April/ May 2015

April/ May Edition at a GlanceMay

  • Common Ground 2015 Recap!
  • Food for Thought: Avoiding Learned Helplessness
  • What’s a MOOC?  Find out that and more in Tips, Tricks, and Tools
  • Around the world news In the Media
  • Second chance for our I Spy Contest

Inside BCPS: Common Ground Edition!

We think this delayed edition of the ODL Digest is worth the wait.  Instead of the usual BCPS news briefs, we are bringing you a recap of the Common Ground 2015 conference, written by people who attended and presented.  Look for a Part 2 next month!

Did you attend Common Ground?  Would you like to be featured next month?  Simply type up to three paragraphs and email it to bcpsodl@gmail.com by June 1.


Food for Thought: Avoiding Learned Helplessness

How often have you heard a teacher (or parent) fuss about their kids not able to do anything without help? Given a task, instead of developing a plan of action and taking charge of it, they sit helpless waiting for intervention of a higher authority. Ironically, attempting to spur them past the initial malaise we intercede, thus perpetuating the cycle.

Some of you may be thinking, “This is a problem elementary school teachers own. By the time I get them they already have those bad habits.”  That’s what I used to think, but then as I read this article I saw the question, “Do you grade everything?”

Edutopia · Andrew Miller · May 11, 2015

“Instead of coming immediately to the teacher, we want students to experiment on their own. Many of us wonder why students constantly do the opposite instead. I’ve got news for you. It’s our fault. We, as educators, are often responsible for learned helplessness, and we have a responsibility to change it! How can we empower our students to be self-directed learners?”  Read More…


Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Student Self-MonitoringSelfMonitor

Empower students to keep track of their time remaining by making use of the split screen feature in Windows 8.1.  To split the screen simply have the student drag the window to one side of the screen.  Then drag the second window to the opposite side of the screen.  (You could also use the keyboard shortcut “  +Left Arrow” or‌ “ +Right Arrow”)  The student below is using a timer from www.classtools.net. You could also use the “Alarm” app built into Windows 8.1.  Find a tutorial for split screen here.

Sign up Parents like a GeniusMOOC

Looking for volunteers to help out at end of year events?  Need donations for class celebrations?  Check out SignUpGenius.  This user friendly site allows teachers to create “sign ups” for volunteers, RSVPs, donations, etc.  Parents can access the site and sign up for a slot or item which is best for them.  No more sending home checklists or working to arrange volunteers for different times.  Let technology do the work for you.  Check out the ODL Resource Wiki for tutorials.

Enhance Your Professional Knowledge

Are you looking to expand your professional learning?  Don’t want to spend money?  Check out a MOOC! These are free online courses offered by some of the best Universities around the world.  Find a MOOC starting soon through Coursea or EdX.


In the Media

No, Finland isn’t ditching traditional school subjects. Here’s what’s really happening.

Washington Post · Valerie Strauss · March 26, 2015

“Plans to overhaul schools in Finland — whose students have been at or near the top of international exams for years — have sparked stories in the media saying that traditional subjects, such as math and history and art, will be abandoned.” Read more…

Pearson, not Apple, to blame for failed L.A. schools technology program

Appleinsider · Sam Oliver · April 16, 2015

“Though the Los Angeles Unified School District’s demand for a multi-million dollar refund from Apple has grabbed headlines, the failure of the $1.3 billion program to create a new digital curriculum for Los Angles students appears to lie primarily with educational publishing company Pearson.” Read more…

No Inequality Left Behind: The Senate’s bipartisan education reform plan would undermine the goal of educational equality.

U.S. News and World Report · Andrew Rotherham · May 8, 2015

“For the past several years, economic inequality grabbed headlines, sparked protests and spurred Americans to ask hard questions about the structure of opportunity in our society. In the wake of Baltimore, North Charleston, Ferguson, Cleveland and other episodes, the conversation and attention of protesters is giving way to an even more immediate concern about disparate treatment of Americans by law enforcement based on their race.” Read more…

Librarians Lead the Way in EdTech

Tech & Learning · Shannon Mersand · March 26, 2015

“April is School Library Month, and this year’s theme is “Your School Library: Where Learning Never Ends.” No tag line could be truer. Librarians are lifelong learners by nature. Whether it is the newest educational theory, the latest research methods, or the newest educational technology push, librarians love to learn and share new things.”  Read more…


Puzzle: I Spy *Contest* Second Chance!

We only had three submissions in March for our I Spy contest.  So we’re giving you a second chance.  Can you recognize all of these edtech logos?  Click here to download a print version to share with others: I_Spy.  Only electronic submissions are eligible for the contest.


Folks to Follow

Twitter

 Elementary School Libraries

Twitter Hashtags to Follow

  • #teambcps
  • #bcpslh (BCPS Lighthouse)
  • #bcpsstat
  • #bcpslms (BCPS Library Media Specialists)
  • #bcpsliaisons
  • #cgmd15 (Common Ground 2015 Conference)
  • #BCPSatCG (Tweets from Common Ground by BCPS attendees)

Upcoming Events:

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

  • May 4 – June 14, 2015 Summer Reading Club Pre-Registration @ Baltimore County Public Library
    • Theme: “Every Hero has a Story”
    • SRC 2015 Dates: June 15- August 10
  • May 19:
    • Leveraging Technology in a Learner-Centered Environment Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @White Oak Library
    • Makerspaces in Secondary Libraries, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Kenwood High School
  • May 20: 
    • Liaison Hangout, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @online
    • Discovery Education Streaming and Board Builder Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices Lab
  • May 21:
    • S.T.A.T. Teacher Professional Development Meeting, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. @Loyola Graduate Center
    • Discovery Education Streaming and Board Builder Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices Lab
  • May 26:
    • End of Year Liaison Meeting, 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. @Amped Up! Family Amphitheatre
    • Discovery Education Streaming and Board Builder in Libraries Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices Lab
  • May 27: Discovery Education Streaming and Board Builder in Libraries Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @ Pulaski e-classroom
  • May 28:
    • S.T.A.T. Teacher Professional Development Meeting, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. @Loyola Graduate Center
    • Discovery Education Streaming and Board Builder Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Kenwood Administrative Offices Lab
  • June 2: Liaison Hangout, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @online
  • June 9: LibraryTrac for Secondary Librarians Workshop, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
  • June 10: “Sneaks Day” and BCPL Summer Reading Club Kickoff – *Librarians, wear your Sneaks T-shirts!
  • June 11: LibraryTrac for Secondary Librarians Workshop, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
  • June 22: STAT Summer Library Institute  @ Mays Chapel Elementary for all elementary school LMS & seven lighthouse middle school LMS
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