November/ December 2016

November/ December Edition at a Glance

At a Glance

  • Seeking DLU Instructors
  • What is Digital Literacy?
  • New tools and information on the ODL Wiki
  • Infographics to tell your Library’s Story 

Inside BCPS

Seeking DLU InstructorsDigital Learning University

Digital Learning University is growing! We need passionate and enthusiastic teachers to join our squad of DLU Instructors. Please fill out the Online Form by 11/30/16 to indicate your interest. Contact Amanda Lanza ( with questions.

And the Winner is…

Congratulations to Kazia Patterson (Chapel Hill ES), Kathleen Cave (Oakleigh ES), and Gwendolyn Gilliam-Price (Arbutus ES) for winning our October ODL Digest hidden contest.  Be on the lookout for more opportunities to win!

Other Highlights:

Food for Thought

Periodically, we will feature an article that asks you to think about a topic more closely. Please feel free to share your insights in the comment section at the bottom of this newsletter.

Digital Literacy

BCPS Grades 9-12 Research Glossary defines digital literacy as: ability to understand, evaluate, create, and integrate information in multiple digital formats via the computer and Internet (Gilster 1997).

Students still need to be able to read and write, but technology adds another layer to the reading and writing process. Included in this is the ability to read on a Kindle, evaluate websites, and create YouTube videos.

Reading by itself offers challenges when done on the Internet. Pages may contain embedded videos and audio, links, and images. This offers a myriad of options for the reader. The reader decides what to click on—thus providing a different reading experience for each reader.

Creating content is another part of digital literacy. Writing in digital format includes creating a blog, sending an e-mail, and Tweeting. With the ability to post on the InterneRevolve Devicet, students must be taught appropriate Internet behavior.

Since digital literacy encompasses reading and writing to design, create, play, and problem solve, the term digital literacies may be deemed more appropriate.

No matter what we call it, students need to be as comfortable with evaluating websites and reading and writing online as they are with opening a book.

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Find New Information About Your Favorite Tools


Have you noticed anything different on the ODL Resource Wiki lately?  If you visit the Toolbox Index, you will notice that some new icons have been added to the table of tools.  As part of the BCPS commitment to protecting student data, we have assigned each digital tool a visual code to represent its level of data privacy.  In addition, the headers of individual tool pages have been revised to include this information.  The transformation is still in progress with plans to include more details such as links to terms of use and privacy policies, as well as advertising policies.

 New Assistive Technology Wiki

Have you seen the new Office of Assistive Technology Resource Wiki?  This amazing new resource offers tips, tricks and technology tools can support and provide classroom modifications for students with significant oral, written communication and motor disabilities.  The wiki offers specific classroom supports, visual strategies, forms, etc.  Check it out!

It’s a Storm! A Dotstorm

Introducing Dotstorming; a free online tool that allows groups of people to collaborate and vote online!  Similar to Padlet, Dotstorming allows users to create a collaborative “board” where each member can add their own thoughts and ideas.  Then each user can vote for the idea that is their favorite.  Check it out at and stay tuned for an ODL Resource Wiki page.

In the Media

State of America’s Libraries Report 2016

American Library Association:School Libraries Transform Learning

“Academic, school, and public libraries continue to face an uncertain economy as they shift resources and services to meet the needs of the 21st-century digital world.” Read more

The Superhero Librarian Within–Take the Lead

School Library Journal · Dedra Van Gelder · November 16, 2016:

“The day you became a school librarian, the universe put a spectacular opportunity into your hands, giving you the power to affect what people believe about libraries and librarians. If you think that makes you sound a bit like a superhero, you’re right. You possess unique knowledge and skills—no one else in the school does exactly what you do.” Read more

Worth a Thousand Words: Infographics can help tell your library’s story 

American Library Association · Meredith Farkas · November 1, 2016:

“In an effort to make evidence-based decisions, librarians collect a lot of data, but data must be shared and used to be most effective. In our sound-bite culture, finding ways to turn raw data into something concise and compelling is critical. An infographic, a graphical display of data, allows the creator to tell a story through visually engaging representations of information.” Read more

Are you a BCPS school library media specialist?  Create an infographic for your school library and email it to Jennifer Weaver by 12/20 to be entered to win a prize.  Select infographics will be featured in the next ODL Digest.

User-Designed Libraries: Design4Impact

Library Journal · Ian Chant · October 26, 2016:

“These days, collecting deep public input before the design phase of a new construction or renovation of a library is de rigueur, with methods ranging from focus groups to community outreach to social media. But a few libraries are taking it to the next level, not just finding out what patrons need or value and filtering that through the lens of librarian and architect expertise but also letting users directly drive design decisions in collaboration with the professionals.” Read more

Upcoming Events:

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

  • Grading & Reporting Forums/Edcamps
    • Nov 29: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @Loch Raven HS Cafeteria
    • Dec 7: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @Chesapeake HS Cafeteria
    • Dec 8: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @New Town HS Cafeteria
  • November 30: Liaison Hangout, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. @online
  • December 1Night of Innovation
  • December 4:
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. @Pulaski Suite 307 e-Classroom
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. @Pulaski Suite 307 e-Classroom
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Catonsville High School Library
  • December 7:
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. @Pulaski Suite 307 e-Classroom
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. @Loch Raven Academy Library
  • December 8:
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. @Pulaski Suite 307 e-Classroom
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. @Pulaski Suite 307 e-Classroom
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Joppa View Elementary Library
    • Liaison Hangout, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. @online
  • December 12 deadline: Laura Bush Foundation grants for school libraries
  • December 13: Online Make-Up Meeting for Liaisons, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. @online
  • December 20: HSA January Refresher, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. @online