Digital Learning News

Tuesday May 10, 2016

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Think Using Twitter to Help You Learn, Communicate, Collaborate and Grow as a Professional is Just Too Difficult?

Well, we recommend you check out the two tutorial videos below from Karen Mensing's (@MsMensing) 2nd grade class to get you up to speed. :) There's a Twitter Tutorial for Beginners and Twitter Tutorial - Part 2.

After these 2nd graders have you all up to Twitter speed (LOL), check out our Twitter chat topic for tonight below and join us to discuss some really clever and engaging learning review and test prep activities.

Oh! And, you might want to check out George Couros' Principal of Change - stories of change and leading blog post "How do you see literacy?" that goes with the great 2nd grade Twitter videos.

What IS the new definition of literacy?

Twitter Tutorial For Beginners
Twitter Tutorial-Part 2
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Have You Noticed the Amazing Learning Tasks Being Designed by BISD's Best Resources - Our Teachers, Specialists, Coaches, and Coordinators?!?!

And, the rigorous, creative, and authentic work being done by BISD students?

Well, many of these great happenings are being shared every day on the...

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Have you checked it out lately? Here are just the posts from last week!

North Richland MS: Mickie Siek, Mary Terry, and Stephanie Maupin, These amazing teachers and their academic coach designed a student Twitter chat to review for the Social Studies STAAR test! Read more...

Birdville HS: Mrs. Medford, Using QuizletLive as a fun and engaging way to review for EOC exams! Read more...

North Richland MS: Tiffany Meinke, Station Rotations/Workstations in ELAR! Read more...

OH Stowe ES: Mrs. Twilligear, 2nd graders using the online resources PebbleGo and National Geographic to conduct and research plants and grassland animals (and sharpen their media literacy skills)! Read more...

West Birdville ES: Kelsey Jerger, Ms. Jerger using Reflector2 application and her Project Innovate iPad a a mobile "document camera" to project resources and student work (which visual learners love)! Read more...

Richland HS, Haltom HS, Birdville HS: Dana Harris, David Worley, John Franklin, Engineering students using the online video conferencing application Zoom and Autodesk Inventor to collaboratively design their team projects! Read more...

Watauga MS: Heather Raynsford, ELA students creating and demonstrating mastery of their learning via authentic work projects with Flipagram and class iPads! Read more...

Haltom High School: Brooke Evans, An iMovie project in an authentic task assignment to share analysis of a short story in a medium that students "get." Read more...

Go to to read all of the stories on the blog and perhaps get some great ideas for your classroom.

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We want to spotlight YOU or a GREAT STAFF MEMBER you know in next week's Digital Learning News!

Share the great teaching and learning that is supported by digital tools and resources that's happening on your campus or in your department.

It's as simple as this:

Just start a new email message.

1. Type in the "To" line.

2. Type the Title of your blog post in the "Subject" line of your email.

3. Type what you want to spotlight/share - which will become your actual blog post text - in the body of the email. Note: everything in your email will become part of your post so you may want to edit/delete extra information from your email signature.

4. Attach the images you want to include in your post to your email message.

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School Administrator Spotlight: Jason Turner, Smithfield Middle School Assistant Principal

Smithfield Middle School administrators looked into a number of digital dashboard options to communicate pertinent information quickly to staff, but the available options were very expensive. Assistant Principal Jason Turner then turned to Google Sheets to create a simple data dashboard that he then sends as a PDF to staff daily. He wanted one easy place to communicate absences, attendance taking, staff meetings, lesson plans posted, ARDs and admin information. Now every day teachers get the dashboard and at a quick glance they know exactly what’s going on at SMS and where improvements need to be made. "Since we have used the dashboard, teachers taking attendance has increased tremendously, so it seems to be impacting a problem area," explains Turner. "With the dashboard, SMS is able to be more of an efficient organization."
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Digital Learning Twitter Chat Tonight 8-8:30pm at #bisddlp

How do we engage students in learning review? What practices have you found effective? Please join educators and staff from around the district tonight to chat about innovative assessment/test prep activities!

How to watch or participate tonight:

Just Google #bisddlp or log into your Twitter account and type #bisddlp in the Search box before 8:00pm this evening to view or participate in tonight's Digital Learning Chat 8:00 - 8:30.

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Tonight's Twitter Chat Questions!

Q1: Celebrate or describe an innovative and engaging learning/test review activity by you or a colleague this year.

Q2: What review resource, site, or activity do you feel was the most impactful for YOUR students this year? Why?

Q3: What learning/test review activities do you want to try next year?

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Join the Digital Learning Remind Group

Join our Remind group. Choose your method:

TEXT MESSAGES: To get texts from us: text @birdvilled to the phone number 81010

EMAIL REMINDERS: To receive email reminders from us: send a blank email with no subject to

It's as easy as that!

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Be a Learner This Summer!

These are Opportunities Highly Recommended by Your Digital Learning Team:

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Making Teaching and Learning Easier...Canvas COMING SOON

Canvas LMS is going to help streamline teaching and learning in the district. Check out the video below and keep watching for more information about how you can begin accessing Canvas and professional learning opportunities.
Choosing a Statewide LMS to Make Teaching and Learning Easier
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Recommended Website for Teens - Write the World

Write the World is a global online writing community that lets teens submit their own work and get feedback from peers, writing instructors, and professional writers. After creating a free account, students and teachers can join groups sorted by interests and genres, or students can join private groups generated by their teacher. There’s an unlimited range of ways to write and things to write about here, from poetry and fan fiction (or “fanfic”) to current events and college entrance essays. Users are guided by task-related rubrics (including rubrics for narrative and argumentative writing tasks), pointed research prompts, and annotated feedback from peers and professional writers.

Price: Free/subscription, Grades: 8-12, Rating: 4/5

Pros: Great prompts and a lively community connect teens from across the globe, fostering cultural awareness and a shared love for writing.

Cons: Public posts could potentially lead to online privacy and safety issues; monitor with care.

Bottom line: With interest-based writing prompts and thoughtful feedback from peers and pros, this is a great tool for writing for authentic audiences.

Resources for Classrooms!

Elementary App of the Week: Stick Around by Tony Vincent and Explain Everything

If your campus has some money to spend on apps, we suggest Stick Around. It is $2.99 and available with a discount for volume purchase. This app is a great way to turn a worksheet into something digital, but the really great thing about Stick Around is that students can design an interactive puzzle for their classmates.

Teacher Technology Tool of the Week: Permanent Clipboard!

Permanent Clipboard is a digital store place for anything that teachers need to keep handy while working on-line. Many teachers use it for standard feedback comments and other things that they type often.

Click here to watch quick video about this extension and its uses.

Student Technology Tool of the Week: LucidPress!

LucidPress is a great graphic design app that students can use to create a variety of visual print and digital products with the ability to collaborate in real-time with others on the project.
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Kelli Montgomery @KelliM11, Director of Digital Learning

Cheryl McKnight @cherylmck, Coordinator of Digital Learning

Karen Teeters @karenteeters222, Online Learning Specialist

Jennifer Miller @steamlearnlab, Learning Resources Specialist


Jennifer Canizares @jcanny72

Birdville, WT Francisco, Binion, Mullendore, Snow Heights, Porter, Spicer

Toni Hylander @technologytoni

Smithfield, Cheney, Stowe, Watauga, Foster Village, North Ridge, Walker Creek

Jeff Samuelson @jeff_samuelson

David E Smith, Richland, West Birdville, Holiday Heights, Hardeman, ACFT, Green Valley


Michael Hanson @Hansonits

Haltom HS, Haltom MS, Richland MS, North Ridge MS

Rashel Larson @rashellarson

Birdville HS, BCTAL, Smithfield MS, North Richland MS

Tosh McGaughy @ToshMcGaughy

Richland HS, Shannon HS, North Oaks MS, Watauga MS

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