“The way a team works as a whole determines success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” - Babe Ruth
We all know Babe Ruth is talking about the great American sport of baseball in this quote, but the same could easily be said about Jeffco Public Schools. Our district is filled with so many key players: thoughtful teachers, amazing administrators and second-to-none staff members; however, unless we are all working #BetterTogether, then we aren’t meeting our potential worth.
When it comes to solving district-level technology problems, it truly takes a diverse team of players to make sure we are meeting the needs of our superstars: our students. Some of Ed Tech's closest team players in this work are our colleagues in IT. Every day Ed Tech and IT partner together to ensure that students are at the center of every technology-based decision.
Simply put, “Learning happens better when we work together.” - Tracy Dorland.
10 Ways your Jeffco Ed tech and IT Teams are #BetterTogether
Share your #JEffcoBetterTogether STory
We would love for you to share your success stories of how your school, Jeffco Ed Tech, and Jeffco IT have worked to be #JeffcoBetterTogether! Submit your story below or share your ideas on our social media accounts! Be sure to use the #JEFFCOBetterTogether hashtag and tag @JeffcoEd Tech @JeffcoIT and @TeamJeffco!
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a structure to provide consistent access to instruction and resources. It provides a pathway for students, families and teachers to access the learning and feedback at all times. Many teachers and families had their first experiences with an LMS in response to Covid-19. However, a Learning Management System, whether it be Schoology, Google Classroom, or Seesaw has a purpose and a place far beyond a pandemic.
In a world where all educators are working to guide students to become Global Collaborators, Creative Communicators, Knowledge Constructors, Empowered Learners, and engaged Digital Citizens we need to provide the structures and spaces that authentically deliver these opportunities on a daily basis. A well organized and thoughtfully implemented LMS is the foundation to this work.
Access to a Learning Management System provides students:
For Our Families
Use of a consistent LMS means that caretakers will have peace of mind knowing their students have access to all the resources listed above. It also means that families will:
Learning Management Systems in jeffco
Actively Learn is one of the newest additions to the premium tools available to teachers and students in Jeffco! Teachers and students grades 5-12 have premium access to this robust interactive platform. Filled with carefully curated content including appropriate articles and readings (even some videos!), thoughtful standards-aligned questions in a highly customizable environment with numerous accessibility tools, Actively Learn makes finding, personalizing and assigning readings a snap. Here’s a quick video overviewing what Actively Learn is capable of bringing to your students.
Logging in to Actively Learn for the first time is a little different than other Jeffco Digital Tools. Find the tech tip here!
Or watch this quick YouTube video overviewing the process.
NOTE: In the future, you’ll be able to simply sign in with Google.
Students will always sign in with Google; no need to do anything different the first time for them!
To learn more about how to create classes, customize and assign content, and grade assignments, take a look at this brand new eBook from the EdTech department: Introduction to Actively Learn - Asynchronous Learning.
Jeffco’s EdTech department has also made an Actively Learn YouTube playlist with tutorials for many of the basic functions of Actively Learn. (See below!)
Actively Learn also has a very robust Help Center to answer your questions on the fly!
Don’t forget about the EdTech Office Hours for teachers! We are available 7am-4pm Monday-Friday to help with your Actively Learn and other digital tool questions. Find the link for Office Hours and other EdTech resources here!
This year's summer reading contest was different than any other summer reading program Jefferson County Public Library has ever created. The program was completed 100% virtually and expanded to include activity tracks for writing, thinking, doing and playing. The theme was Imagine Your Story which allowed participants to choose their own quests to follow all summer long. In the past, most of the record keeping was done by paper, however this year tracking was done through a digital platform which allowed JCPL a safer way track participation.
The virtual format provided many different types of activities that allowed students to participate easily from their homes. There were storytimes, coding camps, crafternoons and mental fitness programs to name a few. The JCPL staff also created lists of books they recommend. One of those lists encouraged spending time outside by pairing local trails with related books. One could pop in some headphones and learn about bears while hiking on a local trail. Overall, there were over 318,998 different literacy based activities to chose from to complete your quest.
Another favorite part of the contest was earning funds for Foothills Animal Shelter. Just by signing up participants were working towards helping care for animals at the Shelter. By the end of the contest they had earned over $300 for the shelter.
And now for The winners...
The JCPL Summer Reading Contest was extended an extra month to coincide with the start of school and officially concluded on August 31st. The first place schools were: Kyffin Elementary - Preschool, Devinny Elementary, Oberon Middle School, Wheat Ridge High School and Excel Academy. Each school will be receiving a trophy and each of their libraries will be receiving a check for $800. Just like everything else this year the actual award ceremony will also be different. JCPL will be creating and sharing pre-recorded celebrations for the winners. If you participated in Summer Reading, be sure to connect with your local library to pick up your prizes and complete the wrap up survey, if you have not already done so.
Like past years, this year was a big success for JCPL and all the Jeffco Schools participants. Thanks JCPL for giving our students an opportunity to imagine their own story in a world of uncertainty. As summer ends and we move into winter we can only dream about what next summer has in store for us.
“Change will come our way. We can go through it or we can grow through it. We grow when we seek out solutions rather than let obstacles hinder us.” - George Curous, Innovator's Mindset.
School Libraries in 2020
School libraries are often considered the hub or heart of the school community. Frequently, their goal centers around the ability to provide the essential resources that empower students to become lifelong learners, with an avid love of reading.
When you picture a school library typically it is the stillness and quiet of books and print resources that first come to mind, but in 2020 the school library is so much more. Today’s library continues to embrace and promote reading at its core, but also promotes creativity, communication, collaboration, and innovation through a multitude of ever adapting activities including programming and Computer Science, STEM and Makerspace, Book Clubs, and Geek Squads. Technology integration is a part of the fabric in the libraries of today. In March of 2019 the demand for access to digital resources changed. As we have long anticipated, technology has found it’s space as an essential resource in education next to paper, pencil and textbooks. It is not the only tool but it is an essential tool in the 21st century.
Last school year alone, elementary students checked out over 89,000 ebooks provided through this partnership. Today, the culmination of efforts can be seen, as we are now able to extend this opportunity to the remaining schools that use our Follett Destiny Discover Library system. It is a true collaboration and combination of efforts between Jefferson County Public Library, Jeffco schools, Baker & Taylor (Axis 360 Community Share) and our Follett Destiny Library system colleagues that have made this possible.
Students and staff are able to access the curated collections that align with our library guidelines, seamlessly by logging into their school’s Destiny Discover account with their individual credentials. Students are limited to borrowing ten ebooks or audiobooks at a time and titles are automatically returned to the eshelf, without any worry about due dates or lost books. Because the books are accessed through the Follett Destiny platform there are a variety of digital annotation tools provided. Not only can students highlight text, take notes, and search for keywords or phrases, students may also have the text read to them (depending on publisher permissions). Direct links to titles can be added to any learning management system including Google Classroom, Seesaw, and Schoology.
And Finally, the How...
To learn more about how to access these digital resources, view the presentation and videos linked below and on our Ed Tech Youtube channel under the playlist for Follett Destiny Discover. If you have questions or wonder about how to use this resource in your classroom please reach out to your schools’ Digital Teacher Librarian. Watch for more titles to be added to the collection as the year progresses!
View the informational presentation and videos here.
Bridge to Curriculum has some NEW dynamic changes, based on teacher feedback, that have been added to enhance the teaching and learning cycle.
NEW!!! Professional LEARNING Library in the Bridge to Curriculum!
We are so excited to announce a brand new module in the Bridge to Curriculum. The Professional Learning Library has over 500 just-in-time learning opportunities. You can find articles, videos of Jeffco teachers, and even face-to-face and virtual professional learning opportunities throughout the district. You will find all of your professional learning needs and wants located here in the Bridge to Curriculum. Anyone can contribute to the Professional Learning Library. Just use the "Create a Professional Learning Button" from the Professional Learning Library page.
REARRANGING UNits of Study
Horizontal Movement of Year at a Glance (YAAGs): You now have the ability to move your Units of Study horizontally. After you have loaded all of your YAAGs, go to the home page and use the arrows to move units.
Please consider the following when reordering of Units of Study:
Vertical Movement of YAAGs
Vertical movement of YAAGs: You now have the ability to drag and drop your YAAGs vertically. This allows teachers to customize YAAGs to better align with how they plan. Some users might want the units of study to follow the students’ daily schedule while others appreciate grouping like contents. After you have loaded all of your YAAGs, go to the home page and use the arrows to move units.
Evidence Outcome Map
This map can help examine how often Desired Results appear in each unit over the entire year. You can examine individual units in order to verify and streamline Evidence Outcomes and Desired Results. This map will support planning on the unit level exponentially.
You can drill down to see Knows, Understands, Dos and Essential Questions that are attached to this Evidence Outcome within this Unit of Study
Link to The Digital Tools Website
We have added a link to the Digital Tools Website! You can now access this database straight from the Bridge to Curriculum!
Fall Camp 1:1
On August 9th, Jeffco's Ed Tech Department hosted a fall version of Camp 1:1! This day of learning centered around transforming the student experience using Jeffco's new Core Digital Tools and devices. We had rooms full of educators, eager to learn how to use technology to empower and engage their students in learning.
Due to the overwhelming success of this event, we want to make sure that all educators have access to the learning. Attached is the schedule with the course descriptions and linked presentations!
A huge thank you goes out to Arvada West High School for hosting our day of learning. We are very thankful to all of the schools who partner with us throughout the year to help us deliver learning to so many educators!
This year we are excited to share that we have 4 new members joining our Ed Tech team!
A new year also comes with some exciting new transitions for our amazing teammates.
Lisa will be filling the role of IT Liaison, following Diane's retirement. She will be supporting Jeffco's digital tools, Edgenuity, and a variety of other duties!
Amie will move from an elementary support role to a role supporting technology integration across all curriculum and instructional areas.
Rounding out the Ed Tech team are continuing team members:
The Jeffco Ed Tech team is excited to announce our Fall 2018 online book studies.
K-2 can, too! Young children are naturally curious about the world around them. They love to explore and play; in fact, that’s how they learn! The Google Apps for Littles book study will provide educators with ideas on how to get students playing and exploring using the G Suite. Empower your littles and shift your thinking to believe that even the youngest kids can do more with technology!
Interested in learning more about our Jeffco Ed Tech book studies? Want to register? Looking for more professional learning opportunities from our team? Click on the image below for details.
We hope to learn alongside of you this Fall!
August 9th Learning Day
Due to the overwhelming success of this event, we want to make sure that all educators have access to the learning. Attached is a document with the course descriptions and linked presentations!
A huge thank you goes out to Golden High School for hosting our event, as well as events for several other departments in the district. We are very thankful to all of the schools who partner with us throughout the year to help us deliver learning to so many educators!
This year we are excited to share that we have 2 new members joining our Ed Tech team!
Jamie joins the team as a former Jeffco Instructional Coach with a passion for technology. She’s returning to work after taking a year off to spend time with her family. Jamie will serve as a point-of-contact for most of our middle schools this year.
Nick joins us from Aurora Public Schools where he worked in a similar role as Ed Tech and Personalized Learning support for a wide range of schools in the district. We are excited to tap into his great wealth of knowledge and expertise. Nick will serve as a point-of-contact for most of our high schools this year.
A new year also comes with some exciting new transitions for our amazing teammates.
We wish Karrie continued success as she transitions from an Ed Tech Specialist position to a Digital Teacher Librarian position at Deer Creek Middle School. We will certainly miss her many talents on our team and feel fortunate that she will continue to make a difference for the Deer Creek community.
Amanda has accepted a position as a Digital Literacy and Instructional Coach at Thunder Vista P-8 in Adams 12. She spent countless evenings and her summer break working hard to open this brand new school. We wish her the very best in her exciting new adventure!
Rather than support a sub-set of our schools (as she’s done for the past few years), Marnie will be charged with developing a strategic vision for Computer Sciences working in close partnership with schools, central departments, communities, CDE and vendors in shaping this exciting work.
We are excited to welcome Julie back from maternity leave. As an Ed Tech Specialist, she will continue as a point-of-contact for a subset of our elementary schools this year.
Amie will move from a Title I-funded position to one that supports all of Jeffco. She will serve as a point-of-contact for a subset of our elementary schools this year.
Rounding out the Ed Tech team are continuing team members:
It's time to engage your Tweeting skills as we kick off the school year with the first Ed Tech Twitter challenge of 2018! So, grab your coworkers and challenge yourself to get connected and grow your Professional Learning Network!
Here's your Challenge... Should You Choose to Accept it.
Beginning August 15th (the first day of school), log into Twitter each day and complete the following activities, using #JeffcoChat in each of your Tweets. You may also choose to include #JeffcoGenerations or mention us (@JeffcoEdTech), as well.
Jeffco educators who complete all 8 challenges can be entered to win a 3 month premium Pear Deck subscription! Visit this Google Form by midnight on August 27th and upload a screenshot of each of your Tweets! We will draw the winner on the 28th.
Need Help getting STarted?
Last year, we hosted 2 different Twitter challenges to teach educators how to start using Twitter to build their professional learning networks. So, if you are new to Twitter, check out the resources below, before you get started.