Monday, January 22, 2018

1:Web Expands in BVSD with a New Cohort!

As we begin the new year, one of the highlights for the educational technology team is the expansion of BVSD’s 1:Web program! BVSD began visioning a 1:Web initiative in 2013 and instituted a pilot program in 2014-2015. The board approved the 1:Web program for 5th-12th grade in March 2017, leading the way for this expansion.

After a successful pilot at Centaurus High and Broomfield High, we have extended digital access and equity to seven new schools this year: Arapahoe Ridge High, Boulder Universal, Nederland Middle/High, New Vista High, Angevine Middle, Aspen Creek Middle, and Broomfield Heights Middle. All 9th graders (at the participating high schools) and 6th graders (at the participating middle schools) will be receiving Chromebooks in January 2018!

This is a picture collage of Boulder Valley School District teachers and administrators working together. Each picture has a representative group from one of the new 1:Web schools.

Although we are excited about the Chromebooks in our 1:Web schools, the 1:Web program is much more than the device. Teachers and administrators have been meeting as a cohort since last May to prepare and learn from each other. At each school, the staff has engaged in professional development about how to use technology to truly enhance student learning, focusing on the 4 Cs: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The 1:Web program is also a key piece of our efforts to address the digital divide in BVSD and give all students an equal opportunity to learn.

This is a picture of two students using a Chromebook, an iPad, and WeVideo software in a classroom.
Photo cred: Jill Williams @jillcolo
Students are receiving direct instruction in digital citizenship, as well as practical tips about how to care for their device. They are also engaging in conversations about when it is appropriate to use these tools and when they need to be put away. Many of the 1:Web schools are using this as an opportunity to have students create their own digital citizenship messages. Check out the picture below of Arapahoe Ridge students creating video projects to teach other students about digital citizenship using WeVideo, Chromebooks, iPads and more. As our world becomes an increasingly digital place, it is more important than ever for educators to incorporate these conversations into the classroom! A YouTube playlist has been created to share these student creations. Check back as this resource continues to grow.

This is a picture of a crowded library at the school. Parents and students are at tables while the principal, Chris Meyer delivers comments at the front of the room.

Schools are actively involving their parents every step of the way. The 1:Web program would not be a success without the partnership between the schools and their families. Prior to implementing the program, each school has invited families to engage in a discussion and demonstration regarding instructional and learning shifts in classrooms. At each meeting, teachers and administrators outline the why, the process that the school has taken, the professional development that the schools and students are undergoing, and how parents can continue to stay involved as the journey progresses. 

This is a picture collage of Boulder Valley School District teachers on special assignment working together. Each picture has a few people collaborating and team building.

We are excited for all of the learning that will occur with the approximately 800 devices we are deploying in January! Additionally, we look forward to implementing the 1:Web Cohort 2.0 with new middle and high schools who will be joining the program in the 2018-2019 school year.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Putting the YOU in YouTube

Video is an ever evolving form of educational technology, however more often than not, the way educators have used video in their classrooms has not evolved quite as quickly. One invaluable tool that is available to all teachers throughout the district is YouTube. Below are five tips for better utilizing YouTube in your classroom.

1. Uploading Your Own Content

YouTube isn’t just a place for you to watch videos, you can also create your own content and upload it to your channel with ease. To get started making your own videos, we recommend checking out the district-supported tool, WeVideo. Once you have your videos created, you can upload them, then customize everything including the video description, title, privacy settings, and thumbnail.

2. Building Playlists

Playlists are a feature of YouTube that allow you to organize a customized collection of videos. You can build playlists with your own content or by curating other videos, then share the lists out for others to view or add on to. Learn how to make, find, edit, and delete your playlists here. Also, don’t forget that in order for your students to view the videos in your playlist, you need to make sure each video is approved for BVSD by checking the blue status bar at the bottom of each video.

3. Sharing your Channel

Sharing your YouTube channel with students, parents, and the community can be a great communication tool. If you’re nervous about who can see your content, have no fear! YouTube allows you to adjust the privacy settings to customize it for your intended audience.

privacy settings.png

Share your videos easily by clicking on the “Share” button at the bottom of every YouTube video. From here you can grab a link to send or the HTML code to embed it on your website or in Schoology.

share embed.png

4. Go Live with Broadcasting

youtubelive logoA live broadcast gives you the capability to interact with your audience in real time, easily share your videos with very little lag time, and save your broadcast for others to view later. YouTube Live is an easy-to-use tool that is available to all teachers in BVSD with their Google accounts, and all you need is your Chromebook! Check out this video to see how to use YouTube Live (*Note that some features listed are not available in an educational account).

5. Find Other Great Channels

One way to keep up with valuable content on YouTube is to subscribe to different channels. By clicking thesubscribebutton, you will add the channel to your list of subscriptions, plus you can choose to receive alerts whenever the channel posts a new video by clicking thebell

icon. Subscriptions are also great for finding channels that are specific to the content that you teach so you can view the most up-to-date resources. Below are some great channels for you to check out, plus don’t forget to subscribe to the Ed Tech Team YouTube channel!

BVSD Ed Tech ChannelMinute Physics channelWords of the World ChannelAnimal planet channelKhan-Academy Channel
science show channelcrash course channelGoogle Science Fair channelHistory Teachers channelYouTube Education channel

Hopefully using these quick tips will help you get started using this valuable video tool in your classroom. If you are interested in putting more YOU into YouTube, contact an Ed Tech Specialist or tweet us at @BVSDEdTech.
Subscribe to BVSD Ed Tech's YouTube Channel!

Monday, January 8, 2018

BVSD Ed Tech Twitter Challenge

It’s a new year and a fresh start for many schools throughout BVSD especially as seven schools are preparing to deploy Chromebooks this January with the 1:Web program. But it’s not just our 1:Web schools that have new and exciting ed tech happenings. We know that there are creative and innovative things happening in every classroom and would love to connect our teachers and schools to see what others are doing, to grow one another’s professional learning networks, and to celebrate the hard work of both students and teachers.

To share your innovative work, BVSD Ed Tech challenges you to participate in our first ever Ed Tech Twitter Challenge! Starting January 16th, we challenge YOU to participate! Each day, you will have one new “Ed Tech Resolution” to share on Twitter in hopes that you will showcase your instructional shifts, tech integration, learn from your colleagues, and find new ideas for utilizing educational technology in 2018. Anyone can participate in this New Year’s challenge by simply looking at the prompts below, tweeting each day, and including the hashtag #bvsdlearns. Remember that a Twitter challenge is about more than just posting, though. Make sure you participate fully by following a colleague, posting a comment or question, retweeting or quoting another challenge participant, tagging us at @BVSDEdTech, and following any of our hashtags like #bvsd1toweb, #bvsd21cc, #makeBVSD, and #BVSD. For more great Twitter tips try checking out The Teacher’s Guide to Twitter or 10 Tips for Teachers Using Twitter. We can’t wait to see your resolutions and wish you a Happy 2018!