST provide a description of the project. A team from MACUL will review your project description and determine whether your team is accepted for the showcase. Team acceptance will no longer be based on a first come/first served basis.  Therefore we strongly suggest that you take time to create a project description that clearly explains how technology impacts your students’ learning.

Each team will be provided an eight-foot table for presentations and will have access to wireless internet. Also, teams will be provided with commemorative t-shirts, snacks, parking passes, and a certificate of participation.

In previous years students have demonstrated everything from the use of KidPix (an elementary drawing program) to students who are creating computer apps for school use.

Visit to register, more information and pictures from last year’s showcase.


Kent ISD is Hosting the West Michigan Education Leadership Conference on December 11

Kent ISD is Hosting the West Michigan Education Leadership Conference on December 11

On December 11, the West Michigan Education Leadership Conference is back at Kent ISD! This year’s conference will be kicking off with national speaker and author, Dr. Anthony Muhammad.  Everyone that attends will receive a free copy of Anthony’s latest book, “Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division (Leading the Four Types of Teachers) 2nd Edition” that was published in July 2017.

In addition to Anthony, we will also have another up and coming national speaker, Benjamin Gilpin. Ben is “The Colorful Principal.” He is relationship driven, student-centered, and believes that ALL kids can succeed. Ben will present our afternoon keynote as well as a few breakout sessions.

Our theme for the conference this year is “Leaders in Action!” Every presentation will not only give you great information that you can apply to your practice, but it will also highlight leaders that are currently using the strategies presented to impact their students learning.

Do not miss this incredible opportunity to connect with other leaders and learn from their successes.

Visit for more information and to enroll today.


Join Us for the 2017 Curriculum and Technology Leaders Collaborative Summit

Join Us for the 2017 Curriculum and Technology Leaders Collaborative Summit

You are invited to attend the annual Curriculum and Technology Leaders Collaborative Summit (CTLCS). The Summit will be held at Lansing Community College-West on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

The year’s theme, “Breaking Barriers to Achieve the Top 10 in 10” will provide a thoughtful day of learning where together we will seek to answer, “What action can Michigan’s curriculum and technology leaders take to address equity, access, and diversity within their districts?”  We will address this question by:

  • engaging with equity experts;
  • examining practices that are breaking down barriers for students, families, and the community to ensure equity; and
  • exploring equity and access strategies in both the MI Roadmap and Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 Strategic Plan.

The summit will emphasize the importance of authentic collaboration between two key district experts: the curriculum and technology leaders.  By working together innovative practices will emerge to move Michigan to becoming a Top 10 education state.

We look forward to seeing you this year!

Register at:

Questions can be directed to Amanda Stoel, Department Analyst, Michigan Department of Education, Office of P-20 Data and Information Management at

The Kent ISD STEM Network is Here!

The Kent ISD STEM Network is Here!

If you’re curious about STEM education, what it means, and what you should know; you may be interested in Kent ISD’s upcoming STEM Network.

Connect. Explore. Achieve. This two-day, interactive experience will give classroom teachers the opportunity to explore how area businesses use your content areas in industry. Draw connections between what you’ve seen and how you can teach your standards. Develop relevant, real world lessons you can use with your students to help them achieve success. Use group dynamics with like-minded teachers to build engaging content tied to the world of work. Come see what other districts are doing in STEM and imagine what the future can hold for your students. A portion of each event will involve a trip to a local business to observe and glean inspiration from current business practices. Sign up at the Kent ISD PD Hub (search for course number 17CR1101).

Two meetings (2 days each) are planned for the 17-18 School Year:
November 1-2; March 21-22
8am-3pm each day

Outcomes will include:

  • Educators will discover resources that can be used in their classroom(s)
  • Educators are part of a support system that encourages use of discovered resources
  • Educators consistently connect their classroom content to the world of work; answering the question, “When am I ever going to use this?”