ITLS Newsletter

April 24, 2015


Important Survey!

Please take a minute to complete this survey for the May meeting, INCLUDES Common Sense Media voting.

Anna had her babies!

Anna had her two boys Aiden and Evan last week. Evan was 2 pounds 1 oz. and Aiden was 2 pounds 14 oz. Anna is doing ok and her boys are ok. Evan is having a few issues that are typical for preemies and they are both in good hands.

Makerspace session for optional afternoon sessions

Calling all makerspace peeps we would like you to share what’s happening in your makerspace no matter what stage you are in. Bring toys to share. This will be one of the afternoon optional sessions.

Discovery Education Training/Conference

Discovery Ed is providing a free Professional Development Event on Saturday, May 16, 2015 in the Denver Area. The goal of this event is to provide area districts the opportunity to learn how to maximize your current Discovery Education Streaming service through a conference style event in which participants will choose from multiple session topics. Please register via the link below today as seating is limited to a first come, first served basis.

Special Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lodge McCammon.

Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015

Time: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Audience: Curriculum, Instruct. Technology, Supervisors of Content Areas, Librarians, Teachers.

Location: Castle View High School, 5254 North Meadows Drive, Castle Rock, CO 80109

Cost: FREE & Breakfast & Lunch will be provided

Click Here To Register:

Sample Sessions Include:

50 Ways to Integrate Discovery Education Streaming

Did you know that Discovery Education Streaming has images, speeches, and sound effects? From English to STEM, you will walk away from this session with hundreds of new integration strategies for utilizing your current Discovery Education Streaming license!

Discovery Education Board Builder

Board Builder from Discovery Education empowers students to curate, create, and synthesize content to express their personal curiosity, solve problems and demonstrate their acquisition of knowledge like never before. In this session, explore Board Builder and how the newly enhanced My DE for Students makes it easier than ever for students to explore content, complete assignments, and connect with the world.

Student Access & Content Creation

Put the power of learning at student’s fingertips with Discovery Education Student Center. With unique logins, students can browse grade-specific content, access personalized assignments, curate, create, and synthesize content to express their personal curiosity, solve problems, and demonstrate their acquisition of knowledge.

Database Stipend Status for 2015-16

The month of April seems to have a financial connotation to it: tax returns, tax refunds, and budgets! In light of that, I am writing to share information about a modification in the Instructional Technology and Library Services budget that will be implemented next year.

Based on my recommendation, beginning fall 2015 the World Book Online subscription will be paid by the Instructional Technology and Library Services department. We have reached the point in our digital literacy curriculum integration where we need a common digital database so that common instructional supports and resource links can be included in the units of study.

Over the past four years we have had many conversations about the World Book Online subscription and how it should be funded; ITLS funding will ensure that it is a constant component of our digital literacy instruction. We feel strongly that this online encyclopedia offers the best spectrum of resources and tools.

In the past, the ITLS department has offered a stipend to all buildings so that a database of choice can be purchased. In order to absorb the subscription to World Book Online, which is more than $28,000 annually, the ITLS budget no longer has $11,500 set aside for building-level database choice stipends. This means that each elementary school will not receive $206, each middle school will not receive $270, and each high school will not receive $335 to supplement the purchase of a database.

The World Book Online usage statistics show that you have done an excellent job of championing the World Book Online tools to your communities. We know that the online tool is used in our schools and throughout our community, and we look forward to being able to ensure its continued availability as it becomes closely tied to our units of study.

If you have questions or concerns about this decision, please feel free to contact me. - Julie


South by Southwest Makerspace Panel

There was a SXSW makerspace panel at the edu portion of the festival. Listen to recording where three librarians talk about how they created a Makerspace and sign up to receive free resources (while they last).

Top 5 most popular trade science books for kids:

Destiny Tip of the Week

Destiny behaves differently in different browsers. If you are having trouble seeing or accessing student photos in Google Chrome, switch to Internet Explorer or Firefox and this should resolve the problem.

Google classroom allows co teaching of classes

Teaching teams: New ways to work together in Classroom. Google Classroom allows teachers to spend less time on paperwork and more time with their students. Starting today, multiple teachers can work and collaborate in a single Classroom class. With the exception of deleting the class altogether, additional teachers can perform all of the same functions as the primary teacher, including:

  • Creating assignments and announcements

  • Viewing and grading submissions

  • Participating in comments on the class’ “stream”

  • Inviting students to the class

  • Receiving email notifications related to the clas

Teachers can also prep for their classes in advance, saving announcements and assignments as “drafts” and waiting to send them until they’re ready. Like in Gmail, once a new announcement or assignment is created, it will be automatically saved as a draft. Those drafts can then be accessed by multiple teachers, making it simple to collaborate on prep work.

Finally, in response to teacher feedback, we’ve made two additional changes that will make Classroom easier to use:

  • Autosaving grades - Grades will now be autosaved as they’re entered, meaning teachers can grade assignments over multiple sessions but still return those assignments to students all at one time.

  • Improved notifications - Teachers and students will now receive email notifications when private messages are left on assignments.

From Your Peers

Hwy 21 Unconference Lunch from Laura Israelsen

We are offering an unconference lunch at Highway 21 on June 2nd this year - much like we did if you attended Teacher Librarian Day at History Colorado.

If you are attending, would you be willing to "host" a table discussion around a topic of your choice? For example, I am interested in Maker Spaces and would love to sit at a table with like minded people to share what we do and don't know about that topic.

If you are willing, please email Laura and let her know what topic you are thinking about. We will label the tables with tents so that people can sit at a table that interests them. They can also choose to lead a discussion when they sign in for the day.

I hope this is a fun new way to engage technology and digital literacy discussion at our conference! I'd love to say that our department was hosting it!

Click here for information and sign up for and Un-Conference Lunch June 2nd


Thanks to everyone who has been so willing to share resources and ideas. We have tried to consolidate your great work in this newsletter in an effort to give you an easy way to track back and find what your peers have suggested. Although we are using the newsletter to distribute many different ideas, we have not taken those through any type of formal approval process. We have not contacted IT to determine whether the tool(s) and/or resource(s) meet their standards nor have we obtained input from district content leaders. Please know that as we share your ideas and suggestions we do so as part of an effort to make your jobs easier, but those resources and suggestions are not "officially" part of any Adams 12 curriculum. The approval/"sanctioning" process will be ironed out in the near future, but for now everything we include in this newsletter are ideas and suggestions for your consideration. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Julie.