Sunday, April 26, 2015

My Weekly Diigo Bookmarks (April 26, 2015)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Work To Become Future Ready Never Ends

Photo via
Preparing for this morning's Future Ready Summit In Rhode Island, I decided to take a look back at some of the posts that I wrote back during the 2010-2011 school year as we made the final plans to become a 1:1 school at Burlington High School.  While I am excited by the rapidly increasing number of schools that have taken strides to ensure that their students will be "Future Ready," I know there are a lot of school communities out there struggling to the resources they need, whether it be infrastructure or other technological resources.

For me, it still centers around the same question I asked back in March of 2011...

...What type of education do we want for our kids? 

My answers are still the same as they were four years ago:

  • I want my children to learn about resources that allow them to connect and collaborate with those who share their passions/interests.
  • I want my children to be inquisitive and lead their own learning. 
  • I want my children to be responsible citizens. 

While progress sometimes seems slow in a system where there is an overemphasis on designing a better test, there are reasons for optimism. We need look no further than the Future Ready Summits as a sign that our nation's Department of Education is willing to embrace needed changes. With regional summits across the country, there are truly opportunities for all schools to get needed support in advancing the acquisition and use of digital tools.

I look forward to writing more after today's summit. But in the meantime, I embedded a Readlist of my "Becoming a 1:1 School" blog posts below.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Weekly Diigo Bookmarks (April 19, 2015)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, April 17, 2015

BEF Grant Brings More "Stability" To Learning In Mrs. Olshaw's Classroom

Mrs. Olshaw's classroom at Memorial School was recently awarded a grant from the Burlington Education Foundation to purchase Stability Balls for the classroom as a replacement for traditional chairs.

The grant proposal which was created by Mrs. Olshaw and her students had the following goal:

Our goal is to supply each child in the classroom with a stability ball. The use of Stability Balls in the classroom is not a new phenomenon, they are a proven to be a successful tool for decreasing out-of-seat behavior while increasing achievement, engagement, and focus in the classroom. Stability balls also provide a health benefit as well. As posture improves from working the core muscles, calories are burned with the constant movement by the body's natural kinesthetic energy .

The students in Mrs. Olshaw's classroom have noticed a difference already and feel that they are more productive in their new "seats." 

Check out a few more pictures of some of the students below. For more on stability balls in the classroom, check out this link from LiveStrong.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Our Blizzard Bag Site Is Live

We are excited to have the opportunity to pilot learning projects for school day cancellations. We will be the first district in the state of Massachusetts to try this with the assigned “Blizzard Bag” work that is available on this BPS Blizzard Bag site. As with any pilot, we expect that there will be a lot of questions and that not everything will proceed exactly as planned. However, we are committed to offering multiple methods to support students so that they can complete their work successfully.

Questions will be answered live on our Blizzard Bag phone line at 1 (512) SNOWDAY (1-512-766-9329) on Tuesday, April 28 from 4-7 p.m. Voice messages and texts can also be sent to this number during the duration of the assignment and will be responded to daily. In the meantime, we have also created an e-mail address where you can send questions ( We will share all of the questions asked on a “Frequently Asked Questions” section that will be added on this Blizzard Bag site.

Of course, your student’s classroom teachers are also a great resource for questions and we will be adding support opportunities that are available at individual schools in the days ahead as well on the website. Teachers will be checking in with their students during the week of May 4, which is the midpoint of the projects, to make sure that students are making progress. It is our hope that at least half of the assignment will be completed at this time. If students have any questions about expectations or length of assignments, they should ask their teachers.

Our final due date for the assignments is June 1, 2015. If students complete their work prior to that date, they are welcome to turn them in early to their teachers. Since the work is meant to be substituted for two days of school, all students who do not complete the work will be marked absent for two days. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work through this pilot. We look forward to your feedback along the way.

Please visit this site for information and details about student work that must be completed to ensure learning goals are met. Student assignments are posted by grade levels at the top of the Blizzard Bag Website. High school teachers will be giving students their assignments this week. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

My Weekly Diigo Bookmarks (April 12, 2015)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.