Thursday, March 31, 2016

RHS Makerspace Time After Testing

RHS librarian Angi Magana provided a variety of Makerspace activities for students to collaborate on after morning testing. Students worked on circuit boards, puzzles, over-sized Jenga, and Makey-makey kits.

RHS English 1 Students Work in Google Classroom

RHS Eng1 teacher Justine Barchus uses Google Classroom and integrated Google Docs to get students to reflect on Animal Farm readings digitally. Students appreciate getting to research and work online in the lab with Google Classroom streamlining collaboration and assignment submission.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Learning to teach Educational Technology

BCTAL Education and Training students are working on a very important educational technology project. These BISD students have spent the year learning to become educators from their district mentor teachers.
Their most current assignment involves:  

  1.  Learn to use a piece of technology on their own  (hardware, software, website, app)
  2. Teach their peers how to use the device or software
  3. Teach a lesson that integrates the technology tool in a real classroom
  4. Provide additional examples of curriculum integration
This awesome lesson was created by Susan Stevens and Karen Kallas to ensure their students would be forward thinking educators. It was an honor to be asked to assist these high school students with ideas for  integration. Basically, I was helping students learn to execute my own job duties. It became abundantly apparent that I better stay on my toes because if Mrs. Stevens and Mrs. Kallas keep this up, I could have some serious employment competition!

These BCTAL teachers are always thinking towards the future in the preparation of their students. They are such a great asset to BISD! #bisddlp #wearebirdvilleisd

Sharing via Explain Everything

Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard application that allows users to record audio, video, and write. End products are pictures or video and the application is accessible from any mobile device. Explain Everything allows users to annotate, import and move any objects while recording in real time. Educators are using Explain Everything to record lessons, demonstrations, and export video projects to their classroom blog or online course.

Explain Everything in Action: Students enrolled in Mrs. Zamora's 8th grade math class at Haltom Middle school access flipped teacher-created math lessons created by Mrs. Zamora using her Project Innovate iPad and the application Explain Everything.

BISD Digital Learning Platform: Explain Everything provides an interactive whiteboard platform in which students and educators can create authentic tasks and products that are shareable to an extended community.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Virtual Field Trips via Google Cultural Institute

The Google Cultural Institute is a free virtual museum that brings together millions of artifacts from multiple museums and galleries from all over the world. Educators can now design, create, and share specific galleries, providing access to virtual field trips. The Google Cultural Institute is available from any device. If using a mobile device, users can access the application Arts & Culture on both iOS and Android devices. Featured projects include Historic Moments, World Wonders, and Google's Art Project.

The Google Cultural Institute in Action: Students in a high school social studies course create a virtual exhibit surrounding World War II events to include specific primary artifacts related to the Holocaust, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the German invasions, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima. Peers visit, review and comment on student museum galleries to provide feedback.

BISD Digital Learning Platform: The Google Cultural Institute provides an interactive platform in which students can create authentic tasks and products that are shareable to an extended community.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Success for North Oaks MS students completing an online CTE course!

Congratulations to North Oaks Middle School 8th graders who recently completed Semester A of an online CTE course for high school credit.  This online course is in addition to the regular full time schedule of classes and extra curricular activities they are involved in at North Oaks MS.  Each student is currently working to complete Semester B of his or her course, which will count toward the selected endorsement area and enable them to them to advance to higher level CTE courses.

Completed courses include:

Principles of Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
Principles of Architecture & Construction
Principles of Business, Marketing, & Finance
Concepts of Engineering & Technology
Principles of Health Science
Principles of Human Services
Principles of Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security

Pictured with the motivated students are North Oaks MS CTE teacher, Jeremy Nungesser, and proud  principal, Dr. Bob Koerner.  Also, pictured are Edmentum EdOptions Academy representatives Chris Bolyard, Kristina Faraday, and Sharon Roth.

Chatter Pix/QR Codes Supporting Work on Text Evidence at ACFT

After reading and discussing the story, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, students wrote a letter of response from Duncan persuading one color of their liking of reasons why the crayon should not quit. Students provided evidence from the text to support their understanding using the elements of the writing process.

Using ChatterPix Kids, students that showed exemplary work recorded themselves reading aloud their persuasive response letters. Their videos were posted to my YouTube channel then the links turned into QR codes. The codes will be displayed on a Standardized Bulletin Board.

Robin Xavonglianekham

STEM Resources via CK-12 Flexbook

CK-12 FlexBook is a free online platform providing quality curated STEM content for K-12 students and teachers. CK-12 includes a library with over 5000 math and science resources to include free textbook materials that are accessible from any device. Educators are using CK-12 as a platform to participate within a collaborative learning community. Students, teachers, and authors create, access, share, rate, recommend, and publish quality content. Content is searchable via Texas state standards.

CK-12 in Action: Students learning about the life cycle of butterflies capture still images of butterflies native to their area. Afterwards, students add images to a customized FlexBook using textbook resources located in CK-12 Flexbook. Students publish and present their customized e-book to a larger community.

Digital Learning Platform: CK-12 FlexBook provides quality resources in which students and educators curate and publish authentic content that is shared with a larger community.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

NOMS Students Work On-line in Blended Classes

North Oaks middle school 8th grade Reading teacher Karen Bland provides on-line learning opportunities through videos, resources, and sites that students can navigate through at their own pace. Students also choose where they work, using both class and hall flexible learning spaces.

WMS Art students use digital photography as artistic reference

Watauga Middle School art teacher, Esmeralda Elhamad, put digital cameras in the hands of students to capture quality black and white images of each other. Partner pairs took the photos and printed them out to then grid to create original art pieces.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Motivated Math Students at North Ridge MS

Take a look at these photos from Mrs. Brooke Sorrells’ 6th grade math classes at North Ridge Middle School.   Her students are encouraged to carefully complete a CompassLearning math lesson and pass the final quiz at the end to prove mastery in skills and earn a raffle ticket.  For every quiz a student passes with at least 70% correct, he or she receives one ticket that gets put in the drawing.   Every 3-6 weeks, Mrs. Sorrells draws 2 student names to win a $5 gift card to their place of choice.   Typically students choose a gift card for ITunes, GameStop, Starbucks, Sonic, etc.    Kudos to Mrs. Sorrells for trying new strategies to help increase the motivation level for her students.

Quizizz: A Multiplayer Quiz Game

Quizizz is a free application that allows students to participate or host quiz games. Quizizz is accessible from any device and serves as a great application to assist with formative assessment. Educators can create their own activities or utilize activities already created by other educators. Quizizz does not require a username or password. Unlike Kahoot which displays a multiple choice question on a large screen to the entire class, Quizizz displays multiple choice questions randomly displayed on a participant's individual device. Questions are player-paced and educators have access to real time results.

Quizizz in Action: Students engage in gaming via quizizz activities as a component in a technology workstation to review academic vocabulary.

Digital Learning Platform: Quizizz is an interactive application that engages students and individualizes learning experiences, improving cognitive processing.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Learning in 3D via 123D Make

123D Make is a free application that provides the ability to convert a 3D model into a real world object. 123D Make produces a 2D blueprint with animated assembly instructions. Students can access 123D Make from an iOS or Windows device. Blueprints can be exported as a PDF or EPS file. Students can build with any flat material that they can cut and can submit project to a gallery.

123D Make In Action: Elementary students researched styles of architecture and famous architects and designed structures incorporating the golden mean or another mathematical pattern. Students created a prototype using 123D Make to share at the Designer's Makerspace Convention using cardboard.

Digital Learning Platform: 123D Make is an interactive application in which students engage to create authentic tasks and products to share with an extended community.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Using Technology for Reflection

BCTAL Education and Training Student Rebekah Beaver is a teaching intern at Walker Creek. She used a device called a Swivl to video herself teaching a lesson to her students. The Swivl uses an iPad/iPhone and Bluetooth to follow the speaker around as they present or teach. Later she will review the video with her teacher Karen Kallas to examine her strengths and weaknesses so she can improve her teaching. #bisddlp #bisdshines

Levels of organization

RHS Students Create Video PSAs

RHS's Dr. Byers designed a lesson about persuasion that incorporated analysis of visual media. The three week project was completed in groups and the students had to create their own video PSA to share with the class. The students then viewed and evaluated each PSA for effectiveness based on criterion they established by researching professional examples. The impressive videos were completely produced out of class using smart phones, tablets, and home devices, then loaded into YouTube. Dr. Byers was impressed with the quality of the PSAs and the amount of thought that went into the process to create them.

Flexible learning spaces at RHS!

On the day before Spring Break, students enjoyed the freedom to relax in soft seating in the RHS ELAR pod as they worked on different assignments. Six classrooms face towards the open common space and teachers share the space.

GT Scholars Study Natural and Man-Made Patterns

Stefanie Woodard’s GT Scholars at Mullendore Elementary have been studying natural and man-made patterns.  The scholars were asked to go find examples and take pictures.  They planned and created their own video using the trailer feature in iMovie.  Mrs. Woodward then created QR codes that link to their movies and posted them in the hallway for all to enjoy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Game-Based Learning via Minecraft

Minecraft is a “sandbox” video game that can be leveraged in a variety of ways to support design thinking and enrich curriculum via game-based learning. Users create explore, discover and share within a virtual world. Educators are integrating Minecraft into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content areas. Recent upgrades to Minecraft have incorporated a virtual reality (VR)  component via Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Oculus Rift.

Minecraft in Action: Students in an after school program worked together to build their school in Minecraft using actual measurements. Students calculated the number of blocks they would need for each room, performed measurement conversions, and learned how to estimate for external structures.

Digital Learning Platform: Minecraft is a student centered and interactive game application that engages students to generate predictions, improving cognitive processing experiences.

Learning in 3D via 123D Catch

123D Catch is a free application that allows users to create a 3D scan (picture) of virtually any object. Users shoot a loop of several pictures in small increments. Students upload their photos to 123D Design and stitch a 3D model. Final products can be sent to a 3D printer, producing a final physical learning artifact.

123D Catch in Action: Students used 123D Catch to photograph a snail shell on a nature walk. Students uploaded the completed project with a scientific observation to iNaturalist to become a citizen scientist who shares with the global community.

Digital Learning Platform: 123D Catch is an interactive application in which students engage to create authentic tasks and products.

Learning in 3D via Star Walk 2

Star Walk 2 is an interactive application that includes an augmented reality (AR) setting in which users can hold up a mobile device to identify which stars the device is viewing in real time. Star Walk includes animated graphics of constellations and planets, a dial time to predict what the sky might look like on a future date, and opportunities to view the space station.

Star Walk in Action: Students working in small groups utilize Star Walk 2 to participate in a constellation and planet scavenger hunt, comparing and contrasting features of celestial objects. Students locate and interpret relevant data within the application to make future predictions.

Digital Learning Platform: Star Walk 2 is a student centered and interactive application that engages students to generate predictions, improving cognitive processing experiences.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

4th and Kinder create Chatterpix at Watauga Elementary

Computer Time is on the road with iPads today while the labs are being used for testing. 4th graders spent their time making autobiographies and Kindergarten described living vs non-living in Chatterpix.

2nd Graders Show What They Know

My 2nd graders are using the app “Show Me” to explain their thinking for difficult word problems.  The students use the app to record that thinking, while allowing them to visually represent their thoughts.  They read the word problem and use the white screen to complete the UPS check method to solve that problem.

Smithfield MS Makerspace Mornings

Smithfield MS shared their experiences with Makerspace Mornings during the Poster Session at the Digital Learning Conference on March 5.  Using Adobe Voice, Beth Muirheid captured the essence of this session and has made this clip available to the public so others can learn from their experiences.

Learning in 3D via 123D Design

123D Design for education is a free application accessible on an iOS or Windows device designed to create 3D objects and directly 3D print or fabricate the object. 123D Design is simple to use and offers students a variety of 3D designs to begin a project that can be altered. 123D Design also provides students a complete creative license, bringing geometry concepts and design thinking to life.

123D Design in Action: Elementary students are using 123D Design to deepen their understanding regarding coordinate planes. A fourth grade classroom is using 123D design to inquire into how much water is wasted in our daily lives. Students are designing a toothbrush prototype that conserves water.

Digital Learning Platform: 123D Design is an interactive application in which students engage to create authentic tasks and products.

Learning in 3D via Aurasma

Aurasma is an augmented reality (AR) application in which users can overlay a video or image on top of anything that a tablet, cell phone, or mobile device can scan with a camera. Aurasma scans an object, much like a QR code reader. Educators are incorporating augmented reality via Aurasma to create layers of digital information on top of the physical world that can be viewed through an iOS or Android device.

Aurasma in Action: Educators are using Aurasma to create interactive word walls. Students record themselves using an iPad providing definitions to vocabulary located on a classroom word wall. Afterwards, students use the Aurasma app to create an interactive pop up screen playing the video content.

Digital Learning Platform: Aurasma is an interactive application in which students engage to create authentic tasks and products.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Duke Ellington & Kahoots, 3rd Grade Music at Stowe

The 3rd graders watched a Storybook video on Duke Ellington.

The next time they came to music, they were grouped in pairs to sign in to Kahoots.  The students had a blast creating their nicknames.  They then had 10 questions they had to answer that came from the video.  Occasionally, there were two right answers.   The students worked together to quickly get the correct answer for the most points.  The questions varied from what sport Duke wanted to play to what city he moved to and the club where he played.

Teresa Kile
Elementary Music Specialist
O. H. Stowe Elementary

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Digital Tools in the ESOL Classroom

Haltom High School's English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher Amber Cofield uses digital tools on a regular basis in her classes. When Amber was asked why she decided to incorporate technology with her students, she replied,"To help my students feel more at ease with assessments and to give them almost instant feedback. We frequently use Google Classroom and Flubaroo for quizzes over the Word within a Word terms. The quiz is created in Google forms and assigned to the students within each class. By using their g.birdville accounts, Flubaroo can email their scores, their responses, and which questions they did or did not get right based on the choices I pick prior to emailing the students. Further, they often practice for the quiz on Thursday using Kahoot. And the best part, it is all linked to my district website and Google Classroom allowing the kids to access anywhere in case of absences and other extenuating circumstances."
#flubaroo #googleclassroom #haltomhighschool #Kahoot #ESL #ESOL #bisddlp #birdvilleisd #chromebook #assessment #studentfeedback

RHS Economics Students Play online Stock Market Game

RHS Economics teacher Beau Burruss gives his students opportunities to work in groups to play online stock market game so they will better understand investments and the stock market. The game is a simulation of trading and virtual investing. Check out this real-world learning at:

Collaborative Groups for Debate Groups with Curated Resources on Smore

Watauga Middle School Texas History students work in research groups to find information about specific causes of the Civil War. Their research sources were organized in a Smore to provide fast access to high-quality resources. Mary Barwinkel also structured the debate groups in a March Madness bracket to encourage more engagement as the kids engage in friendly competition.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Plickers Helps Major Cheney 4th Graders Practice Editing and Revising Questions

In preparation for the upcoming STAAR writing test, we use Plickers to answer editing and revising questions. Using Plickers enables us to see real-time data to record our growth as we practice.  If we answer a question and our class average is 60% or lower, we analyze each answer option so that everyone understands the correct answer choice.

4th Graders Study About Erosion, Deposition, and Weathering

Recently at ACFT, 4th graders in Mary Riley’s class used iPads to take pictures of erosion, deposition, and weathering around the playground.  Students made hypothesis based on the findings and used the pictures to support their experiments in the lab. 

Lisa Treadway
Academic Coach

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Exploring Space via Spacecraft 3D

Spacecraft 3D is a NASA augmented reality application that lets students learn about and interact with a variety of spacecraft in use exploring our solar system and observing the universe. Educators print an AR target and use the camera on an iOS device, allowing students the opportunity to explore how spacecraft and robots move.

Spacecraft 3D in Action: Students utilize Spacecraft 3D to report as a journalist via video on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity's progress.

Digital Learning Platform: Spacecraft 3D is an interactive application in which students engage to create authentic tasks and products.

Visual Search via Kiddle

Kiddle is a new search engine designed to afford classrooms safe search results to include web, images, news, and video that "satisfy family-friendly and privacy" requirements. Search results populate with a larger easier to read font along with language tailored to students under the age of 10.

Kiddle in Action: Students research about growth in a Texas Industry using Kiddle. Students accessed visuals, timelines, and maps via Kiddle to create a presentation to share with their peers.

Digital Learning Platform: Kiddle provides students with access to information to assist in building authentic student tasks and products.