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
Google Drive is our storage area for all Google files.
Read on to see how Drive is so much more than cloud storage.
The priority page allows you to access the files you need through a combination of suggestion and work spaces.
The prioritized files are the documents that Google thinks are most relevant to you. It will also pull up files that you open regularly at that time of the day or week.
Make it Visual
Store files in two places at once.
You can make a file appear in more than one folder by using shortcuts. This is different than making a copy, as the shortcut traces back to the original file. Anybody with access to the folder can see the shortcut. However, if they don't have access to the actual file, they won't be able to open the shortcut.
To make a shortcut right-click the file and select Add Shortcut to Drive.
Convert Microsoft Files and PDFs to Google.
Upload a Word file or PDF to Drive by dragging it from your desktop into the correct folder in Google Drive. You can also click the +New button in Drive and then select "File Upload." Then, in Drive, right-click your Microsoft file and choose "Open With" and choose the appropriate Google Match for your file
Keep multiple versions of a file.
From Drive right click on the file and click "Manage Versions." You can then upload and save a new version of the same file. Versions will be deleted after 30 days unless you manually select "Keep Forever."
Use the Explore button.
You will find a star shaped button at the bottom of each of these Apps that will open a right-hand pane while you are in the program.
Sheets: highlight your data and Explore will offer you functions, formatting, data analysis and more!
Slides: Explore in slides will offer suggestions to make your slides more visually appealing.
Docs: Explore in Docs allows you to do manual searches. You can also cite your source.
See Revision History.
When you are in a Google File (Docs, Sheets, Slides etc.) you can click on File > Version History > See Version History. Here you can name versions, see who made which edits, and restore the document to an older version, if necessary. Note: you must be an editor of the file in order to use version history.
Use the right mode for the job.
Editing: The standard editing mode.
Viewing: Let's collaborators see, but not edit, a file.
Suggesting: Each edit you make to the document will strike-through, underlining suggestions for editors to either accept or reject.
Access Calendar and Keep from Google files.
This is handy so that you don't have to open multiple tabs in your browser. Simply click on the Calendar, Keep or Task icon in the right-hand menu of your screen in Docs, Sheets or Slides. You can also drag and drop content from your Google Keep directly into your Docs, as well!
Communicate while you collaborate.
Google Drive shows your fellow document collaborators in the upper-right corner. Click the chat bubble next to the collaborator chatheads and type your message. Unlike a private message, everyone else in the file can see your discussion, too.
Using Digital tools to create in the classroom
Book Creator allows you to bring creativity and critical thinking to your classroom in any grade level or subject area through the creation of digital books. Combine text, images, audio and video to create: interactive stories, digital portfolios, research journals, poetry books, science reports, instruction manuals, 'about me' books, comic adventures and more! All Jeffco K-12 students have access to premium Book Creator accounts.
How can book creator be used?
Book Creator can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. It can also be used for professional learning and as a way to communicate with other teachers, parents, and students.
Teachers can create exemplars, how to books, or even a course guide or textbook. Book creator can be used as a way to communicate with students and parents.
Students can use book creator in a variety of ways too! Check out these great examples.
New to Book Creator-Templates
Adobe Spark is an integrated suite of media creation applications for mobile and web developed by Adobe Systems. It’s comprised of three separate design apps: Spark Page, Spark Post, and Spark Video.
Adobe Post allows students to make graphics, posters, flyers, and infographics. These single images can combine text and images. They’re saved as picture files. There are numerous templates or you can start from scratch. Here are some ways to use in your classroom:
Adobe Spark Page is a web page builder that puts the power of creating a web page in the hands of anyone with a story to tell, a product to sell, or a passion to share.
Adobe Page is a great tool to create web pages, slides, and web stories. Some ideas for the classroom include:
➊ Photo Essays
➌ Online Journals
With Adobe Spark Video, you and your students can create compelling videos in just a few minutes using professional looking themes and music. Adobe Spark Video is a free online video making software that allows you to easily combine images, video clips and icons into a beautiful, shareable movie. Add text, music and your own voice to personalize your video. Here's a video made with Adobe Spark Video:
Making it work in the classroom
Both Book Creator and Adobe Spark are great tools for creation and allow students to express themselves. Students can create original works, communicate complex ideas through a variety of multimedia tools within each of these and publish and present their work to their classmates, teachers, and globally if they choose. Check out the Technology Integration Ideas for Upcoming Units for ways to use these tools in the classroom.
For more information on these tools check out the Jeffco Ed Tech website or our YouTube channel.
With National Library Lover's month starting in just a few days, we thought it would be great to share some of the work that has been happening in libraries over the past 10 months.
Since March 2020 our schools have worked through a flux of transitions between remote learning, in-person learning, and hybrid learning. Not just once but multiple times during the school year, depending on the health and status of each cohort, class, school, our county and the state. As our schools have focused on supporting students and families while continuing the learning, our school libraries have continued to work to meet the needs of each instructional mode, safely providing access to resources and instruction for students and staff.
Libraries are the heart of the school community. Often referred to as the hub of the school, school libraries offer support for all students and their families, host community events, hold a diverse collection of books and resources for all, offer a place for all learners to explore interests and provide an instructional partner for teachers in the Digital Teacher Librarian (DTL). DTLs serve many roles in a school, but one of the most critical is to be a partner and coach for teachers, as teachers and DTLs collaborate and explore innovation in their teaching practice, in particular integrating technology and critical thinking skills throughout lessons.
The work for libraries, in particular our Digital Teacher Librarians, preceding the pandemic helped to prepare our schools for a smoother transition into remote learning. Grounded in the ISTE Standards, DTLs authentically embed digital literacy skills in content, working to prepare our students to be future ready citizens. Information and Media Literacy coupled with fostering a love of reading, DTLs curate relevant and meaningful resources for all students, providing opportunities through instruction to reflect and grow as learners.
In a traditional, non-pandemic setting, the library is a busy space all on its own. Now with the added challenges that come with properly quarantining resources and overseeing the management of the library in a whole new way we have found some great opportunities and continue to address the evolving challenges.
Bradford K-8 South Digital Teacher Librarian, Denise Cushing, found a new way to connect with students and promote a love of reading with their “Breakfast and Books” program. The group, of over 40 (mostly Kindergarten - 2nd grade) students, meet online weekly before school starts and engage in discussions and share books. Over Winter Break, Mrs. Cushing and the students participated in Read Across America and shared titles connected to states, such as Grand Canyon by Jason Chin (Utah) and Big Moon Tortilla by Joy Cowley (Arizona).
From the start of the pandemic the request for books to be read aloud has been resounding nationwide. Publishers have responded and have temporarily adjusted their copyright permissions during this time to allow read alouds. With the guidelines shared, students and teacher librarians have found new ways to share their love of literature.
Kyle Walker, Digital Teacher Librarian at both Kullerstrand Elementary and Maple Grove Elementary, recently shared his read-aloud of Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, retold by Eric A. Kimmel. (you can watch as snippet of the video below).
Another success during the pandemic, students discovered new access to thousands of ebooks on their school library websites (Destiny Discover Library System). This is the result of a project three years in the making that happened to come together in the Spring of 2020.
During the periods of in-person learning, school libraries have worked to continue to support the desire for books. More now than ever before students appreciate and miss the ability to browse the stacks of books in the library. Our elementary libraries are working diligently to fill the demands as students request and place Holds on selections of books. The challenge in this time is managing the balance of properly allowing books to sit in quarantine for 72 hours, pulling the requested titles and (the best part) delivering the books to students in their cohorts. Our DTLs have had to think creatively about how best to support teacher and student requests, some schools are managing well over 200 requests at a time. Now, 10 months into this pandemic each day seems to get a little bit smoother.
Delivering books to students in classes has been one of the highlights throughout this time -the students are all so excited for new books!
Secondary students have been managing remote and hybrid learning throughout the school year. Middle School and High School libraries have worked to support students and staff through the new and innovative formats of asynchronous and synchronous learning. It has been a challenge to support the ever growing demands of overseeing the management of thousands of TechforEd devices deployed throughout the district, while continuing to keep the focus on the instructional practices that have grounded our DTLs, as they are teachers first.
Angie Wagner, DTL at Bear Creek High school, shared that she feels that one positive that has come from this time is that , “The students appreciate our space and all we do more, knowing how good it used to be when they could come and hang or work on work, a place to recharge.” While the challenge has been “Helping those students who really like coming in and thumbing through books. They like to put their hands on them, see the size of the font, the length, etc.”
At Conifer High School, Digital Teacher Librarian Karen McIntosh, reached out to the author of Watermarked, Danielle Butler, from the UK and connected her virtual reading group for an author visit.
Colleen Sologub-Sobering, DTL at Brady High School, said it well when she shared, “We are a conduit for our students and our teachers and staff to navigate through this uncertain time. They are looking to us for help in researching, learning, and trying new things. Not that this is so unusual, but it is the fact that we are working without always seeing the kids face to face, but we are helping them as much as we can.”
So if you get a chance this February - share some love with your school libraries! It will be greatly appreciated.
check out "The Elementary ELement" Below:
Jeffco's one stop curriculum resource shop for K-5 teachers!
No doubt you have grown familiar with the concept of screencasting: Creating a recording of your screen or face (or both!) for demonstration and communication purposes. Below is a quick list of best practices and considerations for creating engaging videos for your students, staff or the community! While Screencastify is the premium screencasting tool for Jeffco Public Schools, the hints below are useful even if you’re using another application or web tool!
More tools to support a digital classroom
First and foremost the Ed Tech team would like to welcome back all staff and students to the 2020-2021 school year.
This will be a year of many firsts, and we look forward to navigating alongside each and every one of you.
With all of the unknowns, we wanted to help make your jobs a little easier.
We heard your feedback from the spring and now have even more digital tools to help make the digital classroom a better space.
Actively Learn allows you to engage students through texts (and videos) for ELA, Science, and Social Studies. Scaffolds and higher-order questions are available to support students in reading and engaging with these texts. All Jeffco 5-12th grade students have access to premium Actively Learn accounts through #TechforEd!
Check out Ed Tech's Actively Learn Multi Media Text Set
Adobe Spark is an integrated suite of media creation applications for mobile and web developed by Adobe Systems. It comprises three separate design apps: Spark Page, Spark Post, and Spark Video.
All Jeffco K-12 students have access to premium Adobe Spark accounts through #TechforEd
Check Out Ed Tech's Adobe Spark Multi Media Text Set
Screencastify is a Chrome extension that allows you to record your screen, face, voice and more. You can capture just a tab in your browser or all of your screen activity. You can even insert video of yourself talking on top of your screen recording.
ALL Jeffco employees and students have access to premium Screencastify accounts through #TechforEd!
Check out Ed Tech's Screencastify Multi Media Text Set
Securly Classroom is a cloud-based classroom management tool for Chrome, giving teachers new freedom to guide, monitor and communicate with students during in-person or remote learning.
ALL Jeffco K-12 teachers have access to premium Securly Classroom accounts through #TechforEd!
Check out Ed Tech's Securly Classroom Multi Media Text Set (working document)
Check out all paid digital tools in jeffco
Access Jeffco Ed Tech's digital tools page to learn about all of Jeffco's premium digital tools. This page is a resource for the why, what, and how of each digital tool. The intended audience for this page is Jeffco staff.
If you are looking for family resources, those can be found HERE.
For immediate support, visit Ed Tech's office hours, Monday-Friday 7:00 am-4:00 pm, HERE.
A trend on the rise as we go 1:1
making the why tangible
Planning and hosting the event
The tech committee met and created a plan for offering a variety of sessions in an evening setting at school. We surveyed the staff to see who could/would present and who would be willing to be a “roamer/helper” in each room to provide help through this process. With the help of the district Ed Tech team and Chris Paschke - Executive Director of Data Privacy and security, we provided a night full of opportunities for parents to learn how their kids are learning digitally. We had the library open throughout the night as a “Genius Bar” to provide on-demand help with their own technology, questions/answers, etc.
The evening was then split into two sessions with multiple options during each session - Google Classroom 101, Advanced Google Classroom, SeeSaw, Digital Wellness, and Data Privacy and Security (presentation not available).
Reflections after the event
We had families fill out an "exit ticket" before they left the event.
Looking at our feedback, here are some suggestions our families gave us to increase attendance next year:
Some of our own ideas for next time:
Ed Tech's Family Technology university cohort
Summer Reading UPdate & New Resources...
Did you know…that Jefferson County is comprised of 773 square miles (or 494,588 acres) and has approximately 580,000 residents across the county?
With such a large county we have some amazing resources that are available to all of our residents and in our case, all of our students and staff. Jefferson County Public Library and Jeffco Schools have historically had a supportive partnership, over the last few years this parternship has grown dynamically and continues today. The collaboration supports a variety of experiences, from the Summer Reading program to the Jeffco/JCPL newsletter that supports our DTLs and teachers to STEM Clubs (and upcoming MS EPIC STEM program) as well as Speed Dating with a Book and other literacy based ventures in schools.
Our Jeffco Squared team (comprised of Jeffco’s Library Services Coordinator & a mix of JCPL teams) meet monthly to collaborate and find more ways to bridge our work in order to support our community. Beyond the summer reading challenge, one of the other topics we discuss on a regular basis is the collection online tools and databases that are available for use. Listed below is the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge update along with a small selection of tools available through JCPL.
Summer Reading Contest
The JCPL Summer Reading Contest concluded in August and now the results are in! Each of the following schools will be receiving a trophy and each of their libraries will be receiving a check for $800. To read more about the contest and to see where other schools ranked, visit the JCPL website.
The resources mentioned below are all available through JCPL, and can be accessed with a JCPL library card. These tools have been vetted by the district and approved for use. However, they are not district supported - meaning that staff need to contact the vendor or JCPL to work through potential issues, as Jeffco IT does not manage the technical side of these tools. Kanopy has been vetted by Jeffco, however the platform is best used by teachers, as it is not filtered and contains adult content.
Mango Languages describes themselves as, “the only single solution that combines quality content, intelligent technology, and an adaptive algorithm that delivers practical phrases from real situations”. Just recently, Mango Languages increased the total number of languages they support to 71 different & unique languages!
They offer engaging interactive lessons in everything from the most common languages studied, such as Spanish, English, French, and Chinese to unique languages such as Bengali, Dutch and even Pirate! Participants can easily access Mango by visiting the JCPL site and entering their library card number. There is no need to create an account, as users can particpate by selecting guest user at the Mango login screen.
CreativeBug is a new addition to JCPLs collection of resources this year. It has been vetted by Jeffco and is an approved resource that like Mango Languages, is not district supported. Creativebug does offer online video arts and crafts workshops and techniques. Particpants can learn how to paint, knit, crochet, sew, screen print, and more. Their topics range from Art and Design to Furniture Refinishing to Cake decorating and Canning.
Some ideas for curriculum connections with CreativeBug, include using the videos as
Kanopy (Teacher REsource)
An additional resource that is great for teachers is Kanopy. Kanopy is a tool similar to that of YouTube, in that it offers a wide variety of videos. In Kanopy Kids, they offer popular book titles as videos including documentaries, Global Studies, Education, Instructional Films and Lessons. Kanopy also offers an elementary based collection for preschool and up. Kanopy Kids categories include Learning Languages, Animated Storybooks and Classic Films. The Animated Storybooks category in Kanopy Kids is a great resource for our elementary teachers, when connecting literacy to learning.
These are just a few of the many tools JCPL offers their patrons. If you have questions about the resources and databases available please connect with your schools' Digital Teacher Librarian to find out what resources might support your next unit.
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!
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