A Design Thinking Approach to Education (Webinar)

Event Description

By the time our students enter the working world, the technology that we teach them today will more than likely be obsolete. How then, can we best prepare them for the workplace that they will encounter? The answer lies in two concepts that will never become obsolete: innovation and creativity. The Design Thinking framework gives us the ability to develop a creative problem-solving mindset when looking at situations. This framework can be brought into our classrooms to create an atmosphere that focuses on collaboration, research, and creativity. During this webinar we will explore the framework and look at ways you can bring design thinking into your classroom!

Presenter Bio

Ben Sondgeroth – Regional Education Technology Coordinator, Learning Technology Center of Illinois

From Consumption to Creation: Inspire Creativity in Your Classroom!

The consumption mindset not only applies to the traditional classroom but can carry over into a technology-enriched classroom environment. Students may hope that the educational experience with their school device will mirror how they consume information on their personal devices. After all, students spend a lot of time-consuming information from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

So the question becomes: How can we leverage the consumption mindset to our advantage? The answer starts with turning our students into the creators of the very content they are consuming. We can challenge them to create artifacts focused around the content of our classes and publish those artifacts for others to consume and learn from.

Teaching our students to create can have a wide-ranging effect on them. It often goes beyond simply helping them learn the content specific to our classes. Creating media helps students develop a foundation of skills that transfer over to many other areas of life. A recent study shows that employers want workers with an increasingly demanding skill set including problem-solving, digital literacy, leadership, and creativity. 

To that end, by challenging our students to become content creators in our classrooms we can help foster all of these skills. Technology provides our students the ability to create with voice, video, images, or any combination of the three. This allows students the opportunity to express themselves in ways that may not be possible in a written assignment.

So how do you get started with these concepts? What are some tools that can provide these creation opportunities for your students? To help answer these questions and more I’ve created a YouTube playlist of my top tools for inspiring creativity including Adobe Spark, Book Creator, and Flipgrid. I hope you find it helpful, and the tools included will inspire your students to become the creators they have the power to be.

The following videos were created by Ben Sondgeroth, LTC’s Regional Educational Technology Coordinator, as an introduction to Adobe Spark, Book Creator, and Flipgrid.

Create Web Pages with Adobe Spark Page: Have you looked for a tool that allows your students to create incredible web pages? Look no further than Adobe Spark Page!

Create Awesome Videos with Adobe Spark Video: Have you wondered how to create a video on your Chromebook or iPad? Look no further than Adobe Spark Video! This amazing tool allows you to create videos and share them back to Google Classroom!

Learn How to Get Started with Adobe Spark Post: Have you been wondering how to create exciting graphics with Adobe Spark Post? This video has you covered! We dive into how to bring this awesome tool into your classroom!

Create Amazing Books with Book Creator!: Have you been looking for a way to have your students create amazing books in your classroom? Then look no further than Book Creator! In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through how to get started with this incredible tool!

Getting Started with Flipgrid in the Classroom!: In this quick video, we will explore how to set up a Grid in Flipgrid and assign out a topic to your students!

 “Driving the skills agenda – EIU Perspectives – The Economist.” 2015. May. 2015 <https://www.eiuperspectives.economist.com/talent-education/driving-skills-agenda>

STEAM Resource for K-5 Classrooms

Event Description

K-5 teachers are charged with the heavy load of implementing a vast array of standards. Fitting these standards into an already packed school day while teaching each subject with fidelity present unique challenges. Incorporating a STEAM challenge can combine multiple standards from a cross-curricular lesson plan. STEAM Challenges are great ways to practice SEL skills and inquiry questioning. Join us to explore a downloadable resource to get started.


Lisa Ward – Learning Supports Content Area Specialist, Illinois Classrooms in Action

Show, Don’t Tell: Why Infographics Matter in the Classroom


Educators of all kinds know that using visuals is one of the strongest learning aids they can use with students. No matter how old students are or what individual skills they have, visuals drive the point home and make ideas easier to remember. Infographics are perfect to help students visualize data and use it to tell a story. The process of making infographics helps students improve their research skills, find trustworthy sources of information, and meet tech literacy standards. Join us to learn all about infographics, data sources, and the best digital tools to make your own.


Joe Cipfl, Regional Education Technology Coordinator for the Learning Technology Center


Transforming Instruction with Digital Tools: An Online Course Series


Educators are transforming their classrooms with digital tools that are paramount for teaching 21st century skills. This course prepares educators to use online tools for collaboration, visual thinking, multimedia production, productivity and assessment at the higher levels of SAMR.

Participants will explore multiple tools in each category and the pedagogy of use in the classroom. The instructor will guide you through the process of selecting which ones best integrates technology into your learning environment in a transformative way.

This 7-week course opens October 21st and closes December 6th. You can take the online course on your own time during the specified week.


0 Introduction and Orientation

1 Technology Integration and SAMR Model

2 Collaboration Tools

3 Visual Thinking Tools

4 Creativity Tools

5 Productivity Tools

6 Assessment Tools

FLYER: Transforming Instruction with Digital Tools: An Online Course Series

Ignite Creativity in Your Classroom! Part 2

Event Description

Ignite creativity in your classroom by discovering new tools and strategies that will allow your students to demonstrate their learning in new and exciting ways! The afternoon will bring in a conversation on how students can create audio and video with the Chromebook. We know that some students are better able to learn when they express their learning in non-traditional ways. We will explore how teachers can have their students create podcasts using Soundtrap and leverage quick voice capturing with Vocaroo. The remainder of the afternoon will focus on how to create video with the Chromebook. Video consumption is something that all of our students engage in, and many of them aspire to become “YouTubers.” Why can’t we leverage this desire and teach our students video creation skills while engaging them in our class content?


Ben Sondgeroth, Regional Educational Technology Coordinator

Ignite Creativity in Your Classroom!

Event Description

Ignite creativity in your classroom by discovering new tools and strategies that will allow your students to demonstrate their learning in new and exciting ways! In this morning session, participants will start out by exploring how to create amazing interactive e-books using the Chrome app Book Creator. In creating these books, students can embed and publish all other media types they can create with their devices. The morning will also focus on various web apps and extensions available for students to create images and graphics through Chrome. Teachers will explore Adobe Spark Post, Google Drawings, and more!


Ben Sondgeroth, Regional Educational Technology Coordinator for the LTC

Multimedia Creation with the Chromebook- ROE 4

Event Description

Unlock the creative potential of the Chromebook and move beyond using the device for word processing, productivity, and organization. This session will explore the creative potential of the Chromebook to give your students the ability to craft amazing multimedia masterpieces! Participants will explore various apps, web tools and extensions available for students to create multimedia such as interactive images, video, and audio. In addition, learning strategies and thoughtful approaches to Chromebook creation will be woven throughout.


Ben Sondgeroth, Regional Educational Technology Coordinator for the LTC