March 2015

MarchMarch Edition at a Glance

  • Learn more about Digital Learning Day Inside BCPS
  • Food for Thought:  Thinking about Flipped Learning
  • Tips, Tricks, and Tools include a dictation tool and multi-lingual online books
  • Celebrate Pi Day or add some books to your shelf from In the Media
  • Hone your powers of observation with this month’s Puzzle; I Spy
  • Plus Folks to Follow, Upcoming Events, and more!

Inside BCPS

Building Student-Centered Experiences in Exploratory Music

Lighthouse Reflection by Melissa Goetschius, Instrumental Music Teacher at Joppa View Elementary

Students play instruments. How much more student-centered can you get? After some brief directions and a bit of modeling from the teacher, the student is responsible for practicing the necessary playing skill(s) needed to master the performance of that instrument. Yes, the teacher is needed to verse this process, correct mistakes in technique, and encourage the student when he is struggling, but, it is ultimately up to the student to master his own learning. Right? Isn’t that what begin student-centered is all about? These were my initial thoughts entering this school year.  Read More

Digital Learning Day

The fourth annual Digital Learning Day sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education is Friday, March 13, 2015, and will feature BCPS as one of four school districts working toward improving student learning through the effective use of technology for learning. Concurrently, tens of thousands of teachers, librarians, and administrators in all fifty states and the District of Columbia will celebrate and showcase their best uses of technology for learning through hundreds of local events in their own schools and classrooms. Members of Team BCPS are welcome to celebrate and participate in Digital Learning Day. For information on how to get involved, go to

EdSurge Baltimore Summit

Baltimore County Public Schools was well represented at the EdSurge Baltimore Summit. Central Office Staff presented the BCPS story and attended the Leaders EdSurge on Friday, February 27. Teachers attended the Baltimore Educator Day on Saturday, February 28, and a panel of BCPS students answered questions for the attendees during a lunch break. Learn more about EdSurge by visiting their website or twitter feed @EdSurge.

Other Highlights

Food for Thought: Flipped Learning

flippedAs BCPS moves toward providing every student with a digital device, teachers will hear more about flipped learning and more teachers will want to try using it. What are its advantages; are there disadvantages? Does flipped learning have anything to do with 21st Century skills? Should flipped learning become part of our teaching repertoire?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Flipped Learning, Fluency Style

Global Digital Citizen Foundation · GDC Staff · February 20, 2015

“So you’ve already heard about flipped learning, right? Maybe someone’s done an inservice about it at your school. Perhaps you’ve stumbled onto Global Digital Citizenship’s website. Maybe you are trying to figure out ways to take your teaching into the 21st Century with the now-existing tools that weren’t available years ago. Maybe you’ve heard colleagues and administrators talking about it.”  Read more…

Flip Your Classroom: Chapter 3. Why You Should Flip Your Classroom

ASCD · Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams · 2012

“Flipping the classroom has transformed our teaching practice. We no longer stand in front of our students and talk at them for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. This radical change has allowed us to take on a different role with our students.”  Read more…

Research: Active Learning More Important than Flipping the Classroom

THE Journal · Leila Meyer · March 3, 2015

“Active learning produces the same student learning outcomes in both flipped and nonflipped classrooms, according to new research from Brigham Young University (BYU). In the flipped classroom model, students watch video lectures outside of class time and participate in active learning activities during class time. The approach has been growing in popularity, so researchers at BYU decided to test its effectiveness.”  Read more…

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Digital Resources for Small Group Instructionsmallgroup

Make the most of your large HP monitor by using it for small group instruction.  Station your monitor in your small group area to make use of digital resources and tools during small group time.  Split up your docking station and monitor to get the most bang for your buck.  Check out ideas for set up on the ODL Pinterest page or ODL Resource Wiki.


TalkTyperAccommodate students who have difficulty typing by using the free speech to text dictation tool TalkTyper.  This web based tools makes use of the microphone in your device and will dictate your speech into text.  Dictated text can be printed, copied into the clipboard for pasting into another program, or translated using Google Translate!  Check it out!

Twitter as a Tool for Professional Learning

See what is happening in learner centered classrooms around the county and get ideas from fellow BCPS teachers through Twitter.  Follow the official hashtags #BCPSlh and #BCPSstat.  You do NOT need a twitter account to view tweets.

International Children’s Library

Featuring a variety of books from around the globe, International Children’s Digital Library makes children’s classics accessible in many different languages. If you are looking for a way to introduce global themes or supplement reading materials in languages other than English, then this site is your answer!

In the Media

Highlights From the AASL Hotlinks Newsletter for School Library Media Specialists

ISTE Professional Learning Opportunities for School Library Media Specialists

Did you know that ISTE offers its members a variety of FREE professional resources on topics of interest to school library media specialists? These include Webinars, Podcasts, eBooks, and resources shared through membership in ISTE’s Professional Learning Networks like the Librarians Network, Digital Citizenship Network, and Learning Spaces Network (includes Makerspaces). To access ISTE’s free Webinars and Podcasts, simply sign into your ISTE account and add them to your Shopping Cart to join live or view/listen to the recording later. Recent and upcoming topics include: Creating Among Books: Library MakerspacesSo You’ve Gone 1:1 – What Now?Twitter in the K-12 Classroom and Classroom Blogging… for Real… Finally!

100 Books Every Teacher Should Read

A.J. Juliani · February 2015

“What are we reading? Are we slowly shifting to reading only blogs and short pieces online? I love blogs (case in point of what you are currently reading) but there is something special about the thought, effort, and depth of a book. I hope that we can continue to read books that push our thinking, and share them widely.”  Read more…

Discovery Education Marks Pi Day With Live Virtual Field Trip

PiDay“In celebration of Pi day (3/14/15) on March 13 we’ll visit one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories where Pi is integral to the work to develop, use, and apply precise measurements and standards. NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies – nanoscale devices so tiny that tens of thousands can fit on the end of a single strand of hair – to the largest human-made creations—earthquake resistant skyscrapers, jetliners, and global communication networks.  This 30-minute virtual field trip begins at 1:00 PM ET and is appropriate for upper elementary, middle and high school grades.”  Find out more and register for free…

Let it Go: Giving Students Choices

Creative Educator · Cassie Shoemaker · March 2015

“In schools around the country, the push for technology integration is all the rage. Buzz phrases such as “bring your own device,” “digital-age learning,” and “engage students with technology” are making headlines, but what is true technology integration?  Effective technology integration is not about installing the coolest new app, trying a fun website, or blogging about which tablet is the best. It is about instruction. It is about giving students the opportunity to learn with powerful tools that transform the way they learn and how they show what they have learned.”  Read more…

Folks to Follow


BCPS  Middle and High School Library Twitter Accounts

 BCPS School Twitter Accounts


Look for BCPS Elementary School Library Twitter accounts to be posted here in the near future!

In case you missed the original lists:

February 2015 Edition: BCPS Middle and High School Twitter accounts

December 2014/ January 2015 Edition: BCPS Elementary School Twitter accounts

Does your school have a new twitter account?  Was your school’s twitter account accidentally left off one of our lists?  Email suggested additions to



Seeking BLOGS for Folks to Follow

Do you know a BCPS teacher, student, or administrator who has a blog that our readers might be interested in?  Please email suggestions to

Puzzle: I Spy *Contest*

Click here to download a print version to share with others: I_Spy.  Only electronic submissions are eligible for the contest.

Upcoming Events:

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

  • March 10: Databases for Digital Learning in Grades 6 – 12 Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Loch Raven High School Library
  • March 11:
    • Kidblog Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Online
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Cromwell Valley Elementary School
    • Developing Flipped Learning Experiences Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Loch Raven Technical Academy Lab 108b
  • March 12: Applying the Power of Interactive Mapping Software Across Curricula Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m., @Pine Grove Middle School Library
  • March 13: Digital Learning Day, find more information
  • March 17:
    • Liaison Hangout, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @online
    • Screenshots and Screencasts Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Online
  • March 18: Introduction to Wixie Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Glyndon Elementary
  • March 19:
    • S.T.A.T. Teacher Professional Development Meeting, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. @Loyola Graduate Center
    • Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Learning Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Pine Grove Middle School Library
  • March 24: Databases for Digital Learning in Grade K – 5 Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Stoneleigh Elementary School Library
  • March 26:
    • S.T.A.T. Teacher Professional Development Meeting, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. @Loyola Graduate Center
    • What’s New in Wixie Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Gunpowder Elementary School Lab
  • March 31: VoiceThread Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Franklin Middle School Lab
  • April is School Library Month!

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