Thursday, December 7, 2017

Earn PDH Credit for Apple Teacher in Barrington 220

With Apple Teacher, teachers learn and build skills on iPad and Mac that can be used in the classroom with a self-paced learning environment that provides tips, inspiration, news, and learning resources. Teachers can earn badges and an official Apple Teacher recognition. In Barrington 220 teachers may earn official Professional Development Hour credits (PDHs, formerly known as CPDUs) that can be applied toward teaching certification renewal. Over 100 Barrington 220 teachers participated in this program for PDH credit already and many, many more earned Apple Teacher recognition without applying for PDHs.

In Barrington 220, we call our blended learning course Technology Integration Foundations for iPad and Mac. The online learning part of the course is the Apple Teacher program, comprised of online training sessions that can be completed over a period of time. The face-to-face part of the course is a meeting with a Barrington 220 facilitator and other teachers who have completed the training. During a one-hour final meeting, teachers share activities completed with students using the content learned in the online training modules.

iPad Online Activities
Each activity is credited 30 minutes:
  • iPad
  • Pages for iPad
  • Keynote for iPad
  • Numbers for iPad
  • iMovie for iPad
  • GarageBand for iPad
  • Productivity with iPad
  • Creativity with iPad
Mac Online Activities
Each activity is credited 30 minutes:
  • Mac
  • Pages for Mac
  • Keynote for Mac
  • Numbers for Mac
  • iMovie for Mac
  • GarageBand for Mac
  • Productivity with Mac
  • Creativity with Mac
Barrington 220 teachers can sign up for the Technology Integration Foundations for iPad and Mac course, which includes completing the Apple Teacher program, logging online hours, and attending a one-hour meeting. Teachers who successfully complete the Technology Integration Foundations for iPad and Mac may earn up to 10 Professional Development Hours (PDHs):
  • Complete 8 Apple Teacher iPad online sessions (30 minutes each) and attend a one-hour meeting = 5 PDHs. 
  • Complete 8 Apple Teacher Mac online sessions (30 minutes each) and attend a one-hour meeting = 5 PDHs.
  • If you complete both the iPad and Mac online sessions and attend one one-hour meeting, you will earn 9 PDHs. 
  • Participants who complete the iPad online sessions and attend a one-hour meeting, and later decide to complete the Mac online sessions and attend another one-hour meeting, can earn up to 10 PDHs.
How to Earn PDHs in Barrington 220

Step 1: Sign up for the Apple Teacher program
Use your personal or Barrington 220 Apple ID to sign up for the Apple Teacher program.

Step 2: Log each of your Apple Teacher learning experiences
Sign in to log each module as you complete each digital badge.
(Educators outside of Barrington 220 may view a version of the non-interactive sign-in page here.)

Step 3: Sign up for one monthly face-to-face meeting
Using the log, sign up for one of the monthly face-to-face meetings with a Barrington 220 instructor and a group of your peers. Scheduled meetings for 2017–18:
  • Thursday, January 25, 2018, 7:15 – 8:15 am, James Street Engleking Room
  • Thursday, February 22, 2018, 3:00 – 4:00 pm, James Street Main Conference Room
  • Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:15 – 8:15 am, James Street Main Conference Room
  • Thursday, April 19, 2018, 3:00 – 4:00 pm, James Street Main Conference Room
  • Thursday, May 24, 2018, 7:15 – 8:15 am, James Street Main Conference Room
Step 4: Attend the face-to-face meeting
You may attend any face-to-face meeting after you have completed your online training to complete the course requirements to receive PDH credit.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Seesaw Activities, Flipgrid Ideas, and an Epic! Dictionary

Several new and exciting features are now available from Flipgrid, Seesaw, and Epic!

Students become more engaged and feel empowered when they are given an opportunity to own their learning. Flipgrid ideas is a brand new feature that allows students to think outside of the "grid." The ideas section is automatically created with each new grid. Teachers need to activate ideas for existing grids. Ideas is a space independent from the assigned grid or topic that allows students to record experiences, thoughts, or other items that they would like to share. The fifteen-second time limit encourages students to unleash their creativity while prompting concise, thoughtful content. Click here for more information from Flipgrid.

Kindergarten Students at Barbara Rose try out Seesaw activities.
Seesaw activities is an exciting new feature that allows teachers to assign items to students to complete within the Seesaw app.

Teachers can create their own, or they can access the activity library from their Seesaw Dashboard. Students simply tap the activity icon and then click add to get started. Once the student has completed the assignment, he or she will submit it to their journal. As always, teachers will need to approve each response. Click here for more information from Seesaw.

Thanks to a collaboration with Merriam Webster, Epic! has just released an exciting new resource called Dictionary look up. Students simply tap on any word in the book that they are reading for a spoken pronunciation, and a pop up kid-friendly definition. This new feature applies to every book in the Epic! library.

Enhanced Schoology Assessments

Schoology has released a series of enhanced question types now available when adding an assessment to a course. To access the enhanced features simply navigate to the course, click add materials, then click add assessment.

There are 7 enhanced question types available including:
Find descriptions from Schoology Support for each enhanced question type y clicking the links above, or click on the question name for in-depth instructions and ideas.

 Schoology Assessments do not currently support use of the Respondus Lockdown Browser.

Blended Learning Video Featuring BHS Teachers

For the past three years, a group of Barrington 220 teachers have been learning about and implementing blended learning strategies in the classroom. Blended learning is learning delivered partly online and partly face to face,with some student control over time, place, path, and/or pace of the learning (adapted from the Clayton Christensen Institute, 2017).

Among the blended learning strategies originally defined by Horn and Staker (2014), the three blended learning models that we have observed most frequently in classrooms have included:
  • Flipped Classroom Model—Students participate in online learning outside of school instead of traditional homework and attend class for face-to-face, teacher-guided practice or projects.
  • Station Rotation Model—Students rotate through different learning stations in a classroom or schedule with at least one online learning station.
  • Flex Model—Students learn using both online and face-to-face learning options in a schedule customized by the teacher.
Next school year, the Barrington High School course catalog will include several blended learning options for students. To assist our students and parents in understanding how blended learning works in practice, we have enlisted the help of three Barrington High School teachers to create a video to help explain the three primary blended models we currently use. Sincere thanks to Cary Waxler, Ty Gorman, Tom Bredemeier, and the students in some of their classes.

Blended Learning 2017 Spanish version


Clayton Christensen Institute. (2017). Blended learning definitions. Retrieved from

Horn, M. B. & Staker, H. (2014). Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Introducing...the #BSD220TwitterAward

Twitter continues to grow as a fantastic tool for teachers to share the exciting events happening in their classrooms and to connect with other educators around the world. This month, we begin a series honoring those who continue to use Twitter to share the tenets of our One to World Vision and Mission. Each month, we will honor four Twitter accounts:
  • One Staff Member, Grades PK–5
  • One Staff Member, Grades 6–8
  • One Staff Member, Grades 9–12
  • One Administrator Grades PK–12

November 2017: Staff Member, Grades PK–5, Twitter Award
Congratulations, @MissBlessman239!

November 2017: Staff Member, Grades 6–8, Twitter Award
Congratulations, @BMSPKramer!

November 2017: Staff Member, Grades 9–12, Twitter Award
Congratulations, @TomBredemeier!

November 2017:Administrator, Grades PK–12, Twitter Award
Congratulations, @CArmendarizMxwl!

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.

Respondus StudyMate Flash Cards and More

Do your students suffer from hand cramps, Sharpie stains, or worse? For years students have painstakingly created flash cards by hand taking hours and hours of work for one test or vocabulary lesson. StudyMate is a feature that Respondus has recently bundled with LockDown Browser for K–12 educators and students. Although there are several external websites that offer similar tools to create digital study guides, StudyMate offers seamless integration with Schoology for ease of use by both teachers and students.

StudyMate is more than a flashcard. There are 11 types of interactive games that students can play to learn specific content. StudyMate projects can be created by both teachers and students as an assignment or as an independent learning opportunity.

Laptop/Desktop Version

High School students may simply click on the StudyMate app within Schoology to create or retrieve projects. The StudyMate app will open in another window that displays options for review games and flash cards.

Click Here for more information and instructional videos from Respondus.

StudyMate LMS & App Versions
K–8 students can launch StudyMate from Schoology in the web browser or download the StudyMate app, coming soon to Self Service.

Click Here for more information and instructional videos from Respondus.

Early Observations about StudyMate

The initial setup for the iPad app includes accessing Schoology and launching the StudyMate App to retrieve an access code. The access code is long and may be difficult for younger students, however; the set-up needs to be done just one time. 

Teachers: Don't forget to click "make available to courses" in the project settings in order to activate student access. The statistical data for teachers is limited to a full course overview and a total number of project views for each student. It does not include hard data regarding student access or interaction with the content.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Infinite Campus Seeks Teacher Input

In August Infinite Campus released significant improvements to Campus Instruction incorporating both responsive design and a simplified way for teachers to report attendance and manage grading assignments. Today Infinite Campus is continuing to invest heavily in increasing the power and ease of use provided in Campus Instruction. To provide the best possible user experience, Infinite Campus is looking for teachers who would like to participate in usability testing.

Infinite Campus views teacher involvement in usability testing as a chance for the company's Teaching and Learning development team to better understand the teacher's experience using Campus Instruction and to receive feedback direct from classroom teachers. Usability testing is done outside the school day via an online meeting and takes 30-45 minutes. Infinite Campus will be compensating teachers for this time. An Internet connection and phone with handset or speakerphone is needed to participate.

Teachers interested in participating in the Usability Testing should complete the Usability Testing Registration. Click here to learn more and access the Usability Testing Registration. Infinite Campus will communicate with teachers who register to participate by email.

Earn PDH Credit for Apple Teacher in Barrington 220

With  Apple Teacher , teachers learn and build skills on iPad and Mac that can be used in the classroom with a self-paced learning environme...