October 2016

october2016October Edition at a Glance

  • What’s the most important teaching skill for modern educators?
  • Top five edtech trends
  • Mock election resources
  • Join our community of readers in a Reading Relay!
  • Professional development opportunities


Inside BCPS

Team BCPS Reading Relay

readingrelayIn an effort to create a community of readers in BCPS, the Offices of Digital Learning and English Language Arts have partnered to sponsor a new district-wide reading initiative called the Team BCPS Reading Relay. BCPS TV is filming video book talks by BCPS readers, which will be featured on the bcps.org website each week. Readers in each video “pass the reading relay baton” by encouraging students and staff to read and recommend a great book or other favorite reading selection. The Team BCPS Reading Relay website includes a featured video, archived videos, tips for finding reading materials, tools for creating a book talk or book review, and instructions for submitting a text, video, or audio book review to Destiny. Check out the featured video and Dr. Dance’s book talk on The Crossover, under Archived videos!

Lighthouse High School Guest Speaker

Jeff Yalden, a renowned teen motivational speaker and author, spent yalden1three days visiting Baltimore County Public School’s lighthouse high schools; Owings Mills, Pikesville, and Chesapeake.  In addition to leading two large group assemblies at each school, Mr. Yalden spent time connecting with students one-on-one and in small groups. After school hours, he spoke with teachers and parents about teen suicide prevention.  His overall message of digital safety, integrity, and self-respect resonated with everyone who heard his message.

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Who Are You Voting For?mockelection

Want to incorporate the 2016 Presidential election into your classroom?  You can with the Youth Leadership Initiative’s Mock Election.  The Youth Leadership Initiative “…conducts the largest secure, student only, online mock election in the nation…” You can get lesson plans, free online resources, and of course your students’ official 2016 mock election ballots here.

A Growth Mindset

Is your school doing work around mindset?  Check out these videos from ClassDojo.  There are 5 episodes talking to students about a positive, growth mindset.  These videos do utilize YouTube so they can only be shown to students through a teacher’s device.

In the Media

Technology Trends in Education

EdTech Magazine · D. Frank Smith · September 22, 2016:

We think of trends as here today and gone tomorrow. Oftentimes trends in education are no different. Enter the 21st century where students have access to the world via a few clicks or taps.  In order to better understand what students have available, here are four of the latest trends for 2016.

Virtual Reality

Bringing virtual reality into the classroom offers students an entirely new way to experience learning. VR allows for the teaching of complex problems in ways not possible in a traditional classroom. It provides authentic learning and sensory learning to the students. Currently, five of our high schools in Baltimore County are participating in the Digital Promise – About 360 VR Challenge. They will be creating VR videos to showcase their communities.

3D Printing

Imagine being able to bring a concept to life. With 3D printing students are able to concretely comprehend concepts such as geometry. Currently, 3D printing is often found in makerspaces where students are able to create their own ideas and bring them to life.

Wearable Technology

Imagine students wearing their learning on their wrists. Their learning is right at their fingertips. Imagine no lost instruction time due to snow days or heat-related closures.

Robotic Toys

Robotic toys can help counselors reach students. They can serve as playmates to children with various learning disabilities. Having a non-judgmental robot as a playmate could help them adjust to social experiences.  Read More…

The Most Important Teaching Skill for the Modern Educator to Master

The Global Digital Citizen Foundation · September 20, 2016:

“What is the most important teaching skill to have as a modern educator in the digital age? It’s a tough question that deserves some consideration . . . This skill will serve you (and your students) in many aspects of life. It’s certainly indispensable in the field of teaching, where stress abounds.”

“That skill is: the ability to turn things around. That problem student? You need to be able to reach him. That bad day? You’ll need to recover from it and carry on the next. Unit plans not effective? You’ll need to change direction. It begins with your mindset. You start by knowing that failure is an opportunity to turn things around.” Read More…

What do you think is the most important skill? Email Jennifer Weaver by Friday with your response and be entered in a drawing for a small prize.

Extra Professional Learning Opportunities

  • The Digital Shift Virtual Conference, October 19
    • Library Journal, School Library Journal, and thousands of library professionals from around the world will gather for the eighth annual Digital Shift virtual conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries and their communities. As technology evolves, so do the needs of communities, and more than ever, libraries are uniquely positioned to provide services to lead their communities and beyond. The “digital shift” continues to press libraries forward as it allows and compels them to create and improve library service through the smart and coherent application of technology to mission.
  • Make.It.Work. Conference, November 5
    • The Maryland State Department of Education in partnership with the Digital Harbor Foundation and Baltimore County Public Schools will be hosting the first Make. IT. Work. Conference on November 5, 2016 at Eastern Technical High School. This conference is intended to share information, resources, best practices, and experiences in the areas of Making, Instructional Technology, and Workforce Readiness in the Education realm. Visit http://www.digitalharbor.org/make-it-work-conference/ for more information or to register.
  • Twitter Chats: Are you looking for a new way to expand your Professional Learning Network (PLN)? Consider participating in a Twitter chat:

Upcoming Events:

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


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