Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Birdville Teachers Use Mentimeter to Share Their Word of the Year! is a great website where you can ask all kinds of question types to your audience.   In this example, we asked new teachers to Birdville to choose a word that would represent them this year.  Check out the results!  You can add your word of the year too.  Just follow the directions at the top of the embedded menti below or click here to submit your word.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Search Google Drive in the Same Manner in Which You Speak

Google Drive search is now using Natural Language Processing (NLP). This means you can search in the same manner in which you speak. For example, you could say “find my budget spreadsheet from last December” or “show me presentations from Tiffany.” Google Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results. Google Drive NLP will learn more as you use it and will get better with each query. #skynet

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Haltom High School Set to Pilot Student ePortfolios

Haltom High School students will be using their Birdville ISD Google accounts to create ePortfolios. The ePortfolios will be used as a place to create and store student exemplars. Inside their main folder, there will be folders for each of the students' classes. Students can then share their ePortfolios with teachers and other staff members via a link. The program is scheduled to begin this Fall. 

Texas Gateway: TEA Digital Resources for All Content Areas

Texas Gateway is a Texas Education Agency web portal that provides“just-in-time” resources that educators can leverage during a particular lesson, sequenced binders of instruction that you can assign to students, and provides additional PD training courses to earn CPE credit hours. Content can be searched by content area, grade level, and by TEKS. Educators can also subscribe to a newsletter to learn about featured resources.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

4 Free Keyboarding Resources

There are many free options available to educators to teach keyboarding and prepare students for online environments. Resources that increase speed and accuracy ranging from drills to games are available for keyboarders at any level. Here is a list of 4 resources you can explore with your students.

ABCYa-Keyboard Challenge is an interactive activity putting missing keys in the correct places on a keyboard. Great for remembering the keys on the keyboard and lessons can be sorted by grade levels Pre-K-5. is a free resource in which students of all ages can participate in engaging exercises, interactive games, and uses positive reinforcement. This resource includes a free Teacher portal in which teachers can monitor their class and access powerful reporting features.
Good Typing is a free online typing skill development program appopriate for secondary students. Good Typing provides 27 graduated lessons designed to help students learn to use their entire keyboards correctly. Unlike some free online typing programs, Good Typing offers support twenty different keyboard styles including US style, Japanese style, and several European languages.

Typing Adventure is a fun game that elementary students can use to practice their typing skills. To play the game students just have to visit the game site, read the directions, and press start. The game scenario presented to students is a character leaping from stepping stone to stepping stone. To move along the path students have to type the letters of the stones they want to jump to. Students earn points based on speed and accuracy.

3 Digital Differentiation Tools for ELAR Teachers: Newslea, TweenTribune, & Rewordify,

Newsela is site that provides current event articles that are provided with different lexile reading levels. Spanish is also an option for some articles. Newsela has a free sign-up for educators.Teachers can assign articles to students with a class code or print off articles at different lexiles. In addition, historical speeches and primary sources available. Newsela's YouTube channel has many resources for learning about the functions of the site.

Rewordify is a site that simplifies difficult text. Students can copy and paste difficult texts into a box that will simplify it. This can help ELL students access complex content tasks at their comprehension level. If students have access to online textbooks, this can be helpful for higher-leveled texts. It also works with archaic language (think Shakespeare or the Gettysburg Address) and incorporates vocabulary into the "translation".

TweenTribune is a Smithsonian site that provides current event articles that come in different lexile levels. It provides grade ranges along the top, as well as lexile ranges within the articles.The visuals are great supports for ELLs and media literacy TEKS. Resources can be viewed in both English and Spanish. Technology-related articles are also a category.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Podcast: Digital Literacy and Diversity

The Value of Search via Digital Learning Lounge

BISD's Digital Learning Lounge, ( is a collaborative resource populated by Birdville's digital learning community. The Digital Learning Lounge provides a platform in which users can SEARCH keywords to locate latest announcements, best exemplars of digital learning (In The Spotlight) resources, technology tips (TechTips), podcast (Listen & Learn), and access social media platforms to include Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Users can subscribe to the Digital Learning Lounge by filling out the Subscribe By Email box. In addition, educators can submit content to the Digital Learning Lounge. 

Contribute to the Digital Learning Lounge via Spotlight

We are always looking for new ideas and encourage you to join in contributing to our community. This can easily be done from a smart phone right in a classroom, so remember to take the time to share digital learning successes with your BISD colleagues through the Digital Learning Lounge. How can you spotlight yourself or someone on your campus?

  1. Start a new email message.
  2. Type in the "To" line.
  3. Type the Title of your blog post in the "Subject" line of your email.
  4. Type what you want to spotlight/share - which will become your actual blog post text - in the body of the email. Note: everything in your email will become part of your post so you may want to edit/delete extra information from your email signature.
  5. Attach the images you want to include in your post to your email message.

Digital Learning Lounge in Action:  Jenna Henderson, an elementary teacher located at Watauga Elementary, contributed to the Digital Learning Lounge on how she is using Google Forms Quiz Feature to provide immediate feedback. Jenna worked with her campus's digital learning specialist to learn how to implement the feature. Student motivation and accountability improved as a result of implementing this program. 

Digital Learning Platform: The Digital Learning Lounge provides a best structure to share best practices, exemplars, and resources as a community.