December 2013/ January 2014

December/January Edition at a GlanceSnowman2

  1. This month’s Food for Thought asks the question, “How are you preparing students for the unknown?”
  2. Meet the DDL Curriculum Development team in this month’s Getting to Know feature.
  3. Article topics include the BCPS Lighthouse Schools, making keyboards easier to use, professional learning opportunities, and leadership for school library media specialists.

Inside BCPS

Remaining Lighthouse Schools Revealed!

Ten elementary schools will be leading the way and piloting the Instructional Digital Conversion (IDC) next school year.  Five schools were already identified, but the remaining five schools were selected by the IDC committee based on their interest, commitment, and an application process.  The ten lighthouse schools are:

  • Chase Elementary
  • Church Lane Elementary
  • Edmondson Heights Elementary
  • Fort Garrison Elementary
  • Halstead Elementary
  • Hawthorne Elementary
  • Joppa View Elementary
  • Lansdowne Elementary
  • Rodgers Forge Elementary
  • The new school being built in the Mays Chapel area

There will be a Lighthouse Schools Kickoff Celebration at noon on Tuesday, January 21, at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology.  Read more on the BCPS news page…

Other Highlights:

  • Middle River Middle School wins $10,000 award for “Hour of Code” initiative.
  • S.A.I.L. Partnership: Baltimore County Public Schools and the Baltimore County Public Library system kicked off a renewed partnership called “S.A.I.L”, Students Achieve in Libraries program.
  • Congratulations to Gunpowder Elementary School, Rogers Forge Elementary School, and Cockeysville Middle School with the highest percentages of Speak Up Survey participants.
  • Students to announce name, and unveil logo for the BCPS instructional digital conversion, Friday, January 10 @ 2 p.m.

Food for Thought

How are YOU preparing students for “goodness knows what?”  Please feel free to share your insights on the following article in the comment section at the bottom of this newsletter.

Sooner Than We Think · Will Richardson · December 4, 2013:

David Atkins: But a funny thing is going to happen when the machines start taking the jobs of doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers, managers and professors. We’re not quite there yet, but the day is coming very soon when many of what had traditionally been considered untouchable jobs will be done just as effectively or better by machines. Diagnostics and radiology will be handled by machine, with basic examination and nursing work the most common medical professions. Humans won’t be needed for legal services beyond the courtroom and mediation room itself, computer programs will pick investments better than any human, employee evaluation and workforce structuring will be better assessed by analytics than by any middle manager, and mass online education programs will render teachers and professors little more than test proctors and homework readers. None of which assumes the actual intelligent robotic AI of science fiction, which is a whole other story and is also likely coming sooner than we think. Some people see this as utopia, some as dystopia. But either way, it’s coming and coming soon.  Read More…

Getting to Know: Curriculum Development

Stefani Pautz

Coordinator, Curriculum Development


Nick Schiner

Digital Content Integration Resource Teacher

Tricia Stokes

Digital Content Integration Resource Teacher

Stefani2 Nick  Tricia2

  • BA, English/Secondary Education, Salisbury University
  • MA, English: Linguistics, Composition, and Rhetoric, Salisbury University
  • Currently pursuing Ed.D., Instructional Technology, Towson University
  • High school English and Yearbook teacher
  • Literacy Professional Development Coach
  • Lecturer (English/literacy methods and instructional technology courses), Salisbury University
  • Director, Eastern Shore Writing Project

Family: K9 kids Desdemona and Ziva

Hobbies: Running, baking, buying local

Interests: Understanding by Design and curriculum development, leadership and change research, social justice education

Unusual Fact: She keeps South American Cichlids (fish), and their names are Johnny, Cash, June, and Fulsom.

Recently Read Book: Managing Transitions by William Bridges

Favorite Tech Tool: “Google Hangout is my go-to tool for collaboration with colleagues and classmates. In addition to video chatting, you can screen share, collaborate on a shared document in your Google drive, and integrate with other apps like Symphonical.  You can also record the hangout and save it to a YouTube account for future reference or sharing.


  • BS, Elementary Education, Towson University
  • Currently enrolled at Johns Hopkins University
  • Teacher, grades 4 and 5, Woodbridge Elementary School
  • Elementary Technology Integration Teacher and Technology Liaison, Woodbridge Elementary School

Family: Wife, Genna, and dog, Sawyer

Hobbies: Video games and Netflix Marathons

Interests: Technology, sports

Unusual Fact: In high school, he took one month of professional wrestling lessons.

Recently Read and Favorite Books: Wonder by RJ Palacio, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Invent to Learn by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager

Favorite Tech Tool: “TubeChop allows users to edit a YouTube video to include only the portions you want or need. It helps to cut out unnecessary or inappropriate material and also removes ads!”


  • BS, Biology and Chemistry, Education, Central Michigan University
  • Currently enrolled at Johns Hopkins University
  • Secondary science teacher, Sollers Point Technical
  • Science Department Chair, eLearning Center

Family: Husband, Nick, and feline friends, Darwin and Gershwin

Hobbies: Fishing (especially largemouth bass!), camping, hiking, etc.

Interests: Farmer’s markets, buying local, ecology, community building, adult learning and blended professional development, curriculum development

Unusual Fact: She almost always jumps at the chance to try bizarre foods. Some she has tried include fried grasshoppers, live termites, and duck testicles.

Favorite Books: Stories that incorporate historical and science fiction, such as 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

Favorite Tech Tool: “I love the use of infographics to visually share information. is a free user-friendly tool for authoring infographics that can be shared and embedded.”

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Computer Access for All!  Part 1- Keyboards

EaseofAccessWhen working with students with physical challenges you may find that they struggle with access to the computer.  As we move to a digital curriculum with individual student devices this access becomes critical. When the challenge is significant the Assistive Technology Office should be contacted; but for other students the solution may be a few clicks away.  Microsoft Windows operating system has many features available to make the computer accessible for a variety of users. Most of these features can be found in the Ease of Access Center. You can reach this folder under the control panel or you can search for it under the start button.

KeyboardMake the keyboard easier to use: One of the most common challenges is access to the keyboard. In this folder you can adjust many things.

Make it Easier to Type options include:

  • Sticky Keys– When a user has difficulty striking one or more keys simultaneously (shift-letter) this features allows them to strike the keys in sequence. For example: the shift key can be pressed and remains engaged until the next key is pressed then the shift key is released automatically. This is particularly useful for students who have use of only one hand to type.
  • Filter Keys– When a user holds the key down too long or double hits a key there are settings that can help eliminate this problem.  You can set up specific parameters under each section. Because it is easy to set up and try each feature and adjust the settings it makes it easy to customize it for a particular individual.

The Teaching Channel

Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America’s schools. They have a rapidly growing community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each other.  Their video library offers educators a wide range of subjects for Grades K–12. The videos also include information on alignment with Common Core State Standards and ancillary material for teachers to use in their own classrooms.

In the Media

Professional Learning Opportunities

Leadership and School Library Media Specialists

DAILY INSIGHT: Six laws of tech adoption

SchoolCIO Blogs · Gary Shattuck · December 2, 2013:

The Law of Beliefs

“When it comes to technology, a teacher who believes in the teacher-centered classroom thinks of computers as a source of remediation, an electronic tutor providing programmed instruction. In essence, the student is learning “from the computer.” On the other hand, for a teacher who believes in the student-centered classroom, the computer becomes a cognitive tool with which the students construct their own knowledge. In this environment, the student is learning “with the computer.””  Read more…

Folks to Follow

Twitter pinterest_logo_red blogbutton
Disclaimer: Inclusion of these “folks to follow” is not a unilateral endorsement of a site, its content, or its authors. It just means they might generally be of interest to members of the Department of Digital Learning.

Upcoming Events:

(check the Online Registration System for registration information and availability)

  • January 14, 28, February 4, 11, 18: Using Interactive Whiteboard Technologies- Mimio, 4 – 7 p.m. @ Relay Elementary School
  • January 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12: Using Interactive Whiteboard Technologies- Mimio, 4 – 7 p.m. @ Essex Elementary School
  • January 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13: ActivInspire and the Interactive Whiteboard – Level 1, 4 – 7 p.m. @ Loch Raven Technical Academy Lab
  • January 21:
    • Professional Development for Library Media Specialists, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. @ Dundalk/Sollers High Schools Library
    • Lighthouse Schools Kickoff Celebration, 12 p.m. @ George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
  • January 28: Liaison Hangout, 3 – 5:30 p.m., Online
  • January 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26: ActivInspire and the Interactive Whiteboard – Level 1, 4 – 7 p.m. @ Southwest Academy Lab
  • February 3 – 7 (choose one day): School Web Site Management Training- SharpSchool, 8:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. @ Pulaski Park II Lab, 307
  • February 4 OR 5: Professional Development for Elementary Library Media Specialists, 8:30 – 11 a.m. OR 1 – 3:30 p.m. @ e-classroom, Pulaski
  • February 4 – 28: Online Teaching in Maryland, online with a mandatory face to face orientation to the course management system on February 4 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @ Pulaski Park II Lab, 307
  • February 5: Digital Learning Day
  • February 6:
    • Professional Development for High School Library Media Specialists, 8:30 – 11 a.m. @ Pulaski Park II e-classroom
    • Professional Development for Middle School Library Media Specialists, 12 – 2:3o p.m. @ Pulaski Park II e-classroom
  • February 11:
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 9 – 11 a.m. @ Pulaski Park II e-classroom
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @ Hillcrest Elementary School
  • February 12:
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 9 – 11 a.m. @ Pulaski Park II e-classroom
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @ Cromwell Valley Elementary School
    • Boardmaker Studio, 3 – 5 p.m. @ Kenwood Administrative Offices Lab
  • February 13:
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 9 – 11 a.m. @ Pulaski Park II e-classroom
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 1 – 3 p.m. @ Pulaski Park II e-classroom
  • February 18:
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 9 – 11 a.m. @ Pulaski Park II e-classroom
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @ Pulaski Park II e-classroom
    • Kurzweil 3000 Level 2, 3 – 5 p.m. @ Kenwood Administrative Offices Lab
  • February 20: Elementary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @ Joppa View Elementary School
  • February 28: Deadline for MSET Student and Teacher Contests


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