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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.


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Brody and Ellie

Getting to Know: Cindy Gardina

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

Background:

  • 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 https://edmo.do/j/wx24vt.  Email tvstudiosupport@bcps.org 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:

 

June 2016

June Edition at a GlanceJune16

  • Wrapping up & ramping up with DLU
  • Introducing… a new ODL wiki resource
  • Food for Thought: The Noblest Profession
  • Editor’s Note: Fond Farewells
  • Accessing “The Cloud”
  • Transforming school libraries and learning
  • ODL Digest “easter egg hunt”

Inside BCPS

That’s a Wrap!

Digital Learning University workshops have concluded for the 2015-2016 school year. This year 157 workshops were offered by amazing instructors. The Office of Digital Learning would like to recognize all DLU Instructors.

Stacy Barry

Denise Bohnenstengel

Laura Burkhardt

Nicole Calhoun

Katie Cox

Christina Cumberland

Melissa Daniels

Jennifer Dingle

Karyn Ginesi

Jodi Grosser

Justin Hennaut

William Lancaster

Allison Lederer

Erin Ledford

Emily Moore

Chimere Neal

Gerald Oehler

Andrea Palmisano

Jen Piet

Kelly Ray

Kristina Redmer

Valerie Schaffer

Sandra Schmidt

Amy Stevens

Sonya Swift

Benjamin Wagner

Jennifer Weaver

Lou Wikes

Do you want to be a DLU Instructor? If so, fill out the online survey to express interest. (Please complete the survey even if completed previously.)

Check out the Summer 2016 Professional Development Catalog. DLU Workshop Modules and CPD Courses begin July 5, 2016.

Roadmap Rolloutroadmap

Have you checked out the ODL Wiki lately?  There’s a brand new section headlining the front page: A Rollout Roadmap.  If your school is looking ahead and preparing to receive 1:1 devices for your students, this new page was made for you.  Everything that you need to know about the device rollout from instructional planning and logistical concerns to communications with parents and community is linked on this one page.  Some of the information is curated from other places, but much of it is brand new!  Be sure to take the time to check it out.

Other Highlights:

What’s Tweeting?

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


Food for Thought: The Noblest Profession

Benjamin Wagner, Resource Teacher

I believe teaching is the noblest and most honorable profession of humankind. We are responsible for so much.  At the macro level we are responsible for the future of society and are conservators of the past. We are given limited resources to do this by a grudging public that too often thinks teaching as it was done in the past is good enough for today.  Despite all the difficulties, teachers continue to teach. The reasons are many. For me, it was the fascination of working with young minds.

The first set of articles are a resource for inquiring minds. The second article is great for visual thinkers and the third is a unabashed, feel-good article that will make you want to cheer.

Teaching and Learning Articles

Novemberlearning.com · Alan November

Somehow I had forgotten about Alan November. In my own professional circle he had once been in vogue but later, not so in vogue. I suppose it was during that latter time that he dropped from my consciousness. Subsequently when I happened upon his web site recently, I was amazed at the wealth of articles relevant to what we are doing in BCPS. If you like to reflect on our profession, you owe it to yourself to take a look at his articles.

“Alan November’s articles provide great insight into teaching, learning and preparing students for our digital world. His writing has appeared in many popular education magazines and journals, including eSchoolNews, Technology & Learning, School Library Journal, and Middle Ground. We hope you find these articles provocative and practical. Please use these pieces to start a dialogue with your team.”  Read more…

The Best Critical Thinking Definitions We’ve Seen on the Web

Global Digital Citizen Foundation · GDC Team

I think it is human nature that when we disagree with someone, we feel we are right and the other person is wrong. For example, I believe I am a good critical thinker. It’s just the rest of you I’m not so sure about. I even have doubts about the guy I see in the mirror in the morning. Where was his critical thinking last night? Tongue-in-cheek aside, I found this article by the GDC team surprisingly interesting. The quotations are rich and the infographics priceless.  Though thinking critically, I would have chosen a better title…

“What is critical thinking? How can I foster it in my students and staff? What does it look like when it’s being done right? What are some of the best critical thinking definitions I can find? Sometimes the best understanding comes by observing.” Read more…

Special Needs Teacher Comes To The Rescue On Flight

NPR · Weekend Edition · May 7, 2016

I feel public school teachers are undervalued in our society today, so when I saw this article on Diane Ravitch’s blog, I wanted to go to the source for more information. Instead of, “Is there a doctor on board?” the cry was, “Is there a teacher on board?” The way Sophie Murphy responded by thinking, feeling, and doing makes me proud to be a teacher.

“When a teenager with special needs refused to get back into his seat on a recent flight, the crew asked if there were any teachers on board and Sophie Murphy answered the call.” Read more…


Editor’s Note: Fond Farewells

avatar.jpg.320x320pxAs a Resource Teacher in the Office of Digital Learning, Benjamin Wagner has been contributing to this publication since it inception.  The section entitled Food for Thought became Ben’s responsibility and it was a perfect fit.  In addition to curating thought-provoking articles each month, Ben took great care to choose articles with similar themes and direct connections to district initiatives.  If you never had the time to read the Food for Thought sections, I highly recommend that you go back and do so.

Ben is retiring at the conclusion of this school year and he will be greatly missed by his colleagues in ODL.  Not just because of his amazing contributions to this publication, but for all the ways he has improved teaching and learning in the Baltimore County Public Schools System.  If you have worked with Ben at some point during the 43 years he has been with BCPS and have witnessed the impact that he has made, please send him an email before the last day of school to congratulate him, carla2thank him, and let him know how much he will be missed.

Additionally, the Office of Digital Learning is celebrating the retirement of our Library Media Assistant, Carla Weber.  Carla has been with Baltimore County Public Schools for 27 years.  She has been an invaluable asset to team BCPS by cataloging and processing school library materials for the entire district.  Her hard work and dedication will be greatly missed.

On behalf of the Office of Digital Learning, I bid a fond farewell to both of these amazing team members.

– Jennifer Weaver, Resource Teacher, Editor of the ODL Digest


Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Save Documents to the Cloud

OneDrive allows you to save all of your files to the cloud giving you 24/7 everywhere access.  To upload files to your OneDrive visit www.bcps.org/onedrive and log in using your BCPS credentials.  Be sure to select “Organizational Account” when logging in.  Select “upload” and begin uploading your files.

OfficeSigninOfficeUpload

Take Control of your Keyboard

Your keyboard’s control button holds a lot of power. Check out these keyboard shortcuts.  Just press and hold you control button along with the desired function.

KeyboardShortcut


In the Media

Librarians are taking the lead in the digital transformation

eSchool News · May 25, 2016 · Bridget McCrea

Our own Joquetta Johnson highlights how she is applying best practices from our BCPS PD sessions for library media specialists to her library program and practice at Randallstown High.  Read more…

Popularity of Ed Tech Not Necessarily Linked to Products’ Impact

Education Week · May 2016 · Benjamin Herold

Digital learning tools that fit well within existing classrooms and don’t disrupt the educational status quo tend to be the most widely adopted, despite their limited impact on student learning, an analysis of ed-tech products designed for higher education concludes. Read more . . .

Technology as a Tool to Support Instruction 

Education World · May 31, 2016 · Lynne Schrum

This week, in an Education World “edu-torial,” Lynne Schrum presents her personal perspective on the ways in which technology can enhance learning — and calls on educators to take a leadership role in determining the ways in which technology is used to support educational goals. Read more. . .

 Transforming School Libraries and Learning:


Upcoming Events:

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

Digital Learning University Summer Offerings:

Summer Reading Program Dates:Summerread

  • Theme: “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!”
  • Dates to Remember:
    • June 20 – Summer Reading Club officially begins
    • August 14 – Summer Reading Club officially ends
    • August 28 – Last day to pick up Read-to-Me and Elementary prizes
    • September 6 – Last day to pick up Young Adult and Adult Summer Reading prizes

Library Media Specialist Professional Learning:


ODL Digest Contest:

How well do you pay attention to the ODL Digest?  Did you notice the literary connection made in each edition during the 2015-16 school year?  The first person to email jweaver with a list of these “easter eggs” and their calendar connections will receive a small token of congratulations from ODL.  Happy hunting!

May 2016

May Edition at a GlanceMay16

  • #edcampbcps and #cgmd16 dominated the ODL Twitter feed this month; learn what the buzz was about!
  • Food for Thought on preparing our students for tomorrow’s world
  • Unknown tools, a new tool, and changes to an existing tool
  • Q&A with Makerspaces Innovator Laura Fleming

Inside BCPS

Extended Professional Learning Experiences

TeamODL

Office of Digital Learning staff at Edcamp BCPS 4/16/16

Saturday, April 16, marked the Office of Digital Learning’s first Edcamp BCPS.  One hundred and five BCPS educators (and a few from outside of BCPS) gave up a Saturday morning to participate in this unique professional learning format.  Twenty-seven sessions on a variety of participant requested topics encouraged conversation and collaboration among educators.  The entire schedule and crowd-sourced notes are linked from our Edcamp page. The day was a huge success and we look forward to hosting another Edcamp in the future!

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BCPS employees participating in Common Ground 2016- Photos courtesy of Twitter

On April 28 & 29, BCPS joined education colleagues from across the state and surrounding areas for the fifth annual Common Ground conference, Maryland’s top professional development event of the year.  Members of BCPS led and attended dozens of inspiring professional development sessions in order to grow and gain knowledge in 21st Century Teaching and Learning. Check out #cgmd16 on Twitter for a recap.

Other Highlights:

  • BCPS Film Expo: Want to see some of the earliest films by the next great filmmakers? Join Baltimore County Public Schools for a red carpet premiere of the 20 finalists in the inaugural BCPS Film Expo. The free event will be held on Thursday, May 5, from 5 – 9 p.m. at the historic Senator Theater at 5904 York Rd., 21212.  Read more…
  • Celebrating National School Library Month with spotlights on Lisa WashingtonJeff Flynn, and Pam Cline

What’s Tweeting?

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


Food for Thought: Preparing Students for Tomorrow’s World

Benjamin Wagner, Resource Teacher

Preparing students for their future is vastly different today than in the past. Education has been accused of teaching for the world that was, or more charitably for the world that is. To do our students justice, they need to be taught for the world that will be. An over-reliance on content and compliance produced willing workers with basic skills. This is no longer sufficient. We need to graduate students who are as nimble with their thinking as they are with their feet; students who understand that graduation is the first step to a lifetime of learning; students who can both think for themselves and work well with others. The two Cs of the past have given way to the 4Cs for tomorrow.

I found three articles of interest. One compares highly regarded Finnish schools with American schools; one is about lifelong learning; and the third is about developing creativity in students.

Opinion: The Finnish formula: let kids be kids

NorthJersey.com · William Doyle · March 23, 2016

William Doyle provides a revealing contrast between Finnish and American schools. Here are two snippets to pique your curiosity: Finnish schools have fifteen minutes of recess each hour and educators are the ultimate authorities on education, not politicians, bureaucrats, or vendors.

“Finland doesn’t waste time or money on low-quality mass standardized testing. Instead, children are assessed every day, through direct observation, check-ins and quizzes by the highest-quality ‘personalized learning device’ ever created — flesh-and-blood teachers.”  Read more…

Powerful Ways to Foster Lifelong Learning Skills

Global Digital Citizen Foundation · GDC Team · April 2016

How do we develop lifelong learners? This article lists six things teachers can do to help foster this mindset.

“Educators want their students to succeed in and out of the classroom. The idea is to make sure that once they leave school, they no longer need us. In essence, the students must become the teachers. The point is that they never stop being learners.  This is what it means to be a lifelong learner. Below are a few ways that you can give this mindset to your students.”  Read more…

An Educator’s Guide to Teaching Creatively

Global Digital Citizen Foundation · GDC Team · April 2016

This article presents a problem for teachers. It states that to teach students to be creative, we need to understand creativity and be creative ourselves, something that is difficult considering the daily routines that are so demanding of teachers’ time.

“Teachers have an interesting challenge with creativity. They must inspire it in their students while being creative themselves. All the while they juggle regular tasks that are part of their profession. Academic duties like lesson planning, testing, classroom management, and more will always be there. Teaching creatively means considering how creativity can apply to every responsibility a teacher has.”  Read more…


Tips, Tricks, and Tools

There’s an App for ThatWinApps

Your device, and student devices, have a ton of apps preinstalled.  Have you been curious about what each of them can help you do?  Check out the Windows Apps page on the ODL Resource Wiki and see what each app can do for you.

Encourage Collaboration with Kahoot!

Kahoot now comes with a built in Team Mode to facilitate collaboration among small groups.  In team mode, Kahoot! will provide teams time to discuss their answer choices before the team can submit a response.  The other features of Kahoot! work the same.  Check it out!

What’s the Code?LightBot

Want to give your students experience with coding?  Check out Lightbot which is now available through ABCYA.  Lightbot “introduces several principles of programming…like sequence, conditions, and loops” and encourages problem solving skills.  Give it a shot!


In the Media

Q&A with Makerspaces Innovator Laura Fleming on the Best Creative Spaces in K–12

EdTech: Focus on K–12 · Jena Passut · March 28, 2016:

‘All good makerspaces put kids first in all that they do.’  Laura Fleming has quite a bit of knowledge about makerspaces. She’s created them at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Read more. . .

Turning the Page: How the Librarian’s Role Continues to Evolve

Huffington Post · Robyn Shulman · April 15, 2016:

Do you remember walking into the school library during your elementary school years? For me, as an avid reader at a young age, I can easily recall various unique aspects about that magical room. Read more. . .


Upcoming Events:

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

  • May 3: Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Learning Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Dumbarton Middle School Library
  • May 4: ClassFlow: Customizations and Assessments Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Riderwood Elementary Room 28
  • May 10: ClassFlow: Customizations and Assessments Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Glenmar Elementary Library
  • May 11: Curating Digital Resources, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Fort Garrison Elementary Room 24
  • May 12: Bring Joy to the Classroom with Passion Projects (Webinar), 4-5 PM ET  @edWeb.net. Passion Projects are an adapted model of the traditional Genius Hour movement, where students focus on a topic that holds their passionate interest; the model has the flexibility to align with project-based learning. This webinar will showcase examples of Passion Projects and guide participants through five easy steps to implement them for elementary and secondary learners.
  • May 14: 4th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair, 12 – 4 p.m. @ Reginald F. Lewis Museum. FREE admission, featuring Authors & Illustrators, Book Village, Performances, Crafts and Free Books. Elementary school library media specialists, please share this opportunity with your students!
  • May 17:
    • Elementary School Library Media Specialist PD, 8:30 – 11 a.m. @Greenwood Building E, Room 114
    • Elementary School Library Media Specialist PD, 1 – 3:30 p.m. @Greenwood Building E, Room 114
  • May 18:
    • Elementary School Library Media Specialist PD, 8:30 – 11 a.m. @Greenwood Building E, Room 114
    • Elementary School Library Media Specialist PD, 1 – 3:30 p.m. @Greenwood Building E, Room 114
    • ClassFlow Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Pine Grove Middle School Library
  • May 19:
    • BCPS Independent Research Seminar 6 – 8 PM @Perry Hall High School Library
    • Students from Franklin, Parkville, Perry Hall, and Randallstown high schools who participated in the Independent Research Seminar course will present their research findings in formal oral/multimedia presentations or poster sessions. Light refreshments will be served. High School library media specialists are encouraged to attend, and to invite their administrators and counselors– especially if your school has not been offering this unique course elective!
  • May 20:
    • High School Library Media Specialist PD, 8:30 – 11 a.m. @Greenwood Building E, Room 114
    • Middle School Library Media Specialist PD, 12 – 2:30 p.m. @Greenwood Building E, Room 114
  • May 25: Liaison End of the Year Celebration, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Amped Up! Family Amphitheater

April 2016

April Edition at a GlanceApril16

  • Counting down to edcamp BCPS!
  • Food for Thought on Originality, Innovation, and Teamwork
  • Brush up on some familiar technology through our Tips, Tricks, and Tools
  • Celebrate School Library Month and join our BCPL partners for BC Reads

Inside BCPS

BCPSedcamp_03Join fellow members of Team BCPS for a day of professional development; edcamp style.

Edcamp is an unconference; where professional development sessions are developed by the participants the day of the event.  Everyone is welcome to propose and lead a session where conversation and collaboration are paramount.  Topics can be anything related to education; from technology integration to behavior management to instructional strategies.  There is no limit to the possible learning that will occur.

Edcamp BCPS is hosted by the Office of Digital Learning and will be held on Saturday, April 16 from 8:30-1:00 at Cockeysville Middle School.  Edcamp is completely free of charge and open to all Team BCPS faculty and staff.  Participation is limited and is offered on a first come first served basis.

Interested participants may register for the offering by logging into BCPS One at https://bcpsone.bcps.org, selecting the Professional Learning tile, and then selecting the Registration System tile.  The offering is titled “EdCamp BCPS,” and can be found in the Workshops catalog.  Registration instructions are available from the login screen.

If you aren’t sure how an edcamp works, you can learn more about it on the official edcamp BCPS wiki page here: http://tinyurl.com/edcampbcps

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 Kitchenby 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.

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 April 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!


Food for Thought: Originality, Innovation, and Teamwork

Benjamin Wagner, Resource Teacher, Office of Digital Learning

I’m not actually a believer in Karma, but the other day I heard an interview with an author on National Public Radio. He was discussing his research on business’s use of teams. He was surprised at how poor teamwork is. His comments had implications for teaching and I put his book on my mental list of things I wanted to share in the ODL Digest.

So of course I forgot the name of the book and spent considerable time searching NPR for the interview without success.  The next day when I checked one of my bookmarked websites, lo and behold I found an article referencing part of the interview. The article by Elissa Nadworny, reveals some surprising thoughts about brainstorming (we might be doing it wrong) and procrastination that challenge conventional wisdom. The book is Originals by Adam Grant.

What Kind of Group Work Encourages the Most Original Thinking?

Mind/Shift · Elissa Nadworny · March 14, 2016

“Grant writes about the importance of getting kids to take risks, to embrace their own curiosity and to be confident in where their minds wander. So how can adults create spaces and cultures of originality to breed these new ideas?”

What this article didn’t include from the NPR interview was Grant’s comments about teamwork in business. I wonder, is their inability to utilize teams effectively, the reason P21 skills of collaboration and communication are so important to the Common Core?

In the 80’s and 90’s I read most of the books by Tom Peters on business practices. His In Search of Excellence is a fascinating look at some of the most successful companies in the world at that time. Examining the most successful teams at one of the companies, Peters came to the conclusion that those teams were successful not because they had the best engineers, but because they all had the same person with excellent relationship skills. Apparently business needs schools to teach collaboration and communication because a top down approach to teamwork will not work. His article written in 1988 is still true today.

Team at the Top Proves to be a Misnomer

tompeters! · Tom Peters · 1988

“Authors Robert Lefton and V. R. Buzzotta, long-time counselors to top management, systematically examined 26 top-level teams, ranging in size from six to 20 people (usually a CEO or president and vice presidents); 20 of the firms are in the Fortune 500 club. In a nutshell, the authors found little teamwork, virtually no “synergy” from these collections of wise heads and a lot of wasted time and childish behavior.”

I find the last sentence in the quote above amusing; how many times have we as teachers thought the same about our students when we try to have them collaborate?

Finally, to avoid being too cerebral this month, my final article has some ideas for creating a successful Genius Hour. Some schools are using Genius Hour to encourage originality, innovation, and passion in their students.

The 4 Essentials of a Successful Genius Hour

eSchool News · Jill Badalamenti · January 26, 2016

“As educators, we can help our students find and explore their passions. Once they discover what they’re truly passionate about, the learning and engagement will never stop. The best way for students to explore their passions is through Genius Hour.”


Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Where Are My Sounds?

Using the built in microphone and the Sound Recorder app, users are SoundRecorderable to record themselves.  Teachers might record themselves giving directions or the Friday spelling test.  Students may record themselves practicing their fluency or delivering a public service announcements.  These sounds can be shared in BCPS One on a discussion board, a turn-in, or a test and quiz.  To make the sounds easier to find and share, teachers can create a shortcut on their desktop.  Directions can be found here.

BrainPOP Español and BrainPOP Français  

BrainPopBCPS teachers and students have access to BrainPOP in both Spanish and French.  To access BrainPOP Español and BrainPOP Français, log into BCPS One and choose Digital Content.  Select BrainPOP.  Look for Moby in the upper left corner and click the drop-down arrow.  You can select your choice from there.

 There’s A Tool for That!

Have you checked out the Instructional Activities page on the ODL Resource Wiki?  This page will help you find a tool to facilitate different instructional activities.  For example, are you or your students making a timeline? There is a tool for that!Instructional Activities

Classflow Webinar

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

What:

  • 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.

When:  April 28, May 12, May 26

  • Session 1: 3:30pm to 4:30 pm
  • Session 2: 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Where: Follow the link below to join the Blackboard Collaborate session.

https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=1013&password=M.7BA0B0461A7291A9141AB51BE7B0CA


In the Media

SC Study Shows Link Between School Librarians and Higher Test Scores

School Library Journal · Karen Gavigan and Keith Curry Lance · March 14, 2016

“’We have known in the past how important our role is, but this groundbreaking study proves that and validates what we already know: The school librarian and the library program help make schools stronger,’ says Diana Carr, president of SCASL at the time of the study.”  Read more…

Search Strategy Instruction: Shifting from Baby Bird Syndrome to Curious Cat Critical Thinking

Knowledge Quest · Lisa Cheby · March/April 2016

“A colleague once described her frustration with students’ lack of initiative and curiosity as what we came to call ‘baby bird syndrome’: the desire of students, after years of teaching-to-the-test mentality, to wait to be fed answers rather than risk engaging in individual thinking…  Is it possible to teach curiosity, to make curious kittens out of baby birds?”  Read more…

Technology in the Perfect School

SEEN (SouthEast Education Network) · Dr. Billie J. McConnell · January 24, 2016:

“We must start with the ‘perfect school.’ Until we come to an agreement on what students should learn and how they will best learn, we can’t choose the technology that allows us to meet our goals.” Read more. . .

Technology as a Tool to Support Instruction

Education World · Lynne Schrum · March 21, 2016:

“This week, in an Education World ‘edu-torial,’ Lynne Schrum presents her personal perspective on the ways in which technology can enhance learning — and calls on educators to take a leadership role in determining the ways in which technology is used to support educational goals.”  Read more. . .


Upcoming Events:

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

  • April is School Library Month! The 2016 theme is School Libraries Transform Learning.

AASL_SLM2016_web-pod

  • April 5: 
    • Device 101 Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Edmonson Heights Elementary Library
    • Multipdisciplinary Mapping Applications Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Halstead Academy Library
  • April 6: 
    • Dive Into the Deep End of SAMR: Planning Learning Activities Above the Line Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Eastern Technical High School, Room 111
    • Databases for Digital Learning in Grades 6 – 12, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Loch Raven High School Library
  • April 7: Leveraging Technology in a Learner Centered Classroom Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Edmonson Heights Elementary Library
  • April 12:
    • Evidence-Based Practice Showcase, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @Pine Grove Middle School Library, for Library Media Specialists who attended the EBP Workshop on January 14th
    • Communicating with Students and Parents in BCPSOne Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @ Eastern Technical High School, Room 111
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
    • Introduction to Social Media Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
  • April 13:
    • Secondary Liaison Meeting, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. @online
    • Office Mix Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Fort Garrison Elementary Library
  • April 14:
    • Screenshots and Screencasts Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Greenwood Board Room A
    • Device Apps Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Rosedale Center Room C22
  • April 16: edcamp BCPS, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. @Cockeysville Middle School
  • April 19: Curating Digital Resources Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Riderwood Elementary Room 28
  • April 21: OneNote Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Greenwood Baord Room A
  • April 22: Earth Day
  • April 28 – 29: Common Ground Maryland Conference
  • May 2: Tweet Like a Ninja in 6 Easy Steps (Education Edition), 8:00 p.m. @Webinar with Gwyneth Jones (The Daring Librarian) on TL Virtual Cafe
  • May 3: Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Learning Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Dumbarton Middle School Library
  • May 4:  ClassFlow: Customizations and Assessments Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Riderwood Elementary Room 28

March 2016

March16
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 www.awwapp.com.  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.
https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=1013&password=M.7BA0B0461A7291A9141AB51BE7B0CA

Who:

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

What:

  • 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.

When:

  • 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.

AASL_SLM2016_web-pod

January/February 2016

JanFeb16January/February Edition at a Glance

  • BCPS leading the way at FETC
  • School libraries and public libraries form strong partnerships
  • Research on the benefits of learner centered instruction in this month’s Food for Thought
  • One new Tip/Trick/Tool and two to refresh your memory
  • Folks to Follow for library collection development

Inside BCPS

#TeamBCPS at FETC 

Photo courtesy of @techdaniels

Photo courtesy of @techdaniels

Several members of Team BCPS proudly sported their #BCPSBlue from the Future of Education Technology Conference in Orlando, Florida.  In addition to showing their BCPS pride, Stacy Barry (Resource Teacher, Office of Innovative Learning Projects), Katie Cox (S.T.A.T. Teacher, Mays Chapel Elementary), Melissa Daniels (S.T.A.T. Teacher, Lyons Mill Elementary), Jill Dunham-Wright (S.T.A.T. Teacher, Cromwell Valley Elementary Regional Magnet), Michael Fort (Supervisor, Office of Digital Learning), Ryan Imbriale (Executive Director, Department of Innovative Learning) Sean McComb (Resource Teacher, Office of Organizational Development), Dana Novotny (Library Media Specialist, Cromwell Valley Elementary Regional Magnet), Nick Schiner (Resource Teacher, Office of Innovative Learning Projects), Benjamin Wagner (Resource Teacher, Office of Digital Learning), and Jennifer Weaver (Resource Teacher, Office of Digital Learning) shared their expertise and experiences with attendees from all 50 states and over 40 countries!  As the 2014 National Teacher of the Year, Sean was asked to be the closing keynote speaker and spoke passionately about empowering teachers and students.  Ryan and Jennifer led workshops on B.Y.O.D. and infographics respectively.  Dana and Jill presented a concurrent session on high- and low-tech formative assessment as well as sharing a poster about their TV studio program.  Advice on 21st century professional development (Katie and Melissa), selecting 1:1 devices (Michael and Ben), and telling the story of your journey (Stacy and Nick) were shared with dozens of people in the popular poster sessions.  FETC was an excellent platform for BCPS to showcase the S.T.A.T. initiative and demonstrate leadership on the journey towards technology supported, student-centered learning environments.

2nd Annual SAIL Collaboration Day:

SAILPartners

Photo courtesy of @Accordin2Jo

As part of the Students Achieve in Libraries (SAIL) partnership between BCPS and the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL), school library media specialists and their public library partners met for collaborative professional development on January 19th at local BCPL branches across the county. School library media specialists shared information about BCPS One and our K–12 Digital Content so that BCPL staff may better assist student patrons with school assignments. BCPL staff showcased the public library databases available to our students with their SAIL cards, so that school library media specialists may promote the use of these resources to support student learning. Ideas and materials for incorporating Makerspace activities in the library were shared. Participants also strategized for semiannual school events at local branches and schools, and for continued student SAIL card registration.  Check out photos and comments from these events on Twitter @bcplinfo @bcpsodl #bcpslms.

The ConnectED Library Challenge

In April, 2015, the President announced the ConnectED Library Challenge, calling upon library directors to work with their mayors, school leaders, and school librarians to create or strengthen partnerships so that every child enrolled in school can receive a library card. Over 30 major cities and counties have announced they are taking the
challenge, which also includes a commitment to:

  • support student learning through programming that develops their language, reading, and critical thinking
  • provide digital resources, such as eBooks and online collections of traditional media
  • provide broadband connectivity and wireless access within library facilities

SAILTo support the implementation of the ConnectED Library Challenge an event was held at the White House on January 19, 2016.  Members of local governments, public library leaders, and public school leaders were given opportunities to showcase and share existing efforts and were challenged to find new ways to continue the initiative.  Fran Glick, Coordinator, Office of Digital Learning, represented BCPS at the event.  BCPS and our partners at BCPL continue to work to improve our collaborative efforts for the benefit of all students, families, and teachers.  The attached infographic demonstrates the growth in the partnership to date.

What’s Tweeting?

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


Food for Thought

Benjamin Wagner, Resource Teacher, Office of Digital Learning

Right up front, I will admit I am a believer that learner-centered instruction will be more effective at producing globally competitive graduates than teacher-directed instruction. Having the recent opportunity to do professional development with a group of secondary teachers, I was asked the question, “Where’s the research that says learner-centered is better than teacher-directed?”

We hear this question voiced in other ways: If it isn’t broken, why fix it? My students do well on tests and they make it into good universities, why should I change?

I found three articles that answer these questions in different ways. The first article is about the type of thinking students need in order to become responsible for their learning. The second article provides reasons why a learner-centered environment is better for today’s students.  The third article is for those wanting proof that learner-centered instruction is better. While this article specifically addresses research done with science classes, the five key findings are applicable to other disciplines. Note this extensively researched article was published in 2006.

Smart Strategies That Help Students Learn to Learn

Global Digital Citizen Foundation · November 19, 2015

“What’s the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests a rather riddle-like answer: It’s not just what you know. It’s what you know about what you know.”

A Clear Rationale for Learner-Centered Teaching

National Education Association · October 8, 2008

“The first step to helping students adjust to learner-centered teaching is to explain WHY this approach is the best possible way to enhance their academic success. This includes explaining how the new learning roles and responsibilities expected of them in a learner-centered classroom will allow them to better meet their learning and life goals.”

Where’s the Evidence That Active Learning Works?

American Physiological Sociey · Joel Michael · December 1, 2006

“One final report is worth noting. Burrowes compared learning outcomes in two sections of the same course taught by the same teacher. One section was taught in the traditional teacher-centered manner (control group of 100 students), whereas the other section was taught in a manner that was based on constructivist ideas (experimental group of 104 students). The results of this experiment were striking: the mean exam scores of the experimental group were significantly higher than those of the control group, and students in the experimental group did better on questions that specifically tested their ability to ‘think like a scientist.’”


Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Turn-Ins

Did you know that students can now use the Turn-In feature in BCPS One to turn in an audio recording of their work?  This would be useful as a check for fluency, foreign language practice, to record a commercial, etc.  Students simply choose the microphone icon in their Turn-In.  They can record up to 3 minutes of audio.  Check out the BCPS One Manual for more information.

TurnIn

netTrekker

What is the best way for students to conduct research on the web safely and reliably?  Hint: It is not Google.  Check out netTrekker.  neTrekker provides access to more than 330,000 educator-vetted, standards-aligned active learning resources.  When researching with netTrekker students do not have to question the validity of their sources.  netTrekker is customizable to Elementary, Middle and High school students and is available to through the Digital Content section of BCPS One.

NetTrekker

Refresh Care and Use

The new year is the perfect time to review device care and use procedures.  Complete lesson plans and a plethora of visual resources are available on the ODL Resource Wiki.  Click in the “Device Care and Use” section.

DeviceCare


In the Media

FETC 2016: Q&A with Reshma Saujani on Bringing Girls to Coding

EdTech Magazine · D. Frank Smith · January 15, 2016:

“The opening keynote for FETC 2016 was led by a visionary leader in education who is helping to overcome the gender gap in computer science. Reshma Saujani is the founder of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization aimed at increasing the number of women involved in fields such as programming. EdTech spoke with Saujani after her keynote at FETC this year, which was focused on inspiring educators to spread STEM initiatives throughout K–12 schools.” Read more. . .

Engaging Parents to Sustain Making in Schools

Getting Smart · Patrick Benfield · December 27, 2015:

“It’s an exciting time to be a maker educator. It seems like everywhere I look, there’s inspirational work happening in community fab labs, a school launching a new innovation program, or a library incorporating STEAM into its space. At St. Gabriel’s in Austin, Texas, we entered the fray last fall with STEAM by Design, an approach to constructivist learning that uses classroom space in conjunction. . .”  Read more. . .

Hack the Classroom Digital Event

“On January 30, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. PST, Microsoft is leading the HACK THE CLASSROOM Movement. We are bringing together inspiring educators and thought leaders and sharing their secrets.  Educators who attend Hack the Classroom will leave inspired and able to incorporate some new ideas and tools into the classroom so that their students can achieve more.”  For more information…


Folks to Follow- Library Collection Development

As you consider titles to add to your school library collection, please consider following the people and organizations below. Many book recommendations, review and book trailers/ book talks are posted regularly by these Twitter accounts.

 Twitter  Websites

Upcoming Events:

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

  • January 21: BCPS One Tests and Quizzes Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
  • January 26:
    • ActivInspire Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., @Vincent Farm Elementary Library
    • Screenshots and Screencasts Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
  • January 27:
    • Introduction to Wixie Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Harford Hills Elementary Library
    • Multidisciplinary Mapping Applications, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Riderwood Elementary School Room 28
  • January 28:
    • Feedback and Assessment Tools Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Stoneleigh Elementary Library
    • Unlocking the Potential of OneDrive Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Greenwood Board Room A
    • Registration closes for Transforming Instruction with SAMR Workshop @Modern Teacher One platform
  • February 2:
    • Infographics Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Halstead Academy
    • Transforming Instruction with SAMR Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Eastern Tech High Room 111
  • February 3:
    • High School Library Media Specialist Professional Development, 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. @Pulaski, Suite 307 e-classroom
    • Middle School Library Media Specialist Professional Development, 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. @Pulaski Suite 307 e-classroom
    • Beyond the Furniture: Creating a Learner-Centered Environment – Teacher, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Cromwell Valley Elementary Library
  • February 4:
    • Elementary Library Media Specialist Professional Development, 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. @ Pulaski Suite 307 e-classroom
    • Elementary Library Media Specialist Professional Development, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. @ Pulaski Suite 307 e-classroom
    • ClassFlow Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Riderwood Elementary Room 28
    • Audio Tools in Instruction Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Rosedale Center C22
  • February 5:
    • Elementary Library Media Specialist Professional Development, 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. @ Pulaski Suite 307 e-classroom
    • Elementary Library Media Specialist Professional Development, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. @ Pulaski Suite 307 e-classroom
  • February 9:
    • Elementary Technology Liaison and Alternates Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
    • BCPS One Tests and Quizzes Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
    • Beyond the Furniture: Creating a Learner-Centered Environment – Student, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Fort Garrison Elementary Room 22
  • February 10:
    • Secondary Technology Liaison and Alternates Meeting, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. @online
    • Office Mix Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @White Oak School Library
    • Developing Flipped Learning Workshop, 5:30 – 7;30 p.m. @online
  • February 11:
    • Creative Response Tools Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
    • Introduction to Wixie Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @Mays Chapel Elementary Library
  • February 16:
    • Databases for Digital Learning Grades 6-12 Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Loch Raven High Library
    • Elementary – Facilitating Instruction in BCPS One through the Lesson Tiles Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Lyons Mill Elementary Library
  • February 17:
    • Device 101 Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Cromwell Valley Elementary Library
    • OneNote Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @Summit Park Elementary Library
  • February 18: Dive Into the Deep End of SAMR: Planning Learning Activities Above the Line Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @ Eastern Tech High Room 111
  • February 23 – 28: Transforming Instruction with SAMR Workshop, All Day @Modern Teacher One Platform (Online)
  • February 23: Audio Tools in Instruction Workshop, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @White Oak School Library
  • February 24: Feedback and Assessment Tools, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
  • February 25: Introduction to Social Media, 4: 30 – 6:30 p.m. @Lyons Mill Elementary Library

 

December 2015

December15December Edition at a Glance

  • Enjoy a guest post on AASL from New Town Elementary School’s principal and library media specialist
  • There’s a lot happening Inside BCPS including Night of Innovation, Hour of Code, and more!
  • Consider some more Food for Thought on P21 Skills
  • Check out Google’s cool tool, the Cultural Institute

 


Inside BCPS

Nights of Innovation

Ever wonder what the transformation of teaching and learning looks like in our elementary and middle Lighthouse Schools? Join us for a true Night of Innovation on Thursday, December 3, 2015 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  All BCPS students, parents, staff, and other stakeholders are invited to attend any one of the four Night of Innovation events being held around the county:

  • Church Lane Elementary Technology School
  • Edmondson Heights Elementary School
  • Pikesville Middle School
  • Windsor Mill Middle School
NOI

The Night of Innovation will run in an open house format with opportunities to visit several stations including hands-on, interactive stations with Discovery Education, a Student Digital Showcase, model classrooms that exemplify learner-centered environments, and more. Please see the attached flyer for additional information. We hope you can join us for this engaging and informative event!

Hour of Codehour-of-code-logo

The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event anytime, but the grassroots campaign goal is for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during December 7-13, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Is it one specific hour? No. You can do the Hour of Code anytime during this week. You’re welcome to split up the Hour of Code into multiple sessions so long as your students finish the Hour of Code tutorial. Just do whatever works best for you and your students. (And if you can’t do it during that week, do it the week before or after).  One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. There is no experience needed and activities are appropriate for students of all ages.”

TV Studio Edmodo Group

An Edmodo group for TV Studio Coordinators is now forming!  Please encourage the person in your school responsible for the TV studio to join this group.  This will be a great resource for sharing ideas, asking questions, and improving your studio. Please use the link https://edmo.do/j/wx24vt to request access.

What’s Tweeting?

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

The P21 skills are the foundation of the Teaching and Learning Framework that’s guiding our instructional transformation. Last month we featured articles about collaboration and communication. This month we’ll share articles about some of the other P21 skills.  Please feel free to share your insights in the comment section at the bottom of this newsletter.

27 Ways to Inspire Students to Innovate (Infographic)Innovation

Mia MacMeekin’s infographic shows ways students can think or things they can do to foster innovation. Is there a practical use for an infographic like this?

Global Digital Citizen · Foundation · October 24, 2015

“Educator Mia MacMeekin made this infographic about ways to inspire students to think more deeply about how innovation applies to them. It’s a helpful way to begin a conversation about what it means to innovate, a word that sometimes seems to belong in the adult domain of business and is estranged from how students think about living their lives.”  Read more…

4 Essential Rules of 21st Century Learning

Jennifer Rita Nichols would be on board with BCPS’s transformation. She identifies four “rules” based on P21 skills. BCPS is actively engaged with three of them. What is the fourth rule and why aren’t we pursuing it?

teachthought · Jennifer Rita Nichols · October 19, 2015

“Society has changed. We cannot adequately prepare students for the society that exists today or will exist tomorrow, if we continue to prepare them for the society that existed yesterday. In order to prepare students to play their role in the 21st century society we are a part of, a few things need to be considered when deciding how education will look in our schools and classrooms.”  Read more…

Why Do Students Pick Teacher A or Teacher B? Who Would You Pick?

Alan November’s article is thought-provoking. Teacher B has students using P21 skills. Some students prefer teacher A. Find out why and what (if anything) should be done about it.

November Learning · Alan November · March 11, 2015

“What if we asked our students about the type of work they would prefer to do while in class? It may reveal a lot about what choices they would make for assignments and activities and why they make these choices.”  Read more…


Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Google Cultural InstituteExplore

Ever wanted to visit the Acropolis?  Versailles?  The Uffizi?  Interested in the history of Japan, Korea, or Taiwan?  Perhaps your students have never visited a museum or need a little more information to help them understand the characters or events in their novel.  Google’s Cultural Institute aims to make world cultures searchable and accessible to everyone.  The three projects that are currently available are Art Project, Historic Moments, and World Wonders.   Not only are these sites searchable by keyword, but visitors can browse the collection using filters such as place, date, and medium.

Art Project gives you access to museums, collections, and fine art from all over the world.  Choose “Collections” to view artwork by museum or collection and use the “Museum view only” filter to find museums that have interactive “street view” tours available.  Users can even use a Google account to curate resources into custom collections publicly available via a simple hyperlink.

Historic Moments uses digital exhibitions of primary source material to tell stories of historic significance or interest.  Topics are varied and include, among others, war heroes, civil rights, technology, food, music, and even dentistry!

World Wonders aims to bring to life the wonders of the modern and ancient world.  World heritage sites like the Taj Mahal, the Giza Necropolis, Stonehenge, and Angkor Wat come to life through “street view” tours, animations, and artifacts.


Guest Post- AASL 2015

by Sharonda Gregory and John Redmond-Palmer, New Town Elementary School

Empowering Evolution, Experience, Education and Evidence were the guiding principles at the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 17th National Conference & Exhibition. This collaborative forum held November 5 – 8 addressed strategies in meeting rigorous standards, raising achievement, and preparing students for college, careers, and citizenship.  What an amazing experience for both the library media specialist and administrator to partner and engage in discourse related to our system-wide perspective on student-centered school improvement. More specifically, having an opportunity to attend as a library media specialist and principal team provided us a chance to hear various presentations and to begin planning how we can expand the library program in our school.

AASLThe conference started off with an amazing presentation by Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, educational consultant and curriculum specialist for 21st century approaches to teaching and learning.  Dr. Jacobs tasked us with returning to our school and advancing at least one unit by taking the classical content and incorporating modern learning into that content.   Her presentation jump-started the opportunity for our team to begin the conversations that lasted throughout the conference.

We have returned with a few initiatives that we are excited to implement. APP Studies, instead of book studies, will provide an opportunity for teachers at our school to become proficient with technology applications and feel confident in implementing them into instruction.  We will promote collaborative projects that focus on developing research modules aligned with P21 skills. Additionally, we will encourage shared lesson planning and lesson implementation between classroom teachers and the library media specialist.

The opportunity to attend the AASL conference as a team provided exceptional professional development.  We were able to speak the same language and realize how the library program can be instrumental in promoting student achievement school wide.  Our immediate objective is to ensure that teachers realize the amazing resources available in our school library and how using the librarian media specialist as a resource can positively impact the instructional program.


Upcoming Events:

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

  • December 1:
    • Office Mix Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @White Oak School
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
  • December 2: Secondary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
  • December 3:
    • Classflow Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m., @Glenmar Elementary
    • Developing Flipped Learning Experiences Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @online
    • AASL eCollab Webinar: Reinventing the Library, 7:00 p.m. @online
    • Night of Innovation, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  @Church Lane Elementary Technology School, Edmondson Heights Elementary School, Pikesville Middle School, and Windsor Mill Middle School
  • December 7Using eBooks, Databases, and Digital Tools to Keep Students Engaged During the Holidays (edWeb.net Webinar), 4:00 p.m. @online
  • December 7 – 13: Worldwide Hour of Code
  • December 8:
    • Liaison Hangout, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. @online
    • Infographics in the Classroom Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Cromwell Valley Elementary
    • Screenshots and Screencasts Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
  • December 9:
  • December 17: From Library and Learning Space to Learning Commons (edWeb.net Webinar), 5:00 p.m. @online
  • December 23: New Librarian’s Academy: Deadline for submission of Sign In Sheets and Agendas for new LMS/Mentor meetings