Digital Learning News 2-23-16

from your Digital Learning Team

Principal & Campus Spotlight: Brittany Smith, Assistant Principal and Teachers at Jack C. Binion Elementary!

Jack C. Binion's Assistant Principal, Brittany Smith, is demonstrating the power of Twitter (@britleesmith), has been a regular participant in Digital Learning Twitter Chats and has developed a great professional learning network of educators.

She has discovered some useful resources and ideas for teaching and student learning that she has been able to try with students and share with teachers.

When Brittany finds a good resource, she posts it to the Binion faculty Facebook group and in their weekly staff newsletters.

She also incorporates resources and best practices into faculty meetings so that teachers can experience them at learners. Brittany even offers to go into classrooms and model lessons.

Teachers and students at Binion are using technology to enhance great teaching and learning and creating an amazing culture of learning in their school.

Congratulations to Brittany, Mrs. Hager, Binion teachers and students for having a growth mindset and leading for student-centered learning.

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Reflection For the Week - Here's What We are Thinking About...

"When schools get the design right from the students' perspective, so that students feel that school aligns well with the things that matter to them, students show up to school motivated and eager to learn.


When we design school WITHOUT regard to the students' perspective, we will face resistance at every turn. Some students will be compliant enough to go along with it or fortunate enough to have a personality that happens to work in the given design, but too many will eventually sour on the classroom experience, and school will become a battle.

In the unfortunate words of one student, "School made me hate school."

- Heather Staker, Blended

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Digital Learning Blog Teacher Spotlights

BISD students are engaged in a variety of learning opportunities each day. Visit the Digital Learning Lounge blog to learn more about how teachers are using technology tools and resources that engage students in learning!

Stowe Elementary: Rachelle Twilligear, students created a class iMovie of their Texas and US symbols

Smithfield Middle School: Heather Mathis & David Barton, helping students use their Compass Learning on-line learning path data to monitor their progress and create visual displays in the classroom

Haltom High School: Sheryl Stewart, using Google Classroom to post and organize project resources for students and improving their productivity

Richland High School: Elizabeth Lundy, using QR codes and BYOD to practice and improve vocabulary

Richland High School: Camille Haley, students create videos using iPads and Macs

Watauga Middle School: Sarah Strittmatter, students using Instagram as a way to share their work with a global audience and receive recognition

ACFT: Elizabeth Shier, QR codes gamified with TEKS, students practicing memorization of the treble clef letter names

ACFT: Haley Fogarty, students using Padlet app to collaborate and brainstorm answers to social studies

ACFT: Bridget Wright, using QR codes and iPads to research print and video about Dr. Martin Luther King

West Birdville Elementary: Kathy Grupe, formative assessment using Kahoot at the end of the lesson

Binion Elementary: Misty Demoss, students use Chatterpix and iMovie to analyze a character's actions and reasons for his actions

Birdville Elementary: Susanne Stutheit, QR codes and iPads in the library to teach research skills

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Spring Digital Learning Conference - March 5th!

Please join us for the spring Digital Learning Conference

on Saturday March 5th at the BCTAL.

The morning will begin with a campus share-out session where teachers and administrators from each campus will spotlight and describe an example of powerful digital learning happening at their campus. Attendees will have the opportunity to walk around and look at these exemplars and talk about the lesson design and technology tools with the teachers!

After this, there will be two break-out sessions for teachers AND administrators to attend with an ending keynote and fabulous door prizes at noon. These sessions are all designed around the BISD Digital Learning Platform to provide resources for relevant technology integration that align with and support the district's Learning Platform.

There will also be a special prize awarded for the campus

with the most staff attending the conference!

Register in Eduphoria today - just look for sessions dated March 5th

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BISD Loves Learning 2016 Twitter Challenge - Do you have a Growth Mindset?

It's all about growing and having that learner's mindset. The Loves Learning Slow Twitter Chat Challenge began yesterday.

To participate in the challenge, just tweet your answer and any pictures, videos or links and be sure to include the #bisddlp. You can tweet as multiple responses to the questions.

Fridays will continue to be our BISD Shines Twitter slow-chat district share day.

Questions for This Week's 'Love Learning' Slow-Chat!

MONDAY Q6: How is “mindset” important to both educators and students?

TUESDAY Q7: Who has affected your “mindset” as an educator the most? Please describe.

WEDNESDAY Q8: Find or choose a quote from someone else that best describes your personal mindset. Cite the person who said it.

THURSDAY Q9: How can “mindset” be changed? What are some resources (books, blogs, follows) that you recommend?

Great Book Recommendations for a Growth Mindset

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Resources for Learning

Elementary Tip of the Week: Google Slides!

Google Slides are presentation files, much like Powerpoint. They are easy to create & share. You can even upload and convert your old PowerPoint slides into Google Slides presentations. You can share a presentation with other collaborators and everyone can do their part without creating multiple versions of the file. One of the main benefits of using Google Slides is that your presentations are saved automatically online in your Google Drive. You can access and edit them on any device!

Elementary App of the Week: Google Slides!

App Store Link:


  • Create, collaborate, and edit presentations on your iPad.


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Resources to Improve Online Research Skills

Sweet Search is a search engine designed for secondary students to assist on focusing credible scholarship and primary source materials. The search engine pulls from over 35,000 pre-screened websites.

instaGrok is an interactive search engine that populates video, images, articles, and terms based on a user’s query. The instaGrok search engine affords classrooms an improved ability to evaluate sources and assess understanding of research topics.

Google Knowledge Graph is an enhanced search in which query results produce suggested resources, enhancing further research and investigation. Educators are using Google Knowledge Graph to provide students with additional live online tutorials and interactive class materials, furthering discovery.

Finding Dulcinea offers students 10 years and older the chance to build basic research skills, pulling information from credible sources. A student guide entitled, How to Search the Web, offers a good introduction to media literacy.

Teacher Technology Tool of the Week: Literably!

Literably is a site that tracks reading fluency for students doing oral reading. This is a powerful tool for both teacher and student to visually see the fluency errors with a passage.

Student Technology Tool of the Week: Free Photos for School Projects!

When students are working on presentations, they tend to search Google Images and they stop there. With district security filters on, Google Images is a good place to start, but there are other options available for school-appropriate, high-quality images for student use.

Share these sites with your students the next time they are creating multi-media presentations, and they will thank you!



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Testing Season is Upon Us!

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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 Dowdy @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