Michael McGowan | Online Learning for Teachers pursuing Continuing Education and Professional Development | The Connecting Link


Michael McGowan

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Mike McGowan is currently a Technology Director and building administrator for Sunnybrook School District 171, a Pre-K to 8th grade district in Lansing, Illinois. He is also an executive board member for ICE (Illinois Computing Educators), the Illinois ISTE (International Society for Technology in Educators) affiliate. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of St. Francis, a degree in Education with a focus on Teaching Computers and Business from Lewis University and a master's degree from Concordia University in School Administration. 

Mike started his career right out of college teaching Computer Basics classes at Joliet Junior College. He has taught everything from Pre-K up through high school. For the past 13 years he has been a Technology Director and administrator, helping school districts integrate technology into daily operations and curriculum for his schools. Mike is a firm believer that technology can be a vital enhancement to the learning experience so long as it is intended to supplement instruction rather than supplant it. 

Mike is also an international speaker on a variety of educational technology topics. He has spoken on topics including the use of interactive white boards in the classroom, free educational technology resources, use of coding to engage and enhance learning, more recently the design and construction of Makerspaces/STEM labs and the use of virtual reality in the classroom. Mike has had the privilege to speak at conferences all across Illinois and in Maryland, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, as well as presenting in Canada and Germany. 

His true passion is making sure all students have access to available technology as they will likely have technology-related jobs. Engaging students to become proficient in computer-based skills now will better prepare them for those future careers. 

This course is designed to explore the essential elements needed for the acquisition of knowledge and competencies to promote 21st century learning skills. Participants in this course will learn about the need for collaboration, communication, and critical and creative thinking. The effective use of technology and media literacy will be investigated. This course prepares teachers by engaging them in thoughtful dialogue and activities that promote 21st century ideas and understanding of students’ diverse, digital, and global learning needs.
Participants in this course will learn and explore research-based strategies and frameworks that foster a classroom climate (in both virtual and in-person settings) that maximizes each student’s full learning potential. Strategies for creating a high-functioning learning community can promote skills that are critical for success both inside and outside of the classroom. The course will provide participants the strategies and techniques to design and foster environments, which are conducive to a safe place for teaching, learning, and connecting the community to the school. Participants’ classroom leadership abilities are developed as a result of engaging in this learning experience. Participants will learn ways to create a students-centered approach to classroom rules, norms, managing disruptive behavior through positive discipline, increase student responsibility/accountability, how social and emotional needs impact classroom management, and how grading/assessment practices can add to their classroom management culture. Self-assessment and reflection are built into the course activities, projects, and discussions so that participants can examine their growth in fostering a better student-teacher relationship that improves the classroom environment.
Course #: GMF22506
Dates: 10/24/22 - 11/20/22

Positive Classroom Management Instructional Strategies


Online Structured

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Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the use of virtual teaching mediums and for how to effectively blend them together with the traditional classroom. Participants will learn what a “flipped classroom” means, looks like, and what the benefits include. They will gain effective lesson planning skills to flip their classroom for a lesson, weekend, week, or more. Common pitfalls of the flipped classroom will be discussed, and resources on how to prepare students for the flipped classroom model will be examined and viewed. Techniques to motivate students and how to deal with unprepared students will be navigated through a variety of pathways. Participants will explore, examine and evaluate numerous platforms to flip their classrooms. A plethora of assessment strategies and models will be researched that use the flipped classroom. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to create and effectively implement a flipped classroom lesson for a variety of time periods and understand how to blend both methodologies together to create an optimal learning environment for all learners from K to 12.