We All Have a Reason to Celebrate!

Sure, it is the end of the school year. Sure, we all are exhausted from all of the tasks that we have been asked to do along the year. Sure, we are tired from the work that has been completed outside of the school day hours. But it is important to take the time to reflect on the awesome work that has been accomplished in 16-17 school year.

Over the course of the year, I have enjoyed hearing about the success stories that teachers have had after a lesson. Not staying in the same place and doing the same lesson can be very beneficial. Pushing one’s self is an important trait for all teachers and learners to have. It is like the Blockbuster vs. Netflix situation. Blockbuster did not move with the times and push themselves to think differently with their business model. Netflix however decided that it was important to change their business model as human interest and demands changed over the years. Netflix is still around because they decided to push themselves.

I know that I speak on behalf of the tech department at BHS when I say that we are very proud of what has been accomplished tech wise. Bulldogs have done some GREAT work! Here is just a sampling of some of the great things that have been implemented this past school year…

Google Classroom

  • More teachers this year implemented Google Classroom into their courses to help students and teachers keep organized


  • Wellness 1 teachers used PearDeck for the first time to get student viewpoints with the topics at hand
  • French teachers used PearDeck as a vocabulary enforcer where they had to ‘dress the snowman’ based on the clothing vocabulary that they were learning
Adobe Spark
  • Students in The American Dream classes used Adobe Spark Video to produce a PSA
  • Students in Marine Biology used Adobe Spark Page to curate information based on their findings from a field trip to the Boston Museum of Science (they documented their experience by taking pictures to use in their Adobe Spark Page). The teacher also created an Adobe Spark Page to curate all student work from the class to share with everyone else.
  • Students in Power of Nature classes used Adobe Spark Page to showcase information about particular volcanoes.
  • Adobe Spark Post was used to share information to the bulldog community through its social media accounts
Presenting at Conferences
  • For the first time, the Bedford School District hosted its own Tech conference on a district workshop day where all employees in the district got together to talk about best practices with tech integration. There were many, many staff members at the high school who stepped up and presented at the conference. It was a cool experience for everyone to learn from each other!
  • Many high school staff presented at Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference for the first time. Topics included: The Changing Landscape in a 1:1 Classroom, Librarian & Tech Collaboration, and #GoogleAddict.
  • Several staff members have already agreed upon sharing their knowledge at our 2nd annual district conference next school year in October

Becoming Social Media Savvy

  • Counseling department helped produce a topic a month relating to social media for students and staff. These topics were discussed in advisories. 

Breakout EDU
  • At the beginning of the school year, staff participated in a Breakout EDU. Since then, many teachers used the Breakout boxes in their classes.
  • Some teachers challenged themselves to participate in a digital Breakout during a Workshop training.
  • Staff members throughout all disciplines created hyperdocs to help students discover, explore, apply, and share their learning
Google Keep
  • Several teachers have stayed organized over the year with using Google Keep
  • A couple teachers have explored around with DocStickers
  • Geometry teachers used GeoGebra this year to help students visualize their learning – seeing as though all students have Chromebooks and the tool that they had before did not allow students to use with their Chromebook
Team Drive

  • Several teams and committees, such as the Leadership Team and the Self Management Committee, realized that they could be more efficient if they utilize the Team Drive feature in Google Drive
Google Expeditions
  • Counselors gave college virtual tours to Juniors in advisories
  • Google Expeditions were also given in math and science classes
  • Google recognized Toni Taylor’s use of Google Expedition in a weekly Tuesday tweet

360 Filming

  • Film students explored around with creating 360 films for the first time
  • Teachers traveling with students to Machu Picchu during intersession used a 360 camera to document the experience – this will then be used in Spanish curriculum in the future


  • Several teachers in different disciplines implemented screencastify chrome extension. This was used either to film a project, record oneself with a piece of writing, or record a presentation. This has particularly been helpful in American Sign Language, and Humanities courses.
  • Our life skills students were exposed to Osmo for the first time this year. They have had fun with making pizzas and giving change, using tangrams, exploring around with coding, spelling, and performing math operations.

1:1 Visits

  • Teachers willingly opened up their classrooms to visitors from other schools who were interested in learning how Chromebooks were used in BHS classes
LOTS TO BE PROUD OF! Obviously, I do not have every single new thing that happened this year. This is just a sampling of what I could remember. (If you think of something that I should add, let me know). Good things have been accomplished. Looking forward to the new possibilities next school year. #proudbulldog
And that is my Spiel…

New Year – Reflection and Being Present

So I am going to be one of those people who adds their own thoughts about the new year and moving forward. Here is my top five list.

Reflection – can be an important and valuable thing – and I have found myself doing this a lot more lately, which is a GREAT THING.

What have I been reflecting on you might ask?

1. Being creative and innovative – now that we no longer new to #GSuite I am constantly trying to find ways of being more creative with the tool. One of those is how I am delivering professional development for the staff. This year, the librarian and I have created our own badge system (with inspiration from others) to help encourage our staff to take their learning to the next level with a combination of Google Classroom and Google Sheets. How can we continue to push the envelope and take things to the next level? Can’t wait to find out!

2. Learning from peers – Last month we had some visitors come to Bedford High School to see how technology is integrated into classes. While this has not been the first time we have had visitors, I decided to stay with the visitors during the classroom visits this time around. Even though I know what tools our staff use in the classrooms, I still found myself learning a trick or tip from them. If I had not of stayed in the class, I would have missed these great moments. This is why I am now going to make an effort to carve out some time during my schedule at least twice a month to visit some classes and see how teachers are in fact using the tools that are at their disposal. We all do great things, we all can learn from one another, and I look forward to seeing what cool things I will discover from others.

3. #Observeme – This concept connects with bullet 2 on learning from others. This concept was shared with me last month where staff members encourage their peers to observe their lesson to either help give feedback or share something new that is being implemented into the classroom. This is something that I hope to implement either in the classroom or during teacher trainings that I give. To learn more about this concept, check out the twitter hashtag.

4. Virtual Reality – When you turn on the TV you see more and more people talking about the new direction we are going (or already in) in – and it is called Virtual Reality. What does VR look like in the education setting – beyond just being submersed in a 360 movie? How can students create their own VR project? These are great questions that I look forward to diving into.

5. Living in the Moment – Over vacation break, the video “This is exactly what’s wrong with this generation” was shared multiple times on my social media feeds. I decided to actually watch it (even though it was 15 mins long) and realized that this video does not just pertain to millennials. This video pertains to everyone that uses mobile devices. While watching, I found that I could relate with checking my phone at times that I shouldn’t.  While I am not addicted to being on social media, I know that I can cut down my use. I want to live more in the moment.  This video is another great reminder that we need to help support our students handle their mobile devices.

Of course, these are not the only items that I will focus on throughout 2017…they just happen to be on my mind at this time.

At that is my spiel…