Digital Learning News Brief

September 15, 2015

Haltom Middle School is Telling their Story with Instagram

Digital Leadership in BISD has taken off after our visit from Eric Sheninger! Haltom Middle School Principal Jill Balzer, has taken to heart Sheninger's recommendation to tell the campus story through Instagram. “I decided to start a campus Instagram to highlight all of the wonderful things going on at HMS,” states Dr. Balzer. “I make decisions on what I will post based on things that are unique or new to our campus. I also like to post pictures of students and staff who are exhibiting any of our Tiger Values (Tenacity, Integrity, Graciousness, Effort, Resiliency, and Service to Others).”

When asked if she noticed anything different after implementing this social media strategy, Dr. Balzer replied, “Yes. Some of the things that I have noticed from having a campus Instagram are that students are wanting to be 'caught' modeling our values and that students and staff are wanting to be a part of all of the great things going on in Tiger Nation! It is definitely a tool that I am so glad that we started at HMS and being able to tell our story is helping to build a positive culture and image of our campus.”

Follow Haltom Middle on Instagram @haltom_tigers, #haltommiddle.

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Tonight's Twitter Chat: Digital Learning vs. Digitized Learning

Are you implementing Digital Learning or are you Digitizing Learning? The image above is a powerful illustration of the difference. To learn more, read Dr. Tim Clark's post comparing digital and digitized learning where you will also find information to help redefine learning experiences. Clark says, "Likewise, multiple opportunities for on-going feedback, support, and collaboration with a variety of digital tools and content can help your students become effective and creative digital learners."

In tonight's Twitter Chat we will consider the following questions:

Q1: What are some examples of Digitized Learning that you have implemented or observed this school year?

Q2: What would a more Digital Learning environment look and feel like for your learners?

Q3: How can the Digital Learning Team support you in transforming your learning environment?

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We've Gone Google!

Why just show when you can show-and-tell?

With Microsoft Snip, you can quickly capture, narrate, and annotate anything on your computer screen. Imagine the possibilities of showing and sharing with your students details of concepts for them to understand and master. Using Snip, Math teachers can demonstrate how to solve problems; ELAR teachers can show elements in sentence structure; Science teachers can explain a diagram or model; Social Studies teachers can elaborate on information in a chart, and so much more!

With Snip, students can also demonstrate their understanding in just the same way! Imagine the possibility of bringing learning to life! Examples online show how learners age kindergarten through adults are able to show what they know.

To get started, go to and click the orange Download Snip button.

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Click here for Staff Instructions after downloading the Birdville ISD App.

Experiencing Technical Issues?

You may have noticed the information below displayed on your computer screen. The Computer Name and IP are specific to your computer system. This information is being pushed to all district computers automatically. Please include this information anytime you find it necessary to submit a Help Desk ticket. If you want to read more, please refer to the Knowledge Base article.
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You're Never Too Old to Go to Camp!

The fall Digital Learning Conference and EdCamp will offer you the opportunity to experience two important learning strategies - Voice and Choice. These are powerful learning strategies for students and adult learners.

During the conference, participants will have the choice of attending traditional instructor-led workshops or EdCamp style learning experiences.

What is an EdCamp learning experience?

An EdCamp is a unique learning experience based on the needs and contributions of the participants. There is no preset schedule, sessions, or presenters. On the day of the conference, all participants have an opportunity to post (voice) what they wish to learn about and what they have experience doing. Sessions are grown organically from the posts that are shared. You can read more about the Edcamp experience here, and look for more information in future Digital Learning News Briefs.

We Want to Hear from YOU!

We are in the early stages of planning our Fall Digital Learning Conference. Please share your learning needs with us on this form.

Elementary Digital Learning Team

Click the link below to view the Elementary Team's blog to learn more about Staff and Students using Google Apps for Education to support teaching and learning.

Secondary Digital Learning Team

Click the link below to view the Secondary Team's smore to see how Watauga Middle School librarian engages students in learning library procedures and programs. This Student Tool of the Week is StoryboardThat and the Teacher Tool of the Week is Plickers. Click the link below to learn more!

Clarity BrightBytes

Birdville ISD has partnered with Clarity BrightBytes to gain insight from students, teachers, and administrators on the impact of technology use both inside and outside of the classroom. In order to better understand how digital learning is impacting student learning experiences, BISD is committed to selecting appropriate digital resources, at the right cost, in order to best leverage technology resources. BrightBytes is a web-based and research-driven tool that will assist during the evaluation of current digital learning approaches and technologies available to our students.

Students and teachers will have access to the survey window beginning October 5th. Survey responses will be anonymous and are collected through online questionnaires. Your response will assist BISD towards better decisions regarding digital resources, training, and support for academic student success. BrightBytes will provide the district with meaningful data about the current state of technology in our schools, the use of technologies, and if technologies are meeting the needs of students and teachers.

Reflector Software and iOS 9

On September 16, 2015, Apple will release iOS 9. As with all major iOS updates, it is possible that some features and functions of the iPad can drastically change or become disabled. One such feature that we know will impact Birdville ISD users affects those who are using the Reflector software to display their iPad on their projector. Updating to iOS 9 will cause Reflector to stop working, and we do not have updated software at this time to resolve this issue. Users will be notified when a solution is in place so that devices can be updated. If you wish to continue using Reflector, do not update your iPad to iOS 9.