Are You Social (With Your Bookmarking?) – Burlington Blog Update (Edition 8)

The post below is actually a copy of a weekly e-mail that I send to our staff  to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. I also try to give a quick technology tip/resource that I think would be useful. It is the eighth post in the series.

This week I wanted to give three reasons to consider using a social bookmarking resource like Diigo
  1. Reason # 1 – Why search Google when you can get more focused results?  -Once you sign up for your Diigo account you have access to an entire community and can search for topics and find relevant resources based on what other users have bookmarked. For example, I entered “formative assessment” into the search window and came up with a number of resources on the topic. You can see a screen shot of my results below. On the left side of each link, Diigo lets you know how many others have bookmarked a particular site. While this is not a full-proof method, a link that is bookmarked by a large number of people is usually a pretty reliable resource and it can save you time in your search process.

  2. Reason # 2 – Share those relevant resources and have access on any device – When you get start with Diigo you can share your bookmarks with your students, your colleagues, and educators all over the globe.  You can join groups already created with educators who have similar roles or you can start your own group for a specific project or just general sharing. It is also a great resource to use with students when researching on a particular topic 
  3. Why just bookmark your links on your personal device when you can use a web-based resource and have access to them on any device at any time? – Using a service like Diigo gives you the peace-of-mind in knowing that you will never lose the links to the all the useful sites that you find!
If you need help getting started with Diigo then please connect with me or one of our district IT Staff. Our two Mobile Learning Coaches, Jenn Scheffer and Diana Marcus, each have online schedules so that you can book them at your convenience.  

Burlington Blogs Update

The posts below are the ones that have been selected from the 119 blogs and websites that have been shared with me. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form.  If you aren’t a blogger, please feel free to forward any happenings from you or your classroom or any student work that you would like to show off and I will turn it into an original post for the BPS Blog.  







Only 140 more posts to go… 


Check Out The K12 Online Conference – My Weekly BPS Blog Update (Edition 7)

The post below is actually a copy of a weekly e-mail that I send to our staff  to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. It is the seventh post in the series.

A couple of weeks back I mentioned that October is Connected Educator Month and shared this link to the Connected Educator Month Website.  This week I wanted to pass along the link to the K12 Online Conference which offers more daily presentations on a variety of topics for K-12 teachers.  If you would like to bundle an hour from a K12 Online Conference Session with other technology PD options (i.e. How Do I Do That Sessions or our Burlington 1:1 Conference) to earn inservice credits then we would welcome that. If you need support on getting started with this process then please connect with me or one of our district IT Staff. Our two Mobile Learning Coaches, Jenn Scheffer and Diana Marcus, each have online schedules so that you can book them at your convenience.  


Burlington Blogs Update

The posts below are the ones that have been selected from the 116 blogs and websites that have been shared with me. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form.  If you aren’t a blogger, please feel free to forward any happenings from you or your classroom or any student work that you would like to show off and I will turn it into an original post for the BPS Blog.  







Only 145 more posts to go… 

Keeping Up With All of the Happenings in Burlington Classrooms – BPS Blog Update (Edition 6)


Resource of the Week – Feedly
One of the greatest parts about the growing number Burlington teachers who have started sharing the happenings from their classrooms online with classroom blogs and websites is that I am able to see all of the neat things happening across the district on a daily basis. While there is no substitute for being in classrooms to see the learning firsthand, there is simply no way to stay on top of all of the wonderful work of staff and students.
This is where Feedly comes in.  Feedly is a FREE resource that allows you to see all of the blogs you follow in one place.  The best part is that you can use it on a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop and scroll through the latest posts from the sites that you follow.  For educators, it is a great way to follow your colleagues or blogging educators from across the globe. It is also a great way to have students follow bloggers who are writing about topics that connect to a unit or entire course.
If you are interested in giving Feedly a spin, here is a link to a tutorial post that explains how to get started. I would just begin with the top three tips if you are a new user.  As always, please let me know if I can help you or your class get started with this great resource!

Week 6 Update
The posts below are the ones that have appeared on the blog over the last five school days. The number of BPS Blogs and Websites is up to 116, increasing by over 40 in the last four weeks!  Please add the link to your site here if you haven’t already done so.
Only 150 more posts to go… 

It’s Connected Educator Month! – Weekly BPS Blog Update (Edition 5)

The post below is actually a copy of an e-mail that I sent our teachers today to continue to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. It is the fifth post in a series that I will continue throughout the school year.



As we hit the first full week of October, I am wondering how many people are aware that it is Connected Educators Month.  For the third year in a row, the United States Department of Education and a number of partner organizations have deemed October Connected Educator Month. You can learn more at theConnected Educator Month website. The home page lists a daily schedule of events that teachers can take part in to connect with colleagues from around the world, including a number of Twitter Chats on different topics.

If you would like to bundle an hour from a Connected Educator Month Twitter Chat with other technology PD options (i.e. How Do I Do That Sessions or our Burlington 1:1 Conference) to earn inservice credits then we would welcome that. If you need support on getting started with Twitter please connect with one of our district IT Staff. Our two Mobile Learning Coaches, Jenn Scheffer and Diana Marcus, each have online schedules so that you can book them at your convenience. Please let me know if you have any questions

Burlington Blogs Update

The number of Burlington Public Schools blogs and websites that have been shared with me has jumped to 110!  Maybe I set the bar to low at hoping to see just 100? Do I hear 125? You can check out the entire list here if you are interested. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form when you have a chance. If you have been thinking about starting a classroom blog or website and feel intimidated then please reach out to me or one of the members of our technology team for support. 


The posts below are the ones that have appeared on the blog over the last five school days.  Please feel free to forward any student work that you would like to show off for a post. Even if you don’t have a blog, I am happy to turn the work into an original post. 
Only 154 more posts to go… 

Do You Have A Cool Photo for our Instagram Photo of the Day?! Weekly BPS Blog Update (Edition 4)

The post below is actually a copy of an e-mail that I sent our teachers today to continue to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. It is the fourth post in a series that I will continue throughout the school year.

The number of Burlington Public Schools blogs and websites that have been shared with me has jumped to 92!  I am hoping that we will hit 100. You can check out the entire list here if you are interested. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form when you have a chance. If you have been thinking about starting a classroom blog or website and feel intimidated then please reach out to me or one of the members of our technology team for support. 

The posts below are the ones that have appeared on the blog over the last five school days.  Please feel free to forward any student work that you would like to show off for a post. Even if you don’t have a blog, I am happy to turn the work into an original post. 
Only 159 more posts to go… 
 One More Thing This Week – Submit A Photo for our BPS Instagram Photo of the Day!

Have you had a chance to check out our district Instagram account? Even if you haven’t please consider sharing a picture to show off you and/or your students or colleagues in action. We post one at the end of each day and share it on our district Facebook page.  So far, a couple of pirates (see the picture below) from Francis Wyman have been our most popular photo with over 900 views on Facebook!


A Great Communication Tool for all Staff and Weekly BPS Blog Update (Edition 3)

The post below is actually a copy of an e-mail that I sent our teachers today to continue to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. It is the third post in a series that I will continue throughout the school year.

The number of Burlington Public Schools blogs and websites that have been shared with me is up from 73 to 82!  I am hoping that we will hit 100. You can check out the entire list here if you are interested. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form when you have a chance. If you have been thinking about starting a classroom blog or website and feel intimidated then please reach out to me or one of the members of our technology team for support. 

The posts below are the ones that have appeared on the blog over the last five school days. Today’s post by BHS Senior Cat Hoyt is actually our first student post of the year. Please feel free to forward any student work that you would like to show off for a post. Even if you don’t have a blog, I am happy to turn the work into an original post. 
Only 164 more posts to go… 
This Week’s Blogger Tip of the Week is for Everyone whether you have a blog or not.


The topic of yesterday’s mentoring meeting for new teachers was communication with parents/guardians. Within the discussion someone asked for thoughts on teachers giving out their personal cellphone numbers to parents and/or students. With the availability of Google Voice within our Google apps domain, you can give your parents and/or students a number to reach you without ever giving your personal number. 
The slideshow below will take you step-by-step through the process to set up a Google Voice account. Once you have it set up, you can receive calls and texts to your Google Voice number. If you miss a call, it will end up in your e-mail inbox with a transcription of the message.
Finally, if you do have a Blogger blog, you can click on the gear icon within Google Voice and get a widget to embed the link to your Google Voice account on your blog. This allows people to click on the widget and connect with you right from your blog. If you want to get an idea of how it works feel free to check out my Google Voice widget on the top right corner of my blog.

BPS Blog Update and Blogger Tip (Edition 2)

The post below is actually a copy of an e-mail that I sent our teachers today to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog and also share the great work of their colleagues. It is the second post in a series that I will continue throughout the school year.

The number of Burlington Public Schools blogs and websites that have been shared with me is up to 73! You can check out the entire list here if you are interested. If you haven’t had a chance to share yours, then please enter it here on this Google form when you have a chance. If you have been thinking about starting a classroom blog or website and feel intimidated then please reach out to me or one of the members of our technology team for support. 

Here are the posts that appeared on the blog over the last five school days…
Only 169 more posts to go…Please feel free to e-mail me something directly that you would like to share. We also welcome original posts from staff or students if you have something that you would like to share.
Blogger tip for the Week

One of the best parts of following all of your blogs is seeing the pictures of your students and the things they are creating! In my opinion, the easiest way to add pictures is to blog from your iPhone or iPad. The blogger app is free and very easy to use! 
When you click on save in the upper right corner it gives you the option of saving as a draft or publishing right from your mobile device.  Saving as a draft will allow you to check out your post on a computer before publishing.

The final point I want to make about posting pictures on your blog is that you can resize them by clicking on the photo before you publish. If you want to make sure that a photo is not too large for the margins on your blog the you can click on the preview button before publishing.

Sharing The Happenings Around Burlington Public Schools (Edition 1)

The post below is actually a copy of an e-mail that I sent our teachers today to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog and also share the great work of their colleagues. My goal is to send a similar post weekly.

Thanks to all of you who shared the links to your class websites and blogs with me. If you have not had a chance to do so here is the link where you can share with me.

It is awesome to follow along with what is happening in so many classrooms across the district!  It is also a great way to support Standard 3 (Family and Community Engagement) and keep parents “in the know” about the latest happenings in your classroom and promote ongoing conversations between you and parents as well as parents and their students.
Here are the posts that appeared on the blog so far…
Only 174 more to go…Please feel free to e-mail me something directly that you would like to share. We also welcome original posts from staff or students if you have something that you would like to share.
Blogger Tip for this week

If your blogging platform is blogger add the translation option in the top right hand corner of your blog. With the growing number of homes in Burlington that have multiple languages spoken, this is a great resource for families. Follow the steps below to do this:

Choose the Google Translate Button