Need SCECH’s? Check out the REMC Virtual Courses!

thumb-2feffdd7d8a58decdb37bcd143a0f5a1The REMC Virtual Courses are free and open to Michigan school personnel. You can take courses “just to learn” or you can complete all assignments. SCECH credits are available for successful course completion.

Courses take place over three weeks. Each consists of two one-hour webinars and four hours of resource review, assessment development and written reflection and six SCECH credits are available.

Exception: the What, Why, and How of Open Educational Resources (OER) course takes nine hours and nine SCECH credits are available.

These courses are available through an agreement between Presidio/Dell and the REMC Association through its REMC SAVE device purchasing program.

  • REMC Virtual Courses are FREE and open to all Michigan school personnel
  • You can take courses “just to learn” or you can complete all assignments (SCECH credits are available for successful course completion)
  • Sessions take place over a three week period

Click here to view a multi-month schedule of course offerings. You may register for these courses at any time but note that courses have different start/end dates.

Use the REMC Virtual Course FAQ for answers to often asked questions.

Register Here

#professional-development, #remc

Free MeL Databases webinar – Introducing teachers to MeL

Libraries’ strongest allies in education are teachers. Libraries provide numerous tools that can be used to further students’ ongoing success. Staying up to date on those tools can be a challenge for everyone, including teachers!

Join MeL Education Specialist, Christine Schneider and Livonia Public Schools, Dan Yowell on March 30, at 3:30pm Eastern, for a 30 minute webinar focused on MeL resources which support teachers in their critical work of ensuring student achievement.

More information and free registration at this link.    If you can’t make the live webinar, the recorded archive will be located here.


#databases, #mel, #professional-development, #webinar

Open is Awesome – Using OERs with #GoOpen

The US Department of Education (USeD) has identified support for the production and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) as a strategic priority.  As we see digital resource availability and usage increase in our classrooms, we still have some issues to overcome before OER can be a larger contributor to innovation in education.

From ongoing research, we still see limited reuse and repurposing of OER by educators, manifested by a tendency to use OER as supplementary rather than primary materials. In addition, both lack of awareness and lack of digital and pedagogical skills on the part of educators contribute to limited utilization.6555467293_abe94016b5_m

As a practical application, teachers don’t have to create all of their course content from scratch, they can add and import OERs into their courses housed in a Learning Management System like Edify, supported by the Kent ISD.

As educators, how can we tap into these vast OER collections that will help our learners develop the skills required in the 21st century?   In the next few months, you will notice a bigger push by USeD to bring awareness to what OER are, where you can find them, how they can be used, and how to get your educators trained in using them.

In the meantime, if you or your district would like to know more about how to use OER in your teaching and learning practice, please contact Ron Houtman at Kent ISD for custom professional learning and consulting around this exciting area of education.



#education, #oer, #open, #professional-development, #research

Blend It with free PD from MyBlend/MVU

myblendThe MyBlend team from MVU will be facilitating events on Blended Learning in multiple locations in Michigan. These two-day workshops are designed to help K-5 and 6-12 educators incorporate technology meaningfully to support students.

In an effort to reach all educators, these specific workshops have been designed to meet the needs of K-5 and 6-12 classroom teachers. These are free events and we cover the cost of substitutes; we want to give all teachers an opportunity to attend.

Participants will:
• Explore practical ways to implement blended learning in the classroom
• Maximize the technology they have to engage and support students
• Investigate digital tools that assess and capture student understanding
• Design a blended lesson suited to their classroom needs

Click one of the following links to learn more and register:

Blending, It’s Elementary My Dear Watson!
(K-5 Educators)

Life’s Better When You Blend
(6-12 Educators)

#blended-learning, #free, #professional-development

Introducing EduPaths – Free Online PD

In addition to the online courses offered by the Kent ISD through the Professional Development Hub, you might hear about a new professional development platform called EduPaths.  The result of a statewide TRIG activity, this professional development portal is designed for ALL Michigan Educators.  EduPaths courses are aligned with school improvement framework, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and designed to expand understanding on a wide variety of topics.

edupathssmallCourses are available online, are completely self-paced, and free for any educator, childcare provider, administrator, pre-service teacher or individual that works for an educational entity in the state of Michigan. They are intended to help educators to personalize their own learning plan anytime and anyplace while supporting technology readiness and instructional practice. The web based resource will:

  • Help educators identify learning interests or needs
  • Link to meaningful options for professional learning
  • Award SCECHs and Badges
  • Connect to Statewide resources and opportunities
  • Align with Continuous Cycle of School Improvement and MTSS Framework
  • Create a collaboration between ISDs, REMCs, TRIG projects, and educational organizations throughout Michigan

Benefits for districts and administrators:  

  • Alignment with School Improvement Framework 2.0 to support continuous improvement. This can then become part of the SI process.
  • Allows administrators to guide necessary staff development
  • Addresses diverse needs of staff through focus on instructional and/or technology opportunities

Benefits for educators:

  • Access to free professional learning opportunities
  • Provide awareness of professional learning opportunities from in region and across state
  • Provide State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs)

Future statewide benefits:

  • Provide analytics to pinpoint needs and guide creation of future professional learning throughout the state of Michigan
  • Eliminates duplication of effort
  • Digital badges

For more information, please watch this quick video

#online, #onlinecourses, #professional-development

Cyber Innovation Center Resource Showcase – Feb 11

The Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education and the Department of Technology, Management, & Budget, will be offering a one-day professional development session for K-12 educators and administrators. This
session will showcase robust Cyber & STEM curricula developed by the CIC’s team of university faculty, master teachers and subject matter experts.

The event will be held in Lansing on February 11, 2016.  Click here for details and a one-page flyer.

The Department of Homeland Security has identified The Cyber Innovation Center as the national model for cyber education, thus allowing the free access to curricula threads including: Cyber Literacy, Cyber Science, Physics, Advanced Math, Computer Science
and much more! The curricula is being taught by thousands of teachers across the country.

Teachers are the key to systemic and sustainable change in education. During this informational session, teachers will gain hands-on experience with curricula, projects, and technology that provide new, innovative ways to engage their students in entirely new ways! This transformation will provide greater opportunities for learning as well as introduce students to potential Cyber & STEM career fields.

#coding, #professional-development, #stem

You Won’t Want To Miss The Michigan Flip Teaching Conference

The 4th Michigan Flip Teaching Conference will be February 20, 2016 at the Steelcase University Learning Center. This is a FREE conference for educators from around the Midwest and beyond.

In addition to sessions on best practices around implementing the flipped classroom, new strands on Blended Learning and Classroom Design will be included. Steelcase Learn Lab

If you are interested in presenting, please fill out the call for proposals form.

If you’ve never been to the Steelcase Campus, you are in for a visual treat.  Your visit will allow you to take in the many unique spaces and furnishings that will spark your imagination as you think about redesigning your own learning environments.

Register for free today, and keep an eye out for the keynote announcement and other details by following @MiFLIP on Twitter and by visiting the MI Flip website.



#blended-learning, #conference, #flipped, #learning, #professional-development

Google Apps Training Resources

Google has a robust set of training courses that any Google user can access for free. The courses are organized into segments that incorporate reflection, goal setting, and classroom application in the study of Google tools. This means that individuals that work through the lessons can contemplate what they want to accomplish with technology, not just learn what buttons to click. Go here to start the fundamentals or advanced training. You can also access training based on specific applications and devices here.

These courses, or components of them, could be used to individualize training for educators, and I recommend that they be used in conjunction with content or grade level staff meetings. In that arrangement, people can build the skills they need and then work together to build more substantial integration into their curriculum. Administrators could ask people to submit their goals or progress as a way to ensure people are participating (they should also provide contract time for doing this!).

Of course, individuals could access these as well, and it could be a good way to get new teachers acclimated or struggling teachers to a greater level of comfort. People even have the option to become Google certified. No matter what, it’s great to have a free option available.

#google-apps, #google-for-education, #professional-development

Discovery Education Professional Learning Day at REMC 8 & Kent ISD

The REMC Association of Michigan, Discovery Education, and Kent ISD REMC 8 are pleased to present “Discovery Education Professional Learning Day” at Kent ISD.

  • When: Thursday, December 17, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Where: Kent ISD – 2930 Knapp NE – Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • Cost: FREE to public school educators in the REMC 8 Service Area

Discovery-Education-LogoThis free, hands-on, minds-on workshop will provide participants with exciting and enriching professional development, focused on creative ways to maximize Discovery Education STREAMING, emphasizing instructional best practices for digital media. Cindy Lane, from Discovery Education, will be the facilitator for this exciting day. Whether you are new to Discovery Education STREAMING or you are an “every day, every lesson” user, this workshop will provide you with creative ways to motivate students, engage higher order thinking, support retention and transfer, and achieve learning and curriculum goals with a myriad of creative integration strategies for using Discovery Education media assets.

This workshop will begin with the basics and will move on to explore how to use Discovery Education resources to create interactive lesson plans that support all curricular areas while differentiating instruction. You’ll leave feeling empowered to create rigorous and relevant, media-infused learning experiences that support all learners!

Please make sure to bring your own internet browsing device.

Note: Registration is open to public school educators in the REMC 8 service area. – The ‘secret code’ to register is: REMC8

#discovery, #educational-technology, #professional-development, #remc, #remcam

You’re Invited to edCampGR 2015!

edcampgrWe want your brainpower!

Educators, Teachers, Specialists, and College Students lend me your browser window for just a moment. We can hardly believe that the 5th edCampGR is just around the corner!
The BEST education professional learning event in GR will be on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at Kent Innovation High on the campus of Kent ISD.
To register and attend for free, visit: – Oh, and there is a free lunch too!
Are you new to edCampGR or want more information? Read on!

What is edCampGR?

edCamps are about meeting interesting people, talking about what you want to talk about, and listening to what you’re interested in. Subjects of discussion have ranged from classroom management, student engagement, integrating technology, helping students with disabilities and world domination. (No, there wasn’t a talk on the last thing, rather how we can change education systems from within!)  You see, the talks are not set beforehand, it’s you, the attendees, who give edCampGR direction and content. We’ve even applied for SCECHs, so you can get some PD hours for your next re-certification. Nice, huh?

What’s the format?

Talks are 50 minutes long, with ten minutes in between. You’re welcome to sit in on a conversation or hang out in the many comfortable collaboration areas and talk; it’s all the same with us. If you facilitate a talk, we don’t care how you run it – so long as you don’t get us in trouble! Give a monologue, a Q&A or a round table; it’s your topic, your presentation, your audience. If people didn’t want to spend 50 minutes on your topic, they wouldn’t be there.

Don’t know what to talk about?

Certainly you have some relatively unique experiences. What do you do that you think is awesome? What’s something in your classroom you’ve done that you’re proud of? It doesn’t matter if the height of your accomplishment is making to the end of the week without pulling your hair out; if people are interested, they will show up at your talk. If they aren’t interested, they will probably attend one of the other talks during that time slot.  Edcamps are all about finding what interests you.

But I’m not an expert!

Sure you are! If you know the first thing about a subject, you know more than people who don’t. And, yes, people who know more than you will probably attend your talk. Interact with them; you both have something to learn from each other. Chances are, if you’re both really interested in a subject, you’ll find yourselves looking for each other in the open areas of the school, later.

But perhaps you’re… Shy?

That’s fine. Come on in, take a look around and get a feel for things. Sit in on the talk which interests you or hang around in the open spaces and network with other people. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to talk about something later. You never really know, and that’s the awesome part of an edCamp.

How can you help?

Please help us connect with you and your colleagues, friends, and others in your circle of influence. Share the event info and registration link, and interact with us here:

Twitter: @edcampgr


It’s Free! – click here and share with your contacts


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the event?
I’d love to have you attend and learn with us. Make sure to sign up today, tell your friends, and plan to learn more than your brain can handle! We’re looking forward to meeting you!
Ron – @ronhoutman
Chief Cat Herder and edCampGR coordinator

#edcamp, #educational-technology, #professional-development, #teaching