A Great Way To Connect Parents With Your Google Classroom – BPS Blog Update (Volume 2)

In an effort to share some great resources for you to keep on your radar, sometimes I miss the obvious ones right under my nose.  With this in mind, I want to make sure that you are keeping up the BHS Help Desk Blog.  This blog provides some of the most useful information that you will find in regards to technology integration. Two recent posts that have been widely viewed are the following:

Now You Can Share & Embed Your Google Classroom Calendars with Parents! and An Important “Wi-fi Assist” Warning for iOS 9 iPhone Users.

160 posts to go…

Going 1:1? Put Students In A Position To Lead!

I was asked by BHS Senior Cat Hoyt to write an endorsement for our Burlington High School Student Help Desk for the Follett Challenge, a contest for which she made the video below. I thought the endorsement was worth sharing with others who also might want to start a Student Help Desk. Whether you are 1:1 or not, this would be a great resource for your school!

Burlington High School became a 1:1 high school distributing iPads to all students and staff at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. As someone who speaks regularly to teachers and administrator from other schools about this initiative, I can say without hesitation that the biggest factor in the success of this program has been the involvement of our students through the BHS Help Desk.

In the fall of 2011, I dealt with a great deal of anxiety as we distributed over 1,100 iPads and became one of the first schools in the country to become a 1:1 iPad school.  I was worried that the program would be a flop and that teachers and students would struggle to integrate these new digital devices into their daily workflows. However, the BHS Help Desk released me from my fears by giving staff and students a place to go and find answers and solutions to each and every question that came up regarding their iPads or one of the endless web-based resources that they could now access through their new device.

Our students solved the biggest question for us that administrators are faced with during the implementation of any initiative – where do I go if I need help? There was not anyone in our district who could claim that they did not have a place to turn if they ran into a problem. In addition, the response from faculty and students about the quality of the feedback from our student help desk team has been overwhelmingly positive.  It is quite common to swing by the help desk and see staff members being taught by students. We have also had a number of teachers who have had student help desk support in their classrooms as they tried using a new digital tool for the first time. The whole experience has been transformative as we have broken down traditional boundaries that separate teachers and students and become a community of learners where adults are just as comfortable being on the receiving end of the learning as they are facilitating it.

Finally, I could not have a discussion about the BHS Student Help Desk without talking about the amazing BHS Help Desk website which can be seen at BHSHelpdesk.com.  This site has been an incredible resource for learners inside of Burlington and outside who are looking to increase their capacity to use iPads and/or other digital resources. As someone who connects with those in other school communities, I have had numerous discussions with educators from all over the country who have referenced our student help desk as a valuable resource for their own learning. Our students are constantly investigating and sharing insights on the latest and greatest resources for students and teachers.  

So, the first step for any school looking to increase its technological capacities is undoubtedly to start a student help desk. When students take the lead good things happen. The BHS Student Help Desk is living proof!

A Great Student Reflection About Our Student Help Desk for the #FollettChallenge

This post originally appeared on the blog of BHS Senior Cat Hoyt

As of today 2/3rd’s of my Help Desk Individual Learning Endeavor is completed. I recently completed my video entry for the Follett Challenge after two months of taping, editing and re-editing and I am very proud of the results. To put it briefly, the Follett Challenge is a contest structured so that even if you do not win the contest you have broadcasted your program to the world and received global recognition. The video I have created is a promotional video for the Burlington High School Help Desk and it explains what the program is, what it does, it’s benefits to the school and district and the innovative ways in which we integrate technology. The video is embedded below.

Additionally, 5 essays were required upon submission of the video to the Follett Challenge to provide Follett with a description of the program, the objectives and outcomes of the program, the methods, strategies and action steps, a discussion of previous approaches and an endorsement statement. The essays were written by myself, Mrs. Scheffer and Mr. Larkin and links to each of them are below.

Program Description: (By Cat Hoyt)

So now that you know what the challenge is and what I have submitted, I would very greatly appreciate your vote. The winner of the Follett Challenge is picked partially based off of the reviews of judges and partially based off of the amount of votes it gets on the Follett Challenge webpage. Voting takes place between January 19th through the 30th and you can vote more than once. All I ask is one vote per day and you could be putting BHS one step closer to winning our share of $200,000 which is either $30,000 for the Grand and Semifinalist Prizes or $8,000 for a People’s Choice Video Winner. So PLEASE vote for BHS and the Help Desk every day from January 19th through the 30th!
To encourage others to vote for us spread the word! Send out tweets reminding people to vote for us or share these images to your social media sites. Thank you in advance and happy voting!
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What Can BHS Student Help Desk Do For You?

Originally posted on the BPSEdtech Website:

Do you need instant tech support? Have a quick question about something related to Google Apps? Need a quick fix? Look no further than the BHS Student Help Desk Blog. This blog is quickly evolving into the preeminent resource for all your education technology needs in the Burlington community. And, while we are still building our database of resources, the help desk students will be updating the site daily and continually looking for ways to accommodate all of your education technology needs.

This blog is not strictly limited to education technology resources either. The BHS student help desk is finding and researching current trends in technology. So far students have covered the release of the iPhone 5, iOS 6, Chrome plugins for Math, a Windows 8 preview and Google Underwater Maps. While most travel to sites like TechCrunch and Mashable, the real hard reporting and latest trending topics can simply be found at the BHS Student Help Desk.

The BHS Student Help Desk would also like to hear from you as well. We are seeking out topics to cover and want to continue to build our database with topics generated by teachers and students in the district.  Even if you are outside of the district and just want our help desk to cover something for you, please ask and submit! Anyone can post a suggestion for students to cover below. Please continue to send us topics throughout the year and as they arise. And remember, no topic is too simple to cover. Let us know how we can help you.

At Burlington Public Schools we have the technology and resources to create a shared culture of learning. We can all learn from each other and the student help desk hopes to energize this initiative and share our expertise and make working with technology a painless experience.

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