Monday, June 06, 2011

June 2011 EdTech News

Thanks to all of you who have attending our EdTech Leadership Meetings throughout the year(s). Your dedication and expertise are so very much appreciated! I hope your summer is filled with exciting adventures!

Events and Professional Development

June 8 or June 16, 2011 Getting Started with iPad Workshops
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Soto Street Lab,
2151 N Soto St
Los Angeles CA 90032
(also June 9th at Valley Region EL #6, Panorama City or June 15th at Peary Delta Center in Gardena).
Description from the website:
 FREE Professional Development Seminar hosted by LAUSD EdTech and presented by Apple Education
In this 90 minute session we'll cover:
  •  Using the on screen keyboard, including editing tools like cut, copy, paste, and undo
  • Connecting to wireless networks
  • Installation of the LAUSD Root SSL Certificate
  • Connecting to your e-mail account
  • Presenting with the iPad and your VGA projector
  • Apple's Free “Find my iPad” service
  • Using Apple's Safari Web Browser
  • Recording Video with iPad 2
Please visit the website for directions on registering for this workshop.

Update: June 9,  2011 SMARTBoard User Group - Canceled 
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Stevenson Middle School

Join us for the final UserGroup meeting of the year. Learn some great tips on using the SMARTBoard in the classroom. If you are planning on attending, please let me know.

June 10, 2011 Apple iPad Webinar 
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
From the list Email:
Our seminar host is Michael Wells, Director of Technology for Vallecitos Union School District. He will describe a variety of factors that have made the iPad program a powerful way to use Apple’s innovative technology to transform teaching and learning.

By the end of the seminar, you will
    •  Understand how iPad devices are providing rich, interactive content - apps, books, internet browsing, video and media tools.
    • Hear techniques and tools for managing iPad content.
    • Learn from an early adopter how the iPad is redefining teaching and learning through a personalized, highly engaging approach for students and teachers alike!
    • Participate in a live chat for Q&A.
Click on the registration link to reserve your space!
Register URL:   <>

For assistance, email
PDF Flyer

June 11, 2011 iFest 2011
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mulholland Middle School
Come join us for the first ever iFest, a conference on Mobile/Tablet Technologies.
From the website:
If you have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or a droid, join us for a day of learning. These mighty devices are changing the world! Let's figure out how to make them work for education. We will have sessions about personal use, best classroom practices, how to set up sets of iDevices, ePublishing, Classroom Responders and lots more. Click HERE to register.
I hope to see you there. It's going to be fun!

August 2-3, 2011 SMART Content Creation 2 Day Seminar 
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. LA County Office of Education
Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity! From the email from Angela Folendorf, Education Consultant, SMART Technologies:
Thanks to our gracious hosts at the Los Angeles Office County of Education, we are able to offer this free two day seminar. Please send this opportunity out to your intermediate/ advanced teachers. Space is limited to 100 spots.


Enhance your ability to create professional and interactive SMART Notebook lesson activities.  During this seminar you will learn tips and tricks for using SMART Notebook software’s interactive tools and Lesson Activity Toolkit.  You will create lessons that can be shared with educators and uploaded to the SMART Exchange.
SMART’s experts will be on hand throughout the seminar to guide and assist in your lesson creation.  You must bring a laptop to create lessons.  No laptops will be provided onsite.  We also encourage you to bring any curriculum materials you might need, such as teacher guides and supplemental materials.

The seminar is open to intermediate and advanced SMART users.  Complete the application by Tuesday, July 5, 2011.  Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Participation in both days of the seminar is required.

Lunch and parking will be provided.  Dress code is casual.

Dates and Location:

LACOE Ed Center West 606A
12830 Columbia
Downey, CA 90242
08/02/2011 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM
08/03/2011 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Cost: free

Target Audience: Classroom Teacher


Technology Gems

 If You Were on Twitter by Scott McLeod
This post really gets at what Twitter is all about, and why it can empower teachers with collaborative learning opportunities for themselves, like no other tool. Click on some of links to see the wealth of information you can find in just one day!

A Google a Day - One new question is asked a day. Search the web to find the answer, then submit. A great tool for all learners!
Google Scribe - This site uses predictive text to help writers complete words and phrases. An excellent classroom tool!
Google Apps Training Programs
This resource helps you to become an expert in Google Apps for Education. (Our student MyMail system is a Google Apps for Education program.) The Google Apps Training Program consists of online curriculum, qualification exams, and certified trainer status. Study the curriculum, pass the exams, then apply to become a Google Certified Trainer! Even if you don't desire to become a Google Certified Trainer, the curriculum on this site is excellent for anyone who would like to learn more about this powerful suite of tools that you can use in your classroom.

InfoGraphics as Creative Assessments by Kathy Schrock This site is a rich resource for learning how to use Infographics as creativity tools and assessment tools in the classroom.

Horizon Report K-12
The third annual Horizon Report K-12 is now online. This report predicts the trends in educational technology and how those might affect the classroom. The major trend to watch in the near future is: MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES. How will we use these in the classroom? How can we best engage the learner? These are questions that need to be addressed. This article  by Daniel Donahoo explains it well.
The image below is a chart analyzing the Higher Ed Horizon report, which has been published since 2004. This chart comes from jochen_robes on Flickr. It looks like the predictions from the past Horizon Reports are all fairly accurate! (Click on the image to see a larger chart.)

Have a great summer, everyone!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 2011 EdTech News

On April 30, teachers and students in LAUSD came to the Los Angeles Convention Center to present to over 3,000 educators, administrators, community members and parents how they are learning with technology. Thanks to all of you for making this such an amazing event! Some teachers have shared sites of student published work. Here are some of the examples of outstanding work that our students presented at InfoTech. Bravo! Visit the entire page at:

SMARTBoard Users Group - May 12th, 4:00 - 5:30 Stevenson Middle School
Join us this Thursday for our May SMARTBoard Users Group. Educators support each other as they are learning to use the SMARTBoard in the classroom. Please share this with colleagues at your school. Please download the flyer for distribution.

EdTech Leadership Meeting - May 19th, 4:00 - 5:15 San Miguel Ave. Elementary School
Our last EdTech Leadership meeting of the year will take place next Thursday, May 19th. Bring your favorite application and strategies to share. I'll be sharing what I know about "the cloud" and storage solutions. Come join us as we learn from one another. Thanks to Carlos Gómez and Andrea Johnson, principal, at San Miguel Ave. Elementary for allowing us to meet at their school.

LAUSD and iPad Best Practices Workshops throughout the district!

Click on the COURSES tab
·      Click on CLASS OFFERINGS
·      Select EdTech under PROGRAM and click SEARCH
·      Locate and click on LAUSD iPad Best Practices
·      Click on the orange ENROLL NOW button
·      Look for an email confirmation for session information

From the course description: 
... and with thousands of apps on the App Store, you’re sure to find the perfect one. From math games to vocabulary flash cards to anatomy visualizers, there’s an app for every subject...

But how do you manage and deploy these apps? What about configuring a classroom set of Apple mobile devices to use your LAUSD wireless network? What about getting a volume discount on purchasing apps? Join Apple Education Sr. Systems Engineer Dave Douglas for an in-depth look at planning and deploying and managing iOS devices on your LAUSD campus or department. 

Workshops are from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Soto Street Lab (Near the Local District 5 Offices) May 16, 19, or 26
Peary Delta Center (Near Peary Middle School) May 23
Valley Region Elementary #6, May 25

To fully benefit from this session, it is strongly recommended that you bring an iPad to use during the demonstration.

Grant Opportunities
Money Monday, filled with a wealth of grant resources, is published regularly on LACOE's Instructional Technology Outreach site. Access the latest edition by visiting  Click on LAUSD and login with guest as both the username and password.

Tech Gems
Flip Camera Alternatives
Now that Cisco has terminated the life of our beloved Flip Camcorder, what are the contenders for pocket video cameras? Here are two articles that mentions some worthy replacements:
12 Fabulous Alternatives to the Flip Camera in Education
Flip Alternatives: 5 Great Pocket Videos
How are educators using pocket video cameras in the classroom?
10 Uses of a Flip Video in Education
Forty Interesting Ways to Use Your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom

Digital Citizenship
Common Sense Media recently published an article on digital citizenship called, How Rude! Manners for the Digital Age While the target audience is parents, there are useful tips for educators to share with students as well.

Digital Media - Scoop It
ScoopIt allows you to create an attractive online display of web resources (like the InfoTech publication). Add news and RSS feeds and easily allow this tool to capture and curate resources that can then be used for research. This would be a great tools for students to use to gather resources from social media and news resources.

iPad Resources
I've recently updated my iPad site at I've also been bookmarking some amazing iPad resources lately. Check them out at You can sort the iPad resources by adding tags like "apps", article, or research.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More April 2011 EdTech News Updates

Some Important Events and Information

InfoTech 2011

Please join us for LAUSD's InfoTech 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Saturday, April 30th, from 9-1. There are many wonderful student presentations and teachers who are ready to share best practices with you. It's the best way to learn new ways to use technology in the classroom, by learning from others. Parking is free. Please see for more information.

Video Conferencing Made Easy - Free!
Attend a 3 hour free workshop on video conferencing with one or two other team members from your school and receive a free video-conference unit to use at your school to connect with the world! Sign up early, as this first-come, first served workshop is filling up quickly! There are 2 locations and dates to choose from: May 7th at South Gate Middle School and May 21st at Mulholland Middle School. Both workshops are from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. You can find out more information and register at
Please share the flyers for this opportunity with your colleagues:
Workshop at South Gate Middle School on May 7th
Workshop at Mulholland Middle School on May 21st 

The Great American Teach In - on May 10th
From Chris Lehman on the Huffington Post:
These days, it seems like everyone is talking about how to fix education. Open the paper, turn on the news shows, and you can see billionaires, businessmen, union leaders, former superintendents, and even the occasional teacher and parent talking about how we have to fix our schools. There is, however, a powerful constituency that is missing from the dialogue:
The kids.
From the website:

What is the Great American Teach-In?

A day to remind ourselves and our students that citizenship means asking questions, finding answers and standing up for what you believe in... and that education must mean that too.
Every classroom, every student, every school... draft a declaration of educational rights.

Join students and educators everywhere to post your declaration of rights in education. The site has resources like essential questions with prompts, plans, and icebreakers. Join and let your student voices be heard!

I don't know if I really want to make a connection here, but ...:

Be Heard School Grant!
From the website:
The Be Heard School Grant recognizes the importance of being heard in the classroom.  Voice amplification is an effective, affordable, and measurable tool for improving teaching and learning for all students in all subjects.  Research has also shown that classroom voice amplification can dramatically reduce special education referrals (up to 40%)

Grant Details:
 -  Calypso will be giving away $35,000 in portable microphone systems
 -  1 school will receive 30 portable microphone systems 
 -  3 schools will receive 3 portable microphone systems
 -  No installation required!  Just plug in and use!

Application Deadline: May 20th, 2011

 Click here for more information and to submit a Be Heard application
Apply Now!
Other Grants

Money Monday, filled with a wealth of grant resources, is published regularly on LACOE's Instructional Technology Outreach site. Access the latest edition by visiting  Click on LAUSD and login with guest as both the username and password.

Tech Gems
 LAUSD's own Mathew Needleman has created two outstanding tools to aid students in reading:
Reading Remedies, an app for the iPad,  iPhone, or iPod Touch 
From the web page:
Diagnose areas of potential reading difficulty and support beginning readers with Reading Remedies! 
Quick and easy assessments you can conduct in each of six areas of literacy: rhyming, blending, segmentation, fluency, and word attack. 
Suggested follow-up activities to teach specific skills in each area as well as complete lists of sight words, common prefixes, suffixes, and vowel combinations are included.
Fluency Timer, for Mac OS 10.5+
Record, playback, and save one minute fluency readings. This tool can really help students boost their fluency levels. Studies have shown that this type of process can boost fluency levels significantly. This is a great tool for the busy teacher who wants students to get that extra support that digital tools can offer.
Check out these and other outstanding resources on Mathew's website at

CoSketch - This collaborative tool allows learners to work together on a whiteboard-like environment. Background images can be uploaded for annotation. It also has support for using Google Maps as a background. Work can be shared by weblink or can be embedded elsewhere. The best part? It's free!

Comic for the Day
The question this comic makes me ask is:
How are we changing the learning environments in our schools to include these types of tools? How about you?

Contact Information
Janice Stearns
EdTech ITAF, liaison in support of Local Districts 5 and 6
janice.stearns (at)