Friday, December 22, 2017

Innovation Cohort Work Underway!

On December 6th nearly 50 Innovation Cohort 2.0 members from seven schools gathered to continue exploring how the new innovative spaces in their buildings are shifting instructional practices. Kiffany Lychock, Director of Educational Innovation, and Kelly Sain, Director of Education Technology, modeled ways to encourage collaboration, creativity, and empathy, characteristics of a growth mindset. The overarching theme for our time together was how to gather data on the impact the new spaces are having on teaching and learning and how to interpret and communicate this data for stakeholders.   
We began the day at the CU Boulder’s Idea Forge, which is a flexible space for engineering students to work and produce a wide variety of projects and products. Innovation Cohort members toured this student-centered space, saw first-hand students who were actively engaged in essential 21st Century Skills, and made authentic connections to BVSD’s Innovative Guiding Principles (IGPs). While at Idea Forge, attendees participated in a fun, collaborative design challenge activity named The Extraordinaires. Through team discussions, iteration, and critical thinking, participants identified the unique needs of different characters/personas and designed solutions for them. Connections were made to the book The Innovator’s Mindset, and discussions were held around making instructional shifts in our schools.  Understanding how empathy for a diverse group of students informs how we utilize spaces is a powerful element of this work.
Moving forward, the cohort will continue to reflect on how to implement professional learning at their schools that harnesses the potential of student-centered instruction. Cohort members will further investigate how the innovative environments in their schools are positively impacting student-centered learning experiences.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Game Based Learning: Make It Fun with Kahoot!

Are you ready to re-energize and reward your students? Try using Kahoot!, a fun formative assessment game that can be used to survey opinions, initiate debates, and gamify your classroom.

Check out how engaged students are as they create, play, and share their learning.

While you can easily make your own Kahoot, sometimes you just need one that has already been created. Have you investigated the many Kahoots already created for education? Since winter break is coming soon, perhaps you can play some of the Kahoots listed below:

Another great part of Kahoot is that it isn’t just about the teacher! We always support students as creators, and using this tool, students can make their own games and quizzes. They could easily use their creation and design skills to put together their own Kahoots as a learning objective for the unit, semester, or year. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a review for a final exam via student-generated Kahoots? Check out this example from a BVSD Spanish 3 class.

Already trying Kahoot in your classroom? We would love to hear from you! Chime in and share some of the Kahoots that you or your students have created by commenting below or tweeting us @BVSDEdTech!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

FREE Winter Break PD: #DitchSummit

Imagine this:

Professional Development.
Some of the hottest speakers in ed tech.
At home, in your pajamas.
Whenever you have time.

Does that sound exciting to you? Then you should sign up for #DitchSummit!

Matt Miller, the author of Ditch That Textbook, put together the first annual #DitchSummit last year. In his words, “the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit is a nine-day, FREE virtual event. It brings together some of the brightest minds in education to discuss technology, pedagogy and more.” Ed Tech Specialist Aubrey Yeh attended it over break, and she found it to be an amazing (and convenient!) learning experience. During each day of the summit, a new video is released, along with a notes page, and it can be watched whenever you have time. Aubrey said that after each video, she not only felt inspired, but had plenty of new ideas and resources to fuel her own professional learning and share with others!

Not sure you have time for all nine videos? No problem! You can pick and choose which ones you want to watch. And the best part? It’s all free, so you don’t have to feel bad about wasting money if you don’t get the chance to take full advantage of each session (the videos are only available through the end of December).

This year’s summit doesn’t begin until December 15th,so sign up today at As a bonus, all of last year’s videos are currently LIVE, so you can start earlier and get double the PD! This is a great opportunity for all BVSD teachers, especially if you are at a 1:Web, Distance Learning, or Exemplar school. So kick back, grab a nice cup of hot chocolate, and get your learning on this December!

Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 EdTechTeam Summit: Sketchnote Style!

On November 4th-5th, over 600 educators gathered at the sold-out Ed Tech Team Colorado Summit to share, learn, and play together. Highlighted by keynote speakers Amy Burvall & Jeff Heil, over 70 presenters shared their passion for technology and innovation in education.
Follow @klychock on Twitter!    Courtesy of @mingaling13

One of the big themes emerging from the weekend was the need for creativity in our classrooms. Sylvia Duckworth shared her wisdom about sketchnoting, a fun and effective way to synthesize and share ideas. Rather than continuing to write a blog post, we’ll let the sketchnotes tell the story of the conference!

Courtesy of @JaredRiesel

Courtesy of @hamasaki_r                                            Courtesy of@brianrozinsky

Follow @innovatelibrary on Twitter! Follow @staceyminster on Twitter!

Do you have a sketchnote or favorite takeaway from the weekend? Put a link in the comments!