Bellevue Public Schools, Bellevue, NE

December 19, 2018 Volume 55
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Ring in the New Year with Five Techie Ideas

1. Join a Twitter Chat!

Connecting with educators on Twitter allows you to gain perspective from thought leaders and experts in our field. One way to get connected, share ideas, and be inspired is to join a conversation with educators from around the world. These conversations are called Twitterchats or chats. These conversations occur daily and are grouped by topics, subjects, and grade levels.

Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still lurk and learn. Just go to and type #edchat in the search box. All the tweets currently being shared on #edchat will appear. You can do the same for any hashtag. If you search for the hashtag during a chat, all the chats will appear and scroll down your page.

Login to Tweetdeck with your Twitter account credentials. Tweetdeck helps to organize the tweets into columns, which makes it easier to follow along with the chat. We even have a monthly iPad Academy chat run by our own BPS educators.

Twitterchat Resources:

Official Education Chat List

BPS Educators on Twitter

Learn how to use Tweetdeck

The Power of Twitter Resources

Click HERE for the archives of BPS #iPadAcademy Chats

2. Get Creative-Give Sketchnoting a Try

Sketchnoting (visual-note taking) is a form of note-taking that involves using pictures, icons, lines, and shapes to engage parts of the brain that otherwise wouldn’t be engaged with typical “word-only” notes. Engaging other parts of the brain while listening to a presentation, reading an article/book or watching a video will lead to higher engagement, retention and meaning for you and your students. It can be done using paper, pens, and markers or with digital tools like an iPad an an app. The great thing about sketchnoting is that there is no right or wrong way to do it and you don’t have to have any artistic ability to get started. You may use a variety of pictures or you may simply add color and lines to your notes for organization. Sketchnoting is great for your students and yourself. In order to help you get started, here are a few resources.

Articles on the Benefits of Sketchnoting

Sketchnoting the Path to Better Notetaking

Making Learning Visible: Doodling Helps Memories Stick

Getting Started

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#3 Join a Global Project

Global Projects are engaging and allow students and opportunities to connect, collaborate and problem solve with students around the world. Globalizing your classroom is beneficial because it allows you access to experts, raises multicultural awareness, gives students an authentic audience, provides opportunities for cooperative learning, and creates a magical classroom environment.There are many ways to get connected and bring learning opportunities to your students. Here is a link to Global Classroom Resources with a number of ways to get connected and join thousands of educators and students around the globe.

4. Follow a new podcast

Podcasts are a great way to be informed, inspired and provide meaningful professional learning anywhere. With an educator's busy schedule, podcasts make it easy to listen in the car or while you are working. If you'd like to start adding podcasts to your routine, check out the Vrain Waves Podcast. Their goal is "making us all more informed, inspired, and connected educators." One of the recent episodes featured Catlin Tucker speaking about how to Power Up Blended Learning. Below is a link to the website and a link to the Podcast in iTunes.


iTunes Podcast:

5. Give These Nine Features in Schoology a Try

  1. Explore the new Schoology interface.

  2. Reorder your courses with the most frequently accessed courses on top. Click here for a handout.

  3. Create an assessment using one of the 15 new assessment types.

  4. Print an assessment for students who need to take a paper/pencil copy.

  5. Use a media album to share student work and have students comment on one another’s projects.

  6. Use the update feature. Students will see a notification on their iPads and the update will be the first thing they see when they login.

  7. Expand your PLN by joining one of Schoology’s many public groups. You can view and join the Public Schoology Groups by clicking the Public Groups tab.

  8. Read a Schoology Blog on the Schoology Exchange

  9. Access the Support Center to view your Support Contacts and/or support options, as well as links to the Schoology Help Center and Community forums.

Oh What Fun it is to Tweet About Schoology All Month Long

This December the Schoology Ambassadors moderated the #12daysofSchoology on Twitter. Educators from around the world shared ideas, inspiration, and Schoology favorites. A number of Bellevue Public Schools educators participated in the chat. Here is compilation of their tweets.

The Hour of Code in Bellevue Public Schools

The Hour of Code, which is held during computer science week, began four years ago to introduce students to computer science. The goal is to have students complete one hour of coding activities in the classroom. This year, numerous classrooms from around the district participated in a variety of ways. Activities included puzzles, coding apps, programming robots, flying drones, and offline activities. Shout out to the Building Technology Coordinators, Instructional Coaches and iPad Academy teachers for providing assistance and helping in the facilitation of activities. If you weren’t able to participate in the month of December, your classroom can still complete an hour of code anytime. Reach out to your Building Technology Coordinator or take a look at the resources here if you would like to give it a try.

#iPadAcademy Chat

Last year we started our own #ipadacademy Twitter chat. The chat allows our teachers to have an online conversation, share ideas, and be inspired. Our #ipadacademy chats are held on Tuesday nights at 8:00 PM CST.

The last iPad Academy chat was held on December 11th. This month’s topic was Creation in the Blended Classroom, and was moderated by Amanda Monk and Courtney Smeby. There were many great ideas shared during the chat. If you missed it, you can still read the entire chat by clicking on this link! The next chat will be held on Tuesday, January 15 at 8:00 CST.

We are incredibly proud of the #ipadacademy teachers who have stepped up to lead each month’s chat this semester and how they generously share their innovative ideas with others. The archived chats can be found here.

Let's Learn

This section is for self-paced learning. Here you may find events, podcasts, iBooks, blogs, and videos so you can choose what you wish to learn more about and you can choose your learning modality.


Rewiring Education by John Couch


50+ TED Talks to use with students in stations or blended learning from Nadine Gilkison.

Hashtags Telling Our Story

One of the most powerful parts of Twitter is the hashtag! It connects people, ideas, and creates communities within Twitter. It is a unique way for our teachers and administrators to share the amazing things happening in our schools, classrooms, clubs, teams and organizations. Our district hashtag, #bpsne, continues to grow and is becoming a powerful tool that we can leverage as a district to connect all of our teachers, students, parents, and community members. We encourage you to continue sharing the great things happening in your classrooms. Here is a list of all of the Bellevue Public School educators on Twitter. Let's create the 2018-2019 Bellevue Public Schools story together!

Tweet Time--Tweets From Those You Know

Use Twitter to connect with others from near and far! If you are someone who is already tweeting, remember to tag your tweets with #bpsne so more teachers can see what is happening in your classroom. Sharing is the name of the game! Remember there are lots of great chats to explore to connect with others in your content area. Just pull up the hashtag and enjoy the conversation.
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Click here to access our Technology Tools for Teaching blog!

District Instructional Technology Specialists

Jeanette Carlson

Twitter: @mrsjcarlson

Chelsea Hoglund

Twitter: @choglund87

Ann Feldmann

Twitter: @annfeldmann1

Phillip Loomis

Twitter: @teachloomis

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