Friday, December 16, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

3 Ways to Increase Student Collaboration via Google Docs

Google Docs is a free, online document creation tool that allows users to contribute, edit, and interact together from any device. BISD employees and students in grades 3-12th grade can access Google Docs using their BISD Google login. Users can share documents with other people and choose a permission level in which other users can view, edit, or comment on a Google Doc from any device. Teachers and students utilize Google Docs to brainstorm, improve collaborative workflow, peer review, research, and publish content.  How does Google Docs improve student collaboration?

Digital Brainstorming Using Google Docs

Collaborative brainstorming sessions provide all students with an opportunity to contribute at their own pace using any device. Brainstorming activities in a virtual format can encourage students to engage in deep thinking, unlike traditional brainstorming sessions that often encourages quick responses in the classroom. Google Docs serves as a best platform to foster opportunities in which students can work together to develop big ideas and concepts. Students can easily import pictures, utilize shapes, or draw arrows and build a visual map for any task.

Collaborative Writing Using Google Docs

The feature that sets Google Docs apart from other word processing programs is the ability to share, collaborate, and publish. Sharing and commenting features available in Google Docs provide students with the ability to receive immediate feedback from not only teachers but also peers. Users can select sharing settings in the platform and specify right of contributors to view only, comment, or edit. Users can keep a track of changes made using revision history. Collaborative writing offers students the ability to exchange ideas in real time. Collaborative tasks encourage higher order thinking and provide students with the opportunity to serve as a drafter, reviewer, and editor. Shifting task rolls can foster strong cognitive processing opportunities through increased feedback and engagement. Google Docs additional Add-Ons lend strong research and reference support tools within the platform. Users can narrow a search to locate scholarly information, quotations, insert maps, and citations within the document.

Publishing Using Google Docs

Students can publish final products to the web by selecting file, “publish to the web. Publishing provides students with the opportunity to share their authentic tasks and products with the outside world, increase collaboration opportunities. Students can embed documents in a digital portfolio or blog. 

Podcast: Tips and Tricks Toward Improving Internet Research

Learn best strategies, tips, and applications toward improving internet research.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Podcast: Integrating 3D Printing via 123D Design and 123D Catch

Learn how to leverage Bring Your Own Device to provide students the opportunity to create 3D objects to send to a 3D Printer.

Haltom MS Teachers and Intervention Data

Haltom MS Math and Reading teachers are continuing to learn new strategies for working with student data.  This week, HMS Academic Coach Tracy Cox, Literacy Coach Brian Allen and their teams worked with Ashley Odom from Compass Learning to target information that will best help their students who need intervention.   The day was filled with productive discussions and PLC collaboration.



Teacher Support for Birdville ISD Online Students

Many students at Birdville HS, Haltom HS, Richland HS, and Shannon HS are currently taking an online course for high school credit.   Birdville ISD students across the district are benefitting from regular communication and support from their campus teachers.   As our students work hard to stay on track for graduation, it is evident that the teacher plays a key role in successful completion of online courses.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Learning in the Zone!

Smithfield Middle School was just awarded a $2000.00 grant to expand the campus, 8th grade flexible learning space.  Academic Coach, Mary Hadley collaborated with Mrs. Patterson's students to create a video where students explained how much they LOVE learning in THE ZONE. With this money they will make improvements to the existing ZONE as well as create a whole new flexible learning space where the 7th grade locker bank is currently located. Next year's 7th graders can look forward to their own flexible learning space as work begins in June 2017.

It's people like Mary Hadley and Mrs. Patterson that make our schools great by looking for ways to overcome obstacles to meet student needs! Congratulations SMS!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WMS Art students Use Adobe to Design Book covers

Watauga Middle School art teacher Esmeralda Elhamad incorporated digital design principles in a project with students to redesign book covers for the library.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


mysimpleshow – empowering explanation

Your students can create great explainer style videos in 4 easy steps with MySimpleshow!

Step 1: Choose a template.
  • There are many templates to choose from.  
  • The "Introduce a Physical Law" template is great for having students create vocabulary videos.

Step 2: Write a script. 
  • Each template has various "chapters" for the script.  
  • Students write what the voice-over will be saying during the video.  
  • Each chapter includes some example text to use as inspiration.

Step 3: Choose visuals.
  • Mysimpleshow chooses visuals to represent the key words in each chapter of the script. 
  • Student can replace the chosen visuals easily to choose an image that better represents their key words.

Step 4: Add voice & captions.
  • Choose the built-in text-to-speech voices or record your own voice.
  • Turn on captions so the text of the script will appear on the screen.
  • Finalize your video!
Videos can be easily published to YouTube and shared!

Here is an example:

Google Suite Training Videos

The Google Suite Training Videos Chrome Extension has been added to all staff Google Accounts. This extension is great and provides on the spot training for all of the Google Suite Apps (drive, docs, slides, sheets, sites, etc). Users can find it in the “more” section of the Waffle Menu. If you are signed into Chrome the icon (see below: the rainbow circle with a question mark inside) should also appear while working in any Google Suite App. This will provide on the spot help for that application! Google seems to be updating the training regularly, and we have already learned new tricks by using it!