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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Bitmoji Classrooms at Columbia Elementary School!


Columbia School District teachers are leading the way in Jackson County!  I had an opportunity to take a look at some of the Bitmojis that have been created by our teachers.  A Bitmoji is your own personal emoji (think a personalized smiley face).  The Bitmojis created by our teachers look like the teacher and have characteristics that will assist the students in a virtual environment or classroom. 

Although this sounds complicated, the Bitmoji classrooms created by our elementary teachers are usable and will help our students keep up to date if they have to work from home.  As I spoke to Mrs. McBean and Mrs. Hogel, about their Bitmoji classrooms, I was fascinated and awestruck at the intricacies of the virtual classrooms.  One of Mrs. Hogel’s scenes have her standing in the virtual classroom with a cup of coffee in her hand.  In one of the virtual classroom areas, Mrs. McBean is sitting comfortably in a chair.

Their virtual Bitmoji classrooms feature links to iReady, Accelerated Reader, and more!  They have special activities and schedules for every day of the week, just like the traditional classroom.  The virtual classrooms even have a classroom library filled with books, math tool kit, and spelling words.  The classrooms are set up to help students feel comfortable with a virtual environment in case it is necessary.  The teachers have not only set up the Bitmoji classrooms, but they have taught their students to use the classroom and to be familiar with the learning areas. 

When I looked at Mrs. Hogel’s Bitmoji classroom, she gave all the credit to her fellow teacher, Mrs. McBean.  She said that Samantha McBean had created a virtual classroom and that she taught the other staff members how to use their creativity in developing this unique type of virtual classroom.  When talking about her Bitmoji, Mrs. McBean mentioned that she had “fun learning all the new technology and ways we can use it with our students!”

She continued by saying that, “In the spring when we had to switch to virtual learning I quickly found that I liked creating content and slides to present information to my students. Over the course of our distant learning I was getting better each week creating things and enjoyed doing it.”  Mrs. McBean is not only a fabulous Columbia Elementary School first grade teacher, she presented her “new tricks and ideas” on Flipgrid at the acclaimed Jackson Intermediate School District County-wide technology professional development day: Edtech.

Her expertise in integration of technology into teaching and learning propelled her to present a seminar “on creating with Google slides at the August Columbia School District professional development day.”  She said that she “put together a cheat sheet of most of the things I have learned and shared that with my colleagues to help them navigate Google slides and create a Bitmoji classroom.”

As I spoke to Mrs. McBean about her time with her students at Columbia Elementary School, she mentioned that she “teaches first grade at Columbia and loves this age group. They are fun and engaging and love learning the new technology with me.”  Mrs. McBean is a wonderful teacher and she epitomizes the Columbia Vision: “Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow.”  If you are interested in learning more about Columbia and our programs, email me at or call 517.592.6641.

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