Tech Sparks

Transformative Teaching & Learning

Issue 4, Sept 2015

"Freedom lies in being bold."

Robert Frost

eCLASS Update: Want to suggest a change to D2L? Post it to the Ideation Blog

While there are many great elements to our learning management system, D2L/Brightspace, there are some parts that could be improved as well. Many people have already made suggestions that the company has listened to and has put into place (have you tried the new drag and drop feature that keeps the file path, for example?). If you'd like to make a suggestion, visit the Ideation Blog for D2L in Communities. How to get there? In the portal, at the top of the home page, look for "Collaboration." Click on it, then click "Blogs." You can do a search for the D2L Ideation Blog (or it might just come up on the page for you). Be sure to read what others have posted before you post something, and vote for the ideas you'd like to see in place. This is your chance to improve the functionality of your course page!

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Even More About Collaboration....

Have you explored the Communities feature of the portal? If not, take a look at it to find groups of like-minded individuals from across the county who are sharing ideas and have answers you might find helpful. Sample communities: Main Fine Arts Community; 2015-2016 Gateway Science Instructional Support Course; AP World History; Special Ed-Mild ID; Classworks; and Project Based Learning, just to name a few. You can even create a community with your peers to share ideas, post files, and ask questions that could go out to a group in your building, across grade levels, or even across the county. Some groups are public while others are restricted (invitation only). You can also get notifications anytime someone posts something new in a community you're a member of or when someone responds to your posts. As well, use the search feature to look for communities or to find a topic mentioned.

Make the time to see what's available in Communities!

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"How to Use Infographics as Multimodal Learning Tools" by Sara McGuire via te@chthought

Having students read and interpret as well as create their own infographics is an excellent way to encourage students to dig deeper into the information provided to them, and McGuire's article gives teachers ideas to consider to extend student thinking even more. By tapping into the varieties of ways that students learn, McGuire provides seven ideas to get teachers to consider how they can pull infographics into any class and how students can look at them in different ways.

Website of the Week

Cybraryman's Kahoot

Who doesn't love a good Kahoot game? If you haven't tried Kahoot ( in your classroom, you're missing out on a great formative assessment tool. Cybraryman (Jerry Blumengarten, @cybraryman1 on Twitter) has created a page chock full of ideas for how you can make the most out of Kahoot.

Spotlight on Technology in the Classroom

Want some ideas for how you can transform your teaching? Investigate these links to discover more!

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Your EIS

Holli began her career as a Middle Grades Social Studies teacher. After six years of classroom teaching, she became a Local School Technology Coordinator. She now serves Gwinnett County Public Schools as an eCLASS Instructional Specialist where she supports teaching and learning through training and supporting teachers as they integrate technology and implement blended learning in their classrooms. Her passions are coffee and technology.