September 2016

Back to School Edition

We all know that in BCPS, “summer break” is a busy time for professional growth, system updates, curriculum writing, and more.  This Back to School edition focuses on recapping several of our summer projects and looking forward as the new school year begins.


Welcome back from ODL!

Summer Updates

S.T.A.T. School Library Summer Institute

On June 20, BCPS Middle School and Lighthouse High School library media specialists enjoyed a day of collaboration and professional development in preparation for S.T.A.T. and 1:1. Our Lighthouse Middle School and Elementary School librarians shared insights about their experience in a panel discussion with Q & A, and participants engaged in hands-on exploration of digital curriculum, resources, tools and strategies for collaboration and instruction in a learner-centered library environment. Check out resources from the Summer Institute here.


Destiny Boot Camps

Eight sessions of Destiny Boot Camp for K – 12 library media specialists were held in July and August.  After a summer “Snowball Fight” (a Discovery Education S.O.S. strategy) participants
took a deep dive into the new Destiny Discover patron interface, sharing various ways that new Destiny features will be useful for both teachers and students. A variety of Destiny reporting options were presented, and participants got a sneak peek at the more visual interface and detailed data included in the recently redesigned TitleWise collection analysis tool.  Check out Destiny Boot Camp resources here.

School Library Summer Hours

Twenty-four BCPS elementary school libraries opened their doors to students this summer to encourage summer reading and learning. Summer hours allowed students to check out books and participate in special reading-related or makerspace activities, including the Baltimore County Public Library Summer Reading Club. Students were also able to use school computers to browse e-books in their Destiny library catalogs and to access digital learning resources through BCPS One.  Visiting their school libraries helped these students to avoid the summer slide!


New Online Research Models and Slam Dunks

At the BCPS Summer Curriculum Workshops in July, the ODL Library Media curriculum writing team wrote some new Literature Units for the K-5 Library Media curriculum with a focus on diversity in children’s literature. Our team also collaborated with content curriculum writers to design new and revised Online Research Models and Slam Dunk lessons for Career & Technology Education, English Language Arts, Health, Library Media, Music, Science, and more. Check out our ORM/Slam Dunk portal to see all of our current research models!

Professional Study Day for Library Media Specialists

On August 18, Library Media Specialists participated in a day filled with professional learning at Randallstown High School. The theme for the day was “Sustaining High Quality School Library Programs” and participants learned how to Transform Instruction with SAMR as well as taking a deep dive into Collection Development during hands-on, job-alike sessions by grade levels. Participants also enjoyed two breakout sessions chosen from topics including Formative Assessment and Feedback, Facilitating a Learner-Centered Environment, BCPS One Lesson Tiles, BCPS One Tests & Quizzes, Using Evidence-Based Practice, Diversifying Your School library and Library of Congress Primary Sources, and others. Additional information and resources from the August 2016 PSD can be found here.


Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Where is Wixie?

Over the summer Wixie moved from the left side of the Learning Management System into the Instructional Tools page of BCPS One.  You can now only access Wixie through the Instructional Tools page.

VoiceThread- Now Single Sign on

Another tool under Instructional Tools, VoiceThread, is now single sign on for both teachers and students.  One click and you’re in!  You can find tutorials and support on the ODL Resource Wiki page for VoiceThread.


Brody and Ellie

Getting to Know: Cindy Gardina

S.T.A.T. Resource Teacher, Office of Digital Learning


  • BS, Business Administration/Marketing, Towson University
  • MS, Instructional Technology, Towson University
  • MA, Leadership in Teaching, University of Notre Dame Maryland
  • Library Media Specialist:
    • Eastern Technical High School
    • Chapel Hill Elementary School
    • Towson Catholic High School
    • Middle River Middle School
Family: Married with one daughter, age 25, and two dogs (ages 1 and 2)

Hobbies and interests: Learning to speak Czech, cross stitch, hiking with family and dogs, attending dog shows/hunting trials

Interesting fact: She collects Stitch (as in Disney’s Lilo and Stitch) pins.

Currently reading: The Collectors by David Baldacci

Favorite tech tool: “I like any tools that allow for curating materials which can be shared.”

Upcoming Events:

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

Broadcast Producers Annual Meeting: September 21, 5 – 7 p.m. @ Loch Raven Academy

This meeting is for all staff who work with TV Studios in schools.  Among other news and information, we will be setting up “neighborhood” cohorts for you to work with throughout the year to share ideas and cross-support.  Be sure to talk to your Principal about the new Broadcast Producer EDA!

Remember our Edmodo group for support:  Join URL  Email for any Studio related questions, including purchasing support.

Do you DLU?doyoudlu

The Office of Digital Learning is continuing its wildly successful Digital Learning University (DLU) with a host of both familiar and new workshops.  This summer, 808 seats were filled over
the course of 80 workshop modules.  Participants in Digital Learning University for the 2016 – 17 school year have ALREADY completed over 1300 hours of professional learning and over 20 CPD credits!

If you are interested in selecting your own path for professional growth, consider signing up for Digital Learning University. Register for the Digital Learning University: Digital Tools to Support the Teaching & Learning Framework-2016-2017 School Year CPD Course and then select at least 5 workshops to take this school year. Over 50 workshop modules are scheduled for this fall with at least two new topic offerings.  Don’t wait too long… workshops begin on September 13.

ODL is also offering several other Continuing Professional Development Courses for a deeper dive.  Full course descriptions, dates, and locations can be found on the CPD page of our Resource Wiki.  Or, click on the course name below to go right to the online registration system:



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