Wednesday, October 25, 2006

October Updates

Hello Instructional Technology Leaders,
Here are a few important updates for October:

  1. Technology Leaders Virtual Symposium - November 1st
    The Technology Leaders Virtual Symposium on student email will take place on Nov. 1st at South Gate Middle School from 3:45 - 5:15. This will be our November meeting, so there will be no meeting on November 16th. For more details, look at the previous post.

  2. ITO Showcase of Services - October 27th
    This Friday, October 27th, Instructional Technology Outreach (ITO) will present its 2nd annual Showcase of Services. The keynote speaker will be California State Senator Nell Soto, D-Pomona, and District 32.

    The Showcase of Services is designed to provide education technology leaders, administrators, and teachers helpful information, resources, and professional development to implement emerging technologies, such as iPods, podcasting and handhelds to improve teaching and learning. Come join us for breakfast, hands-on sessions, poster sessions and door prizes.

    October 27, 2006
    7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Los Angeles County Office of Education
    9300 Imperial Highway, Downey 90242

    REGISTER TODAY for this FREE event or
    call (562) 922-6216

  3. CUELA Conference - October 28th
    There's still time to register for this wonderful opportunity to learn more about how to use technology as a tool in the classroom. Come join us this Saturday.

  4. BTS and Internet 7 (per Diana Liston, ITD)
    If you are a current or future Business Tools for Schools (BTS) user, do not download and install the upgrade to Internet Explorer Version 7. Although this upgrade may function well with other District applications, it has been determined that this upgrade is not currently compatible with the BTS software. This upgrade may be sent to you through the normal Microsoft Windows Update process.

    If you have your computer set to automatically download recommended updates and install them, you will need to make the following changes to your Windows Update. Instructions for how to change your setting for Windows 2000 and Windows XP users are provided on the LAUSDnet Homepage (in the LAUSD News section).

    If you have already upgraded to IE7, instructions to uninstall are here or in the helpdesk website.

  5. Waterford Support
    per Mark Pompey at ITD Help Desk
    For those sites that are using the Waterford software here at the District, we have setup a new page dedicated to Waterford and any support items related to it. This page can be found in the TechReps section of the ITD Technical Support site:

    One item that should be noted on this page is the special number for LAUSD support of Waterford - (888) 977-7111. This number can be used for any issue related to Waterford. Hardware or Software, warranty or non-warranty issues are handled at this number. Pearson Digital Learning, who handles this support for the District has also provided additional contact information on this page.

  6. LAUSD's Infotech - April 21st, 2007
    Mark your calendars now for LAUSD's annual instructional technology event. Start planning now to showcase your student projects. More details will be coming soon.

  7. K-12 Online Conference - October 23 - 27 and Oct. 30 - Nov. 3
    This unique, free, online conference has begun. There are many quality sessions from which to choose. Check out the rich resources and join in the conversation.
Please share these items with staff and parents.

Contact Information
Janice Stearns
ITAF, LAUSD Local District 6, Office of Instruction
Phone: (323)278-4903
E-mail: janice.stearns (at)

LAUSD Charge:
To fundamentally improve the interaction between the teacher and the student to create critical thinkers prepared to participate in a diverse and complex society.

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please notify me.
Approved by Sharon Sweet, Administrator of Instruction, LAUSD Local District 6

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Technology Leaders' Virtual Symposium on November 1, 2006

Please join us next Wednesday, on Nov. 1st, at 3:45 p.m. at South Gate Middle School for a Virtual Technology Symposium about student email. Please invite all interested staff and parents to this important event.

Per Rudy Rizo,
Instructional Technology Branch
ITD - Educational Technology

Please join us for the next Technology Leaders' Virtual Symposium on November 1, 2006 from 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at any one of the eight locations throughout the District listed on the attached flier. The focus of this symposium will be student email.

Since its inception, LAUSDnet has been one of a few districts in the nation that has sought to supplement the instructional program by making email accounts available for student use. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion on the type of email systems and functions schools would like to see being used in classrooms. The next virtual symposium will continue this discussion with students, parents, teachers, and administrators via a District-wide video conference (virtual symposium) focusing on student email.

If you have any questions or would like to RSVP for the event please contact your local district ITAF or contact the ITD Educational Technology Group at (213) 241-3837

Thursday, October 12, 2006

October 2006 Instructional Technology News

Welcome Educational Technology Leaders to the October 2006 issue of Local District 6's Instructional Technology Newsletter.

Table of Contents

  1. Instructional Technology Leadership Meetings
  2. Important Announcements and Updates
  3. Professional Development Opportunities
  4. Grants and Funding
  5. Technology Gems
  6. Contact Information
Instructional Technology Leadership Meetings
List of Upcoming Meetings:
October 19th - Bell High School, Room S4 - Topics: Grants, News, Collaboration, RSS
November 1st* - South Gate Middle School - Topic: Student E-Mail
*Please note change from Thursday November 16th. See explanation below.
January 18th -
February 15th -
March 15th -
April 19th - Bell High School - Possibe Topic: Vendor Fair
May 17th - SouthEast High School

Information about Upcoming Meetings:
  • Thanks to all those who were able to attend our first meeting on September 21st at San Miguel Elementary. We worked together to come up with some ideas for our future meetings. They are listed below:
    • Grants - We would like to find out more information about grants, some tips for writing successful grants, and some examples of good proposals.
    • More central ITD news and announcements
    • More sharing resources, successful projects, collaboration among members
    • Small group discussion/sharing and articulation with feeder schools
    • Updates from each school site: successes, learning experiences, etc.
    • Professional development opportunities
  • *Our November 16th meeting has been changed to Wednesday, November 1st from 3:45 - 5:15. This district-wide Virtual Symposium will be conducted through video-conferencing. Our topic will be LAUSD student email. Our District 6 location will be at South Gate Middle School. More details about this very important district-wide meeting will be coming soon.
  • We still need school site volunteers for upcoming meetings. Please find out if your school might be able to host our January, February, or March meetings. It would really be appreciated.
  • Our next meeting will be Thursday, October 19th, at Bell High School, in Room S4. We will have a guest speaker, Ms. Patricia Sanford, from Tech Ed Services. She will offer some tips for writing successful grants and engage with us in a discussion about grants and grant writing. We hope to see you there.
Important Announcements and Updates
  • K-12 Ed Tech Voucher Program (aka: the Microsoft Settlement)
    LAUSD has begun the process for obtaining the K-12 Ed Tech Voucher program, a six year funding program resulting from the Microsoft settlement from several years ago. Dialogue has already begun with Local District Superintendents and other key stakeholders on how these vouchers will be distributed and utilized. There are several multimedia resources that offer more information:
    • A video-podcast of the recent board meeting discussing the K-12 EdTech Voucher program. The podcast can be found at:
      You will need iTunes, a free cross-platform podcast player, to subscribe to the podcast. The video comes in two parts and both are rather large. It would be best to download these videos using a broadband connection.
    • An audio podcast from John Rivera, ITAF for Local District 5, explaining the K-12 EdTech voucher program. You can also use iTunes to subscribe to this podcast feed at: District 5 Podcast.
    • You do not need an iPod to watch/listen to these podcasts. You can watch the videos on your computer and listen to the audio either on your computer or any mp3 player.
  • Battery Recall on Dell and Apple Laptops
    • Check LAUSD's Tech Rep page to see if your laptop is included in this battery recall.
Professional Development Opportunities
  • Workshops and Courses
    • CTAP LACOE's Tech Academies
      These 5 day tech academies, that you attend during your off-track time, are a great way to learn to use technology as a tool in the classroom. You can receive a $400 compensation fee to attend these academies. Sign up for Level 1 Tech Academies or Level 2 Tech Academies.
    • UPDATE through the LearningZone
      UPDATE courses are free to all LAUSD employees. Learn and earn salary points for courses. Courses this month include: Inspiration, Using Digital Images, Internet Safety, and Email in the Classroom.
    • LACOE Workshops
      LACOE Workshops are a good way to learn about the rapidly developing technology tools available to educators. There are courses in Moodle, Photoshop, Clay Animation, and even a Podcast Workshop for Administrators. Register and start learning.
  • Conferences
    • CUELA Conference - Saturday, October 27th
      Computer-Using Educators of Los Angeles (CUELA) and California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP) Region 11 at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) will hold the 2006 Technology Fair, a hands-on instructional technology event for educators throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. There's still time to register for this outstanding conference.
    • K-12 Online Conference - Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30- Nov. 3
      Come join this unique, free, online conference to learn in new ways how to best engage students using technology as a tool. A must is to attend the keynote by David Warlick on October 16th. Check the website for updated details.
    • CUE Conference - Sharing the Summit - March 1-3, Palm Springs, CA
      Registration is now open for one of the California Computer Using Educators Conference. Mark your calendar and complete your registration early! I hope to see you there.
    • NECC 2007 - June 25th - 27th - Atlanta, Georgia
      Registration for the National Education Computing Conference is now open.
Grants and Funding

From Edutopia's Newsletter:
      Prudential Financial awards students in grades 5-12 for their involvement with their community. State honorees receive $1,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, and National honorees receive an additional $5,000; the deadline is October 31. For more information visit
From E-School News Online:
Target Field Trip Grants
  • Deadline: November 1, 2006

    The new Target Field Trip Grants program will award U.S. educators grants of $1,000 each to fund a field trip for their students. Target Field Trip Grants may be used to fund trips ranging from visits to art museums and environmental projects to cultural events and civic experiences.

    Up to eight hundred grants will be awarded. Grants are awarded to educators, teachers, principals, para-professionals, and/or classified staff.
    (via Chrystal Maggiore, IMaST Lead Coach, Gage MS)
Technology Gems
  • K-5
    • Interactive Math Dictionary
      Terms are each defined by an interactive activity that helps clarify the definition.
    • Reading Rockets - Author Podcasts
      This site is rich with resources for teachers and young readers. I especially like the video podcast interviews with authors such as Jack Prelutsky, Eve Bunting, R.L. Stine, and many others.
  • Secondary
    • An eighth grade history teacher in Missouri, Eric Langhorst, has an outstanding podcast called Speaking of History. His most recent project is a book study to explore the book, Guerrilla Season, by Pat Hughes. This is a story about what life was like in Missouri during the Civil War times. He as invited interested educators and students across the globe to read this book together and reflect on that reading on the blog, The Guerrilla Season Book Blog. The author of the book, Pat Hughes, will also actively participate in this project. Listen to the podcast explaining this project. Not only is this a fantastic opportunity to actively engage students in authentic learning about the civil war, but is an excellent model for other similar projects.
  • K-12
  • Educators - Some reading materials as food for thought
    • The New Face of Learning
      This articulate article, written by Will Richardson for Edutopia Magazine, examines how the new interactivity of the Read-Write Web is changing the way we interact with information in business and for entertainment. How can we use these powerful tools to engage our students in the classroom?
    • Ed-Tech has been proven effective
      From E-school News comes this compelling article summarizing the recent study produced by Cisco Systems and Metiri Group, entitled, "Technology in Schools, What the Research Says". This summary and accompanying report examines which practices are most effective and which aren't.
Contact Information
Janice Stearns
ITAF, LAUSD Local District 6, Office of Instruction
Phone: (323)278-4903
E-mail: janice.stearns (at)

Paul Burns
ITAF, Instructional Technology Branch
Phone: (213) 219-0836
E-mail: paul.burns (at)

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please notify me.
Approved by Sharon Sweet, Administrator of Instruction, LAUSD Local District 6

Technorati Tag: lausd

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

September 2006 Instructional Technology News

Welcome Instructional Technology Leaders,
Here's the news about instructional technology in District 6 for September 2006:

Table of Contents:
  1. Instructional Technology Leadership Meetings
  2. Important Announcements, Links, and Updates
  3. Professional Development Opportunities
  4. Grants and Funding
  5. Technology Gems
  6. Contact Information
Instructional Technology Leadership Meetings
  • Our first meeting of the year will be on Thursday, September 21st, at San Miguel Elementary, from 3:45 - 5:15. During this meeting, we will discuss how we can promote the use of instructional technology in our schools and with our colleagues. We will work together to focus on what are your needs and expected outcomes for our future meetings. Please attend and invite all who are interested to attend. It would be wonderful to have representatives from every school attend so we could promote communication across feeder schools. Of course, pizza, candy, and other assorted health food will be provided. I hope to see you there.
  • Future meetings will be held on the third Thursday of the month, except December and June. All meetings are from 3:45 - 5:15. Please volunteer your school to host one of our upcoming meetings:October 19th, November 16th, January 18th, February 15th, March 15th, April 19th, May 17th - SouthEast High School.

Important Announcements, Links, and Updates

New Central ITAF
  • Paul Burns will be joining our team as the new Central ITAF in support of Local District 6. Please join me in welcoming him to our team. You can meet him at our upcoming meeting on September 21st.
  • Paul and I will be visiting every school in District 6 in the next few months. We will be meeting with your principal to discuss how we can support instructional technology at your school. We would like to visit your classrooms during our visit. Please contact me for more information.
Best Practices Podcast
  • All of you are doing outstanding work with your students. We want to highlight that wonderful work in a new District 6 podcast about Best Practices in the Classroom. We would like to interview you and your students about the work you are doing, especially using technology as a tool. If you are interested in participating, please contact me.
College and Career Prep Resource for Middle and High School Students
  • University of California College Prep Online offers free test prep for SAT/ACT. Also, the free online registration allows students to explore careers and their related college prep requirements, in addition to California colleges that offer courses related to that career. It also enables students to find out and track which courses offered at their school will help them reach their career goals. Try it out by completing the free online registration. Users must be 13 years of age or older to register. If you are a middle school teacher, you might want to explore this resource as a group activity.
  • The E-Pals contract ends this school year. Email solutions that differ from the present are being considered for both teachers and students. What are your preferences and/or recommendations? Please leave a comment on this blog, bring your comments to our upcoming meeting, or contact me.
EdTechProfile Survey
  • It is very important to encourage ALL educators at your school to complete the EdTech Profile online. This needs to be updated at least once per school year. The best time to do this is at the beginning of the school year. Various state and federal funding programs are related to the completion of this survey.
Professional Development Opportunities
  • CUELA Conference Saturday, October 28th
    Computer-Using Educators of Los Angeles (CUELA) and California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP) Region 11 at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) will hold the 2006 Technology Fair, a hands-on instructional technology event for educators throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. (Among the many presenters will be a Web 2.0 hands-on workshop offered by Youssef Elias and me.) Register now! This is a great conference.
    Check out LAUSD's Learning Zone for great classes offered free to you. You can earn salary points for these courses. You need to be within the firewall to register for these courses.
  • LACOE's CTAP Workshops
    These workshops are offered at a nominal fee (usually $25.00 and well worth it) and are a wonderful opportunity to learn new technologies.
  • K-12 Online Conference - Unleashing the Potential Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30- Nov. 3
    This free, online conference will be an exciting opportunity to learn about Web 2.0 technologies and how they can impact student learning. An outstanding team of educators from around the world will bring this conference to you completely online. A call for proposal submissions is online now. I will be attending this conference, not only to learn from experts, but also to see how this new conference format works. Come join in the fun. The web is changing our educational options in exciting new ways!
  • CUE Conference - Sharing the Summit - March 1-3, Palm Springs, CA
    Early-bird registration is now open for one of the best technology conferences in the United States- The California Computer Using Educators Conference! Mark your calendar and complete your registration early! I hope to see you there.
  • NECC 2007 - June 25th - 27th - Atlanta, Georgia
    Registration for the National Education Computing Conference will be open this month. Last year was my first time attending, and it was outstanding. What a great opportunity to network with people from all over the world and learn from the best!
Grants and Funding
  • As I find grant opportunities, I have been bookmarking them in our community social bookmarking resource at Find them here. Please add to the list if you know of any others. (If you don't have the username and password for our account, please contact me.)
  • Also, if you know about anyone in our local district who has been awarded a grant for funding technology projects, please let me know. I would like to announce them here.
  • One I know about is: Carlos Gomez, San Miguel Ave. Elementary
    He was awarded the CTAP grant last spring, and is working with his students on a water conservation project. Congratulations, Mr. Gomez!

Technology Gems
  • Google News Archive Search
    Google now has an archive search that will allow you to explore news archives for the past 200 years. An added feature is the ability to see the news you search in timeline form. This is another rich resource from Google that has so much potential for classroom use!
  • The new beta Blogger
    If you are reading this on my blog, you will notice the new design changes that Google has added to their free blogging tool. They have made if very easy to add page and design elements with just the push of a button. If you want to start a professional type educator blog, this tool is very easy to use. Also, Edublogs is a wonderful tool for educator professional blogs.
Contact Information

Janice Stearns
ITAF, LAUSD Local District 6, Office of Instruction
Phone: (323)278-4903
E-mail: janice.stearns(at)

Paul Burns
ITAF, Instructional Technology Branch
Phone: (213) 219-0836
E-mail: paul.burns(at)

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please notify me.

Technorati Tags: k12online lausd wikispaces

Approved by Sharon Sweet, Administrator of Instruction, LAUSD Local District 6

Friday, August 11, 2006

August 2006 Technology News

Dear District 6 Technology Leaders,

Welcome to our first technology newsletter blog of the 2006-2007 year. Remember that you can subscribe to this newsletter by either subscribing to the RSS feed in your favorite news aggregator (I use Bloglines) or by subscribing through Feedblitz to have it delivered by e-mail.

Table of Contents
  1. Technology Leadership Meetings
  2. Important Announcements/Updates
  3. Professional Development Opportunities
  4. Grant and Funding Opportunities
  5. Technology Gems
  6. Contact Information
Technology Leadership Meetings
This year, all of our meetings will be on the third Thursday of the month, from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. Our first meeting, on Thursday, September 21st, is tentatively scheduled at San Miguel Elementary. If you would like to host a meeting at your school during the school year, please let me know. We would love to visit your school!
Please mark these dates on your calendar for our Technology Leadership Meetings:
September 21 - San Miguel,
October 19th, November 16th, January 18th, February 15th, March 15th, April 19th,
May 17th - SouthEast High School.
There will be no meetings in December or June.
I'm looking forward to working with all of you this coming year. Please invite all who are interested in using technology as a tool for instruction to attend the meetings. All are welcome.

Important Announcements/Updates
  • Computer Contracts/Companies
    LAUSD has contracts for the following computer companies:
    Dell, HP, IBM/Lenovo, Gateway, and Apple.
  • Student Email and Discussion Forum Accounts
    If you would like to use email and discussion forums with your students, the district offers student email accounts and discussion forums through E-pals. If you would like more details on how to begin creating student accounts, please contact me.

  • Ed Tech Profile
    Please have all staff members complete the EdTech Profile. The availability of state and federal technology funding are related to the completion of this profile. LAUSD requires 100% of staff to complete this survey.

  • Equipment Give-Away
    A very thoughtful teacher at one of our local high schools would rather give away older equipment than have it go to salvage. If anyone is interested in the following, please contact me:
    11 Mac Powerbook G3's, 233 MHz (Mac OS 9)
    4 Mac PowerBook G3's, 300MHz
    5 Tangent F7400 Series Notebook PC
    3 Toshiba Satellite 2210 cdt
    22 Palm M125 PDA's
    21 Palm M500's
    5 Visors
    28 iPaq 3650's - All in carrying bags
    Not all the PDA's have cradles and/or sync cables.
    This equipment is offered as is. All was in working condition when last checked.
Professional Development Opportunities
There are several resources that offer professional development opportunities.
  • UPDATE through Learning Zone offers salary point classes in many curricular areas. Classes using tools such as digital images, multimedia, Webquests, Dreamweaver, and PowerPoint are being offered this month.
  • Los Angeles County Office of Education offers many workshops at a nominal fee. This month, there are classes in using handhelds, podcasting, Inspiration, KidPix, and web design.
  • CUE LA Technology Fair - October 28th, 2006
    This is a great opportunity to attend a quality 1-day conference for a nominal feel. Visit the CUE LA Website for more details.
  • I am available to work with your technology leaders in professional development at your school. Please contact me for details.
    • On that note, October brings the promise of a Podcast UPDATE course for Windows, and perhaps September for Macintosh. These courses may be 16 hour-1 salary point courses. If your staff would like something different, please contact me so we can work on the details. More information on these courses will be available shortly.
    • We have digital camera kits available for check out. If you have taken our "Digital Cameras" workshop, you are eligible to check out the kits for a one month period. If your school has not yet made this workshop available, I would like to arrange for this to be possible.
Grants and Funding
  • BestBuy Mini-Grants - Up to $2500 for interactive technology projects. Visit their website for more details.
  • Other Grants and Funding Resources from Edutopia's Website and from CTAP/LACOE's Website
  • Ed Tech K-12 Voucher Program (AKA Microsoft Settlement)
    This voucher program is set to take place this year. Schools will not get funds directly. The district will coordinate use of the vouchers with the intent to leverage vouchers for maximum benefit to schools. More details will be available soon.
Technology Gems
I know I've shared this website with you before, but I think it bears mentioning again because of its usefulness for the classroom and students! is a social bookmarking site, where one can store bookmarks, but also see what bookmarks others are storing. I've been continually adding bookmarks of resources I think teachers might find useful. Also, I've added educators whom I highly respect in my "network". Now I can monitor what they are bookmarking to see if it might be useful for you. If it is, I bookmark it. I hope some of you might consider using this type of tool with your students. The wealth of resources I've found on the web by using this tool is astounding. Resources are categorized on the side by tags and grouped together by subject.

Video Tour of the World by Discovery and Google Earth
This amazing "mashup" (blending of two applications) combines the free-to-download Google Earth with Discovery videos of unforgettable places around the globe. Students can travel to, and then watch videos about those places, all within the Google Earth interface.

South Gate Middle School's Website with RSS Feed
Last year, South Gate Middle School upgraded their website to reflect 21st Century technologies. Now teachers and other staff members can easily update their classroom web space with current homework, news, and other information. I especially like the RSS feed for the News section. I subscribe to this feed in my Bloglines account, and therefore know when any news is posted. It's fun to always learn what new, exciting things are happening at South Gate Middle School. There are lots of wonderful things going on there! Great team effort, South Gate MS.

Contact Information
Janice Stearns
ITAF, LAUSD Local District 6, Office of Instruction
Phone: (323)278-4903
E-mail: janice.stearns(at)

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please notify me.

Approved by Sharon Sweet, Administrator of Instruction, LAUSD Local District 6

Monday, June 19, 2006

June 2006 Technology News

Technology News for June
Summer is here! Many of you are getting ready for vacation. Some of you are getting ready for a new school year. Whatever you will be doing this summer, I wish you the best. Thank you for a wonderful year. It is a pleasure to work in District 6, where dedicated educators work together to engage students in meaningful learning opportunities.
Engaging students in powerful learning using technology as a tool is an exciting endeavor, especially now, with all the new tools that offer teachers and students a vehicle for interactive communication. I look forward to all the exciting possibilites and working with you to make them happen.
Thanks to those of you who supported me this year by hosting meetings, attending after-school meetings, participating in workshops, and working together to find how to best use technology as a tool for learning. I would especially like to thank Rudy Rizo, our Central ITAF in support of Local District 6. His dedication and support has been tremendous. Please join me in congratulating him on his new position as Specialist, Instructional Technology Branch. His influence will be felt for many years to come.

Technology Cadre Meetings
I would like to continue to have meetings on the third Thursday of the month. Our first meeting of the new school year will be in September. If you can host a meeting at your school, please contact me, or leave a comment on the blog. Thanks to those that have already contacted me. I will have a schedule posted in the August newsletter.

Job Opportunities
The Los Angeles Unified School District Information Technology Division, Instructional Technology Branch currently has openings for lead coaches and an ITAF. Position fliers are available at

PLEASE NOTE: The application filing period for these positions has a definite end date of June 30. Please file applications early to avoid missing the deadline. If you have any questions, please call Joe Oliver's office or you can e-mail him directly. (If you need that contact information, please contact me.) All applications must have required materials submitted together as a package. The deadline of June 30 is for RECEIPT of materials (it is not a "postmark by" date).

EdTech Profile
LAUSD requires the every school has 100% completion of the Technology Assessment Profile and the AB75 portion of the EdTech Profile. These two surveys need to be completed once every year in order to be in compliance.
The majority of the schools in District 6 only have about 30% of their staff who have completed the surveys. There are several schools that have 80% to 90% of their staff who have completed the surveys. Thank you to those schools.
Please work with your administration to allow time to complete these surveys. State and federal funding for technology is related to the completion of these surveys. It is highly important that this compliance be met. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Computer Contracts
There is a great podcast by John Rivera, ITAF for Local District 5, that explains about the recent LAUSD computer contracts. His latest podcast, entitled 2006-06, will answer any questions you might have about the contracts. You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes by clicking this link, iTunes Podcast. If you don't have iTunes, you can subscribe in other podcast aggregators by using this link, Local District 5 Podcast.

NECC Conference
Are any of you going the NECC in San Diego on July 5-7? If you are, maybe we can meet one day. Are there any suggestions? Leave a comment or contact me.
I am so excited to be attending this conference. This is the first NECC conference I have ever attended. I plan to blog my conference sessions at My EdTech Story. David Warlick, an expert Ed Tech advocate, is asking everyone who blogs the conference to tag their blogs with NECC or NECC2006. Here's his post on how to do it: Blogging a Conference.
I hope to see you there.
Here's the presenters I want to see:
Alan November
Tim Wilson
David Warlick
Ian Jukes
Kathy Schrock
Will Richardson
David Thornburg
Hall Davidson
Nicholas Negroponte at the Keynote on Thursday.

Grants and Funding Opportunities

The educational software company announces an essay competition for K-12 teachers using technology in the classroom. The winner will receive a computer lab at his or her school, with 8 computers equipped with a library of knowledge adventure software; applications will be accepted through January 2007. For more information visit

Lowe's $2,000 grants go to K-12 schools seeking to improve their science curriculum by engaging students in hands-on experiences outside the traditional classroom. Awards are granted three times a year; the current application cycle runs May 1 through August 31. For more information visit

MET GRANT (from Edutopia)
The Mathematics Education Trust and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) offer grants of up to $8,000 for K-12 mathematics teachers conducting collaborative, in-classroom research. Applicants must be NCTM members, and working in collaboration with a college or university math educator; the deadline for applications is November 3. For more information visit

Book Corner
If I'm not listening to podcasts, I listen to audio books on my commutes. Here are some I would recommend:
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
One that isn't on AudioBook but worth the read is:
A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
If you have any you would like to recommend, please leave a comment.

Contact Information
Janice Stearns
Telephone: (323)278-4903
E-mail: My first name.last name @ (I list it this way to avoid receiving more spam.)

I will post a newsletter in July and August. Our first technology cadre meeting will be in September. Have a great summer!

Approved by Sharon Sweet, Administrator of Instruction, Local District 6

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More May Technology Updates

Podcasting Class Now Open
Would you like to learn how to use podcasting as an engaging classroom tool? A podcasting course is now available on two consecutive Saturdays, June 3rd and June 10th, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at South Gate Middle School. This course will focus on developing podcasts using Apple's iLife '06 suite of products. (Another course will be offered in August that focuses on developing podcasts using the Windows platform.) This one salary point course is offered through UPDATE. If you are new to registering for UPDATE courses through Learning Zone, follow the directions here. The UPDATE course number is 55.21.621 If you are interested in taking this course, please register early to avoid being on a waiting list.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

May Technology News Update

Mission Critical Campaign
There is a national campaign that has been developed in support of restoring funding for EETT (Enhancing Education through Technology). The Mission Critical Campaign has current information in support of this mission. Please pass on this information to colleagues at your school.

BTS and ISIS Computer Rollout
On April 5, every school received paperwork for obtaining two new computers for BTS and ISIS office implementation. The forms need to be returned in order to receive the computers. If your school needs more information about this, please contact me.

Single Sign-On Now in Effect for SOAR, Online Progress Reports, and Web SIS
As per notification on the LAUSD TechRep Listserv:
As of May 1, 2006, the Single Sign-on is in effect for all Online Progress Reports, SOAR, and WEB SIS users. Users are no longer able to use their employee number for their username. At the Log in, users will now enter their ePals username (do NOT enter and ePals password when they log in to enter data for OPR, SOAR, or Web SIS. Teachers - don't wait until the last reporting period window opens (May 26) to find out your ePals username and password. If you need more information on how to find out your ePals username and password, more information can be found here.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Technology News for May 2006

These are the updates for District 6 Technology News for May 2006
(The links in the table of contents below only work when you are reading this newsletter directly on the blog, not in email nor an RSS aggregator.)
  1. Upcoming Technology Cadre Meetings
  2. EdTech Profile
  3. Professional Development Opportunities
  4. District 6 Technology Vendor Fair
  5. Technology Gems

1. Upcoming Technology Cadre Meetings
We have two upcoming meetings:
  • Thursday, May 18th, South East High School 3:45 - 5:15
    Agenda: Digital Library, Planning and Articulation, News and Announcements
    If you would like to add to the agenda, please let me know. Thanks to Devery Rodgers, Technology Coordinator at South East HS, for hosting our meeting at SouthEast HS.
  • Monday, June 5th, Nimitz Middle School 3:45 - 5:45
    Our second Technology Leaders Virtual Symposium will be on ISIS (Integrated Student Information Systems). Please invite anyone at your school who would like some input about ISIS to attend this meeting. Since Elementary schools will be joining ISIS in the very near future, this will be applicable to all schools. Please download the flyer here to distribute at your schools.
I'm looking forward to seeing all of you. Thanks to those who have attended our meetings this year. I really appreciate your support and passion for using technology as a tool in education.

2. Ed Tech Profile
The EdTech Profile needs to be completed by 100% of certificated staff at each school site, according to LAUSD Bulletin 550, dated 10/14/2003. In Local District 6, there are only 8 schools that have at least an 80% completion rate. State and federal funding for technology is related to the completion of this survey. Please emphasize to your staff the importance of completing this survey. Go to: to complete the survey. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact me.

3. Professional Development Opportunities

Check Learning Zone for upcoming courses. Remember that you need to be logged in to Inside LAUSDnet within LAUSD's firewall in order to access Learning Zone.

LACOE's Instructional Technology Outreach Program
Los Angeles County Office of Education is offering many great classes over the next several months for a small fee. If you are interested in taking some classes to learn to use technology as a tool in education, browse their website. You can download a coupon for a selected free class from the last page of their brochure. Please also check their main website for other educational events, such as the Digital Multimedia Workshop, Technology Academies, and Digital Voice Uncut, a celebration of recent grant recipients.

LAUSD's Thacher Summer Institutes
July 9 -14
LAVA (Los Angeles Virtual Academy)
Secondary instructors interested in offering online courses for students should consider this week long course at Thacher in Ojai. Also offered at Thacher is an online course development module, where participants develop online course material for classes. For more information, refer to this brochure.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Module 1 and Module 2
For information regarding this training, please refer to this flyer.
Physical Education Training
Secondary and Elementary school teachers are invited to attend this week long institute to learn the components of a strong Physical Education program. Please see linked flyers for more details. If there are any questions, please contact me. High School, Middle School, Elementary School

July 16 - 21 or July 23 - 28
CaMSP Science Leadership Institute II - SUMMER 2006
There are a few more openings for interested 4th - 8th grade science teachers to attend the week long Science Leadership Institute at Thacher to develop quality science standards-based instruction using technology as a tool. Please see this flyer for more details.

District 6 Technology Vendor Fair
Thanks to all of you who made our vendor fair such a success. We really appreciate all your support. Thanks also to Joe Oliver, Director of Instructional Technology, John Rivera, ITAF for Local District 5, and Cliff Bender, ITAF for Local District 4 for attending. Our hosts at Bell, Tom, Michiko, and Roman were outstanding. Also, a special thanks to all those who arrived early and stayed late to help us with the fair.
Many attendees filled out an online survey to help us better plan the fair for next year. Your valuable input is really appreciated.

Technology Gems
This month, there are several technology gems I would like to share with you.

Free USB Thermometers

Vernier is giving away one free USB Thermometer to every school in the United States in honor of their 25th anniversary. Read this blog post from the Tech Savvy Educator for more information on how to get this very useful tool.

Cookin' with Google
...not exactly educational, but teachers are creative with tools. Enter items from your refrigerator and let Google search find recipes for you to cook. Students could analyze the nutritional value of meals. :-)

NASA Kid's Club
From U Tech Tips (on the side bar of this blog) comes a link for NASA Kid's Club, an interactive website for grades K-5 that has many features about space exploration. I especially like the spin-offs page on level 4, that demonstrates product spin-offs from space inventions. This could be used in the 5th grade Open Court Space unit.

If you would like to add to this post, please use the comments section below.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

April Technology Update

Here's just a few updates...
  1. Technology Vendor Fair - April 20, 2006
  2. Science Teachers in Grades 4 -8 for Summer Institute
  3. ThinkQuest Judges Wanted
  4. Laptop Cart 50-50 Challenge Grant for Elementary Schools

District 6
Technology Vendor Fair
Our vendor fair is this Thursday at Bell HS from 3:45 to 5:15 in the school cafeteria on Pine St. I hope to see all of you there. It will be a great event, where you can network personally with many different vendors. About 14 different vendors will be in attendance. There will be lots of giveaways and some great door prizes that will be raffled at the end. Please invite your colleagues and administrators to also attend. This promises to be a great event, but we need your support and attendance. Please be there!

I would like to thank our hosts at Bell HS, Michiko Sakimoto, Tom Campbell, and Roman for their support and assistance in making this event possible.

If you click on this Bell HS link, it will take you to a hybrid satellite/street map. The school cafeteria is south of Bell Ave on Pine Ave. You will be able to locate it because there will be an IBM Bus parked directly in front of the cafeteria. Parking should be ample on Pine Street.

CaMSP Science Leadership Institute II - SUMMER 2006
Week of July 16—21 or July 23—28
Spend a week this summer working collaboratively with other teachers in a stimulating and challenging educational environment at The Thacher School in Ojai, California. Participants at Teach the Teachers CollaborativeTM (TTTC) Summer Institute will develop their own technology integrated science lessons for practical and immediate use in their classrooms. They will also have an opportunity to update their own technology skills and learn innovative ways to engage their students with technology. For more information, click here: CaMSP Science Leadership Institute

ThinkQuest Judges Wanted
ThinkQuest is looking for volunteers to judge the annual ThinkQuest
Student Competition. ThinkQuest is a competion involving building web informational spaces. Judging takes place (on line) between May 11 and
May 31. See the PDF flyer for all the details.

Laptop Cart 50-50 Challenge Grant
The Riordan Foundation is offering a 50-50 challenge grant on the purchase of laptop carts for elementary schools. This means that the foundation will pay 50% and the school will pay for the other 50%. Read the linked files for more details.

Monday, April 10, 2006

More Technology News for April 2006

More technology news for April:
  • InfoTech Kudos
  • Professional Development - Cisco Training and LAVA
  • Other Areas of Interest - iSafe Summit on Internet Safety, Virtual Town Hall Video, and Dashboard

InfoTECH Kudos

Thanks to all who made InfoTECH such a wonderful success. Thanks to the following individuals for all your hard work and dedication.
Elementary Schools
Loma Vista Elementary - John Slane
San Miguel Elementary - Eduardo Bonilla, Ralph Duran, Linda Myring
Middle Schools
South Gate Middle School - Youssef Elias, Mike Albert, Silvio Vidal, Sandra Bravo
Gage Middle School - David Billett
High Schools
South East High School - Devery Rodgers
Bell High School - Michiko Sakimoto, Joan Dooley, Edgar Medinilla

Thanks, also, to all District 6 educators who attended InfoTECH to see outstanding student projects. I'm looking forward to next year's participation inspired by this year's outstanding presense at InfoTECH.

Professional Development

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Module 1 and Module 2 are now available for LAUSD teachers. Enrollment is limited to current teachers of the Introduction to Networking course seeking to update their instructor certification and teachers who intend to offer the course in the fall of 2006.

Participants must be committed to:
  • Becoming proficient in the use of online digital content
  • Attend the 4 hour kick-off meeting May 17, 2006
  • Complete online coursework and interact with the instructor and other participants on discussion boards
  • Complete online quizzes and tests
  • Attend the 5 day institute at the Thacher school July 9-15
  • Develop engaging standards based lessons
Space is limited. Sign-up ASAP at the Learning Zone . The class is listed under the UPDATE Program.

The class will be held at the Thacher school in Ojai, July 9-14, 2006. The cost of the institute per participant is $1,000 and will be paid by the Instructional Technology Branch. Substitute coverage will not be provided. 1 salary point may be available.

For more information please contact John Kwan, via email at john.kwan @ or via phone 213-241-1278.

Los Angeles Virtual Academy (LAVA): Teachers & Content Developers Wanted

Concept Developers Wanted:
The Instructional Technology Branch is looking for secondary teachers, coaches, specialists and coordinators who are interested in developing content in core academic and advanced placement classes to be delivered online for schools participating in LAUSDÂ’s Los Angeles Virtual Academy (LAVA) program.
Minimum qualifications:
  • District employee with California Department of Education single subject teaching credential in the appropriate subject area.
  • Working knowledge of personal computers and the Internet.
  • Proficiency in using e-mail, managing files, using computer applications (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
  • Proficiency in using a Web Browser and connecting to the Internet.
  • Possession and use of a valid LAUSD e-mail account (e.g. LAUSDnet or ePals).
Online Teachers Wanted:
ITB is also offering an opportunity for high school teachers who are interested in teaching online classes in core academic and advanced placement classes at their schools to be trained as online instructors. Teachers will be invited to participate in the Online Instructor Course. This course involves a 2-day face-to-face meeting and a 6-week online component. It includes such topics as online methodology and administrative issues as well as items specific to LAVA such as course policies and record keeping. Participants may earn 2 salary point credits for successful completion of the course.
Minimum qualifications:
  • District teacher with California Department of Education single subject teaching credential in the appropriate subject area.
  • Working knowledge of personal computers and the Internet.
  • Proficiency in using e-mail, managing files, using computer applications (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
  • Proficiency in using a Web Browser and connecting to the Internet.
  • Possession and use of a valid LAUSD e-mail account (e.g. LAUSDnet or ePals).
  • Recommendation of the school principal (see Administrator Recommendation Form within Teacher Application on LAVA website:
Interested employees should enroll for the professional development via Learning Zone http://lz.lausdnet under the Los Angeles Virtual Academy Program. The name of the course is LAVA Online Instructor Course.

For more information about either opportunity:
Contact Dr. Kip Leland at (213) 241-1250 or kip.leland @

Other Items of Interest

I-SAFE Youth Summit for Online Safety
I-SAFE is a nonprofit community outreach program that provides free K-12 education opportunites in internet safety. I-SAFE will be partnering with LACOE (Los Angeles County Office of Education) to present a Youth Summit for Online Safety for public school 9-12 students. This will be held at the California Science Center on Friday, April 28th from 10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. Schools are encouraged to send student and peer leaders to this event. For more information, visit

Digital Town Hall Meeting

A video of the Digital Town Hall Meeting, held in October 2005, is now available online at .

LAUSD's Dashboard (Stats-At-A-Glance) for Data
Various types of data can be viewed through a new service called Dashboard. Access to DSS is not required to view this data. Access to Dashboard requires that you are now using Single Sign-On. To access Dashboard, go to Use your Single Sign-On Username and Password to log in. Dashboard will graphically display DSS data with graphs and tables.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Technology News for April 2006

Welcome to our first online Technology Newsletter. If you wish to subscribe by email, please click on the Feedblitz "subscribe me" button on the right sidebar, and follow the directions. If you want to subscribe to the RSS feed, please click on the RSS feed link on the sidebar.

Upcoming Technology Cadre Meetings

Thursday, April 20, 2006 Bell High School 3:45 - 5:30
Our First Annual Technology Vendor Fair!
Representatives from Apple, Gateway, IBM, Arey Jones, Polycom, Tandberg, Smarttech (Smartboard), Promethian Boards, CDW, KIS, and possibly more will be available to personally talk with you and answer your questions. This will be a great opportunity to think about how to spend money at the end of the year on something that will promote student learning. Please join us and invite all other interested educators at your school to attend. You can download a flyer here to post at your school.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 South East High School 3:45 - 5:15
Our host, Devery Rodgers, has asked the librarian at SEHS to demonstrate Digital Library for us. Are there any other items that you would like to add to the agenda? Add them to the comments section below.

Monday, June 5, 2006 Virtual Technology Leaders Symposium #2 Location TBD 3:45 - 5:15

Grant and Learning opportunities

LACOE/CTAP Region 11
ITO (Instructional Technology Outreach) Mini Grants extend deadline to April 14th!
Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to apply for a $2,500 grant. If you follow the rubric guidelines carefully, your grant will be considered for award. Please contact me if you have any questions.
DV Voice - Application Deadline, April 28, 2006
A project focused on effectively integrating technology tools and digital content into teaching and learning to empower student voice. All K-12 grade levels invited to apply. Find more information on the website. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to use digital storytelling in your classroom.
CTAP Technology Academies
(from the website) Teachers who attend will receive a five-day comprehensive training session through LACOE/CTAP, all class materials, and $400. This class is open to any LAUSD teacher that is not on track or is on break. Additional offerings will be held throughout the year during other off-track periods and during the summer.

K-12 High Speed Network for Video-Conferencing
Video-Conferencing Listserv
Are you interested in learning about video-conferencing opportunities in education? Join the K-12 High Speed Network Conferencing Users Listserv and learn from your colleagues.

Technology Gems
Here are several gems you might enjoy using in your classroom:
Google Mars - Take a tour of Mars through the Google Earth engine. Fun!
LazyBase - A quick, easy, online database

Hope this was helpful. Please use the comment section if you have input. Also, please contact me through email if you have questions/comments/concerns.