Friday, February 24, 2017

Easily Share Google Docs

Sharing Google Docs can be an overwhelming and time consuming task for some. Did you know it can be done with the click of one button?

Alice Keeler has created a Chrome Extension that does just that!

Need help?  Reach out to your DLS for support! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

TCEA 2017 Session Handouts

The Technology Computer Education Association (TCEA) Conference and Exposition was filled with MANY great sessions this year.

You can access the session handouts and resources here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ESC Region 11 Real Video Library Contest

ESC Region 11 is pleased to announce the creation of a video library of real teaching. The completed video library will be offered to all districts in ESC Region 11, free of charge.

We’re building a free video library that will have dozens of real teaching examples of everything from differentiation and objective driven instruction to classroom management and more.


One of the best ways to improve teaching is to observe other teachers. But teachers rarely get the chance. Have you ever wondered what “differentiation,” “higher level thinking,” “classroom management ,” or a myriad of other things looks like in your colleagues’ classrooms across the region?  Well, let’s stop wondering and start learning using our greatest asset: our amazing teachers!

You may not think that the way you teach should be viewed as “exemplar” to someone else.  However, every teacher does things that another teacher would find useful.  

Most video libraries showcase highly produced “best practice” videos that are often difficult to relate to.  

Region 11 is committed to creating an extensive database of video examples that come from our very own teachers, authentically showcasing their skills.

We're hoping you'll join us and submit a video of your teaching practice! All ESC Region 11 teachers who submit a video and answer at least three reflection questions per video will be eligible to receive 2 free CPE hours per submission. In addition, all teachers who submit at least one video will also receive a free Real Practice T-Shirt.

Coming Soon... DLS Classroom Crashers!

The Elementary DLS team will begin filming on the first four episodes of “DLS Classroom Crashers”.  In each 5-10 minute episode, the team will “crash” an elementary classroom.  The team will spend a day observing and brainstorming ideas for ways digital learning could be used to transform the classroom.  Following the “crash” day, the campus DLS will work with the teacher for 3-6 weeks implementing one or more of the ideas.  The whole process will be documented for an episode of “DLS Classroom Crashers” published to our blog.  The first four classrooms have already been chosen and filming will begin soon.  Be on the lookout for more information in the weeks to come!

Introduce Your Class to Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a wonderful tool for 3-5th grade classrooms.  To help you introduce Google Classroom to your class, the elementary DLS team has put together the following resources.  

Google Classroom Introductory Video

Google Classroom Introductory Slides Show

Your Elementary DLS would be happy to help you get started!  We will:
  • Provide log on cards for you to print for your students.
  • Meet with you to set up your classroom.
  • Meet with you to plan ways to use your Google Classroom.
  • Co-teach introductory lessons for students.
  • and more!
Just email your DLS to ask for an appointment and we'll dive right in!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Mark Your Calendar!

The Birdville Digital Learning Spring Conference is right around the corner. Saturday April 1, 2017 from 8:00-12:30 at the BCTAL. This is NO April Fools Joke! Save the date to attend a great morning of professional learning sessions and fun door prizes. 

The Digital Learning Specialists have witnessed some awesome things going on in classrooms across BISD. Soon, we will put out a Call for Proposals and we want you to submit proposals for presentations. Let's share the amazing teaching and learning going on in Birdville ISD.

Podcast: What's Up With Online Learning?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

New Apps to the BISD App Catalog

The following apps have been added to the BISD App Catalog.  
These apps are available FREE on BISD devices with access to the BISD App Catalog.

Dropbox is the place for your photos, docs, videos, and other files. Files you keep in Dropbox are safely backed up and you can get to them from all your devices. It’s easy to send large files to anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.
Texas STAAR Online
The Texas STAAR Online Testing Program Secure Browser is used by Texas school districts to administer the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness to their students. This includes 3-8 and EOC for STAAR, STAAR A, STAAR L, and SOA for all applicable grades and content areas.
Math Island Preschool
Practice early math skills.  Great for Pk-2nd grade.
Music Video Maker
Make your own music videos & add unlimited background music to videos.
Create and share dynamic conversations around documents, snapshots, diagrams and videos -- basically anything there is to talk about. You can talk, type, and draw right on the screen. VoiceThread takes your conversations to the next level, capturing your presence, not just your comments. For login directions click here.
Magikid Stage
Magikid Stage is a dramatic digital toy for budding story-tellers. Kids become the director, writer, and actor in their own plays and stories. The huge library of characters, props, music, and background means that no two plays are ever the same. You can record your voice and share the plays with friends and family. It’s a shoebox stage for the digital age!
ABC Letters
ABC Letters is a game designed to deliver an engaging environment to learn the Alphabet from beginning to end. Whether a child is seeing English for the first time, or as a foreign language. This is a great way to get started in the exciting world of English.
123D Design
With Autodesk 123D Design you can make your own products, parts, or creations.
123D Make Intro
123D Make lets you turn 3D models into 2D build plans with animated assembly instructions.
Lifeliqe is the world's first learning platform that enables users to drag & drop any of its 1,000 interactive 3D & augmented reality models into lesson plans, e-books and other learning resources.
Morphi is a simple, powerful 3D design+ 3D printing app for all! Create 3D models (STLs) on the go with touch, without wifi or a mouse.
An augmented reality app, that brings real objects to life with your videos.
Elements 4D
Paired with either paper or wood blocks that are inscribed with the symbols of 36 elements from the periodic table, this app will instantly transform a simple, inanimate object into dynamic, dimensional, 4D representations of each element.
Anatomy 4D
Through this free app and simple printed images, Anatomy 4D transports students, teachers, medical professionals, and anyone who wants to learn about the body into an interactive 4D experience of human anatomy or the heart.

Note: Printed targets are required to view the human body or heart. The human body representation does include all systems and may not be appropriate for young learners.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Elements 4D: An Augmented Reality Chemistry Experience

Elements 4D allows students to interact with 36 amazing, naturally-occurring elements, learn their names, what they look like, and their atomic weights. Users can combine elements to create a compound in 3D. Educators can download paper blocks in which they fold into a 3D object. Each block represents a  periodic table element. Students can utilize any mobile device, scan the 3D block, and enjoy an augmented reality chemistry experience.

Elements 4D in Action: Students learn about the elements, create their own reactions, and test predictions in a school makerspace using Elements 4D.

Digital Learning Platform: Elements 4D provides students with an interactive learning experience in which students can create authentic tasks and products.

Monday, February 13, 2017

How To Make a Smartphone-Powered Hologram

A hologram is a three-dimensional image, created with photographic projection. Teachers are using holographic technology to stimulate interest in science or to visit a historical site. Students in a classroom or makerspace can design a three dimensional project and make a hologram. Students can make holograms by hand or by using an electronic cutter. To create a hologram, follow the following steps.

1. Locate Materials.

  • Students will need to use transparency ink paper. Often schools have a closet of old overhead transparencies hidden in a closet. 
  • To create a hologram by hand, students will need a ruler, compass, and a marker. 
  • The Silhouette Cameo electronic cutter, is a a cutting machine that attaches to a PC using a USB. It is a small cutting machine that has a 12" X 12" cutting mat and cuts out on a larger space. One application is using the Silhoutte to cut out a hologram. 
  • Cell Phone

2. Copy the following template with a radius of 4 inches or more as a 2D object in imaging software or directly on the transparency if creating by hand. We used Silhouette software to create our hologram. Students could use any 2D imaging program.

3. Students will cut along the solid black lines in the image attached. If you are using an electronic cutter, load transparencies and print to the cutter. Use a blade of at least 6 or more if you are using the Silhouette Cameo. 

4. Tape the two opposite sides together to make a prism or pyramid. Our Silhouette printout and folded hologram is shown below. 

5. Open a four-sided holograph video on a smartphone or iPad. There are many on YouTube. The one we used was designed to engage students on topics surrounding the sun. Consider building YouTube playlists dedicated to hologram videos for your classroom. 

If your campus does not have access to an electronic cutter, here is a video to assist on how to make a hologram.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

News from Digital Learning 2-8-2017

Your Birdville Digital Learning team is attending the Texas Computer Educators Association (TCEA) conference this week learning to explore best practices for engaging students, increasing productivity, and innovating teaching and learning with technology. 

What we can learn about and bring back for you! Just type your answer into our AnswerGarden below and watch what happens.

Search #TCEA17 today through Friday on Twitter to follow along live with the learning from the TCEA conference!

Have a great week!
Your Birdville Digital Learning Team

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TumbleBooks is Back!

Big image

Birdville ISD now has a subscription to TumbleBooks! You can access the Birdville Tumblebooks library through the Birdville Technology Resources Page.

There is also a Free iPad App for TumbleBooks! You will need to sign in with our Birdville username and password. Please see your campus Library Media Specialist or Digital Learning Specialist for this information.

New Apps The Birdville App Catalog

The following apps have been added to the BISD App Catalog.  
These apps are available FREE on BISD devices with access to the BISD App Catalog.

Access your school or library's TumbleBookLibrary subscription from your iphone, ipad, or ipod touch, with the new TumbleBooksToGo app!

Ask your librarian or DLS for the Birdville username and password.
Randomly is an app made specifically for teachers and professors. It allows educators to enter their students into individual classes. They can then use the Random Name Selector feature to randomly call on a student to answer a question by one of two ways: Truly random, where repeated names are allowed, or a one pass – where all students are called once before they are called again.
Trilo Music ABC
An innovative game that introduces children to the wonderful world of letters. There are 3 educational games that help your child quickly learn their ABC's through an interactive alphabet, children's songs and open gameplay. Each game provides a new hands-on experience for children to have endless fun while learning the name of each letter in the alphabet and the sounds they represent.
Knowee: Whales & Dolphins
Dive in the world of whales and dolphins to learn interesting things about them. Swim with them in the ocean, find out what they eat, where do they live and how they communicate. You can listen to their story like an audiobook or read by yourself. Tap on whales or other objects to make sounds or find new info about them.
Knowee: Penguins
Dive in the world of penguins to learn interesting things about them. Swim with them in the ocean, find out what they eat, where do they live and how they communicate. You can listen to their story like an audio book or read by yourself. Tap on penguins or other objects to make sounds or find new info about them.
King of Math Defense
Your once peaceful lands have been over run by ghastly undead, zombies, and evil minions. Answer math questions correctly to summon wizards, recruit archers, and purchase power ups to defend the evil hordes.
Coin Quiz
Watch the coins fly across the screen and then add up the value to choose the correct answer from the four multiple choice options displayed on the bottom of the screen. Feel your virtual pockets get heavier as each correct answer adds money into your total, but watch out, incorrect answers will deduct funds!
Clock Time Quiz
Clock Time Quiz is the perfect app to help your student practice telling time. Practice the all important concepts of time.
Trilo Spelling
Trilo Spelling is an educational and adventurous phonics based spelling game for kids grades K-2. Follow the friendly ghost Spooka, the one-eyed mummy Sling and the funny zombie Frank through multiple spelling levels in the enchanting Trilo World while collecting puzzle pieces for hours of fun and learning.
Creative Writing Companion
The Creative Writing Companion develops, supports and enhances creative writing skills for fiction and non–fiction writing, with an extensive bank of vocabulary.

Discovery Education

If you have not visited the Discovery Education website lately, you may be missing out on some amazing resources that can strengthen your instruction, boost student engagement, and provide a platform for students to show what they know.  Discovery Education (formally known as United Streaming) is an online resource that provides digital video content, images, audio clips, a digital poster creation area, and a ton more.  Teachers who do not have an account yet can contact their Library Media Specialist to retrieve the campus code for Discovery Education and create their account.  Here are just a few highlights of what you will find:
  • Video content - video clips and segments that cover all core content areas and more! Most full videos are also segmented so you can use just a small portion you need for your focused instruction
  • Audio Clips/Digital Images - audio clips and digital images are available for classroom and student project use
  • Student Accounts - teachers can set up their students with accounts to Discovery Education. This allows teachers to assign specific content to their entire class or individual students.
  • Advanced Searches - keyword searches usually lead to the content for which you are looking. But advanced searching allows teachers to search by media type, language, TEK, and sometimes publishing date
  • Board Builder - teachers and students can build digital poster boards over any topic desired. Boards allow for multiple types of digital content to be displayed.
  • My Content - the Content area allows teachers to 'bookmark' their digital content for later use making it unnecessary to search for it again.  Also, there is a Campus Content area that digital content can be placed for everyone at a campus to use.  There is also a District Content area where content can be placed for district wide usage.
As you can see, the Discovery Education site has grown tremendously over the years to match the needs of teachers and students.  If you would like more information or training on this resource, please contact your campus Digital Learning Specialist.  We will be glad to help!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Professional Learning On The Go With Podcasts!

Podcasts are audio files published online.  The topics vary from fashion, to pop-culture, to cooking, and even to education!

Podcasts are great because you can listen to them anywhere, anytime!  Listen in your car during your morning commute.  Listen while working out.  Listen while doing household chores like laundry or dishes.  Listen during your lunch or while grading papers.  All you need is an internet-connected device!
If you have an iPhone or iPad, there is a built-in app called "Podcasts".  If you have an Android phone, you can use the "Stitcher" app.  If you prefer, you can also listen to many podcasts through the web.

The Education Podcast Network is a great starting place for finding a podcast for professional learning.  Their latest addition, The Google Teacher Tribe, is a great podcast about using Google in the classroom by Kasey Bell ( and Matt Miller (

Birdville Digital Learning has a podcast too! Click the Listen & Learn button on our blog to explore our latest episodes.

What podcasts do you listen to for Professional or Personal Learning? Share with us in the comments!

Friday, January 27, 2017

New Apps to the BISD App Catalog

The following apps have been added to the BISD App Catalog.  
These apps are available FREE on BISD devices with access to the BISD App Catalog.

Weather Channel
• Forecasts: Hourly, daily, weekly, weekend and 15-day forecasts.
• Dynamic Home Screen: Changes based on your current location, weather, and time of day, so you get your current conditions plus the weather info you need most.
• Detailed Current Conditions: Get “feels like” temperature, humidity, wind speed, and more.
• Weather Maps: Fast-loading radar maps show past and future doppler radar.
• Severe Weather Alerts: Stay safe with real-time National Weather Service notifications of severe weather including severe weather warnings about lightning, hail, flooding and severe storms.
Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues
Kids will learn basic coding, reading and critical thinking skills as they find clues and code their robot puppy in this fun story-based hidden object mystery game!
Story Wheels
Story Wheels is an app by the Cleveland Play House that is a tool for inspiring stories. To start you decide how many wheels in your story and then choose 3 to 8 wheels. The wheels are created from over 1,100 different images of people, places, and things. The wheels spin and you get a few re-spins to perfect your story wheels. Then you get to write your story and save your story wheels.
Infinite Painter
Paint and draw with different brushes, colors, and paint types.