October 2013

Inside BCPS

New “BCPS One” system approved by Board of Education:

Comprehensive online data repository to be “one-stop” site for users

TOWSON, MD. – The Board of Education of Baltimore County on Tuesday, September 24, approved plans for construction of a new, web-based information portal designed to provide a centralized location for student and system instructional information.

Once operational, the new system will be known as “BCPS One.”

“Our goal is to provide one, easy to use but secure location for accessing everything from classroom assessments to student grades,” said BCPS Superintendent S. Dallas Dance. “Not only will this be a beneficial tool for parents and students, it will also help teachers and administrators create and deliver more personalized instruction based on an individual student’s learning needs.

“We’re calling it ‘BCPS One’ to emphasize our goal of creating a single, unified place for parents, teachers, and students to access and use data and resources to support student learning.”

To build and deploy “BCPS One,” the Board of Education approved contracts with Engrade, Inc., of Santa Monica, Calif., and Custom Computer Specialists of Hauppauge, N.Y.

Read the complete news release here.

Digital Conversion for Personalized Learning Grant:

The BCPS’ grant from the Maryland Digital Learning Innovation Fund is to develop and implement a Common Core State Standards (CCSS)-aligned 1:1 personalized- and blended- learning environment for K–2 students in English language Arts (ELA).

Students will have 24/7 access to relevant, high-quality learning experiences through innovative teaching practices designed to respond to the individual needs of all students.

Specifically, the Maryland Digital Learning Innovation Fund grant will be used to:

  • Manage the new digital curriculum through Safari Montage’s Digital Curriculum Presenter to provide every K–2 student with personalized ELA pathways to achievement.
  • Prepare teachers and administrators using the BCPS’ Teaching and Learning Framework to create and sustain learning environments centered on student needs and interests.
  • Provide pilot students with mobile devices to ensure equitable access to digital curriculum resources and learning experiences.

This K–2 ELA program will be piloted in Edmondson Heights, Lansdowne, and Powhatan Elementary Schools before scaling to the rest of the district.


Getting to Know: Ryan Imbriale

Executive Director, Department of Digital Learning, BCPS

Ryan has a fabulous wife, Jeanne, and four amazing daughters (Olivia 13, Molly 12, Hayden 5, and Harper 2).  He enjoys golf (when he can get away), and snow skiing.  In a past life, Ryan was the man behind Chuck-e-cheese!

Ryan’s favorite technology tool is Twitter because “it’s the ideal organic PLC. Whatever you are interested in learning more about, you can. It’s also helpful that that everyone must keep it short and simple!”

Favorite Books:

  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
  • Teacher as Architect – Shawn Smith, Ann Chavez, and Garrett Seaman


  • Principal, Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts
  • Assistant principal, Perry Hall High School
  • Middle school teacher, PGCPS
  • eLearning specialist, BCPS
  • Facilitator, MD Students Online Consortium
  • Program coordinator for professional development, Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education
  • Former president, Maryland Society for Educational Technology
  • Former member of Board of Directors, International Society for Technology in Education
  • Member, Alliance for Excellent Education’s Technology and Digital Learning Advisory Council

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Five-Minute Fillers

Do you occasionally find yourself with “just a little” extra time at the end of class? Or are you just looking for a few great activities to spark student interest? The Web sites below offer great resources for jump-starting students’ brains!

  1. Sharpen students’ math skills with Games and Activities from the National Center for Educational Statistics. (10/7: Currently unavailable because of the partial government shutdown.)
  2. Daily Wordle– This Pinterest board from Jennifer Wagner features of few of her famous “Guess the Wordle” puzzles. Have your students use the words in the word cloud as clues to discover what the topic is. Or… use Wordle to make your own!
  3. Every Photo Tells a Story– Use the images on this blog site as a creative writing prompt.

In the Media

Extend your Knowledge

The terms “engage,” “enhance,” and “extend” are often used interchangeably when we talk about integrating technology into our lessons.  But what do each of them really mean?  And what does it look like in the classroom?  The article Engage Enhance and Extend Learning from ISTE’s Learning and Leading with Technology answers those questions.  Learning & Leading with Technology, vol. 40, no. 7 © 2013, ISTE ® (International Society for Technology in Education), www.iste.org. All rights reserved.

Connected Educator Month

October is Connected Educator Month, but what does that mean?  It means there are events and activities all month dedicated to “increasing awareness of the importance of educators to get connected.”  This blog post by Stephen Anderson has great resources for getting started being a connected educator.  In addition, this video summarizes the importance of being connected.

Upcoming Events:

  • Tuesday, November 5, 3:00-5:30 p.m. Online- Liaison Hangout
  • Wednesday, November 6, 9:00-11:00 a.m. @ Pulaski Park Suite 307 eClassroom1
  • Wednesday, November 6, 4:30-6:30 p.m. @ Pulaski Park Suite 307 Computer Lab
  • Thursday, November 7, 9:00-11:00 a.m. @ Pulaski Park Suite 307 Computer Lab
  • Thursday, November 7, 4:30-6:30 p.m. @ Fort Garrison Elementary Computer Lab
  • Saturday, November 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Edcamp Baltimore 2013– “Be more by taking charge of your own professional development and learning. Edcamps are made by educators for educators. Join us for a day of learning, networking, and fun as you take a day to . . .be more!”


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