Wednesday, December 7, 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 student, simply sign out the item, try it out, and if it works, the ordering information is located in the binder in the box. Some items include: visual timers, noise canceling headphones, pencil grips, adapted paper, etc! Come check it out! If there is an item you would like to see added, please contact one of us. Ask your AT Point people any questions you have or to find out where your building toolbox is located. Check out what is in the High School toolboxes here!

Kelly Key, Assistive Technology Coordinator

If you have a student with an IEP or 504 plan that you would like additional support with feel free to contact Kelly Key. I am happy to provide training to your class, your staff,  or individual students.  For individual student consideration support, the first step is to fill out the Staff AT Consideration form  that can be found here:  and send the parent form home as well Parent form here

AT Website

We have a new Google Site filled with resources for reading, writing, organization and more!  We have app resources for the iPad, Chrome app and extension resources for the computer, core vocabulary resources to print and use and so much more! To access this site, go to

E-mail Kelly Key once the SETT form is filled out and send the parent form to Kelly Key as well to begin the process.


Everyone in district has an Infinitec account (this is where we watch the mandated presentations from HR).  Infinitec has a TON of resources for you to search including videos that you can get PDH credits for!  Check it out at be sure to sign in to access all of the great resources.

App Request for iPads

If you need a specialized app for a student to meet their IEP or 504 accommodations, please fill out this google form to request the app for each student you need the app for.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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 parents have been surprised to learn that teachers were not learning of the planned student absences until the date of the absence. Parent interest in communicating earlier with teachers, using the one-stop method through the Parent Portal, has led to the increased use of another custom program designed for blended learning courses.

The addition of blended learning classes created the need for tracking the days students would have the option of attending class. Blended learning teachers are provided an additional grade book link to report blended learning days for individual students and/or class. The same custom program was expanded to allow for tracking the days BHS students attend an ARC class.

Today we are making the custom program available to all Barrington 220 teachers for the purpose of viewing student absences reported days or weeks in advance. Classroom teachers may choose to use the Custom Links and Reports features to View Future Absences and Enter BL Attendance, to allow teachers to know in advance how many students have a future planned absence reported by parents. Only absences reported in advance by parents display. 

Step-by-step instructions on using the custom link to View Future Absences and Enter BL Attendance can be found here.

We hope you enjoy the new option for staying informed regarding future student absences. Stay connected to learn more about planned enhancements in this area!

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: We will give preferred status to attendees who are part of their building administration, District Technology Committee, TPACK Team (DAL and iDAL coaches, Librarians, and Library/Technology Assistants), and, of course, anyone who is presenting at ICE. (Please note: Presenters are granted one free day of registration to ICE, but many of our approved presentations include more than one presenter. If you are presenting and are not the presenter granted the free day of admission, we will take care of your registration). Substitute availability will also play a major role in determining who can attend.

Please apply to register for ICE by completing the Google Form by Friday, December 9, 2016.

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.

Students learn to code the Dash Robot

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 Swift: Teacher Guide: a guide designed for use with high school and college students who are new to programming that provides lesson activities, presentation tips, and student reflection questions.
Students in the Gir1 C0de Club at Barrington High School

Several resources are available for teachers interested in coding, including:
Students code their LEGO Robot

Apple released a program designed to give all students the power to learn, write, and teach code with the Swift language. Swift is the language app developers use to code their apps in Apple's App Store. Here's more information about Everyone Can Code:

Apple states, "We created Everyone Can Code because we believe coding is an essential skill that everyone should have the opportunity to learn. Learning to code teaches students how to solve problems, work together in creative ways, and build amazing things that bring their ideas to life. Swift is easy to learn and powerful, so your students can grow their skills to build their own apps and more. We've created free teaching and learning materials that make it easy for you to bring coding with Swift to your school."
Free materials are available for download on iTunes.
In addition:

Megan Ryder (@mrsryder58), an Apple Distinguished Educator from neighboring District 58 in Downers Grove created a fantastic podcast episode about getting started with coding, From Clueless to Coding.

If you're looking for more information about coding, for any grade level, I recommend following Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall) on Twitter and reading a few of these articles:

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:

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 supported by technology” (Watson & Pape, 2016).

To read an extended version of the results, visit Google’s Education blog. For additional findings and to hear the stories from other schools and districts, visit


Watson, J. and Pape, L. (2016). Impact portraits: Success stories with Google for Education. Retrieved from

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 220 is personalized and ongoing. Teachers and administrators use technology to amplify student learning as they continuously improve instructional practice through reflection, collaboration, and innovation.

Compelling Evidence of Success
Barrington 220 measures what matters. The success of the One to World initiative is aligned with the district’s Cohesive Plan and tied directly to our vision for learning in the digital age.

Flexible Learning Environment
As the Barrington 220 One to World initiative progresses, systems and infrastructure improvements keep pace with program implementation to help support the transformation of teaching ​and learning.

The iBooks Store describes the multi-touch book:
Barrington School District 220’s One to World program is a teaching and learning program steeped in curriculum, pedagogy, and professional development that integrates 24/7 availability of technology devices, provides ubiquitous access to the Internet, and delivers a set of innovative apps and services for learning. A multi-year rollout has fully equipped every student from Grades 1–12 with MacBook Air laptops for high school students and iPad for middle and elementary students. Teachers use iPad and Mac to rethink teaching and learning and implement new forms of classroom instruction, supporting personalized learning opportunities for all students. Barrington 220 is a public school district serving approximately 9,000 students in Grades Pre-Kindergarten–12 located 35 miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois.

The free book is available on iPad, iPhone, and Mac at

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...