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 http://www.teacherplus.info/

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

KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE TEACHER AWARDS (from Edutopia)
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 www.knowledgeadventureschool.com/promo/tom.

LOWE'S OUTDOOR CLASSROOM GRANT PROGRAM (from Edutopia)
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 www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=pg&p=AboutLowes/outdoor/index.html.

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 www.nctm.org/about/met/begle.htm.

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 @ lausd.net (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