Friday, December 16, 2016

Introducing Cohort 4.0!

It is our pleasure to introduce the newest 21st Century Cohort--Cohort 4.0!  


This year, we were able to offer this opportunity to teachers in grades K-12 and received almost 50 applications! Through our cohort selection process, including a “blind review” where names and schools were removed from applications, the team selected 31 participants for this newest group.

DSC01712.JPGOur Cohort 4.0 members began their journey December 13th with conversations around how technology can be used to enhance learning experiences for students, as well as the most valuable characteristics of teachers in taking these risks. Members also explored the possibilities they have for developing their cohort toolkit. Each member receives 25 points to use towards purchasing technology for student use in their classroom. This year, the toolkit catalog includes not only Chromebooks and iPads, but also makerspace tools such as Sphero, Gizmos & Gadgets, and more!

Cohort 4.0 members are excited about starting this journey and many shared this excitement on Twitter!

New to Cohort 4.0!
For this cohort, we are also excited to share that in addition to Ed Tech Team leadership, we have asked previous cohort members to help lead, mentor and provide professional development for this group. These teacher leaders will be vital to the development and support of Cohort 4.0.

DSC01728.JPGPlease join us in welcoming  Liz Barcheck, teacher librarian at Angevine Middle School (Cohort 1.0); Jeff Cote, 5th grade teacher at Lafayette Elementary (Cohort 2.0); and Colleen Kanemoto, 2nd grade teacher at Mesa Elementary (Cohort 2.0) as our Cohort 4.0 Teacher Leaders! You can read more about each of their own cohort journeys in their portfolios linked above.

We are excited about working together as we continue to implement the Success Effect in creating meaningful and engaging opportunities for learning for teachers and students!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Colorado Summit featuring Google Apps for Education: The Ripple Effect

This past weekend the Boulder Valley School District hosted the Colorado Summit featuring Google Apps for Education. The Summit is put on by the Ed Tech Team Inc. and features workshop presentations from educational leaders and innovators from within the district and state in addition to Google Certified Trainers from across the United States. This is the fifth year that the Boulder area has hosted the event and the fourth year in BVSD.

Over 400 educators attended the event with high energy and optimism as they spent both days of their weekend learning and collaborating. Through Twitter and other social media, participants shared their learning and experiences with their Professional Learning Networks.
The biggest social media buzz came from these top four areas:


Not only did teachers and educational leaders go to the summit to learn, students also came to think, make, and improve. There were kids from 2 years old to teenagers using their hands to create, code, and explain their thinking to the curious adults also learning in the room.

Student Agency
Many sessions and speakers focused on the importance of student-centered learning and student choice with many themes also found in our BVSD Innovative Guiding Principles.


Google Expeditions and Cardboard bring virtual reality into a student’s hand. Imagine looking at the Eiffel Tower from your classroom in Superior or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef from the library in Lafayette. Not only can students visit those places virtually, but they can also create trips that others can experience as well.  
Keynote Inspiration  
The three keynote speakers
left attendees asking questions like “What is your ripple effect?” and “What problem do you want to solve?”. These thought-provoking keynotes will continue to have lasting effects as educators are challenged in their day-to-day classroom experiences.  

Make sure to check out the #edtechteam on Twitter for continuous learning and save the date for next year, November 4-5, 2017, back in BVSD!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ed Tech Software Updates

The BVSD Ed Tech department maintains a few educational technology software titles and we'd like to take some time to share a bit about each tool available for you to access and use with students. You can read all about the available titles and explore how to access through our guide and website.

New this year!

We have purchased WeVideo (an online video creation software). This software is available online and for students in grades 2-12. Check out the incredible ways you can use WeVideo with your students!

Also, through our Overdrive application (an online e-book collection), we've created an Overdrive Professional Development library! There are many titles that will be interesting to you as an educator, innovator, and leader with many more to be added in the coming months! Check it out!

All of Ed Tech software is reviewed by a focus group of stakeholders to help provide guidance on renewing and purchasing new titles. If you are interested in being a part of this process in the future, please let your school’s tech contact know.

We look forward to seeing what your students create this year! If you'd like us to include your students work as part of our BVSD examples fill out this form and we will contact you about displaying the student's work!

Check out the software website for more information!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

ISTE Reflection Guest Blog from Tracy Stegall, Principal @Aspen Creek K8

Many educators from Boulder Valley School District attended the ISTE Annual Conference in Denver, CO this past summer. From this group, a few of educators have chosen to share their stories and reflections from this experience as guest bloggers. 

We're excited to share the following reflection from Tracy Stegall, Principal @Aspen Creek K8.

From the Director of Learning, Fun, and Safety at Aspen Creek-- Thoughts on ISTE and more...

“Hey, Tracy!  Do you have a minute?”
“Could I talk to you?  It’ll only be a minute!”
“Do you have a minute?”
“Can I have a minute?”
“I need to talk to Ms. Stegall.”
“Ms. Stegall, can I talk to you?”
“Ms. Stegall!  Watch me swing!  Read my paper!  Hug me!  Love me!”

And then…

Silent hallways… dark offices… and the true belief in ghosts.

Late June comes into the office of the PK-8 Principal like mist rises in the early morning.  Everything is covered with a layer of nobody and you have to believe the sides of your eyes to see the students.  They’re the ghosts at the end of June when you’re the only one in the building.  You find evidence of their existence in the form of unfiled discipline sheets… memories of laughter and learning... or in the strange confiscated slingshot made from a paperclip in your desk drawer.  

As the Principal of a school that spans 10 grades, my time goes to supporting the learning and growth of everyone else during the school year.  Most of workshops and conferences and meetings I go to focus specifically on helping other people get better at what they do.  This is by design; it’s a high leverage strategy for increasing student achievement.  Great… except what about me?  

Over the last 12 years in school administration, I’ve had to develop the skills and practices to consciously CHOOSE into my own development.   As a guest blogger here, I was asked  to reflect on my trip to ISTE.  It feels more pertinent to me to offer some of my biggest a-hah’s and learnings not just from ISTE but also from the collegiality that has grown across schools as a result of the Ed Tech Leadership Cohort and the unyielding support of the Ed Tech team to anyone who reaches out!  We are SO lucky to work in BVSD!

Once a month during the 2015-2016 school year, I stepped away from the clawing arms and voices of those “needing a piece of me” and purposefully clawed and grabbed at myself, my growing skills, my heart and attended the Ed Tech Leadership Cohort.   I said to myself, “Tracy- you NEED these minutes for YOU.”  (And...shhhhh…. It’s a secret… I TOOK them! Minutes for ME.  For MY learning.)  I pushed away the Guilt Monster; I covered his gaping mouth so he couldn’t tell me what I SHOULD do.  I covered his eyes so I could enjoy learning for me without feeding his voyeuristic pleasure.  I said, “YES,” to me and my own learning.  I framed my technology work over the last year with a couple of simple questions:

-- How can I use social media in a way that showcases the work we’re doing at Aspen Creek?
-- How can I work smarter, not harder, and capitalize on the time that my staff has face to face?

Here are some highlights from ISTE and beyond!  Over the course of the last year, I...


-learned what in the world Twitter was about, why I should care, and built a personal Twitter Account.  At ISTE, my focus was learning more about Twitter.  Over my time there, I ended up creating another Twitter account and now I use HootSuite on my phone to easily Tweet from both!  Follow me: @stegalltj or follow our ATeam @ACPK8ATeam!  Through Twitter, I’ve found endless resources to share with teachers as they work tirelessly to hone their practice.

-fell in love with Screencastify and used it to flip content in faculty meetings.  Here’s one example as we prepared for a big discussion about restructuring in the spring.  The feedback I received included, “Wow!  I loved that!  I listened to it as I traveled back from another building I’m assigned to…” and “That was too long.  I didn’t like it.”  Of course, I loved the first comment… and the second comment gave me important information about how to move forward.   Screencastifies (plural?) I’ve created this year include a step by step way for a new technology user to share a Google Doc with someone… a reminder for staff on how to finalize their growth plan in My Passport, and “how to” videos for a Schoology course I’m co-facilitating with other administrators in the district.  The applications are endless!

-experimented with video (which required a fairly good sized amount of work around getting over myself and how I look on screen).  Screencastify helped me step into this realm… and then I messed around with video in Schoology… and then, thanks to Erika Morreale from the BVSD Ed Tech, I was introduced to WeVideo!  She met me for breakfast at 6:30AM in early August (because the time that I have for my own learning typically only happens in the dark of the early morning or late night)!  I made a video for Back to School night in lieu of loading over 1000 parents into a hot, sweaty gym.  This allowed me to roam and talk, and it also standardized important information that I wanted my whole community to have (not just the people who chose to come to the evening event).  

-co-created, along with my amazing staff, an In-House Tech Conference to kick off the year.  We have such a wealth of knowledge at Aspen Creek and teachers in my building love learning from and with one another!

And now… it’s fall and I’m back at it, this crazy business of Principalling (verb).  My minutes are consumed with helping other people improve and grow at every turn.  My own growth comes in fits and starts… and yet, here I am.  I’ve pulled myself away from the clawing Guilt Monster and stepped into a cafe’ (shhhh… during the school day!), grabbed at my own heart (shhh… I chose to put chocolate in my chai), and LET myself be in my own learning and reflecting.  Yes.  I can.  I should.   I am.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Welcome Back #BVSD 2016-17!

The BVSD Ed Tech team is planning for another incredible year of professional learning, growing and exploring with you! See below for a few ways you can engage with the Ed Tech team.

Social Media

Join us on Twitter. Follow @BVSDEdTech for updates on ed tech in the classroom as well as interesting articles, people, and resources. You can also follow each team’ member’s personal Twitter account. See the bottom of this site for who’s who!

Are you a Pinner? You can follow BVSD Ed Tech on our Pinterest page. We curate resources that help in many areas (makerspaces, libraries, literacy, leadership etc).

Sharing Student Examples:
Student Products: We have a student products page that provides examples of meaningful integration of technology in lessons, projects, and assessments. These are BVSD examples! Would you like us to add one of yours? Click here to share an example.

Student Data Security & Privacy:
When choosing digital tools for your classroom, please keep best practices for protecting student data in mind. If you would like to know more about data privacy and your role in protecting student data, visit our Student Data Privacy website or join our Schoology course. (Course code: QB2MG-J4HCP)


Curious about a topic covered during an Ed Tech PD session? Want to do some growth and learning on your own? Check out our list of topics and sites that will support you as you learn something new!

Upcoming Professional Development:
Coming Soon! Ed Tech Online Courses for the 2016-17 School Year!
Soon, you will be able to sign up for the following Ed Tech Online Courses. Each course has the potential for a 1.0 Salary Credit upon completion of work. Look for more information about these courses early this fall!
  • Online Collaboration & Connected Learning
  • Maker Edu: Creating Innovative Learning Spaces
  • Digital Storytelling

The Annual Rocky Mountain Summit for Google Apps for Education is coming once again to Boulder, CO on November 5th & 6th at Monarch High School. We are fortunate to host this incredible two-day learning event brought to you by the EdTechTeam. More information for registration will be sent out early this fall.

Innovate@BVSD will take place in June 2017--look for more information coming soon! Check out last year’s site for this event, resources are available.

Request a PD for your school: Please submit this Google Form and an Ed Tech representative will be in contact with you soon!

We’re looking forward to an incredible year of learning, growing and exploring with you! Have an extraordinary start to the year!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ISTE2016: Our Recap & Experiences

This year, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference came to Denver, CO. Many BVSD educators were able to attend this incredible two-day event and have the opportunity to continue to learn with online resources and experiences throughout the year. See their reactions and stories below!

If you couldn’t attend ISTE this year, there are many places for you to go and find inspiration and learning from those that did attend (and you do not need a Twitter account to follow Twitter chats--see links below)

Top Three ISTE Takeaways:

#iste2016 You can go to this Twitter conversation and find almost every resource that was shared by presenters while at ISTE! The learning is endless!

#notatiste16 Follow the link to resources that people shared during this “unconference” approach at ISTE --the learning led by those not attending ISTE but still engaging with their educator learning network.

ISTE2016 Reflection from educator & blogger Gail Desler This blog details the sessions that Gail Desler attended (with all of the resources available) as well as provides some pretty powerful anecdotes of how she plans to use these resources in her school this year!

What is the ISTE conference like? Read below to see the reactions of our BVSD educators that were able to attend!

Reflections from BVSD:

ISTE brings keynote speakers from diverse backgrounds and philosophies, and this year, these speakers delivered challenging and powerful speeches. Our BVSD educators found inspiration from these moments and took to Twitter to share their thoughts:

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The ISTE Conference also includes ample time for attendees to play and learn while making meaningful collaborations with educators from around the globe.

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The voices of our BVSD students were amplified through their presentations while at ISTE in which they shared their passions, ideas, and excitement for their own learning and products. These students left ISTE energized and excited about bringing the learning back to BVSD!

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Thank you to all that provided our BVSD educators and students the opportunity to be inspired together at #ISTE2016!

To get a glimpse of what ISTE is like, check out this video:

Upcoming professional development and resources regarding future-ready learning and tools can be found at --look for our next blog to share opportunities for your growth and learning this school year!

Friday, May 13, 2016



We’re excited to share that on June 8th-9th the BVSD Ed Tech and Innovation departments will host Innovate@BVSD: An Innovative Professional Learning and 21st Century Festival.

This two-day event will include a furniture expo, workshop sessions on student learning and engagement, presentations from local makerspace companies, and visionary presentations on the impact of classroom design on learning. Innovate@BVSD lends direct support to the BVSD Success Effect in developing talent by fueling innovation, discovery, and exploration for our educators. There will also be great raffle prizes--including iPads, Chromebooks and Sphero robot!

Workshop sessions, led by BVSD educators, leaders and innovation vendors, cover a wide-range of topics such as developing makerspaces, leading student passion projects, teaching in the digital age, and more! You can see the entire session listing on the Innovate@BVSD site.

DSC_7834.JPGThe furniture expo is a way for participants to have hands-on access to innovative learning spaces designed by our vendors approved for the Bond work in BVSD. We believe that seeing what is available will help educators understand how to develop and teach in these new spaces.

We encourage BVSD staff to attend professional development like Innovate@BVSD for learning, collaboration, application, and reflection of new ideas for teaching and student engagement!

Find out more information about Innovate@BVSD on the website, including registration for BVSD and out-of-district participants!