Showing posts from 2016

Supporting All Barrington 220 Students Using Technology

Barrington 220 offers supports for your students who struggle with reading, writing, attention, organization, and more!
Do you have students who struggle with reading, writing, organization, staying on task, or communication? We have many resources available to support our students and to help meet IEP goals and IEP/504 accommodations. Here are a few of those resources...

AT Point People

The following people are a part of the AT Committee and we are here to answer basic questions for you regarding assistive technology: See the list of people in each building here here.  If you would like to join the AT Committee, please e-mail Kelly Key! Anyone is welcome, but we are still looking for representatives from; Grove, Rose and Prairie.

AT Toolboxes

In each school, we have boxes or a cabinet filled with low tech tools to support your students. Items include visual timers, adapted paper and writing utensils, noise cancelling headphones and more! If you want to check out an item to try with a stud…

Planned Student Absences in IC

Barrington 220 has added a custom attendance program to the standard Infinite Campus attendance program, and the feature grows in popularity daily. The custom feature allows parents to report student absences via the Parent Portal 24/7. Parents enjoy the convenience of reporting absences at any hour of the day and they have the option to report absences for more than one day at a time. Many parents have already reported upcoming planned student absences for Winter Break.

To access the feature, parents log in to the Parent Portal, select their student, answer a couple of questions, and enter the date(s) the student will be absent from school. The parent receives a confirmation email regarding the absence, and the school office receives the absence report for immediate processing, eliminating the need for parent phone calls. The custom program works best when parents, office, and teachers have processed attendance prior to the automated absence calls generated at 10:00 a.m. daily.

Some …

Barrington 220 Welcomes Justin Edge

Please join the Barrington 220 Tech Team in welcoming our newest member, Technology Support Specialist Justin Edge.

Justin writes, "I have always loved technology and helping others, and I found Barrington 220 to be the perfect home to use my talents. I graduated from Illinois State University in 2010 with a degree in Graphic Design. Shortly after graduating I began working for Apple as a 'Genius' Technician. I then moved on to work in Lake Zurich School District as a member of their Apple Tech Support Team before landing here in Barrington 220."

When Justin is not at work, he loves spending time with his wife and 7-month-old son—and hanging out with his close friends.

ICE 2017

Each year, the Illinois Computing Educators (@ice_il) host a conference in late-February to highlight advances and best practices in using technology in education. The four-day conference includes two days of half-day and full-day workshops and two days of hour-long introductory sessions and access to a large vendor showroom.

The workshops are designed to introduce new ideas and tools while offering attendees the opportunity to explore and implement new practices and lessons. The sessions showcase examples of technology integration.

Real-life teachers propose and lead most of the workshops and sessions at ICE. We have several teachers from Barrington 220 who proposed sessions at ICE and will present during the ICE Conference this year.

The ICE Conference takes place at Pheasant Run, in St. Charles, IL from Tuesday, February 28 until Friday, March 3, 2017.

This year, those interested in the ICE Conference can apply to attend by completing the ICE Conference 2017 Google Form:…

Art in Instructional Technology

Art plays an important role for students as they design infographics, create presentations, and write blog posts. Teachers use artistic skills to design their flexible learning spaces, create project examples, and publish online newsletters and tweets.

Two outstanding education resources to learn more about how to incorporate art in the classroom and improve your artistic skills are recommended here:

1. Tricia Fuglestad, an elementary art teacher, creates videos using iPad apps and green screens to help students create art and learn art concepts. She's a great twitter follow at @fuglefun and has a great website that explains all of her techniques and ideas.

2. Cathy Hunt, an Apple Distinguished Educator, infuses technology regularly in her art classes. She's on twitter at @art_cathyhunt and has a great website. You can also check out an awesome episode from The Wired Educator Podcast, hosted by Kelly Croy (@WiredEducator).

Everyone Can Code!

This week is Hour of Code Week both nationally at here in Barrington 220! This week, each of our schools will give our students opportunities to learn how to code.

Swift Playgrounds: a free app for iPad for first-time coders with a complete set of Apple-designed Learn to Code lessons that make getting started fun and interactive. Swift Playgrounds: Learn to Code 1 & 2 Teacher Guide: a guide that provides lesson plans, evaluation rubrics, downloadable presentations, and more to help any teacher bring Swift Playgrounds into the classroom. Video Lessons for Swift Playgrounds on iTunes U: a great new course featuring helpful videos for anyone learning or teaching with Swift Playgrounds. Videos include classroom lesson instruction, puzzle overviews, and hints for making the most of the Learn to Code curriculum. App Development with Swift: a multi-touch book that presents students with the tools, techniques, and concepts needed to build iOS apps from scratch using Mac. App Development with S…

First Tuesday for Teachers in Deer Park Apple Store (and Others)

You are invited to First Tuesday for Teachers at a few of Chicago’s Apple Stores, including the Deer Park location. Sessions are free and offered on the first Tuesday of each month, addressing a different topic each month that is useful in the classroom.

December's topic is Storytelling in the Classroom with iMovie.

Space is limited, please reserve your spot in advance:
Deer Park: Orchard:'s Main Place: Park: (7:30am), (5pm)

Impact Portraits Present Google Education Success Stories in Schools

This week, Google released the results of a study conducted by Evergreen Education Group regarding the impact of Google technologies in the classroom. During a sixteen-month period, over 100 educational leaders in six countries participated. The results of the study are relevant in Barrington 220 since our district uses many of Google’s apps, now collectively known as G Suite for Education.

Among the findings of the study, researchers found that “when considered alone, technology equals nothing. Technology is a tool that can be used well, or it can be used poorly.” However, when technology is combined with the four key factors of Planning, Professional learning, Patience, and Support, it can help schools flourish (Watson & Pape, 2016).

In addition, researchers noted a theme apparent here in Barrington 220: “When educators speak of their success, they rarely lead with technology. Instead they talk about personalization, student engagement, and the role of teachers—all of these supp…

Barrington 220 Releases One to World Multi-Touch Book

Barrington 220 is proud to announce the availability of a multi-touch book in the iBooks Store that describes our district’s One to World program in detail. The book offers a concise history of Barrington 220’s One to World initiative that describes our journey through five lenses: visionary leadership, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, compelling evidence of success, and flexible learning environment.

Visionary Leadership
Barrington 220’s One to World initiative was inspired by the community and is supported by leaders at all levels—​from the Superintendent, to district directors, building principals, and classroom teachers.

Innovative Learning and Teaching
Personalized Growth is more than just Barrington 220’s thematic goal for 2015–17, the concept permeates the culture of the district in the classroom, in our instructional design, and in our innovative programs across all grade levels.

Ongoing Professional Learning
Professional learning in Barrington 22…

One to World Teacher Survey

During the 2015–16 school year, Barrington 220 administered surveys and focus groups to students regarding the One to World initiative. This year, we are administering surveys and focus groups to teachers and administrators. The survey was created by a District Technology Committee subcommittee. Survey responses are anonymous. The survey collects approximately 30 data points and takes about 12 minutes to complete. At the end of the survey, teachers interested in participating in a focus group may follow a link to a separate survey.

To take the survey, please check your email for the survey link. The survey email was sent on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, at 4:00 PM.

This survey will be open November 9–22, 2016.

Barrington 220’s One to World initiative is a teaching and learning program that integrates 24/7 availability of technology devices, provides ubiquitous access to the Internet, and delivers a set of devices, apps, and services for learning. The One to World init…

Digital vs. Digitized Learning

Dr. Tom Clark (@byotnetwork) recently published and tweeted a post explaining the difference between digital learning and digitized learning. How students interact with technology helps determine the role they play in a lesson, but it's the teachers who afford students the opportunity to use technology in meaningful ways.

In the graphic above, Dr. Clark lists five different examples of lessons from both a digitized and a digital perspective. Digitized learning uses technology, but, to call upon the theories of Dr. Ruben Puentedura who created the SAMR Model, the use of technology does not transform the learning experience for students, nor does it give students control over how to interact with content or demonstrate learning.

Digitized learning uses technology to complete Substitution- and Augmentation-level lessons in which each student simply regurgitates content through assignments chosen by the teacher. Students do not control the learning experience or the assessment of lear…

When the Students Are Away, the Hough-Lines Teachers Play

On Friday, November 4, 2016, teachers from Lines and Hough met at Lines Elementary School and participated in a half-day professional development event following the “Playdate” style. According to the Playdate website, a Playdate "is a space for [teachers] to come together and collaboratively explore these tools we’ve always wanted to learn more about." Teachers may "join together...sit in a room for a few hours and just play."

The Hough-Lines Playdate was organized by themed rooms during specified time periods. Teachers interested in a theme met together and discussed, practiced, or otherwise interacted with the topic. For example, during the first Playdate period, topics included:

Connect & Manage Resources with SchoologyCreate Digital Portfolios with See SawShare your learning with Explain EverythingDigital Storytelling with iMovieWrite, Draw, and Record with NotabilityReimagine with Flipped & Blended Learning
A Google Doc arranged in a matrix allowed tea…

Illinois Curriculum Leaders at Apple

In October 2016 I participated in an Illinois Curriculum Leaders Briefing hosted by Apple. The Briefing focused on defining the best practices and ideals in instructional technology. Several district administrators from districts across Illinois participated, and over the course of the three-day event, we learned much from Apple and from each other.

Here are a few of the main ideas I wish to share:

Apple began the briefing by referencing Simon Sinek's TED Talk about finding the "why" before you move forward with initiatives. The discussion made me proud of be a part of Barrington 220 as our "why" is clearly outlined in our Strategic Plan; and, as a member of the Department of Technology and Innovation, our "why" is defined through the One to World Vision and Mission statements. Understanding the "why" drives how we provide professional learning, what we choose focus upon in our professional learning offerings, which devices we implement in o…

Barrington 220 One to World Named Apple Distinguished Program

Barrington School District 220 is pleased to announce that our One to World program has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2015–2017. This recognition is due to the district’s innovative approach to integrate Apple technology for students and staff from preschool through grade 12.

The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate a clear vision of exemplary learning environments.

“Our goal as a district is to prepare students to be successful in their future endeavors, and that would not be possible without the One to World program and the opportunities it provides our students,” said Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of Schools.

The selection of Barrington 220’s One to World program as an Apple Distinguished Program highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic ac…

Keynote Whiteboarding

"If you stumble, make it part of the dance."  —Unknown
Sometimes, in the midst of trials and/or failures, you can accidentally come across something brilliant. I have a new technique to share that you may find to be exceptionally useful—maybe even brilliant!

As part of an Apple Academy professional learning program in which I participated this summer, I gave some examples of how technology can be used to transform instruction. My example included using any Apple iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) as a tool to present Keynote presentations using the presenter control features. Presenters can see the current and next slides, view presenter notes, make drawings on slides, and use a laser pointer effect to ditch your laser pointer. Those features alone are worth sharing with teachers.

But wait, there's more.

My new idea, which I call "Keynote Whiteboarding," allows teachers and students to wirelessly share their ideas on a digital whiteboard using Keynote. Usin…

Current Research and Recommendations on Screen Time

In my seventeen years in educational technology leadership, the issue of “screen time” has been ever-present and often controversial. As technology device access and use rises among all Americans, including school-age children, the news media and popular culture increase coverage on the topic. At the same time, more and more schools continue to implement 1:1 technology device programs as the cost of devices falls and access to high-quality digital learning material increases.

Schools often find themselves caught in the middle in the screen time debate. The news media has an affinity for demonizing the idea of screen time, but often fails to explain or define the details and issues behind the supposed ill effects. Further, many screen time web and newspaper articles are written from a non-education perspective, but fail to mention this—or any context—for the studies, findings, or recommendations.

Not all screen time is bad. Devices are not manufactured imbued with some unnamed “evil fa…

To Update, or Not to Update...

Over the past few weeks, Apple has been busy issuing updates to both iOS (for iPhones and iPads) and macOS (Mac laptops and desktops). On a Mac, available updates are shown in the App Store app (Updates tab), while on iOS, available updates are shown on the Settings app (Settings > General > Software Update).

In the tech department, we often get the question, “Should I update?” when new updates are released. The simple answer is, “yes!” Updating is important to maintain security and consistency across the district. At the same time, flexibility is available on when to apply the update.

Early Adopter

If you are a user who loves to have new features the moment they are available, you are likely in the category where you will update immediately. Two downsides are apparent for the early adopters:
While Apple tests updates extensively, often months before release, there is an occasional problem identified on the day an update is released. These issues are usually fixed immediately and …

2016 ISTE Recap

Every year I am overwhelmed by the sheer number of sessions offered at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference. This year in Denver, CO, I spent my time in sessions taught by those whose Twitter accounts highlight my timeline. I also chose to attend a few sessions led by people I didn't know, as long as they focused on the topic of blended learning. If you've been to the annual Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) Conference, you're aware of how difficult it can be to make a choice between two or more interesting sessions in a specific time slot. Multiply that feeling by at least a factor of ten, and you understand the weight of the decision I faced at the start of each session. Thanks to a strong culture of sharing resources and a well-constructed app, the materials for most sessions can still be accessed regardless of attendance.

I began ISTE by selecting an "Ignite Session," 75 minutes worth of 5-minute, hyperactive, motivat…

What's NEXT for Schoology?

The Schoology #NEXT Conference this past summer heightened my awareness to additional ways to use Schoology to transform our classrooms. I will review some of the best sessions I attended at Schoology NEXT below:


During the keynote address, several Schoology executives presented the exciting changes they plan on implementing to the Schoology program during this school year. Two of these advances stood out from the rest for Barrington 220:

Schoology plans to engage more software companies to program their products to work seamlessly with Schoology (much like Google currently does). Schoology plans to offer a new assessment tool with increased options for assessing students.
Opening Schoology to more software companies will continue to streamline Schoology’s role in a classroom centered on creativity. Right now, certain programs and apps only allow links, rather than actual project files, to be posted to and open in Schoology. For example, an animation created in Explain Everythin…

How Apple Caught My Eye

Apple continues to catch our eye with innovative, eye-popping, user-friendly devices and apps. Recently, I spent an entire week at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, CA. What I learned and experienced impacted me on a much deeper level than hardware and software. The Apple Educator Training helped shape my instructional passions.

The week began with meeting about 20 colleagues from around the United States along with our Apple Educators for the week. We then learned about our Apple Educator Training course objectives:

I personally related to the first and third objectives the most. Barrington 220's One to World initiative requires that we become acquainted with our new Apple MacBook Air and iPad Air devices. However, the intention of the One to World initiative has never been solely to provide students with devices. The intention is to open learning opportunities and experiences not possible without the use of a device. The One to World initiative is about instructional practices more…

Summer Links

Twitter provided hundreds of links throughout the past summer related to innovative instruction. I have whittled the list down to a few that I think any teacher in Barrington 220 would benefit from seeing.

1. Breakout EDU
Breakout EDU is a classroom game designed to provide students an inquiry-based experience of solving problems in order to unlock different types of locks and open a mystery box.

2. How Technology Should Have Already Changed Your Teaching This article outlines how access to technology can transform the emotional, instructional, and assessment aspects of student learning. While visiting Apple, I experienced how Apple Design Team members interact to shape ideas and implement them into action. That experience makes #8 on the list in the article my favorite.
3. 15 Things Every Teacher Should Try This Year This infographic/sketchnote includes some very easy ideas for teachers to implement this year to transform the learning experience for their students. The TPACK team in …

Infinite Campus: Campus Community

Your best source for IC training and support is at Campus Community. Log into Infinite Campus and use the link in the top-right to find Campus Community. The videos listed below are available in Campus Community along with a wealth of additional documentation.

Your Campus Community account requires an initial log in connecting you to the Barrington 220 School site.  Once activated accessing Campus Community is a single click when logged into IC.

Visit Campus Community
Log in to Campus Community
Navigate to and from Campus Application
Log off Campus Instruction

Send a Message 
View messages in the Message Center
Create a template for a general message to students and/or guardians
Send a general message to a user-selected group of students and/or guardians

HEAD-Grade Book Setup
Set up Grade Book
Configure Grade Book display settings

Explore the Planner
View schedule details in the Planner
View curriculum details in the Planner
Print schedule details
Print curriculum details in the Planner
Manage the to …

Meet the Tech Support Team

Barrington 220 is pleased to welcome a few new faces to our Technology Support Team—and re-introduce some familiar faces. Although the team is based at Barrington High School, you will likely see our District Technology Support Associates, Technicians, and Specialists in all our buildings across the district. Meet the Barrington 220 tech support team...

Kim Martinez
District Technology Support Specialist

I started working in District 220 in 1995 as the library clerk at Sunny Hill. I have been a Computer Technician for the District since April 1999. Over the past 20 years we have gone from a Mac district to a PC district back to a Mac district. Providing quality customer service has always been one of the most important aspects of my job. Knowing that our staff and students trust me and my ability to service their needs has been very fulfilling.

My life outside of D220? It's all about family for me!

Jason Bryant
District Technology Support Specialist

If you ever emailed or put in a tec…

Summer Technology Updates (What We Did on Our Summer Vacation!)

It is hard to believe that we are starting year four of our Barrington 220 One to World program! This is the first school year where all students, Grades 1 through 12, have an Apple iPad or MacBook Air available to them 24/7.

While there was much to do on the curriculum side of technology to prepare for the rollout of iPads at the elementary schools, there were plenty of fun projects this summer to work through on the hardware and device side of technology.

Installed approximately 140 new wireless access points in the elementary schools. While the schools had wireless coverage, they did not have the wireless “density” to handle 20 to 30 iPads in each classroom. Venture into any school classroom within our district and you will now see an access point somewhere on the ceiling or a classroom wall. Each of the new access points is connected to our “wired” network system. Miles of new network cabling was needed to accomplish this task. Replaced approximately 120 access points at Barrington …