May/ June 2014

May/ June Edition at a GlanceOcean

  1. Students share their year-long learning at the Independent Research Symposium
  2. Summer Reading 2014
  3. Food for Thought: Assess Yourself!
  4. Getting to Know Pulaski’s support staff
  5. Walk through the new DDL Resource Wiki
  6. Alternatives to popular tools
  7. EdTech Adoption Trends
  8. The battle for books on Amazon

Inside BCPS

Heading to ISTE14 in Atlanta?

If you are planning on attending the ISTE conference in Atlanta this year, consider joining our “TeamBCPS @ISTE14” Edmodo group.  Once you have set up your Edmodo account, use the URL https://edmo.do/j/cx8jgc to request access before June 29.  This group site can act as a place for people to communicate, share insights, and gather resources from presentations.  The first post is already in place with tips on preparing for ISTE.

BCPS Student Independent Research Symposium

The second annual BCPS Student Independent Research Symposium showcased the results of independent research conducted by students at six BCPS high schools. At this public event at Dundalk High School on May 21, 2014, students shared their research projects either by presentation or poster session.

Seventeen students from Dundalk, Loch Raven, Parkville, Perry Hall, Pikesville and Randallstown high schools applied to participate in the BCPS Independent Research Seminar elective course and were selected based on applications, interviews and their commitment to following an advanced research process to conduct in-depth original research. Student researchers worked independently under the guidance of their library media specialists, faculty advisers and expert mentors to generate a research question, conduct a literature review, engage in discipline-specific research and synthesize their findings to create a presentation for an audience. Research topics covered a variety of subject areas and are based on the students’ own areas of interest. The Research Framework used by student researchers and their faculty advisers can be viewed at http://www.bcps.org/offices/lis/researchcourse

Summer Reading 2014

summerreadIn partnership with the Baltimore County Public Library, BCPS is encouraging all students to read and learn over the summer. School library media specialists at each school are introducing students to the BCPL Summer Reading Clubs for elementary, middle and high school students. Students may have an opportunity to register for BCPL Summer Reading Clubs online at their school library. A Summer Reading Kickoff event at the BCPL Woodlawn branch on June 4th features the BCPL mascot “Sneaks,” County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, and BCPS Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance along with students from Edmondson Heights Elementary school, celebrating the launch of the BCPL Summer Reading Clubs, whose 2014 theme is “Fizz, Boom, Read!” with a focus on science.

All students will have an opportunity to check out books from their school libraries for the entire summer. In addition, some school libraries plan to be open for students on selected dates over the summer for book exchange and other reading and learning activities. A listing of school libraries with summer hours will be published in a BCPS news release and on our Summer Reading web portal.

BCPS students have will also have summer access to eBooks and other digital content. Library media specialists are providing students with the remote passwords for our BCPS-licensed databases so that they can access articles, videos, and other digital content during the summer. Students will also have access to their schools’ Destiny online library catalogs, where they can read a variety of eBooks included their own school library collections. Students will be able to log in to their schools’ Destiny catalogs using their current BCPS usernames and internal passwords through August 1st.

The Department of Digital Learning has published a Summer Reading web portal for BCPS students, families, and staff. This portal provides links to a variety of summer reading resources, including the BCPS Digital Content Portal , school Destiny catalogs, and BCPL Summer Reading Club registration, program guidelines, and branch locations.

Other Highlights:


Food for Thought: Assess Yourself!

Are you teaching your students to become expert researchers?  What mistakes are you making when integrating technology into your classroom?  This month’s Food for Thought features two blog posts that assess what we are currently doing in our classrooms.  “Chew” on this over the summer break.

An Enormous Red Flag – this is not fair to kids

Learn On · · May 31, 2014:

“I have been extremely critical of education.  As our nation, technology, jobs, and communities continue to evolve at lightning speed, our education system has not been keeping up.  It has been stagnant.  The system of education, which has been around for over 100 years, continues to value and emphasize the same things it did back then.  Public schooling was especially important during the Industrial Age when the goal was to convert students into obedient factory workers that could help in the work force.  Obedience was the key.  Kids sitting in rows.  Raising their hands to ask questions.  Listening to lectures while taking notes.  Etc….

Today, however, we are doing the same thing.  This is absurd.  On most final exams that I have seen, students are forced to memorize a plethora of information that they must regurgitate for a multiple choice test.  The majority of (if not all) questions on the tests are the lowest type of questions (the bottom rung of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge).  The craziest part is that students are not allowed to use any resources.  Close the book, turn off the technology, and recite this information from memory.  This may have been an extremely important skill before books were invented, and a fairly important skill after books were invented, but today we have the internet.  There is no reason for students to memorize 98% of the content which they are forced to memorize.  As Seth Godin said, ‘If something is worth memorizing, it is worth looking up'”   Read More…

6 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Technology Integration

Getting Smart · · May 29, 2014:

“When integrating technology into the classroom, it is easy to believe that all that is required is WiFi access and a Symbaloo page full of websites and digital tools. But while such an infrastructure may be advantageous to integration efforts, there are mistakes that many of us might still be making when using personal computing devices and Web-based content with our students. In an era where ignorance can mean legally binding repercussions, understanding how to effectively use 21st century tools in the classroom is tantamount to effective classroom management or content area best practices.”  Read More…

 


Getting to Know: Pulaski DDL Support Staff

Cathy Presley

Library Media Clerk

Donna Gruzs

Library Media Clerk

Carla Weber

Library Media Assistant

Nadine Noon

DDL Admin Secretary

Donna and Cathy carla2 Nadine
Family: Husband Dave, son Jake, daughter Jessica, Hoss (Bullmastiff), and Milly (Chiweenie)Hobbies & Interests: Spending time on a boat with family and friends

Unusual Fact: Born in England

Favorite Book: Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon

Favorite Tech Tool: “Waze app for my phone so I don’t get lost.”

Family: K9 kids Abby (Puggle) and Sadie (Cairn Terrier)Hobbies & Interests: Camping, gardening and spending time with her family

Unusual Fact: Has lived in the same house her whole life

Favorite BookHow the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Favorite Tech Tool: “Facebook so that I can keep in touch with family and friends that I don’t get to see all the time.”

Family: A son who teaches at Towson High School, a daughter who is a paraprofessional at Sandy Plains Elementary, and two grandsons Billy (6) and Andrew (3) who are the loves of her lifeHobbies & Interests: Reading

Unusual Fact: Has an an identical twin sister

Currently ReadingNY Red 2 by James Patterson

Favorite Tech Tool: “My Kindle! I thought holding a book was the only way to read, but boy was I wrong.”

Family: Husband, Skip, and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers, Kyra and Zoe (pictured above)Hobbies & Interests: Reading and gardening.

Currently Reading: Inferno by Dan Brown

Favorite Tech Tool: “Excel because you can do anything in Excel.”


Tips, Tricks, and Tools

New DDL Resource Wiki Walk Through

When the former Offices of Instructional Technology and Library Information Services first joined forces at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, it quickly became apparent that these two powerhouses of technology integration needed to consolidate their digital resources.  Resource teachers Kelly Ray and Jennifer Weaver put their heads together and hatched a plan to reinvent the internet, intranet, wiki, and other web pages that the two offices had been using for years.  Many people contributed to the result, which was unofficially launched in April and can be found at bcpsddl.pbworks.com.

Built as a one-stop-shop for information and technology resources, and still undergoing construction, this public wiki site already houses essential information on digital content, copyright, digital citizenship resources, and web-based tools for student and teacher use.  As it continues to evolve, several core features will keep the site useful and easy to navigate.

WikiTOC

First, the main page has an easy to understand visual table of contents with descriptions of what can be found in each section of the wiki.  The wiki is divided into sections based on the context in which a visitor comes to look.  For example, if a visitor is looking for resources to match technology with specific lesson activities, then they can click on the section called “instructional activities.”  If someone is looking for articles or multimedia for student instruction, then they can browse the section called “digital content.”

HeadingsSecond, every tool that is mentioned has its own resource page that describes the tool, provides tutorials, and gives instructional context.  The resource pages for BCPS digital databases include information on standards alignment and finding lexile levels.  Pages for web-based tools will continue to be developed to include ways to address Universal Design for Learning and the SAMR model.

TagsLastly, the tools are categorized using a tagging system that is essential to the organization of the site.  Each tool has one or more assigned keywords that describe a function it performs.  Visitors to the site can view and click on the tags in order to find resources that match that particular function.  By using this filtering option, teachers will be able to choose from a variety of tools with similar functions in order to find one that best meets the needs of their students.

The wiki is still being added to and polished, but is already useful in its present state.  Visitors are free to email bcpsddl@gmail.com if they have any suggestions or additional resources that could be included.

Alternatives to Popular Tools

There’s usually more than one way to accomplish any task; and that holds true for using technology.  Sometimes it’s a matter of finding a new tool that you didn’t know about before, and sometimes it’s learning how to use a familiar tool in a new way.  Listed below are a few popular technologies and alternatives that you may or may not know about.

  1. Alternatives to Twitter: want to “Tweet” with your students?
    • Set up a Padlet and change the layout to “Stream.”  If you create a free account, you can easily return to the Padlet to edit at any time.  Teach your students the basics of tweeting (#hashtags and @mentions) and have them compose tweets in Word (so they can use the Readability Statistics to count their characters) before copying them into the Padlet.  Thanks to Katie Cox for a great example of how to use this technique for reading comprehension.
    • Use ClassTools’ Twister tool for students to take on a persona and compose a factually accurate fake tweet.  Finished tweets can be saved as PDFs.
  2. Alternatives to Padlet: this popular cork-board-style communication tool is just one way to capture thoughts from every student.
    • AnswerGarden.ch creates “word clouds” based on participant responses (which are limited to 20 characters).  Students can also administer their own answer garden because the site relies on browser cookies as opposed to registered accounts.
    • Socrative is a web-based every student response system.  No specific hardware is needed, just a device with access to the internet.  Teachers can ask questions on the fly or administer prepared quizzes.  Short answer questions allow students to type responses that will be displayed to the class at the end of the question.
  3. Alternatives to Kidspiration: below are just some of the many web-based tools that allow students to create flow charts, outlines, and organizers.
    • Classtools.net offers a selection of interactive diagram templates that can easily be saved as HTML files or printed from the browser without requiring an account.
    • Bubbl.us allows users to create simple flow charts and mind maps and then export the finished chart as an image.
  4. Alternatives to Wordle: Word clouds are a fun and attractive way to display text.  But word clouds can do more than just create a pretty picture.
    • ABCya! has a Word Cloud for Kids that functions the same way as Wordle but with the added features of saving and printing.
    • Take word clouds to the next level by using AnswerGarden.ch to create “word clouds” based on participant responses to a question.  Students can also administer their own answer garden and create word clouds based on peer input.
    • VocabGrabber analyzes pasted text, generates a list of the most useful vocabulary words, and shows you how those words are used in context.  Use it to develop and analyze literary or non-fiction vocabulary.
    • The folks at Tagxedo have come up with a visual resource of 101 Ways to Use Tagxedo.  Some of their examples are really fantastic.

In the Media

Forecasting K-12 Edtech Adoption Trends

EdSurge · Tony Wan · May 25, 2014:

“Trends change with the season. And in education technology, no one does a more persistent job of tracking these shifting patterns than the New Media Consortium. Last week, the Austin, TX-based organization gave a sneak peek at the 2014 K-12 Horizon Report, which projects fast, mid-range and long-range edtech adoption trends. Here are this year’s forecasts–and the first thing that came to our mind, based on what we’ve been reporting on…” Read More…

As Publishers Fight Amazon, Books Vanish

NY Times Bits · David Streitfeld and Melissa Eddy · May 23, 2014:

“Amazon’s power over the publishing and bookselling industries is unrivaled in the modern era. Now it has started wielding its might in a more brazen way than ever before.”

“Seeking ever-higher payments from publishers to bolster its anemic bottom line, Amazon is holding books and authors hostage on two continents by delaying shipments and raising prices. The literary community is fearful and outraged — and practically begging for government intervention.”  Read More…


Folks to Follow

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Upcoming Events:

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

Note about DDL summer professional development: Unfortunately, most workshops filled up quickly and we cannot maintain a viable waiting list.  However, a week before workshops and courses begin we send an email to everyone who registered and remind them to unregister if their plans have changed.  Check the registration catalog periodically as spots sometimes open up after we send this reminder. You can also follow @bcpsddl on Twitter for updates on open spots and additional offerings. Lastly, please check out our Self-Directed PD page for resources from all of our workshops.
  • June 23:
    • Boardmaker v6 Curriculum Integration, 8:30 a.m. —3:30 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices- CIRT Lab
    • Kidblog – Authentic Writing, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @online
    • Evernote – Organizing Your Digital World, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @online
  • June 24: Boardmaker Studio Integration, 8:30 a.m. —3:30 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices- CIRT Lab
  • June 25:
    • Clicker 6, 8:30 a.m. —3:30 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices- CIRT Lab
    • Google Map Tools – Critical Thinking, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Rodgers Forge Elementary Library
    • Edmodo – Creating a Collaborative Online Classroom Environment, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Rodgers Forge Elementary Library
  • June 26:
    • Kurzweil 3000 Implementation, 8:30 a.m. —3:30 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices- CIRT Lab
    • Databases for Digital Learning in grades K-5, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Rodgers Forge Elementary Library
    • Databases for Digital Learning in grades 6-12, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Rodgers Forge Elementary Library
  • June 27:
    • Kurzweil 3000 Implementation, 8:30 a.m. —3:30 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices- CIRT Lab
    • HP Elitebook Revolve G2 & Windows 8.1 Overview, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Greenwood Administration Building E Conference Room, 114
    • What’s New in Outlook 2103, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Greenwood Administration Building E Conference Room, 114
  • June 30:
    • HP Elitebook Revolve G2 & Windows 8.1 Overview, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Lansdowne Elementary Library
    • What’s New in Excel 2013, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Lansdowne Elementary Library
  • July 1:
    • What’s New in Outlook 2103, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Lansdowne Elementary Library
    • HP Elitebook Revolve G2 & Windows 8.1 Overview, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Lansdowne Elementary Library
  • July 2August 13: Tools and Strategies for Learning and Teaching with the Read/Write Web CPD @online
  •  July 2:
    • Edmodo – Creating a Collaborative Online Classroom Environment, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Chase Elementary Lab
    • Google Map Tools – Critical Thinking, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Chase Elementary Lab
  • July 7—August 16: Online Teaching in Maryland CPD, @online with one face-to-face session on July 7 from 11 a.m.—2 p.m. @Lansdowne High School
  • July 7—August 17: Online Teaching in Maryland CPD, @online with one face-to-face session on July 7 from 4—5:30 p.m. @Pulaski Park 307
  • July 7—11:
    • Microsoft Office 2013 Overview CPD, 9 a.m.—12 p.m. @Hawthorne Elementary
    • Using Interactive Whiteboard Technologies – Mimio, 12:30—3:30 p.m. @Elmwood Elementary School Lab
  • July 7:
    • HP Elitebook Revolve G2 & Windows 8.1 Overview, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @West Towson Elementary Library
    • What’s New in Excel 2013, 1—3 p.m. @West Towson Elementary Library
    • Evernote – Organizing Your Digital World, 1:30—3:30 p.m. @New Town High School Lab
  • July 8August 14: Integrating Web 2.0 Technology into the K-12 Classroom CPD, 4:30—7:30 p.m. @Pulaski Park 307 eClassroom and online
  • July 8: Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Learning, 4—6 p.m. @Pulaski Park II Lab
  • July 9: Databases for Digital Learning in grades K-5, 4—6 p.m. @Pulaski Park II Lab
  • July 10:
    • Basic Word Processing for Teachers, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Woodholme Elementary School Library
    • Basic PowerPoint for Teachers, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Woodholme Elementary School Library
    • Introduction to Social Media, 1:30—3:30 p.m. @Stoneleigh Elementary Library
  • July 11:
    • Basic Internet for Teachers, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Woodholme Elementary School Library
    • Basic Word Processing for Teachers, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Woodholme Elementary School Library
    • Introduction to Social Media, 1:30—3:30 p.m. @Stoneleigh Elementary Library
  • July 14—18:
    • Microsoft Office 2013 Overview CPD, 9 a.m.—12 p.m. @Wellwood International School Library
    • ActivInspire and the Interactive Whiteboard – Level 1 CPD, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Halstead Academy Library
  • July 14:
    • Edmodo – Creating a Collaborative Online Classroom Environment, 10 a.m.—12 p.m. @Pulaski Park II Lab
    • Edmodo – Creating a Collaborative Online Classroom Environment, 1:30—3:30 p.m. @Pulaski Park II Lab
  • July 17:
    • Basic Word Processing for Teachers, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Woodholme Elementary School Library
    • Basic PowerPoint for Teachers, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Woodholme Elementary School Library
    • PAR: Protocol for Accommodations in Reading, 1:30—3:30 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices- CIRT Lab
  • July 18:
    • Basic Internet for Teachers, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Woodholme Elementary School Library
    • Basic Word Processing for Teachers, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Woodholme Elementary School Library
  • July 21—25:
    • Microsoft Office 2013 Overview CPD, 12—3 p.m. @Hillcrest Elementary Lab
    • ActivInspire and the Interactive Whiteboard – Level 2 CPD, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Halstead Academy Library
  • July 21: HP Elitebook Revolve G2 & Windows 8.1 Overview, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Pulaski Park 307 eClassroom
  • July 22:
    • Evernote – Organizing Your Digital World, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @online
    • Kidblog – Authentic Writing, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @online
    • PAR: Protocol for Accommodations in Reading, 1:30—3:30 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices- CIRT Lab’
  • July 24: PAR: Protocol for Accommodations in Reading, 1:30—3:30 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices- CIRT Lab
  • July 28August 1:
    • Microsoft Office 2013 Overview CPD, 9 a.m.—12 p.m. @Padonia International Elementary Library
    • Microsoft Office 2013 Overview CPD, 1—4 p.m. @New Town High School Lab 308
  • July 28:
    • HP Elitebook Revolve G2 & Windows 8.1 Overview, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Edmonson Heights Elementary Library
    • What’s New in Word 2013, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Edmonson Heights Elementary Library
  • July 29:
    • Online Research Models and Slam Dunk Lessons, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Edmonson Heights Elementary Library
    • What’s New in PowerPoint 2013, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Eastern Technical High Library
    • Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Learning, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Edmonson Heights Elementary Library
    • HP Elitebook Revolve G2 & Windows 8.1 Overview, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Eastern Technical High Library
  • July 30:
    • Evernote – Organizing Your Digital World, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Edmonson Heights Elementary Library
    • Introduction to Social Media, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Edmonson Heights Elementary Library
  • July 31:
    • HP Elitebook Revolve G2 & Windows 8.1 Overview, 9:30—11:30 a.m. @Pulaski Park 307 eClassroom
    • What’s New in Word 2013, 12:30—2:30 p.m. @Pulaski Park 307 eClassroom
  • August 4—8: ActivInspire and the Interactive Whiteboard – Level 1 CPD, 9 a.m.—12 p.m. @Joppa View Elementary
  • August 13: 2014 Revised Library Media Curriculum @Pulaski Park 307 eClassroom, 8:30 a.m.—12 p.m. OR 1—4:30 p.m.
  • August 14: 2014 Revised Library Media Curriculum @Pulaski Park 307 eClassroom, 8:30 a.m.—12 p.m. OR 1—4:30 p.m.
  • August 15: 2014 Revised Library Media Curriculum @Pulaski Park 307 eClassroom, 8:30 a.m.—12 p.m. OR 1—4:30 p.m.
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