We are excited to announce that Bridge to Curriculum is getting some amazing upgrades! You may notice some subtle changes this year, but most of the new functionality will be released this summer.
Professional Learning Library
In addition to the Resource and Assessment Libraries, there will now be a Professional Learning Library in the Bridge to Curriculum. This library will function just like the Resource and Assessment Libraries, but will contain professional learning resources. Educators will be able to access just-in-time PL resources in a multiple modalities such as videos, websites, podcasts, etc. Educators across the district will also be able to contribute to the Professional Learning Library! Users will be able to review and rate PL resources as well.
New SMART Search
A major upgrade is to make the filter in the libraries a SMART Filter. Once implemented (sometime this summer), when a user types in a word, the system will map that word to other like words, so the user gets more choices when searching. Imagine a thesaurus on the backend. For example, if I type in "fractions" the system will search, not just fractions, but a variety of words that align to fractions. See this Microsoft Word image as an example.
You may see this upgrade soon... Another upgrade to the SMART filter will make searching much easier. We are combining the Title, Description and Tags search boxes into one. This upgrade will allow the user to put a single word in this box and the system will search for that word throughout.
Rating Criteria Document
We brought a team of Teachers, Digital-Teacher Librarians, and Instructional Coaches together this year to create the Rating Criteria Document. The intention of this document is to help users rate and add helpful comments to resources in the libraries. Once this upgrade is implemented, users will get a prompt, in the form of a pop-up box, reminding them to rate a resource, assessment or professional learning resource. Here is the actual Rating Criteria document.
Filtering by Most Rated or Title
You will be able to filter by Most Rated or Title by using the radio buttons at the top of the filter. This functionality is being designed just like Amazon! Users will be able to filter by the most rated items, as these rise to the top in popularity. This functionality will be available soon.
Adding a Link to the Digital Tools Database
Soon you will be able to access the Digital Tools database from Bridge to Curriculum. With the ease of one click, you will be able to access Digital Tools from within the curriculum system. The Digital Tools database contains the list of district vetted tools which supports data privacy for our students
Important: Transitioning from Hangouts to Hangouts Meet & Chat
In 2017 Google announced that they will be replacing Classic Google Hangouts with 2 new products, Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. In August, Jeffco will officially transition from Classic Hangouts to Hangouts Meet and Chat.
Hangouts Meet and Chat are currently available on the web for those that are interested in trying out the communication tools (see document below for setup directions). Please know, that in this transition period, some features of Classic Hangouts are not operable in Meet and Chat. Until August, it is important that those who have relied on Classic Hangouts continue to keep that tool available to avoid missing essential communication. More detailed communication will be available in August.
Tech Tip: Hangouts Chat Support Document
Fix: Chrome Cast for Education
We have noticed that some schools are having trouble with Chrome Cast for Education connecting to student and staff Chromebooks. In this scenario, staff and students see the message "no device found." IT has created a Tech Tip document to help you troubleshoot this error.
This error is caused when cloud services has been disabled on the Chrombook. This error is likely caused when a staff or student member added an extension that turned off the cloud service. Because extensions change how your browser functions, it's important to be thoughtful and selective with the extensions you and your students choose to add.
Tech Tip: Chrome Cast for Education Issue
What are Extensions
Goo.gl Shortener End-of-life
As announced last spring the goo.gl URL shortener reached its end-of-life on March 30th, 2019. No new shortened links can be created with this tool.
Our contact at Google has suggested, as a best practice, that we begin to change out old goo.gl shortened addresses. Google does not plan to remove or delete these shortened URLs but it’s never a good idea to rely on outdated technology for important documentation. We have seen some instances where links are receiving errors.
If a shortened link is needed, please consider using bit.ly or tinyurl.com. Also, before shortening, consider when you would need to use a shortened URL:
If users are accessing a link from a digital document (ex: lesson plan, HyperDoc, playlist etc.), you do not need to use shortened URL; simply hyperlink the text or copy paste the actual URL.
Reminder: Sharing Permissions
When sharing documents, it is important to be thoughtful about how you permission the document. When sharing a file in Google you have several choices:
Google Drive Help: Sharing Files from Google Drive
Docs Editors Help: Make Google Docs, Sheets, Slides &Forms Public
What's new in Google Classroom?
Classroom is one of Google's fastest-changing apps and April brought a few new features to make using the tool a bit easier.
Google Educator Certification: Level 1
This fall, Jeffco 5th and 9th grade students will be receiving a personalized learning device. When each student has their own device, the learning (and teaching) experience should change. One way teachers can prepare for this change is to become a Google Certified Educator! The Certified Educator program teaches you the fundamentals for using the G Suite for Education in the classroom. Once you've completed the training, you can elect to take the exam ($10) and receive your official certification. Additionally, you can submit your certificate to Jeffco to receive clock hour credit to support credential re certification (ESS: ETGCER). The Level 1: fundamentals course covers the following content:
This week's blog explores National Robotics Week, using robotics in middle school math, and an excerpt from guest blogger, Kyle Walker, about Vex Robotics Tournaments.
National Robotics Week, April 6-14 2019
National Robotics Week (RoboWeek) is a series of grassroots events and activities during the month of April aimed at increasing public awareness of the strength and importance of the U.S. robotics industry and of the tremendous social and cultural impact that robotics will have on the future. Activities come in all shapes and sizes from a robot block party, university open house, or a robotics competition. The mission of RoboWeek is simple — to inspire students in STEM-related fields and to share the excitement of robotics with audiences of all ages. Celebrate RoboWeek by hosting an event in your community, sponsoring or attending a local event, or spreading the word on social media.
The Purpose of National Robotics Week
Radical Robotics Cohort
This process supported the resilient thinking at the core of Jeffco Generations. One teacher shared their thinking around motivation and robotics in their classroom. He said,“ intrinsic motivation was built in when using robotics and coding. Students receive instantaneous feedback once a program is run whether their program met their goal, did the robot perform the desired behavior. Students are intrinsically motivated to troubleshoot and rewrite their code to meet the program goal.”
Students at Moore Middle School worked with Spheros to look at unite rate and proportions. The first lesson let students experiment and to find the different speeds (Unit Rates) of their Spheros. In the second lesson, students shared the numbers that they acquired and created class average. Students then used class averages to find unit rates that were not tested for by using proportions. The final lesson was based over two different days. Students had to create two mazes for the Spheros to navigate through. They needed to measure the distance of the maze and then time themselves to see who could make it threw the fastest by finding the unit rate.
The teachers used Sphero EDU and the Cubelet Hub as launching pads. Both of these sites house lessons created by teachers. Cohort and others have begun writing lessons that are being shared in the Bridge to Curriculum Resource library. The hope is that these lessons can be a springboard for other Jeffco teachers to begin using robotics and coding in their classrooms as well. To find some of these lesson look for the tag words: Sphero or Cubelet. (Here is a quick reference guide to find resources in the Bridge to Curriculum).
VEX IQ Robotics Club at Kullerstrand Elementary
Kullerstrand Elementary just finished its third season of hosting an after-school competition-oriented VEX IQ robotics club. At the start of the season, teams of three had to analyze the yearly competition game (played on a 4’x8’ playing field), and then they started designing and building their robots. VEX robotics kits are comprised of LEGO-like parts and center around a programmable robot brain, which can connect to various sensors and motors. The teams do not have to program the robot in order to compete, but doing so does give a team a competitive advantage over teams who simply drive the robot with a wireless controller. One exciting feature of our program is a continuing wonderful partnership with students from School of Mines who have not only been serving as referees and judges, but who also have come out and presented in our sessions. Last year they brought our whole group out for a tour of the robotics area of their campus, and we are hoping to do the same again this spring.
This year, Jeffco hosted two official VEX IQ tournaments and had multiple teams qualify to go to the state championship in Erie, Colorado. One of the teams going to state was from Kullerstrand, and it was certainly an eye-opening experience. Our students were exposed to teams from other districts whose enthusiasm, focus and dedication to robotics was both inspiring and challenging. Such things as teamwork, sportsmanship, and professionalism regarding such mundane tasks as keeping up with an engineering notebook and following the design cycle… the importance of all this was driven home in a powerfully experiential way. We are looking forward to next year when we will take the things we learned and apply them to a fresh season of robotics. (Excerpt from Kyle Walker, Digital Teacher Librarian, Kullerstrand Elementary)
Way to go Kyle Walker and THANK YOU for all you do to support robotics in Jeffco!
Ready for more robotics learning?
Attend Rock CS or the Computer Science Learning Academy at InnEdCo this summer! Click on the links to learn more about these new conferences.