About Brightspace

  • orange circle with a white letter b in the middle to the left of the words brightspace by d2l in black

    AACPS' new learning management system (LMS), Brightspace by D2L, will be the new online teaching and learning platform this fall. With seamless integration of Google Suite tools, Brightspace allows for a more customized and intuitive experience to deliver instruction and communicate with students and families. After testing by AACPS teachers throughout the winter of 2021 and districtwide professional development in the Spring semester of 2021, Brightspace is primed to offer an effective, dynamic learning and communications hub to make successful and meaningful home-school connections.

    Visit https://www.d2l.com/resources/videos/ to peruse videos about how Brightspace is used in other education organizations.


    WINTER 2021

    • Cohorts of educators across multiple disciplines begin testing and providing feedback.
    • Training begins for cohort leaders who have volunteered to train their colleagues.
    • All courses are taught via Google Suite with Blackboard curriculum tools.

    SPRING 2021

    • Large-scale training sessions begin to be completed prior to the end of the school year.
    • Blackboard courses are converted and transferred.
    • Blackboard communities are transitioned.
    • Courses are taught in Google Suite with Blackboard curriculum tools, except for a select number of courses that are taught in Brightspace.

    SUMMER 2021

    • Brightspace slowly and smoothly merged as the primary learning management system for course teaching.
    • Blackboard still available to instructors to gather old material.
    • Some courses taught in Brightspace and some taught in Google Suite.
    • Families receive information and online tutorials about Brightspace.

    FALL 2021

    • In September and October, all students and teachers will familiarize themselves with Brightspace.  Teachers will be populating their Brightspace folders with resources and assignments.
    • In November (beginning Quarter 2), all families – parents and guardians – will be invited to join the Brightspace communities of their students.

A Brighter Summer

  • What is Brightspace?

    Brightspace is a learning management system (LMS) that teachers and students use for online teaching and learning. Scroll to the bottom of www.aacps.org/lms for a description of a LMS. This video provides a helpful explanation.

  • Why did AACPS get a new LMS? Why is a move from Google Classroom to Brightspace necessary?

    Although Google Classroom has been a useful tool, Brightspace has more functionality and power when delivering instruction. Check out this video to get a sneak peak of some of the amazing features!

    The fully accessible and scalable Brightspace platform will provide several key advantages to AACPS’ community of educators and learners, including:

    • Substantial improvements in performance, responsiveness and reliability
    • A simpler interface and more intuitive assignment feedback
    • 24/7 technical support for faculty, staff and students
    • Data visualization tools that help instructors understand how students are interacting with, and performing in, courses
    • Updates and new features that are predictably and regularly implemented without outages and without AACPS’ staff needing to debug and test the changes
    • A more simplified and consistent experience for students

  • When will teachers and students begin using Brightspace?

    Brightspace will be the teaching and learning platform at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

  • What tools and materials will be moving to Brightspace?

    Curriculum, content, and classroom instructional tools will be migrated to the new LMS. The suite of Google assets and tools will be integrated for seamless use by teachers, students, and families.

  • What will Google Classroom look like in Brightspace?

    Here's a video overview of what to expect with Google Classroom integration in Brightspace: Google Assignments Overview in Brightspace.

  • How do I access Brightspace as a student? What is my username and password?

    Students should use the Brightspace link at brightspace.aacps.org which can also be accessed from the Students main landing page at www.aacps.org (just like ClassLink). Students should use the same student identification numbers and passwords that are used to log into ClassLink.

  • How do I use Brightspace as a student?

    These videos are helpful tools for students looking for an overview of how to use Brightspace.

  • Is there a Brightspace app for students?

    Brightspace Pulse on the App StoreYes! Brightspace Pulse is a mobile app that helps students keep track of important information. The app provides news, deadlines, and assignment grades in one convenient location so that students spend less time organizing and more time learning. 

  • Where can I get support for using Brightspace?

    The Office of Instructional Technology is available to assist educators with Brightspace inquiries. Summer Hours for Brightspace SupportThere will also be daily and evening office hours available into the school year. 

    You may also email BrightspaceSupport@aacps.org with specific questions/concerns about Brightspace. 

  • What training is available for Brightspace? When will training take place?

    Training will be delivered and offered in Spring 2021 (April 7, May 12, and June 2), during the Summer of 2021, and reinforced during the fall semester of 2021 via Unifed Talent. Along with Brightspace training, additional modules will be developed and made available along the journey. Teachers will not be expected to use Brightspace without training.

  • How do I access Brightspace as a teacher? What is my username and password?

    Teachers can use the url, brightspace.aacps.org, which can also be accessed via their ClassLink profiles. Teachers use their usual AACPS log-in credentials  as they do for ClassLink and their AACPS devices.

  • I was part of Cohort 1 or 2. Will I lose content that I created in my sandbox once full implementation is in place?

    No. Active Directory will allow for the test and production sites to populate profiles for users.

  • Will Brightspace be connected to PowerSchool, especially the gradebook?

    Ultimately, Brightspace will have connections to the Google Suite for Education, PowerTeacher Pro Gradebook, PowerSchool Performance Matters, the AACPS Parent Portal, our professional development Learn-Grow-Succeed platform, as well as all learning support tools for students. There is no defined timeline for when all of these tools will be fully integrated with Brightspace.

  • When full in-person learning resumes, will Brightspace be used?

    Yes, Brightspace is the teaching and learning platform to be used by all educators to begin the 2021-2022 school year. This platform is the primary instructional tool regardless of instructional delivery method or circumstances. Its vast capabilities afford educators to move seamlessly between delivery modes.

  • Will other software systems still be used?

    Yes, the following tools will be still be used in complement to Brightspace:

    • PowersSchool SIS
    • PowerSchool Gradebook Pro
    • Performance Matters
    • Unified Talent

  • Will all of the curriculum items from Blackboard be in Brightspace?

    Yes, all current curriculum documents in Blackboard will be migrated to Brightspace. Blackboard will be available through the summer of 2021. Negotiations are taking place to extend the current contract with Blackboard to possibly allow more time for the migration and transition.

  • How long will teachers have to export and transfer content from Blackboard to Brightspace?

    Teachers with Blackboard content will be notified well in advance in order to move their content to the new platform. If a teacher needs help moving a course to Brightspace, contact Dan Hochradel, dhochradel@aacps.org.

  • I am enrolled as an adult learner in Blackboard for a self-paced course offered through the Professional Development office. Will I lose my work/ progress?

    The Office of Professional Growth and Development is working closely with the Brightspace implementation team to ensure seamless integration. Timelines and further information regarding how the integration will affect users will be communicated as soon as possible and applicable.

  • Where can I get support for using Brightspace?

    As with all technological systems, students can call or email the Help Desk at 410-222-5135 or Help-Desk@aacps.org. You may also email BrightspaceSupport@aacps.org with specific questions/concerns about Brightspace. The Office of Instructional Technology is also available to assist educators with Brightspace inquiries. Summer Hours for Brightspace Support

  • Where can I get additional help with using Brightspace?

    AACPS educators who need help with Brightspace can contact BrightspaceSupport@aacps.org or review the available office hours in their Brightspace profiles. The Brightspace Community (https://community.brightspace.com/s/) is a resource where Brightspace users can connect. This is a D2L-sponsored site that houses modules and external resources and a space for self-directed inquiry.

  • Is there an app for students?

    Brightspace Pulse on the App StoreYes! Brightspace Pulse is a mobile app that helps students keep track of important information. The app provides news, deadlines, and assignment grades in one convenient location so that students spend less time organizing and more time learning. 

What is an LMS?

  • blue background with gold lettering that reads learning management system (LMS) above laptop on left with paper/pen on right A Learning Management System is multimedia environment designed to support all aspects of learning – from curriculum authoring and curating to building a student-centered virtual or hybrid learning environment, to assessing and tracking academic student growth, to offering creative tools for students to use to build and showcase their learning….. and much, much, more.  Features include web-based conferencing, dynamic learning dashboards where students, families, and teachers can track student engagement and achievement, communication tools to support teacher-student-family connection and interaction, and easy access to lessons, assignments, learning resources, and assessed work/grades.  There are also customizable learning spaces where students can come together to collaborate with the support from their teacher or teacher aide.  The LMS is a dynamic space and set of tools to support robust student-centered learning environments where students and their teachers can navigate learning together with ease.