Thursday, May 3, 2018

Summer Tech Support In...and Out...of Barrington 220

Although our current weather may not belie this, summer is, indeed, coming!

I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that our tech support staff will be on call throughout the summer months. If you have an issue with your staff iPad or MacBook Air, please contact the Techs at (224) 655-1500, or simply dial extension 1500 from within the district. Our staff will be taking calls between 7:00 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. 

Our Techs have some great remote support troubleshooting skills and tools, so a visit to the district may not be necessary to get that MacBook Air humming again!

Let me also quickly provide a few links that may be useful at Barrington 220:

Assemble Your Video in Edpuzzle

Edpuzzle is an excellent tool used to incorporate video content into new or existing lessons. Utilize video content from your personal files, YouTube, Khan Academy, National Geographic, TED Talks, and many more. The content is safe for students and ad-free.

Simply choose content, add it to your Edpuzzle course, make edits, and add questions or a voice over. EdPuzzle is a great option for engaging students with interactive activities, assessing understanding, and formative assessment. Edpuzzle assignments can be embedded into Schoology courses.

Edpuzzle is currently available as a free resource, however; Edpuzzle Premium is coming to Barrington 220 teachers and students grades K–12 in the 2018–19 school year. Premium features include the ability to copy and edit content from colleagues, a school channel, grade book, and more.

Click here to learn more about Edpuzzle Premium.

Click here to explore Edpuzzle or sign up for an account, your account can be added to our premium subscription when it becomes available.

Jamf Self Service has a New Look

The Technology Department recently upgraded our mobile device management system, Jamf, and along with that came a new look for Self Service on your MacBook Air laptop. Even though the look is different, the functionality hasn’t changed much. You can still download and install applications.

Bookmarks still have shortcuts to many of Barrington 220’s most popular web services.

Over time, expect to see even more changes to the look of the new Self Service. Soon we’ll introduce graphics to the top of the Self Service window to give it a more pleasant appearance. We’ll also be making changes to the Self Service icon which will eventually be more in line with the Barrington 220 brand.

If you haven’t looked at Self Service on your MacBook Air in a while, we encourage you to launch the app and have a look.

The Self Service app may be located on your Dock.
It is also located in the Applications folder.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Robots Are Here

Students in Barrington 220 participate in after-school clubs, STEM rotations, Project Lead the Way lessons, and classes at Barrington High School focused on learning how to code. These classes serve as de facto world language classes as students learn vocabulary, grammar, and usage associated with coding languages. Students then use language skills to code to build websites, complete robot missions, create apps for iOS devices, and more.

With technology in your car, on your wrist, in your hand, and elsewhere, coding skills increase in demand. To help prepare students to use coding skills to solve problems and demonstrate learning, we have introduced a new program we are calling barrington <codes>barrington <codes> aims to help students build their coding acumen, while also giving them authentic opportunities to use their coding skills to demonstrate learning in any content area.

Teacher Librarians and teachers from every grade level in Barrington 220 participated in two introductory meetings this spring. During these meetings, we researched the current materials, including Apple's Everyone Can Code initiative which begins with Getting Started with Code, available to help teachers seamlessly embed coding into curricular activities. We also set our goal for the barrington <codes> program: to explore the possibility of integrating coding opportunities into all content areas.

Teacher Librarians and teachers received three different types of robots:

This program is exploratory, and some of the experiences so far have been very exciting!

To see more, please watch our Learning NOW in Barrington 220 episodes STEM and Coding at

Plan Ahead...2018-19 Instructional Technology Subscription Updates

We have several instructional technology service announcements to prepare for 2018–19!

Our subscription to Defined STEM ended on Friday, June 30, 2017, since the elementary Science Steering Committee has completed their work using these resources.

Due to a very low usage rate, we are discontinuing access to Gizmos, virtual science simulations.

Epic!, a service offered for students to access digital texts for free during the school day, will continue to be available, and parents can purchase after-school access for individual students.

Due to an increased interest in coding at the primary and intermediate levels, we will purchase a subscription to Tynker for all students in grades 2–5.

As teachers implement more blended learning across all grade levels, the reliance on EdPuzzle grew. Therefore, we will have PK–12 subscription for next year.

We will continue our investigation into resources for elementary schools to teach digital literacy skills and offer digital books. We subscribed to myON during this school year and will make a choice before the end of the school year and communicate in late May.

You can see an updated list of our subscriptions here:

#bsd220TwitterAwards for April 2018

Twitter continues to be used as a great tool for teachers and administrators to share exciting events happening in classrooms and to connect with other educators around the world. This month we continue our series honoring those who use Twitter to share the ideals of our One to World Vision and Mission.

Each month, we honor four Twitter users:
  • One Staff Member, Grades PK–5
  • One Staff Member, Grades 6–8
  • One Staff Member, Grades 9–12
  • One Administrator Grades PK–12

April 2018: Staff Member, Grades PK–5, Twitter Award
Congratulations, Cecilia Villegas, @maestra_Ceci!

April 2018: Staff Member, Grades 6–8, Twitter Award
Congratulations, Amy Suessen, @Suessen220!

April 2018: Staff Member, Grades 9–12, Twitter Award
Congratulations, Jeff Doles, @PapaBear238!

April 2018: Administrator, Grades PK–12, Twitter Award
Congratulations, Chris Rohde, @MrChrisRohde!

As always, you can find all of the Barrington 220 accounts by searching the hashtag #bsd220 or searching my Twitter handle, @iJoeRobinson, navigating to Lists, and then following the #bsd220 List.

One to World Parent/Community Survey

At the beginning of April 2018, the District Tech Committee (DTC) and BHS-TV proudly announced the premiere of Learning NOW in Barrington 220, an online video series highlighting learning in Barrington 220 from the student perspective. As of this writing, our videos have been viewed about 2,000 times, and now that May has arrived, all new Learning NOW in Barrington 220 episodes end with a new feature—a link to a Parent/Community survey. 
Staff members may recall that our DTC collected survey and focus group data last year (2016–17), and we collected data from students in 2015–16. This year, our focus is to collect data from parents and community and use the information to improve our One to World program. Our hope is for parents and community members to watch Learning NOW in Barrington 220 to learn more about our One to World program and then follow the survey link to provide us with informed feedback about our technology use in Barrington 220.

The One to World Parent/Community Survey was created by the DTC and seeks feedback regarding:
  • Skills, apps, and services used in personal and professional life
  • Managing technology use outside of school
  • Identifying potential concerns regarding the use of technology in school
  • Areas to target to improve the program in the future
The survey is available in English and Spanish.

Current Episode
Episode 5: Communication & Collaboration - Thursday, May 3, 2018

Upcoming Episodes
Episode 6: Creativity - Thursday, May 10, 2018
Episode 7: Critical Thinking - Thursday, May 17, 2018
Episode 8: Highlights - Thursday, May 24, 2018

Previous Episodes to Binge-Watch
Episode 1: The Classroom - Thursday, April 5, 2018
Episode 2: Entrepreneurship - Thursday, April 12, 2018
Episode 3: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) - Thursday, April 19, 2018
Episode 4: Coding - Thursday, April 26, 2018
Special Extended Segment about Coding at BHS - April 28, 2018

Please help us spread the word by tweeting, linking, and publishing our custom web address in newsletters, social media, and elsewhere:

All Learning NOW in Barrington 220 episodes are available with subtitles in English and Spanish.

You may also notice our official Learning NOW in Barrington 220 commercial spot appearing before movies playing at Barrington's historic Catlow Theater throughout the month of May 2018.

Summer Tech Support In...and Out...of Barrington 220

Although our current weather may not belie this, summer is, indeed, coming! I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that our tech sup...