Connect Modules: Where I started

by Lisa Stein

Lisa Stein from Atlantic Cape Community College shares her story about getting started with CONNECT Modules and invites you to share your examples and questions. Links to CONNECT Module instructor support materials are provide as well.

I recently attended the NAEYC Professional Development Institute and went to a workshop presented by faculty and CONNECT staff on CONNECT Modules.  I was listening to all of the wonderful comments on how to use the modules and thought about how I started using the modules.   There have been many lessons that I have learned about using the modules.

To begin with, the modules have a wealth of valuable information and it may be easy to feel overwhelmed if you are a new user.  The question becomes how do you sort through all of the modules and embed them into your existing coursework or practica?   I learned that it is important to go slow and start small.  Take it one module at a time and be sure to review the videos, and activities.  I also feel that working on one new module per semester has worked well for me.    Remember you do not have to use all of the resources in each module.  Be selective and feel free to mix and match the activities and resources.

The Connect team is extremely responsive to questions and concerns. I have been assisted with technology issues as well as how to use the 5-Step Learning Cycle. Connect Modules have helped my students expand their knowledge on a variety of topics.  The time you will put in to researching the modules will be worth it.  The Connect team is aware that there is a lot of information and do not expect you to use all of it. It is there to fit into your curriculum. They do however strongly encourage that you use the resources according to the 5-Step Learning Cycle.

I would love to hear from other instructors on how you started using the Connect Modules.  I also invite instructors to ask specific questions on how to get started.

About the Author: Lisa Stein is an Associate Professor, Atlantic Cape Community College

Community Questions

  • If you have used CONNECT Modules: How did you first start using them? What tips do you have to share with new users?
  • If you would like to begin using CONNECT Modules: Do you have any questions on how to get started?


Using Module 6: Dialogic Reading Practices

I learned about the CONNECT Modules from Lisa Stein, when she first showcased them to a small group of 2 year ECE faculty at a state meeting, in spring 2011. I remembered being WOWed by the layout, the richness of content and relevance of topics. Clearly the creators of modules had put in a lot of thought and effort.
In Fall 2011, I used sections of module 6 in my early literacy and language development course. One of the important student learning objectives in this course is to learn how to select a developmentally appropriate book and conduct an effective read aloud with children. A challenging aspect of this student task, has been to get them to learn how to brainstorm and use a good mix of appropriate questions to engage children before, during and after the read aloud. I used the The C-R-O-W-D Prompt planner in this CONNECT module to address this issue. The C-R-O-W-D prompts helped the students think and plan appropriate questions to engage the children and help in comprehending the book. The before, during and after reading videos helped the students to learn how to effective use the planned questions. Students' read aloud activity, as seen on their video clips were more effectively done and their self reflections revealed a more meaningful understanding of the read-aloud process, after having used these resources. I took Lisa's advise and started small, and that helped me. I do plan to add the book selection handout as a class activity, next time I teach this class.

Module 4

I am preparing to use module 4 in my class today. This is one of my favorite activities. I have seen a lot of learning associated with this module. I start with a cultural reframing exercise that Pam shared with me. We then view the video on the family and teacher's point of view. The students start to rethink the way they view parents and their challenges. Going through the 5 steps is a effective way to help students question some of their own biasses.

New academic year

Hello Again,
Hope everyone enjoyed your summer. As you plan for the new semester, please share your experiences. How did you narrow down the material you are using in your classroom? I will be sharing my experiences during the semester.