Wednesday Webinars

Wednesday Webinar Series

The ICE Professional Development Committee is pleased to present Wednesday Webinars for 2014-15, created exclusively for ICE members. These special webinars are an hour in length and are free to ICE members. Watch this page and follow us on Twitter (@ice_il) for announcements of future Wednesday Webinars for 2014-15.  

Also, don't miss the webinars that were offered during previous years. The archived versions of each session are located in the "members only" section of the ICE web site. When you enter your ICE login information in the upper right corner of the home page, a "Members" tab will be displayed at the top of the screen. Links to the archived webinar sessions are posted here.

2014-15 Webinars

Wednesday Webinar #7: "Free Ed Tech Resources to Enhance Your Current Practice"
May 27, 2015 - 7:00-8:00 pm -  Login as a member to view archived webinar!

Are you ready to add some new tools to your ed tech toolbox?  Join in on this Wednesday Webinar to discover several fun and engaging free tools to help enhance your practice.  We will discuss and explore several digital learning tools that can boost planning, instruction, student practice opportunities, and assessment procedures.  We will look into several websites spanning across curriculum areas and grade levels.

Anne Kasa has held many roles throughout her journey in the education field.  She spent several years as a classroomm teacher in primary, intermediate and middle school classrooms.  Then two years were spent enjoying life as a reading specialist and literacy coach in an elementary building implementing the literacy studio framework.  Currently, Anne has settled in as an instructional coach for two elementary schools in Troy CCSD 30c.  Feel free to follow Anne on Twitter @kasaan05.





Wednesday Webinar #6: "How to Impact Literacy in the Classroom with Storybird"
April 15, 2015 - 7:00-8:00 pm - Login as a member to view archived webinar

Looking for a unique way to engage and motivate students during your classroom literacy block? Storybird is a wonderful web tool where students can read and write original stories, share stories with others, and get authentic feedback from fellow classmates. During this Wednesday Webinar, we will explore how Storybird can be used during whole and small group reading and writing instruction, and during literacy stations/centers. Participants will also walk away with different ways to implement Storybird in the classroom for all subject areas. 

Megan Ryder started her educational career on figure skates, teaching basic skills to skaters of all ages while attending Western Michigan University. After teaching 5th grade for 7 years in Oswego Community School District 308, she joined Downers Grove District 58 where she is an instructional coach for two elementary schools and one middle school.  Megan completed her masters degree in Instructional Technology from Lewis University in 2012. Follow Megan on Twitter @MrsRyder58.


Wednesday Webinar #5: "Google Classroom"
March 18, 2015 - 7:00-8:00 pm - Login as a member to view archived webinar

Google Classroom is an engaging workflow that offers great opportunities for teachers and students to redefine their classroom experience. Let’s explore what Classroom has to offer while learning some creative classroom possibilities. While some basics will be covered, we will also see how far we can push this app to its limits.

Eric Hansen has served for several years as an Integrated Technology teacher and currently the District Technology Facilitator for Zion School District 6. Mr. Hansen has years of experience in educational technology training, conference presenting, and technology management. Being a Google Education Trainer, he has a strong background in Google for Education and has been a major contributor in transforming his district in their 1:1 Chromebook initiative. Eric’s goal is always to make learning meaningful, creative, and engaging for all learners. Follow Eric on Twitter @linktohansen





Wednesday Webinar #4: "The Maker Movement - It's Really a Mindset"

January 14, 2015 - 7:00-8:00 pm - Login as a member to view archived webinar!

Look around a lower grade or early childhood classroom. You will see a flurry of activity, students building, constructing, and experimenting with materials. This dynamic changes in middle and high school, as these once confident students begin with questions such as, “Why are we doing this?”, “Am I doing this right?”, and “Is this on the test?” which changes to the statement, “I am not good at this.  A new movement which is emerging, the Maker Movement, which now challenges students to become the learner they once were, willing to try and confident in their ability to learn. It is: School Projects + Technology = Maker 2.0
This webinar will focus not on only on tools, but ways you can easily incorporate making (and many are already doing so) into their classrooms and curriculum using low cost, no technology solutions.  We will also preview the Maker Playground at the upcoming ICE Conference.

Vinnie Vrotny is the Director of Technology at The Kinkaid School, a pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade school in Houston, TX. Prior to that, he was the Director of Academic Technology at the North Shore Country Day School and Quest Academy for 21 years. Recently, Vinnie has immersed himself in the Maker Movement. At Quest, he transformed a Computer Lab into a Maker Space and designed a passion-based middle school curriculum which included elements of computer science, design, and engineering that utilized the principles of design thinking. He is currently working on designing an elementary and a middle school Maker Space at The Kinkaid School. At the upcoming ISTE Conference in Philadelphia, he is once again designing a Maker Playground for attendees at the conference. In July 2013, Vinnie was named one of the 25 National Association of Independent School’s (NAIS) 2013-14 Teachers of the Future






Wednesday Webinar #3: "Coding in the Curriculum"
December 3, 2014 - 7:00-8:00 pm -
Login as a member to view archived webinar!

Coding in the Curriculum - Coding is a hot-button topic in today’s world of education. Integrating coding into the curriculum is an important part of preparing students for jobs that don’t exist yet. Understanding the process of teaching such a task can be rather daunting. Figuring out where it fits within the already-defined curriculum is another challenge in and of itself. In this session, participants will learn about the ways in which coding integrates within the ELA and Math Common Core State Standards. Participants will get hands-on experience with a few different coding platforms. Through this session, participants will be invited into the “Coding Connect” community, created by Google Certified Teachers, with a mission to connect coders with educators. 

Tara Linney is a connected educator, currently working as an Instructional Technology Coach for a K-8 district in Crest Hill, IL. She is also a Google Qualified Educator, and recently became a Google Certified Teacher.  Tara has worked in education for 4 years, holds an M.S. degree in Instruction from Drexel University and is certified as an Instructional Technology Specialist. Her current passion project is getting Coding to be a regular part of the K-12 curriculum, as it provides huge, positive implications for the future, as well providing students with an avenue that allows them to safely iterate.



Wednesday Webinar #2: "The Power of Twitter"

October 22, 2014 - 7:00-8:00 pm - Login as member to view archived webinar!

The Power of Twitter! Can elementary students really tweet? This webinar will help you get started on how to use twitter in your classrooms to connect with an authentic audience. Not sure how to get started? Who to follow? What is important to teach the students? We will cover these topics and more. We will also discuss the benefits of having twitter in your professional life and why it has been described as the best free PD around.

Ashley Merced, a Chicago area native, is currently teaching at a private school in the city. IN her tenth year of teaching, Ashley holds a master's degree om reading/special education from DePaul University.  Ashley has always been interested in technology.  Tweeting with teachers, authors, classrooms and beyond has changed her teaching dramatically and gives her students and authentic audience for their learning. You can find her on Twitter @amerced and her classroom @2ndgradetweets. 

Kimberly McDermid, has been an elementary school teacher for over ten years and has a master's degree in Literacy Education.  Earlier in her career, Kim worked for the New York City Board of Education, where she received a grant to make a movie with her students using iMovie HD.   She now teaches in a private school in Chicago and enjoys participating in Twitter chats and loved attending nErDcamp in Michigan this summer.  You can find her on Twitter @goldenteach.

Kim and Ashley have presented together at various ICE Chapter events and they are excited to share their passion with you! 




Wednesday Webinar #1: "Come Join a Community and Hangout with Google+"

September 24, 2014
5:30-6:30 pm - Login as member to view archived webinar!

Google+ is more than just a social network developed to rival Facebook.  Embedded in the application are many tools that are both powerful and useful to educators.  Come explore some of the possible uses of Google+ including Events, Hangouts, and Communities.  We'll review some of the basic functions of Google+ as well as how to find, start and develop your own Communities.  This promises to be an Auto Awesome experience!

David Chan is the Director of Instructional Technology at Evanston Township High School.  He served as the District's Technology Integration Specialist for five years and has over ten years of classroom teaching experience.  Mr. Chan has led the District's mobile device initiatives, which include the deployment of over 1,500 Google Chromebooks on mobile device carts as well as part of a 1:1 digital learning initiarive for incoming freshmen.  David has presented at numerous conferences on a wide variety of topics featuring Google Apps for Education.  He has been a member of ICE for over five years, and is currently Co-Chair of the NICE MiniCon and a member of the ICE 2015 Conference Committee.. Follow David on Twitter @chanatown




2013-14 Webinars

Wednesday Webinar #6: "Innovative Ways to use Thinglink in Your Classroom"
May 21, 2014
5:30-6:30 pm - Login as member to view archived webinar!

ThingLink is an amazing digital tool (and mobile App) that allows teachers and students the ability to turn any image into an interactive graphic. You can create multiple “hot spots” on an image which can link to videos, assessments, a link to any website and so much more!  Students can easily build electronic portfolios to show their work!  You can embed an interactive ThingLink graphic into any blog, website of LMS such as Edmodo or Schoology.  ThingLink is an amazing tool!

Sue Gorman is an enthusiastic educator and life long learner.  She teaches at the Institute of Professional Educator Development at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and is an Innovative Learning Consultant.   She is passionate about student empowered learning through creativity and innovation.  She is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Apple Certified Trainer and a Google Certified Teacher.  She works with teachers and students to ensure they are critical thinkers, effective communicators and global collaborators.  Sue works with educators to build professional learning networks to share ideas, to inspire, and to be inspired.   You will find Sue on social networks, especially on twitter @sjgorman 






Wednesday Webinar #5: "How to Infuse Technology into Genius Hour"
April 9, 2014
5:30-6:30 pm - Login as member to view archived webinar!

Genius Hour is a time for students to research their own topics of interest, make creations, and help others. Also called Passion Time or 20% Time, students learn to make decisions, formulate guiding questions, set goals, prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and reflect on a process during this class time. Not only do they use technology to research their topic, but they use Trello to set and monitor progress towards goals, video to explain their learning for others, and Weebly to share their learning around the world! Come learn what Genius Hour is all about and walk away with ideas for implementing or advancing it in your classroom!

Paul Solarz has taught fifth grade in Arlington Heights, Illinois, since 1999.  He believes that technology can be used to promote real world skills like collatoration, problem solving and reflection.  His students are fortunate enough to have access to MacBooks and iPads throughout their day, which they use to maintain personal ePortfolios of their work.  Paul blogs often on and is on Twitter @PaulSolarz.






Wednesday Webinar #4: "Teaching Above the Line: Using the SAMR Model for Tech Integration"
January 22, 2014
5:30-6:30 pm - Login as member to view archived webinar!

Are you looking for ways to leverage the power of technology to maximize student learning? Researchers have determined that technology integration typically moves through four specific levels: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition (SAMR). The higher the level of an activity the greater the educational benefit. 

This webinar will show how to use the SAMR model of technology integration as a guide for planning and implementing classroom learning experiences that take student learning to higher levels. Join Susan Oxnevad as she looks at some traditional learning tasks, aligns them to the Common Core Standards, and walks them up the line to show how to transform your teaching and "Teach Above the Line."

Susan Oxnevad is an instructional technology facilitator, edtech consultant, blogger and webinar host who is passionate about discovering and sharing innovative ways to use tech as an efficient and effective tool for learning. Susan enjoys blogging about ideas for efficient and effective tech integration. She maintains her own blog, Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners and is a Smart Teacher blogger at Susan as been a presenter at the ICE Conference for the past 13 years and is looking forward to facilitating two hands on sessions again this year.. Follow her on Twitter @soxnevad





Wednesday Webinar #3: "Introducing Students to Programming and Logic Skills"
December 11, 2013
5:30-6:30 pm - Login as member to view archived webinar!


Have you ever wanted to introduce students to computer programming and logic skills, but didn’t know where to start? Learn how a summer game design class was created and implemented for students grades 3 through 8. We will explore how students can problem solve and work together while using iPad apps such as Hopscotch, Move the Turtle, and Cargo Bot.  We will also discuss how students learned Scratch and Tynker through sandbox time and a student coding challenge.


Megan Ryder started her educational career on figure skates, teaching basic skills to skaters of all ages while attending Western Michigan University. After teaching 5th grade for 7 years in Oswego Community School District 308, she joined Downers Grove District 58 where she is an instructional coach.  Megan completed her masters degree in Instructional Technology from Lewis University in 2012. Follow Megan on Twitter @MrsRyder58. 




Wednesday Webinar #2: "Be a Triple Threat in Tech: Art, Music, and Media"
November 20, 2013
6:30-7:30 pm - Login as member to view archived webinar!

Triple threat gridiron football is referring to a player who excels at all three of the skills of running, passing, and kicking. In theater, it is someone who can sing, dance, and act equally the same. In technology is it the ability to excel in creating your own artwork, composing your own music, then producing your own movies.  Join Carol Broos to learn how you can be a "triple threat in tech" using easy (and mostly free) Web 2.0 tools and iPad apps.

Carol Broos is the Technology Coordinator for the Golden Apple Foundation. She is a 2008 Fellow and Chair of the Academy of Fellows. Carol worked for thirty-three years as a K-8 general music teacher at Sunset Ridge School in Northfield and Aptakisic-Tripp School in Buffalo Grove. Her passion is integrating the arts with technology and sharing with others online. Her twitter handle as @musictechie.  She is the moderator for the bi-month podcast aRTs Roundtable on Carol Broos is the 2008 Illinois Music Teacher of the Year, 2008 Google Teacher Academy Educator, and a 2009 Apple Distinguished Educator.  Her blog,, she discusses music and technology. Her 21st century presentation materials, music curriculum, and videos are found at






Wednesday Webinar #1: "Being a Connected Educator "
October 9, 2013
5:30-6:30 PM - Login as member to view archived webinar!
October is Connected Educator Month, and the Internet is filled with learning opportunities for educators who want to become more connected. Do you want to transform your teaching? Learn from teachers all over the world? Make connections for your students with experts, other students or to transform your classroom to meet the needs of your iGeneration students?  Join Jen Smith, a Middle School Creative Innovative Specialist in Arlington Heights, as she shares tips and tricks about becoming a Connected Educator.  See how to grow your Personal Learning Network and tap into all the resources available to teachers.  

Webinar registration is always FREE to current ICE members, but as part of our participation in Connected Educator Month, our October event is free for ALL educators!  ICE members are encouraged to "Bring a Friend" to the webinar.  Let's CONNECT as many educators as possible! 

Although there is no charge, we ask everyone to register so we will know who will be joining us.  So, ICE members, friends of ICE and ALL educators, register online now to join us for this special learning opportunity from ICE!

Jennifer Smith originates from Montreal, Canada, and has lived in Illinois for 14 years.  Jennifer Smith has been teaching for 11 years in both elementary and middle school districts.  She has been a French teacher, a first and second grade teacher and is now a middle school Creative Innovation Specialist in Arlington Heights School District 25. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from McGill University and a Master’s Degree in Technology in Education from National Louis University.


2012-13 Webinars

Wednesday Webinar #7: "Digital Citizenship:Teaching Tools and Strategies "
April 24, 2013
5:30-6:30 PM - Login as member to view archived webinar!


This session will focus on understanding how the Chrome browser can increase your productivity and improve your web experience. Focus will be on both the native Chrome experience as well as apps and extensions that can improve how you interact with the web. We will focus on personalizing your browser experience, syncing to your smartphone/tablet, and exploring the power of the omnibox.


Jason Markey has been a leader in the infusion of technology in studnt learning at the classroom level as a teacher and continues to push technology initiatives in his role as an instructional leader.  Jason was named the principal of East Leyden High School in 2012-13 after previously serving the district both as an assistant principal and as a social studies teacher.  Jason has recently helped lead a district initiative to move the Leyden School District to 1:1, with every student issued a Google Chromebook.  This year Jason became a Google Certified Teacher.  Jason believes strongly in the power of the web as a social connector and continiously looks for opportunities to learn from and collaborate with others.


Wednesday Webinar #5: "45 in 60: Fill Your Technology Toolbox!"
March 27, 2013
5:30-6:30 PM - Login as member to view archived webinar!

Over the course of 60 minutes, participants will get a look at 45 useful websites to use in the classroom with students. Sites include test prep, organization tools, and more. Some of these sites may be familiar to you, while others will open your eyes to cool new things that you can bring back to you classroom tomorrow.  It’s always a good idea to have a toolbox of go-to sites, and this will get you started in filling that toolbox or adding to your current toolbox even more! 

Mike McGowan the former Supervisor of Technology for Lincoln Elementary School District 156 in Calumet City, is now an Education Solution Specialist for SMART Technologies.  He has been in Education Technology for ten years.  Mike has taught grades Pre-K - 12 and also teaches Education Technology classes for the University o St. Francis.  He has presented across Illinois, in a number of other states and internationally on topics ranging from the use of SMART products, GPS use in the classroom, technology evaluation, free web resources and more.  Mike runs two websites, and  You can follow him on Twitter @MikesTechCloset.  


Wednesday Webinar #4: "Power Searching with Google and MOOCs"
January 23, 2013
5:30-6:30 PM - Login as member to view archived webinar!


Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are an educational trend gaining traction as a way for large groups of independent learners to take classes online. Recently, Google hosted a MOOC to teach about how to maximize the use of its search engine, complete with videos, examples, and practice activities. The session will cover an overview of MOOCs, give attendees a look at some of the Google search techniques participants will learn in the course, and discuss the future of open online courses. 



Joe Tita is the instructional technology manager at Lake Park High School.  He also taught English for seven years. He earned his master's degree in instructional technology from Concordia University and holds a bachelor's degree in English Education from Boston University.  In addition to teaching and working with technology, he is an assistant speech team coach and heads the literary magazine at his school.  In his free time, he enjoys learning to code, participating in a variety of educational chats on Twitter, riding his bike, and hanging out with his Boston terrier.  He can be contacted at or @JoeTweets on Twitter. 

Wednesday Webinar #3: "Education Bloggers Unite!"
December 5, 2012
5:30-6:30 PM - Login as member to view archived webinar!

Learn how a first grade teacher leveraged the power of blogging to bring together collaborators from across the country to showcase technology integration in their classrooms.  Learn what the blogging buzz is all about. Join us on December 5th for blogging bits from Karla Kueber as she shares her tips and tricks on navigating through the blogging world!



Karla Kueber is a first grade teacher at Palos West School, she has been teaching first grade for eleven years.  Karla has a passion for teaching and integrating technology into the classroom.  Karla loves learning new ideas and enjoys spending time collaborating with her fellow educators.  Karla has presented at several area tech conferences, is actively involved in blogging and managing a collaborative technology blog.



Wednesday Webinar #2: "Using the iPad to Assess, Document and Reflect on Student Learning"
November 7, 2012
5:30-6:30 PM - Login as member to view archived webinar!

Join Carolyn Skibba and Michelle Nash on Wednesday, November 7, from 5:30 - 6:30 pm for the next ICE Wednesday Webinar!  Technology can offer us a window into student learning in ways that were never before possible.  From embedded, just-in-time information about student understanding to rich multimedia reflections or projects, there are numerous ways in which the iPad can reveal key assessment information.  In addition, students can use the iPad to document and reflect on their own learning journey in varied, engaging ways.  The presenters will share assessment strategies that have been successful in first and fifth grade classrooms and can easily be adapted to other grades.  These strategies feature free and paid apps, as well as online tools such as Google Forms, Edmodo and Kidblog.  Registration is FREE to current ICE members.

Since 1999, Carolyn Skibba has served as the technology coordinator at Burley School, a public elementary school in Chicago's Lakeview community.  At Burley, she has taught technology classes for grades 1-8, developed technology curricula and integration strategies, led professional development for the school and district, and implemented a 1:1 laptop program.  She currently supports the school's iPad initiative in grades 1-6 and presents frequently on iPad curricular integration and program implementation  Before joining Burley, she was a third grade teacher, and Upward Bound instructor, and received her master's degree in Technology in Education.  She is an Apple Distinguished Educator and a recipient of the 2012 Chicago Public School's "Ones to Watch" award.  Learn more about Carolyn and Burley's iPad program at, or by following Carolyn on Twitter, @skibtech.

Michelle Nash has been a Chicago public school educator for ten years.  For the past two years at Burley School, she has taught a 5th grade one-to-one iPad classroom in which each student has a dedicated device to use throughout the day.  She has assisted in the development of best practices in classroom iPad use and integration strategies for the school and district implemented these in her classroom, and shared her practice as a demonstration classroom for national and international audiences.  Before joining Burley, she was a city-wide coach of classroom instruction and received her master's degree in Teacher Leadership.  She is a National Board certified teacher in the Middle Childhood Generalsit area.


Wednesday Webinar #1: "Flipping 101: A High School Teacher's Perspective"
October 10, 2012
5:30-6:30 PM Login as member to view archived webinar!

Our first Wednesday Webinar for 2012-13 will help you turn your student's world around by "Flipping" how content is delivered and how you use class time.  Join Matt Ragusa as he shares his experience implementing a flipped classroom model.  Regstration will open this week for this special online learning event to be held on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.   ICE webinars are FREE to all current ICE members.

Matt Ragusa is originally from Naperville, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a minor in Secondary Education in 2009.  Since then, Ragusa has been teaching science at Neuqua Valley Highschool in Naperville Illiois.Besides teaching science, Matt also coaches cross-country, track and field, and co-sponsors a new STEM club.  At Neuqua Valley he has been an early adopter of technology in his classroom, inclujding student response systems, assessment systems, web-page design and the flipped classroom model.



The webinars will be offered in cooperation with National-Louis University.  ICE is grateful for the help and support that National-Louis University has provided for the Wednesday Webinar series.


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