November 2015

November15November Edition at a Glance

  • BCPS library media specialists make their presence known at the MASL conference
  • Food for thought on Communication and Collaboration
  • Seeking suggestions for DLU workshop topics
  • Congrats to the Summer 2015 DLU graduates!
  • WordSift, linking to databases, and device care resources
  • Don’t do Twitter?  No problem!  Check out our Storify for top Tweets; no account needed!

Inside BCPS


On October 16, 2015 school library media specialists from all over Maryland gathered for the annual Maryland Association of School Librarian’s (MASL) conference. BCPS was well represented at this year’s event in attendees and presenters.  We are proud to acknowledge contributions from the following Team BCPS members:

  • Sandy Bixby (Edgemere ES) and Kelly Ray (ODL)- It’s THEIR Library: Diversifying to Empower All Learners
  • Lauren Magnuson (Kenwood HS)- Diversifying Your Library Through Makerspaces
  • Fran Glick (ODL) and Marisa Conner (BCPL)- Powerful Partnerships: Public and School Libraries
  • Fran Glick (ODL)- Leading Change: School Libraries and 1:1 Programs
  • Joquetta Johnson (Randallstown HS)- Secondary Campfire Roundtable Discussions

Resources from all presentations can be found on the MASL 2015 Conference website.

Attendance Video Winners

Congratulations to Kristine Frank and Jeff Flynn for winning the Attendance Commercial Contest. Kristine Frank is the Library Media Specialist at Essex Elementary and Jeff Flynn is the Library Media Specialist at Franklin Middle School.  For information about the contest and all the winners, read more…

Check out the winning videos:

Other Highlights:

Food for Thought

Collaboration is one of the 4Cs in the P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning and it is an important student skill listed in the Professional Learning Tool used to inform professional development in the schools.

The first article addresses a common concern for teachers: How should students be graded for collaboration? The author draws an analogy between classroom collaboration and team sports to point out how simply grading every student’s collaboration on an equal basis isn’t equitable.

Who do we think of as great creative thinkers? Edison? Einstein? The myth of creative thinkers is of the individual genius, alone and absorbed in his own thoughts. In the second article, the point is made that creativity is fostered by collaboration.

Finally, the benefits of collaboration isn’t just reserved for students; teachers collaborating can produce some of the most effective professional development. The third article describes lesson study done by a Chicago school following the approach used by Japanese educators. While some BCPS schools have used lesson study, most have not implemented the Japanese approach.

How are you fostering collaboration in your classroom?  Please feel free to share your insights in the comment section at the bottom of this newsletter.

The Collaborative Classroom: Achieving Equality in Engagement

Global Digital Citizen Foundation · GDC Team · October 21, 2015

“Our secret to success was tolerance, drawing on individual strengths, safety in community, properly working instruments (tools), and above all, passion.”

Empowering the Creative Learners in Your Classroom

Global Digital Citizen Foundation · GDC Team · October 19, 2015

“Peers: Through peer interaction and sharing your work, you learn about collaborating, negotiating, and being invested in the progress of others. It’s a great way of practicing empathy.”

“Lesson Study” Technique: What Teachers Can Learn From One Another

Mind/Shift · Emily Hanford, American RadioWorks · September 14, 2015

“Jasmine Bankhead needed to figure out a way to improve teaching at her school. It was 2013. She was the new principal of the O’Keeffe School of Excellence, an elementary school on Chicago’s South Side that had been struggling for years. Finally, the school district had taken dramatic action by firing the principal, the staff and all the teachers.”

Lifelong Learners

In the June edition of the ODL Digest, we acknowledged our first “class” of University_Logo41 Digital Learning University graduates.  Then on July 1 the next section of DLU kicked off with more participation than we would have thought possible.  Over the brief summer months, 35 more credits were awarded.  The people listed below completed at least fifteen hours of professional learning over the summer, earning them one CPD credit.  And many of them are already working towards a second or third credit!  If you are interested in professional growth through Digital Learning University, you can find out more information on the ODL Resource Wiki.

Elaine Barnes Sarah De Felice Tara Jones Natalie Sauter
Christine Bell Jill Duvall Briget Koch Christina Schiech
Michelle P Brown Julie Fortier Melinda Laubach Alison Smith
Jennifer Buchman Rebecca Frost Meghan Lechtanski Meghan Staley
Cristin Chisolm Cara Gay Janet Ludlow Glenda Weikel
Denise Cutair Amy Hamilton Monyette Pitts Nancy Wendel
Jessica Dausey Shannon Housley Deborah Rivera Minna Woo

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

The Devices are Coming! The Devices are Coming!


As the device roll out continues, do not forget to visit the ODL Resource Wiki’s page on “Device Care and Use.”  We have created lessons for you to deliver to your students in the proper care, use, and management of their device.  As we hear from teachers we are constantly revising the lessons to make them more effective.  In our most recent update we added step-by-step directions to help your students activate their Microsoft Office account.  They are integrated into Lesson 1: Care, Carry, Charge and the accompanying lesson plans, as well as being linked directly under “Student Resources.”

Trying to Add Database Content to a Lesson Tile?

A great way to customize instruction for students is to provide access to BCPS database content on a lesson tile.  Some of the databases require a specific “direct linking” structure to properly connect students to their content.  Here are a few of the most popular:

BrainPop and BrainPop Jr.

  1. Take the link from the browser
  2. Add the following red segment between the .com and the forward slash
  3. Copy and paste the new link to a lesson tile

TumbleBook Library:

  1. Copy the ID number from the URL
  2. Add that ID number to the Direct Link stem below
  3. Copy and paste the new link to a lesson tile

For more information, check out the resource page here.


Looking for a tool to help your students “sift” through long pieces of text and find key words?  Try WordSift. WordSift is much more than just a word cloud tool because it identifies and “sifts” out the most important words in a piece of text.  These words appear larger than the other words in the cloud. WordSift allows users click on any word and access the Visual Thesaurus® and Google search results. Check out the screenshot example from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”

In the Media

Getting Smart Podcast | Emerging Options for Students Navigating Life

Huff Post Education · Tyler Naktasu · October 27, 2015

“At the recent 24 Hour Think Challenge, 150 high school juniors from Idaho rallied around the theme of reimagining education. With support from One Stone and The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, teams of students huddled on a covered hockey rink and were given a crash course in design thinking, then asked to solve a hairy problem in 24 hours.” Read more

Stuck on Education 1.0: Charter schools aren’t realizing their innovation potential

U.S. News and World Report · Nina Rees · October 27, 2015

“It’s an unfortunate paradox that education, the component of American society most essential to the future of our country, is also the one most firmly rooted in the past. Yes, today’s students have computers and iPads and the Internet, but the core of U.S. schools is largely unchanged from a century ago. Students spend about the same amount of time in class tending school for the same number of months a year, sitting in classrooms that – aside from the iPads – would be recognizable to students five or six generations ago, interacting with teachers in much the same way as they’ve always done and progressing at a fairly uniform pace based on age.”  Read more…

How Good Schools and Good Intentions Widen the Achievement Gap

neaToday · Tim Walker · October 21, 2015

“Debate around the achievement gap is usually dominated by issues such as urban poverty, segregation, and school funding. These factors unquestionably have an enormous impact on student outcomes, but why do disparities persist at well-funded, diverse and high-achieving suburban schools?”  Read more. . .

What’s Tweeting?Twitter

Check out what’s been happening with @BCPSODL, #bcpsstat, and #bcpslms using our new Storify!  You don’t need to have a Twitter account to view these tweets.  If you do use Twitter, make sure you tag your tweets and you might be featured next month!

Upcoming Events:

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

  • October 29: AASL eCollab Webinar:  Play to Learn with Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery, 7:00 p.m. @online
  • November 2: TL Virtual Café Webinar Series: Coding in the Library, 8:00 p.m. @online
  • November 3:
    • Infographics in the Classroom Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Riderwood Elementary
    • Dive Into the Deep End of SAMR: Planning Learning Activities Above the Line Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Eastern Technical High School
  • November 4:
    • Feedback and Assessment Tools Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
    • Databases for Digital Learning in Grades K-5 Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @West Towson Elementary
  • November 5:
    • Office Mix Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m., @Kenwood Administrative Offices- CIRT Lab
    • Transforming Instruction with SAMR Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
  • November 10:
    • Liaison Hangout, 3 – 5:30 p.m. @online
    • Digital Storytelling Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Harford Hills Elementary
    • Kidblog Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
  • November 11:
    • Copyright & Fair Use for Digital Learning Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Carver High School
  • November 12:
    • BCPS One Tests and Quizzes for Formative Assessment, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @online
  • November 17:
    • OneNote Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Mays Chapel Elementary
    • Audio Tools in Instruction Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Rosedale Center
  • November 18:
  • November 19:
    • Screenshots and Screencasts Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Stoneleigh Elementary
    • Unlocking the Potential of OneDrive Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Catonsville Elementary
  • November 24:
    • STAT Teacher Monthly Conference, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. @Loyola Graduate Center
    • Classflow Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Cromwell Valley Elementary
    • BCPSOne Tests and Quizzes for Formative Assessment, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
  • December 1:
    • Office Mix Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @White Oak School
  • December 3:
  • December 8:
    • Infographics in the Classroom Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Cromwell Valley Elementary
    • Screenshots and Screencasts Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
  • December 9:
    • Discovery Education Streaming and Board Builder Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m.@ Greenwood Administration Building E- Room 123
    • BCPSOne Tests and Quizzes for Formative Assessment, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @online

One thought on “November 2015

  1. Pingback: BCPS Office of Digital Learning Newsletter – November 2015 | Kevin Reddick

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