March 2017

March Edition at a Glance



  • Twenty-nine Days Until Edcamp BCPS!
  • A Few Tricks for Video Integration
  • Professional Learning Opportunities


Inside BCPS

This is no April Fools’ Joke…  Edcamp BCPS Is Coming!BCPSedcamp_03

Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 1, from 8:30 – 1:00.  The second annual Edcamp BCPS hosted by the Office of Digital Learning will be held at Cockeysville Middle School.  Registration is now open so start planning for this unique professional learning opportunity.

What is an edcamp?  Edcamp is an unconference; where sessions are developed by the participants the day of the event.   It is an organic, participant-driven professional learning experience that is completely free of charge.  Everyone is welcome to propose and lead a session where conversation and collaboration are paramount.

For more information and to stay informed, visit

Superintendent Dance Named 2017 Maryland Outstanding Leader Using Technology

TOWSON, MD — Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance has been named the 2017 Maryland Outstanding Leader Using Technology by the Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET)… Read more

BCPS Student Filmmakers Win Awards in National Competition

Student teams from Eastern Technical High School and Parkville High School have received awards in the Digital Promise Global 360 Filmmakers Challenge. Through the national competition, Digital Promise Global and partner Oculus (which creates virtual reality products) challenged high school students to use virtual reality and 360° video to promote social change… Read more

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

A Simple Way to Make Fun Videos

Have you ever wanted to make a fun “explainer” videos like this one?  Well now there is an easy way to do it.  Introducing MySimpleShow.  MySimpleShow is a web tool available for teachers to create quick explanation videos that can be used as a resource for flipped learning, meaningful independent work, or as advertisement for a school event.  Visit MySimpleShow to sign up for a free account.

Students View and React to Video!

Showing a video and asking students to react can be a powerful instructional activity.  With the amount high quality content available on YouTube, teachers have been looking for a way to safely integrate YouTube videos into their instruction.  Now we can!  VoiceThread is an application in BCPS One which allows you to place images, videos, documents, and presentations at the center of an audio conversation. These conversations are not live; they take place whenever and wherever it’s convenient for people to participate.  Use VoiceThread as a content delivery tool to encourage discussion and collaboration.  Visit the ODL Resource Wiki for directions for using VoiceThread.

**Important note: All YouTube videos used in VoiceThread MUST be licensed under Creative Commons!  See these directions to ensure you comply with copyright and terms of service**


Professional Learning Opportunities

Students Take the Mic (TL Virtual Café Webinar/ #TLchat Twitter Chat) – March 6, 8:00 p.m.

Students tell how sharing their innovations in the library has changed them. The power or student voice!

Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News (SLJ Webcast) – March 16, 3:00 p.m. 

Critical thinking is more important than ever. Our panelists will cover how to vet information and establish best practices for students to manage the digital firehose, and consider perspective and bias.  Moderator:  Joyce Valenza, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Rutgers University School of Communication & Information. Panelists: Frank Baker, Founder, The Media Literacy Clearinghouse; Gary Price, Editor, Infodocket; Mike Ribble, Educator, Founder,; Damaso Reyes, New York City Program Manager, News Literacy Project.

Teaching Digital Literacy ( Webinar) – March 22, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

This webinar will focus on instructional strategies that help students increase their digital literacy. Michelle Luhtala, Library Department Chair, New Canaan High School, CT, will outline distinctions between media literacy and digital literacy, and highlight how each can be addressed in the classroom and through the library program. The Webinar will also focus on digital collection development and how using library resources can promote critical thinking, improve reading skills, and help learners better understand the research process. This webinar will benefit librarians, and is a follow-up to Emerging Tech’s session, Media Literacy: A Crash Course in 60 Minutes.

News and Media Literacy: Building Critical Consumers and Creators ( Webinar) – March 29, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

More and more, young people (and adults) are getting their news online and from social media. There is also the increasingly problematic issue of fake news and determining credible news sources online. In an age of pervasive, fast, and on-demand information, there is a need for educators and parents to teach news and media literacy to kids.  In this webinar, Kelly Mendoza, Director of Learning and Engagement for Common Sense Education, will lead us on an exploration of news and media literacy, including:

  • Why news and media literacy is more important than ever
  • Latest research on kids and news
  • What is “fake news” and how to spot it
  • Ways teachers can integrate news and media literacy into their curriculum
  • Rubrics you can use to assess students’ understanding of news literacy

Kelly also will debut the new News and Media Literacy Toolkit by Common Sense Education, with resources for educators to help build students’ skills to be critical media consumers and creators. This webinar is designed for middle and high school teachers, librarians, and tech coordinators.

Panel Discussion: New Graphic Novels for Your Library (Booklist Webinar) – March 14, 2:00 p.m.

Get the scoop on the latest youth and adult graphic novels and comics in this free, hour-long webinar. Representatives from DC, Macmillan, and IPG share upcoming titles from their catalogs, perfect for refreshing this high-circulating section. Moderated by Booklist Graphic Novels Editor, Sarah Hunter.


Upcoming Events:

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

  • (Ongoing) Digital Learning University Workshops
  • March 7: BCPS Library Advisory Council, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Greenwood, Board Room A
  • March 8: Liaison Hangout, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. @online
  • March 28:
    • 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
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Catonsville High School Library
  • March 29:
    • 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
  • March 30:
    • 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. @Perry Hall Middle School Library
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. @online
  • April 1: EdCamp BCPS, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. @Cockeysville Middle School Open Space

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