Showing posts from March, 2016

Classic Lit Accessible through Schoology

Guest post written by Kathleen Hempel, BMS-Station Librarian

Many classic books are now in the Public Domain (copyright ends 70 years after creator’s death), allowing for us to release them to students as PDFs and in other formats. These books are available as ePubs through The Gutenberg Project and can be uploaded to Schoology and assigned to classes.

Audio of many of the classics have been recorded through Librivox, a great source for free public domain audiobooks. These, too, can be put in a folder in Schoology to provide students audio support for difficult and complex classic works.

In the middle school where we use the Notability app, we can merge the audio with the PDF. First, we download the PDF of the book from Gutenberg and export it to Notability. Then we download the MP3 audio files from Schoology and export them to Notability. When we open Notability, we attach the MP3 to an existing Note.

This allows for the microphone and play bar to appear while reading the book, and s…

Transforming Student Learning at ICE

A group of Barrington 220 Instructional Digital Age Learning (iDAL) coaches and administrators presented to a standing-room-only audience at the Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) Conference 2016 last week in St. Charles, Illinois. The session, Transforming Student Learning through the Use of Technology, was presented in a modified Ignite Talk format.

The Ignite format is a fast-paced, information-packed, and fun presentation style that can also be used in the classroom. In the “classic” Ignite format, each presenter gets 20 slides, each slide is on-screen for exactly 15 seconds, and the slides auto-advance; thus, the overall presentation is exactly 5 minutes in length. Of course, the format can be customized by changing the number of slides, duration of slides, and other factors. Another possible mod might include creating a structured content list or rubric. For more information about the Ignite format, visit

For the Barrington 220 Ignite-talk-style presentation,…

PARCC Testing, Wireless Networks, & Kitchen Appliances

Your students were just about ready to finish their online PARCC testing for the day and “it” was turned on.  Immediately, most of your student’s tests locked up.  

“It” has as much chrome as the front end of a '56 Buick, and it still shines with all of its original glory. It sits in the classroom adjacent to yours.

In the classroom next door, Ms. Sally’s students finished PARCC testing just a bit early. Celebration of a job well done calls for popcorn...fresh microwave popcorn! Popcorn prep was handled in a vintage 1967, 1600 watt, Amana Radarange. It looks cool. It's old school. It's retro. But it certainly does not seal in the radiation like it used to.

Back in your classroom, it takes time to resume each PARCC test. You are frustrated, your students are frustrated, and the smell of fresh popcorn in the air is not helping the matter! Your immediate thought is that the school wireless has failed...when we needed it most!

Microwaves and Wi-Fi do not co-exist well. Here are s…

Your Key to District Digital Resource Access

As mentioned in other bsd220tech articles, many staff members had the opportunity to attend the ICE conference last week. Shawndra Shelton, TSA at Grove, and Janet Anderson, Librarian at BHS, attended a session on infographics. Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. 

During the session at ICE, Shawndra took the opportunity to create an infographic that represents some of the key district tools that your network login allows you to access. Overdrive and Destiny are essential library resources and give you access our catalog of print and electronic texts. See your building librarian for more information on how to download the Overdrive app to your device or access the Destiny catalog.

Barrington 220 Breaks the ICE

Last week, over 100 @barrington220 staff members attended the Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) Conference. The conference connects teachers from all grade levels and subject areas who are interested in becoming better at integrating technology into their instruction. ICE offers many opportunities to see how other teachers, students, and administrators seamlessly infuse technology to amplify the success of their lessons. Since the rise of Twitter as a professional development tool in education, ICE has also served as a meeting ground for face-to-face interactions to solidify the many online relationships developed on Twitter.

Several @barrington220 staff members also presented at ICE, including our elementary Instructional Digital Age Learning (iDAL) coaches, classroom teachers, and a couple of administrators. Dr. Matt Fuller (Assistant Superintendent for Technology & Innovation) sang with Big Data (The Band), a huge hit at ICE. Big Data (The Band) is comprised entirely of school…