We've done a bit of housekeeping in the first few months of 2014 – renewing a few familiar resources, creating some all-together new resources, and infusing practical applications and pedagogy everywhere to help every user get more from My Big Campus. More understanding. More engagement. More achievement.
A Revamped MBC Orientation Center
Take the MBC Orientation Center, for instance: We’ve spent January and February sweeping out old content and replacing it with updated materials for classroom leaders and technology staff alike. The result: A streamlined, one-stop shop where you can grab everything from lesson ideas and MBC deployment tips to on-demand webinars, training materials, and more. It's an especially great place to find Tips, Tricks and Inspirations for the classroom--from our staff and beyond.
Pedagogy-Infused How-To Bundles
And while we’re on the topic of training materials: Have a look at our How-To Bundles, which are now peppered with pedagogical tidbits to help you personalize learning in your classroom. Watch for the "Here's a Bright Idea" box like the one below for fresh insights on MBC features.
All-New Flipped Learning Series
Lastly, don't miss our new Flipped Learning Series (FLS) – which infuse on-demand webinars with suggestions geared to deliver the “Ah-hah!” moments needed for lesson ideas and improved student learning. Check out the selection. Then, Quick Link them to share with a colleague, or branch them to tweak for your own campus needs.
Changes are afoot, and we hope you like what we’ve done so far. I’ll continue to keep you updated. Until next time, I’ll see you around campus.
You may not be Sam, and you may not like green eggs and ham. But, chances are, you've heard of, are influenced by, or enjoy reading the works of Dr. Seuss, who invented the character Sam in the book Green Eggs and Ham.
Born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904, the beloved children's author assumed the pen name Dr. Seuss to produce The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and other wildly popular books featuring memorable rhymes, beautiful artwork, and imaginative characters.
Today, Dr. Seuss's literary legacy lives on in Read Across America Day, held in 2014 on Monday, March 3, to honor Geisel's birthday. Sponsored by the National Education Agency, Read Across America Day spotlights the importance of the written word through various events, including celebrity read-alongs, a special van tour, and appearances by the Cat in the Hat in schools around the United States.
For ideas on how you can commemorate Read Across America Day in your own classroom, watch the video below. Afterward, head to the MBC Library to snag a narration of Seuss classics and have your students follow along.
Through your school hall, share the joy of reading with one and all. That's it for now. I'll see you around campus.
You're passionate about engaging students and inspiring teachers to transform teaching and learning. You are (or have been asked to be) the MBC go-to person on your campus. Colleagues turn to you for tips, tricks, and advice for integrating My Big Campus in their own classrooms. Here are the top 10 signs you should consider becoming an official MBC Coach:
You’re on a first-name basis with Bob.
When students ask to go to the Library, you instinctively tell them to log on.
You wish heart icons were in email.
You whisper to other LMS users, “Bob offers you his protection.”
You’ve forgotten what YouTube really looks like.
Your Drive has more files than all of your devices combined.
In faculty meetings, you typically answer any issue with one statement: “I have a Bundle for that!”
You now demand Reports and Policy Controls on other websites.
You met your BFF and your PLN on EduTalk.
If any of the above sounds familiar, you’re just the sort we seek for our 2014-15 MBC Coach program, where you’ll acquire the skills from our experts to be a credentialed MBC trainer, guru, and/or go-to person.
Step 1: How Do I Get Started?
Complete the MBC Coach Application, which includes questions about your engagement with digital learning environments, your professional role and interests, and requires a commitment to attend the Summer Academy. The deadline to complete the application is March 31, 2014.
Step 2: If Application Is Accepted, Attend MBC Coach Summer Academy on July 21 in Austin, TX
Summer Academy is where veteran MBC users and trainers model procedures, exchange best practices, explore new aspects and uses of My Big Campus, and help shape future development through roadmap discussions. Attendance is required the first year you are selected for the MBC Coach program. You’re also required to attend a pre-Academy online boot camp (so everyone arrives at Summer Academy on somewhat equal footing). There are no fees for Summer Academy. However, you are responsible for your travel and accommodations.
We'd like everyone to arrive at Summer Academy excited and ready to jump into our train-the-trainer activities. Therefore, we'll need you up-to-speed on the latest MBC features. In June–July, spend a few hours perusing our MBC Self-Paced Training Series to ensure you're ready to make the most of this phenomenal training day. You'll need to score 80% or better on the training's assessment before arriving at Summer Academy.
Step 4: Return Signed MBC Coach Agreement and Admin Approval Forms
Just about everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. Think of all those childhood awards assemblies where you sat anxiously hoping to hear your name called. Indeed, recognition can be a powerful motivator. To that end, teachers, you'll be pleased to know we've just made it easier for you to give recognition to your students, Groups, and colleagues. Our Digital Learning Day surprise, achievements are an awesome addition for engaging students and celebrating success.
Watch this excerpt from a recent webinar to get a feel for how Achievements can be used in the classroom.
Before you start creating Achievements, we recommend you and your grade-level or subject-area school-site colleagues determine some standards for awarding Achievements. That way Achievement badges carry the same meaning across your school population. Consult our How-To guide for more best practices.
Creating Achievements is a breeze.
Head to Drive.
At the top of the screen, select Achievements in the right navigation. (Alternatively, you can click New, and select New Achievement)
Click New Achievement.
Name the Achievement. Give it a description and choose a graphic to complement the award.
Manage Achievements in Drive.
The Achievements you create are accessible for editing and awarding in a couple of ways.
From your Drive's right navigation
Under Drive Home, select Achievements.
A graphical view of all the badges you've created will display with their titles and descriptions.
Click an Achievement's menu icon (V) to Award, Edit, or Delete.
From your Drive's file/folder listing you may also move Achievements into Folders to keep them organized.
In Drive, browse or search for your Achievement by name or sort by Kind to see all Achievements listed together.
Check the box next to the Achievement to get options including Edit, Award, Move, Rename, Apply Label, and Delete.
There are two ways to award the Achievement--from your Drive and on a user's Profile page.
Navigate to Drive.
Click Achievements in the right-hand navigation.
Select an Achievement.
Click Award Selected.
On the deployment screen, enter the name of a student, colleague, or Group.
Select a user or Group from Search Results in the lower left panel.
Click Award Achievement.
From a user's Profile page:
On the left, beneath the user's profile picture, click Award Achievement (only staff users will see this).
Select an Achievement that you have previously created--hover over the badge to see the title.
Respond to the prompt, "Are you sure you want to award..." and click Done.
That's it! Recipients will be immediately notified on-screen.
The actual Achievement badge will be visible in the upper-right corner of a recipient's profile page. Click on it to view the title and description as well as who else recently earned the badge.
That's all for now. I'll see you (and your Achievements!) around campus.
There are tons of scientific principles at play in sports. For proof, check out the recently released NBC Learn videos, which showcase how physics, chemistry, and other cool science factor into athletic performances at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Prior to the opening ceremony Feb. 7, learn how a figure skater uses center of mass to spin a pirouette into a gold medal. Grab some airtime with engineers and snowboarders to uncover the tricks of half-pipe design. Or, go downhill with skiers and scientists to understand the forces governing gravity-defying stunts.
Other topics spotlight the chemical properties that make ice slippery (and great for skating), the natural processes behind snow formation, aerodynamics in competition suits and costumes, and lots more.
While today, January 24, 2014, is National Compliment Day and National Peanut Butter Day here in America--two little-known commemorations I can fully support, there's another day coming that I'm really stoked about, and I hope you are too. Digital Learning Day coming February 5.
Digital Learning Day celebrates innovative teachers as well as effective digital-learning applications and techniques in America's schools. Digital Learning Day's goal is simple: support educators and improve student learning. As a result, states and school districts nationwide host a variety of activities to commemorate Digital Learning Day – such as spotlighting technology-based student work and offering lesson-plan contests for teachers.
Digital Learning Day is for everyone – parents, teachers, students, librarians, and school leaders. Anyone with a stake in improving teaching and learning is invited to participate.
To show our support for Digital Learning Day, we've created a spot to kick-start tech lessons in your school. Teachers, join our Digital Learning Day 2014 topic, where you can snag simple grade-level ideas for showcasing technology in your classroom. Remember, student assignments can be as uncomplicated as writing a story about me, Bob Campus, and the work I do, (see featured lesson on the topic's home page) or as complex as month-long project dealing with multiple aspects of digital learning. It's all up to you.
As always, we'd love to hear your plans for Digital Learning Day. Feel free to post them in the topic or below. That's it for now! I'll see you around campus.
Right now – gears are turning; wheels are rolling; and arrangements are in full swing as Lightspeed Connect 2014 heads to Austin, Texas, July 21–23.
I can't wait. Think of it: Hot on the heels of last year's very well received My Big Campus User Conference in Indianapolis, our next user conference sports a first – a gathering dedicated to Lightspeed Systems' web filter, Mobile Manager, and My Big Campus users. Imagine having teachers, principals, curriculum directors, tech directors, and systems engineers from across America all in one place:
Sharing best practices
Sampling Lightspeed Systems products and services in digital playgrounds
Engaging in certification training
And collaborating with our product and training experts to kick-start learning transformation initiatives around the country
I'll sum it all up in one word: Awesome!
What can you do now?
Plan to attend; submit a proposal to present; and spread the word about the conference. Here's some info to get you started:
Location: AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center – University of Texas, Austin, Texas
Save Your Spot: RSVP here and you'll be among the first invited to select sessions when official registration opens.
Presenters Needed:(Pssst . . . Presenters will have their conference fees waived.) We’re seeking presenters now to lead hands-on workshops and to share their lessons learned and best practices. Submit to present for 45 minutes, 2 hours, or 3 hours. We have a set of suggested over-arching strands—and welcome any further suggestions to meet users’ needs. Deadline to submit is January 31.
• Deploying & Maintaining Safe, Mobile Learning Environments
• Classroom Web Presence and Parent Engagement
• Professional Planning & Learning • Digital Content • Teaching & Learning
July 21 – BONUS Opportunities
• Web Filter and Mobile Manager Certification Training $75
• My Big Campus Bootcamp $75
• Summer Academy for MBC Coach Certification (application window opens soon)
July 22-23 – User Conference $275 through March 31, then $299
• Keynote speaker
• Peer-led workshops with Lightspeed staff in every session
• Interaction with development staff
• Sandbox playgrounds
• Collaboration meeting spaces to apply immediately what you’ve learned
• Product roadmap discussion
• Breakfasts, Lunches, Snacks
• Evening Reception
Lodging: Discounted guest rooms just $149+tax/night at AT&T Conference Center. Reserve now.
In addition to the rooms available at the conference center, we have secured discounted rooms at these nearby hotels.
Hampton Inn & Suites Austin @ The Capitol
2 blocks from conference venue
1701 Lavaca Street, Austin, TX 78701
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Austin
5 blocks from conference venue
303 West 15th Street, Austin, Texas 78701
Stay tuned for updates. Carry on, and I'll see you in Austin . . . and around campus.
While schools are heading out for extended holiday breaks, the elves on our development staff are still working hard to deliver some much-anticipated features. Here's the scoop on their latest accomplishment: a feature-rich Activity page.
Access and Sort Groups on Activity Page
On your Activity page, your groups now display on the right-hand side of the screen. As you explore, notice the options available.
First, you can filter your Activity to show Announcements only. Just click on Announcements.
Next, scroll the Groups list and
Click a group name to view that group's Announcements and Discussions on the Activity page.
Click the arrow to the right of the group name to navigate over to the group homepage.
But wait. It gets better. Move your groups into any order you choose.
Just click the three-line icon next to the word GROUPS.
Then click the three-line icon next to a Group name and drag it to reorder your Groups – placing your most-often used Groups at the top, on the bottom, or wherever you want.
When you're finished, simply click the lock icon to set the Groups in their new order.
Attach Files with Confidence
Finding the right file to attach to posts is now a bit easier. When you're searching the Drive and Library attachment options, results display icons – indicating the result's media type (file, Bundle, video, photo, etc.).
Announcements and Advisories
Lastly, important announcements from me will appear in a blue bar at the top center of your Activity feed – keeping you better informed of site news and advisories.
That does it for now. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. As always, keep the feature requests coming. I love to get them. Until next time, I'll see you around campus.
Mark your calendars now: The Lightspeed Systems and My Big Campus User Conference is coming to Austin, Texas, July 21–24, 2014.
Join us to
Connect with peers to collaborate and share best practices
Connect with related products and services in our sandbox playgrounds
Connect with Lightspeed Systems professional services for certification training
Connect with product and training experts to kick start your technology initiative
Session Proposals Needed
We’re seeking presenters now to lead hands-on workshops and to share their lessons learned and best practices. Submit to presentfor 45 minutes, 2 hours, or 3 hours. We have a set of suggested over-arching strands—and welcome any further suggestions to meet users’ needs. Deadline to submit is January 31. (And, yes, presenters will have their conference fees waived.)
Session strands include:
Teaching & Learning
Professional Planning & Learning
Classroom Web Presence and Parent Engagement
Deploying & Maintaining Safe, Mobile Learning Environments
July 21 - Pre-Conference Day for:
Web Filter Certification Training
MDM Certification Training
My Big Campus Basic Training & Summer Academy (Coach Training Camp)
July 22-23 - User Conference for:
My Big Campus
Be on the Look Out
After the upcoming holiday breaks, I'll post more information on registration and early-bird discounts, specifics on discounted hotel stays, and how to apply for certification training.
Normally I post to my blog about all the cool things you can do with My Big Campus and the apps. This time, it's to tell you something you shouldn't do: don't submit Schoolwork through the app (for now); use a browser instead.
We've discovered some issues with Schoolwork in the My Big Campus app for iOS devices. But don't worry! The MBC website (www.mybigcampus.com) is designed specifically to adapt to the screen size on tablets and smartphones, and will work well on all types of devices.
You can do everything you need to in Schoolwork using an iOS browser (Safari is the recommended option) and the website. To upload files to schoolwork, just use the "Open In" feature in Camera Roll and other applications to add the file to My Big Campus, then attach the item from your Drive.
Note that the issues only affect students submitting schoolwork in the MBC App. They don't affect Schoolwork through the web site/browser, and they don't affect any other parts of the app.
We're hoping to have an updated app available in a few weeks. In the meantime, teachers should advise students with iOS devices to do their schoolwork in Safari, not in the MBC App.
I'll share any updates as well as news when the new app is available. I apologize for the inconvenience, and I hope you'll bear with us as we work to resolve the problem.