Wednesday, March 22, 2017

IT Open House

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We had over 45 BVSD employees join us at IT Open House on February 28th, 2017. This event included opportunities to meet and interact with the many teams in IT that serve the students and staff of BVSD.
Participants received a gameboard to help them navigate through the open house, and upon completion, be eligible for some pretty great prizes! You can watch the raffle winners announcement!

Through this event, participants experienced
  • a meet & greet with the Service Desk & Customer Support Technician teams
  • a presentation and learning experience with VizLab and the new data warehouse
  • hands-on exploration of tools available through school technology tools program and upcoming maker kits
  • sharing feedback with the student information systems team (Infinite Campus, custom apps, etc.)
  • learning about their digital footprint as an educator and newly updated school websites with the web team
  • and more!

You can check out some pictures and additional reactions to this event below! IT is hoping to host another Open House in the Winter of 2018.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Summer Learnin' Part One

If you are a planner, you may already be checking your calendar for summer conferences and professional development. If you are more spontaneous, you can always bookmark this as a resource to use in June when you have a moment to catch your breath! Either way, this post will highlight how to have fun learning in your own backyard and/or on your personal device of choice!

You do not have to travel far for the first opportunity coming in June! Innovate@BVSD is coming back to Monarch High School June 7 & 8. Join educators from around the area to explore digital tools, resources, lessons, and innovative furniture designs that can help us create future-ready learning environments that will positively impact our learning communities!
This year’s Innovate will feature a Pop-up Maker Expo, an opportunity for Innovate@BVSD attendees to connect with members of the Maker community and learn about the resources they provide to help students tinker, play, explore, create, and make.

The Pop-up Maker Expo will be open to students and parents so they can connect with maker communities that offer makerspaces, tools, expertise, classes, and workshops, or may belong to a maker community and want to share their making stories.

Only a little further west, in Keystone, is our Colorado-based conference InnEdCO June 12-15. The organization, Innovative Education Colorado (InnEdCO), is back hosting a leadership academy, Google in Education learning academy and conference focusing on the increasing role technology plays in education. Join educators from all corners of Colorado and beyond for energetic learning and relationship-building! There will also be 24 presentations from BVSD educators!  

If travel is more your style, then this conference offers all of the above with a global reach. The International Society of Education (ISTE) is hosting their annual conference in San Antonio June 25-28. With over 1,000 sessions and 15,000 educators, this conference brings like-minded educators together from all over the world.

Why spend the money, time, and energy traveling to these conferences IRL (in real life)? The benefits can be best described in some of our favorite blog posts such as ISTE Reflection Guest Blog from Tracy Stegall, Principal @Aspen Creek K8, ISTE2016: Our Recap & Experiences and 12 Reasons You Should Attend Conferences.

If you are unable to attend conferences this summer, no worries! Your learning can continue as well! Come back to this blog in April for Summer Learnin' Part Two with how to use Twitter, OverDrive, and more for various learning opportunities.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

21st Century Cohort 2.0 Graduates

In 2012, the BVSD Ed Tech team facilitated the first 21st Century Cohort for secondary teachers. After a successful launch year, the second cohort began with elementary teachers from across the district. In November of 2013, over 25 teachers and teacher-librarians committed to three years of professional development, community building, and collaborative learning. Last month, they celebrated this three-year journey at the Cohort 2.0 Graduation ceremony.

Every school that participated in Cohort 2.0 was asked to create a digital story to share their experience as well as show evidence of personal and student growth. These stories became powerful reflections from this professional learning community and their time in the cohort.

When teachers and teacher-librarians were asked what is one word that would describe their experience over three years in the 21st Century Cohort, the responses included:
  • Growth
  • Collaboration
  • Mindful
  • Overwhelming...turning into exciting

When they were asked to reflect on how being in the cohort affected their students, common themes were a culture of risk taking, students feeling empowered to teach other students and teachers in the building, and watching students that struggle having positive experiences in school now with the new ideas and tools.

Katherine Kross, teacher at Lafayette elementary, was able to articulate what this has meant to her and her classroom.
“When I came into this cohort I had very little tech experience and so not only have I gained confidence in my technology skills, I really valued learning that technology is an important tool for my kids. And like someone else said, you just kind of have an idea for what you want to do and give it to the kids and off they go with it.”

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It was a great honor to collaborate with this talented group of leaders and risk-takers over three years. We wish them the best in their classrooms and school buildings as they continue to learn, reflect, and share.