BISD Tech News

Summer 2016

Exciting stuff on the horizon!

I know the year just ended and everyone is getting into summer mode, but I have one request, and one exciting opportunity to expect 2016-17!

First, a request: PLEASE take our anonymous survey - our goal is to continually improve our service to you, so we'd really appreciate your honest feedback! Click here - it only takes 5 minutes!

Now then, for the fun news! We in Digital Learning are working on creating all-inclusive Digital Learning kits for campus checkout! Campuses will be able to borrow various themed kits to further enhance instruction and student curiosity without having to pay lots of money for these resources! Expect access to things like: 3D printers, 3D pens, Google Cardboard/Virtual Reality kits, Makey Makey, littleBits, 360 degree cameras... and SO MUCH MORE! They will include curriculum ideas, lesson plans, the whole nine yards. Exciting, right?!? Stay tuned for more information coming out this summer.

Check out below for some pics, grant opportunities, PD offerings, and other interesting tid-bits. I hope everyone has a fantastic summer, full of rest & relaxation, family & friends, and lots of fun!

Emily Bain

Coordinator of Digital Learning

Bastrop ISD participated in a Google Expeditions pilot in early May - check out the video and pics below!

Google Expeditions at CRCA

Grant Opportunitie$

  1. Toshiba Grants for K-5
    Do you teach in an elementary school classroom? Do you have an innovative idea for improving math or science instruction in your classroom? Is your idea project based learning with measurable outcomes? What do you need to make learning math and science fun for your students? K-5 grade teachers are invited to apply online for a $1,000 Toshiba America Foundation grant to help bring an innovative hands-on project into their own classroom. Click here for more info! Deadline is October 1st.

  2. Wells Fargo Grant Opportunities
    Grant requests should focus on promoting academic achievement for PreK through grade 12 students from low- to moderate-income families with a focus on math, science, technology, and literacy. Grants are considered for professional development programs and programs that encourage school partnerships with parents, the business community, or the community in which the school is located. Wells Fargo is also interested in providing financial education, job training and workforce development, and environmental education. Awards vary, and you can apply year-round. Click here to find out more!

  3. Advancing Informal STEM Learning (sponsored by the National Science Foundation)
    The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning in informal environments for public and professional audiences, provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and develop understandings of deeper learning by participants. Grants range from under $50,000 up to $5 million (!!!!). Smaller grant applications are accepted year-round, with larger projects due November 8, 2016. Click here to learn more!

Congrats to Shonna Cheek, IT Employee of the Year!

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Resources & PD Opportunities

  1. Check out the following resources for kids and teachers!
    48 Ultra-Cool Summer Sites
    Fun and Free Summer Learning Resources
    K-12 Articles and Packets for Summer

  2. Do you want to get Google Educator Certified?
    We will be offering a BISD Google Education Certification Academy this summer as part of our Summer PD offerings. As a bonus, we will reimburse you for successful completion of the test! Win/win! Check out this and other great opportunities by logging into Eduphoria and selecting "Workshops".

  3. Online PD will continue!
    We will continue to offer online PD this summer (which we debuted this past semester), providing you with the flexibility to learn on your own time - but starting next fall, we will also have strands, allowing you to become a resident expert in various focus areas, and providing you with official credentials documenting your Expert Status that you can add to platforms such as LinkedIn! Expect more info later this summer.