March 2016

March Edition at a Glance

  • Learn more about the upcoming BC Reads Event
  • Food for Thought on SAMR and Global Competition
  • Tips, Tricks, and Tools for writing and drawing with technology
  • Transforming schools and libraries are hot topics In the Media
  • Need ClassFlow help? Check out Allison Albergo’s Office Hours

Inside BCPS

BC Reads County-wide Reading Event

For the first time, BCPL will host a county-wide reading event: BC Reads. The mission of BC Reads is to promote community-wide discussion through reading and the arts. In April 2016, people of all ages can join fellow Baltimore County residents in reading, discussing and experiencing books and community in a different way. The theme of BC Reads 2016 is Rise Up! The titles chosen all include stories of learning and growing, of rising up through adversity, of connecting with one another. The titles chosen for 2016 are:

  • BCReadsAdult Fiction: The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
  • Adult Nonfiction: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Teens (Gr 9-12): All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  • Children’s Chapter Book (Gr 4-8): One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Children’s Picture Book (Gr K-3): In My Momma’s Kitchen by Jerdine Nolen

Throughout April, BC Reads will bring our county together with events, including author visits and book discussions, which will encourage conversation and a deeper connection to one another in our communities. Several of our authors will also offer programs at Baltimore County Public Schools. Look for more details about BC Reads events coming soon!

BC Reads Author Events at BCPS:

  • April 12 – Rita Williams-Garcia, author of One Crazy Summer, visiting Pine Grove Middle School Library
  • April 15 – Jerdine Nolan, author of In My Momma’s Kitchen, visiting Martin Boulevard Elementary School Library
  • April 19- Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, authors of All American Boys, visiting Randallstown High School Library

What’s Tweeting?

Check out what’s been happening with @BCPSODL, #bcpsstat, and #bcpslms in our March 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!

Other Highlights:

Food for Thought

BCPS is not the only U.S. school system with the goal of developing globally competitive graduates. What does it mean to be globally competitive and what do we have to do to get our students there? The article by Manzo written in 2009 identifies several P21 skills and tech skills students need to be competitive in world markets. She thinks students should be engaged deeply in technology.

We have been using SAMR as a way to identify how technology is integrated with instruction. While modification and redefinition might not be analogous with Manzo’s “deep engagement” in technology, SAMR provides us with a common way to talk about technology integration. The articles by Moroder and MrHooker have a different take on SAMR and both have infographics that help us to better understand the concept.

Global Competition: U.S. Students vs. International Peers

Education Week · Kathleen Kennedy Manzo · June 2009:

“Many schools really aren’t engaging kids deeply in technology as a creative medium or as productive tools,” he says. “In many places, it’s not part of the message that these are tools for us to build with, to learn with, to create with. They use it just to do Web research, or maybe a PowerPoint presentation, but they are not taught to think critically about what they are presenting and how they are presenting it.”

Push My Thinking: TPACK or SAMR or?

edtechcoaching · Krista Moroder · November 4, 2013

“I’m going to preface this post by saying that I think both TPACK and SAMR are incredibly useful frameworks- and I use them a lot in my work with education technology. While I don’t want to completely discount either framework in this post, I do want to start a discussion- and explain why I am currently not finding them completely effective in my work with teachers.”

Taking a Dip in the SAMR Swimming Pool

HookEd on Innovation · MrHooker · December 10, 2013

“When researching our own 1:1, I kept running into this research (SAMR) and the more I delved into it, the more I understood and realized that in reality, it’s not a ladder at all that we are trying to climb, but something a little more nebulous and fluid.”

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

HandwritingRecognitionDon’t Just Type….Write!

Did you know you can switch the keyboard on your HP device to recognize handwriting?  Find the icon in your taskbar (bottom right of your screen).  When the touch keyboard is open, select the keyboard icon again (bottom right) and select the icon with the pen.  You can now write with your finger or a stylus and the device will translate it to text.  If your cursor is in the right place on a document or form, all you have to do is press the Insert button and your text will be inserted.

Need a Blank Whiteboard?awww

Check out  The site allows teachers or students to develop a creative response using annotations, text, and even photographs.  You can download your work or save it to the web for easy sharing.

Upgrades to Test and Quizzes

Have you seen the upgrades to Test and Quizzes?  Check them out on the BCPS One Manual here.

ClassFlow Office Hours

Join Allison Albergo, Promethean Educational Consultant, for ClassFlow Office Hours.  Office Hours are held every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 3:30-5:30 p.m. via Blackboard Collaborate. Drop in to ask a specific ClassFlow question or to learn more about the tool. Follow the link below to join the Blackboard Collaborate session.


  • Anyone who has attended a ClassFlow training and is diligently trying to use ClassFlow in their classroom.


  • Session 1 is primarily for high school and middle school teachers, but anyone is welcome to attend.
  • Session 2 is primarily for elementary school teachers, but anyone is welcome to join.
  • These sessions will be a time for teachers to clarify questions they have about ClassFlow after having already received training.
  • Baltimore County’s dedicated Promethean Education Consultant, Allison Albergo, will host these sessions.


  • Every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month
  • Beginning in January and ending in May
  • Session 1: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Session 2: 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

In the Media

Transforming School Libraries

The following articles echo our ongoing professional development focus on transforming school libraries and demonstrating program effectiveness:

We Need Schools… Not Factories

Huffington Post · Sugata Mitra · February 27, 2013:

“From Plato to Aurobindo, from Vygotsky to Montessori, centuries of educational thinking have vigorously debated a central pedagogical question: How do we spark creativity, curiosity, and wonder in children?”  Read more. . .

What’s Working: Collaboration & Personalized Learning in the Classroom

Huffington Post · Allan Golston · January 27, 2016:

“When we think about personalized learning, we often focus on the ones absorbing the information–the students, and their individual needs, skills, and interests. This is critical to success. But a powerful learning experience doesn’t happen without a great teacher.”  Read more. . .

Upcoming Events:

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

  • March is Read Across Maryland Month!  This annual reading motivation and awareness program spearheaded by the MSEA calls on everyone to read at least 30 minutes for 30 days beginning on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss and ending March 31st. See the Read Across Maryland Website for flyers, 30 for 30 reading logs and other resources.
  • March 1:
    • Building a Social Media Presence Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Fort Garrison Elementary, Room 22
    • Beyond the Furniture: Creating a LCE – Teacher Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Glenmar Elementary
  • March 2:
    • Elementary- Facilitating Instruction in BCPS One through the Lesson Tiles Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Greenwood Boardroom A
    • Communicating with Students and Parents in BCPS One Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Rosedale Center Room C22
    • Dr. Seuss’s Birthday/Read Across America Day
  • March 3:
    • Creating Interactive Assignments in BCPS One Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., @Catonsville Elementary Library
    • Secondary- Facilitating Instruction in BCPS One through the Lesson Tiles Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Dumbarton Middle School Library
  • March 8:
    • Liaison Hangout, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. @online
    • Leveraging Technology in a Learner Centered Classroom Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @White Oak School Multipurpose Room
    • ClassFlow: Customization and Assessments Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Joppa View Elementary
    • Kidblog Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Greenwood Building E, Room 114
  • March 9:
    • Device Apps Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Riderwood Elementary, Room 28
    • What’s New in Wixie Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Harford Hills Elementary Library
  • March 10:
    • BCPS One Test and Quizzes Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
    • Beyond the Furniture: Creating a LCE- Student Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Joppa View Elementary
  • March 15:
    • Facilitating Student Research Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Loch Raven High
    • Creative Response Tools Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
  • March 16:
    • Databases for Digital Learning in Grades K-5, Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Greenwood Building E, Room 123
    • ClassFlow: Customization and Assessments Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Cromwell Valley Elementary Library
    • ActivInspire Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Mays Chapel Elementary Library
  • March 17:
    • Developing Flipped Learning Experiences Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Stoneleigh Elementary Library
  • March 22:
    • ClassFlow Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Joppa View Elementary
    • VoiceThread Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @White Oak School Library
  • March 23:
    • Unlocking the Potential of OneDrive Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Catonsville Elementary Library
    • Feedback and Assessment Tools Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Dumbarton Middle School
  • April is School Library Month! The 2016 theme is School Libraries Transform Learning.



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