Digital Learning News 5-17-2017

From the Birdville Digital Learning Team #BirdvilleLearns

In This Week's Issue

  • THE SAMR Model - What kinds of learning tasks (with technology) are we designing for our students?
  • How do I Archive this year's classes in my Google Classroom?
  • Digital Learning Summer Professional Development Opportunities
  • Are you Retiring or Leaving BISD? Find Out How to Turn in Your District-Issued iPad
  • Instructables: Premium Membership Gone Free! Find Out How to Get Yours!
  • Social Media Connections


What is the S.A.M.R. Model?

Dr. Ruben Puentedura developed the SAMR model as ONE way for teachers to evaluate how they are incorporating technology into their instructional practice. You can use SAMR to reflect upon how you are integrating technology into your classroom. Is it an act of Substitution? Augmentation? Modification? Or Redefinition? Check out this video:

Introduction to the SAMR Model

The goal of implementing the SAMR model is to design lessons that “teach above the line,” using technology in a way that transforms learning. Transformative activities encourage collaboration and help students grow higher level thinking skills.

The best way to get a grasp on the SAMR model is to see what it looks like in practice. Let’s say you’re teaching a lesson on geography; traditionally, you might have students create a PowerPoint on a particular region and present it to the class. Now, let’s take that same activity and improve it with SAMR:

  • At the lowest level of SAMR, substitution, you would use current technology to replace the original resource—in this case, you might substitute Google Slides for PowerPoint. Using Google Slides means students can receive online feedback from peers, and access their work from any computer. But in the end, students are still engaging with the content in the same way–creating a presentation with text and images.
  • To take the activity further into the augmentation stage, you might expand the assignment to require audio, video and hyperlinks. While interaction with the new tool is still very similar to the traditional method, utilizing the programs extra features provides functional improvements.
  • Modification takes this assignment “above the line” into transformation. In a modified assignment, students could use online software like LucidPress to design a multimedia, digital travel brochure about their assigned region. In this example, creating a brochure allows students to engage with the content in a significantly new way, by describing the region from the POV of a travel agent and designer.
  • To achieve redefinition, technology must be implemented in a way that “allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable.” To redefine this assignment, students could use Google Earth to create a virtual tour around their assigned region. Using Google Earth gives students the opportunity to engage as explorers, bringing them as close to subject matter as they’ll ever be, while remaining within the confines of the classroom. This is what redefinition is all about: using technology to go beyond traditional learning resources and create an immersive experience.

SAMR and mobile apps? Check out the "Padagogy Wheel" here
What is the SAMR Model and what does it look like in schools?
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Archiving and Deleting Classes in Google Classroom

Are you using Google Classroom? Here's an end-of-the-year tip:

At the end of a semester or the school year, you can archive a class to preserve the class materials, assignments, and any posts. When you archive a class, you no longer see it among your other classes and work—it's moved to a separate area to help keep your current classes organized.

Note: Unless a class is archived, it continues to show up in students' active classes so teachers may want to archive inactive classes.

Google Classroom Archive Class


Digital Learning Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Earn your flex credit for next year! Claim your spot, register now!

The Digital Learning team now has 3 ways for you to receive PD. Pick the one that best fits your schedule.

  • In Person
  • Online with Canvas
  • Self-Paced

To see the courses we are offering click here!


Retiring or Leaving Birdville ISD? Here is How to Turn in Your District-Issued iPad

If you are leaving Birdville ISD and have a district Project Innovate iPad mini, you will need to return it to the Technology Department. The instructions can be found by clicking HERE.


Instructables: Premium Membership Gone Free!

Instructables is a website where people from all the around the globe share what they do and how they do it. Users provide step-by-step instructions accompanied by photos, diagrams, video, and animation.

If you are a student or educator, learn how to get a premium membership for the amazing Instructables website free!



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We're here to help and learn with you!

Kelli Montgomery Director of Digital Learning

Twitter @KelliM11

Cheryl McKnight Coordinator of Digital Learning

Twitter @cherylmck


Jennifer Canizares

Twitter @canny72

Campuses: Birdville, WT Francisco, Binion, Mullendore, Snow Heights, Porter, Foster Village

Toni Hylander

Twitter @technologytoni

Campuses: Smithfield, Cheney, Stowe, Watauga, North Ridge, Walker Creek, Green Valley

Jeff Samuelson

Twitter @jeff_samuelson

Campuses: David E Smith, Richland, West Birdville, Holiday Heights, Hardeman, ACFT, J. D. Spicer

Jennifer Miller

Twitter @steamlearnlab

Learning Resources Specialist


Michael Hanson

Twitter @Hansonits

Campuses: Haltom HS, Haltom MS, Richland MS, North Ridge MS, North Oaks MS

Rashel Larson

Twitter @rashellarson

Campuses: BCTAL, Smithfield MS, North Richland MS, Central Office Administration

Tosh McGaughy

Twitter @ToshMcGaughy

Campuses: Richland HS, Birdville HS, Watauga MS, Raising Blended Learners Support

Karen Teeters

Twitter @karenteeters222

Campuses: Online Learning Specialist, All Middle and High Schools, Shannon HS