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

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