Thursday, November 29, 2007

November 2007 Updates

Hello Educational Technology Leaders,

There are a few news items I wanted you to know about. A full edition of the newsletter will be available at the beginning of December.

Free iMacs!
Are any of you interested in 8 slot loading iMacs (the purple ones)? A wonderful educator would rather donate these older machines to a school that could use them rather than seeing them go to salvage. If interested, please leave a comment or contact me for more information.

Free Outstanding Professional Development Opportunity
Saturday, December 8, 2007 - 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at KLCS-TV
1601 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA
Discovery Education, in partnership with KLCS and CUE invite you to an engaging, technology-infused professional development day focused on creative ways to use digital media in the classroom. Learn techniques to inspire your students by maximizing PowerPoint, movie making, Google Earth, iPods in education, and KLCS’s Knowledge Probe. Maximize the resources from Discovery Education’s streaming (a.k.a. unitedstreaming) at schools with this media resource.
Registration is at
Space is limited so sign up as soon as possible.
You can download a flyer that has more information to share with colleagues here.

Attention Secondary School Teachers
Google Open Source Contest for Students (ages 13+)

Google has announced the Google Highly Open Participation Contest, developed to help introduce secondary school and high school students to open source software development and to encourage young people through opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Prizes include a chance to win t-shirts, cash prizes, and a visit the Googleplex for a day of technical talks. For more details, visit the announcement page at the Google Code Website and the Google Code Blog.
This is a great opportunity for students to participate in some authentic learning opportunities.

Those are the announcements for this week. More news will be coming your way in a few weeks.

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, in support of Local District 6
Phone: (213)219-0836
E-mail: paulburns (at)

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November 2007 EdTech Leaders Cadre Meeting

Our November EdTech Cadre meeting is Thursday, November 15th, from 4:00 to 5:15 at the District 6 office, 3rd Floor Conference Room.

5800 S. Eastern, Commerce, CA

View Larger Map

This month, we will be discussing the power of RSS and how it can be used in the classroom and also for your own professional learning. We will explore some different types of aggregators, how different sites publish rss feeds, and how you can use rss to pull information from many different sites into a learning space.

We will also set aside some time to discuss and share District news, events, and ed tech strategies.

I hope you can be there!

Friday, October 12, 2007

October 2007 - Local District 6 Educational Technology News

Welcome to an exciting month of events and opportunities in educational technology!

Table of Contents
  1. Local District 6 EdTech Leadership Cadre Meetings
  2. Professional Development
  3. News and Events
  4. Grants and Funding
  5. Tech Gems
Local District 6 EdTech Leadership Cadre Meetings

October 18, 2007 - San Miguel Ave. Elementary
November 15, 2007
January 17, 2008
February 21, 2008
March 21, 2008
April 17, 2008
May 15. 2008 - SouthEast High School

Thanks to Mr. Eduardo Bonilla and the staff at San Miguel Elementary School for allowing us to meet there for our October 18th meeting. Our meeting will take place from 3:45 to 5:15, at San Miguel Ave. Elementary School, 9801 San Miguel Ave., South Gate. The meeting will be in the staff lounge.

View Larger Map

Our agenda for this month's meeting will be:

Welcome and Introductions
News and Events
Professional Growth - Sketchup and the K-12 Online Conference
Discussion and Conversation - Classroom Laptop Cart Management
  • This month, Mr. Elias will be sharing Google's SketchUp with us. Google SketchUp is free software that you can use to create, modify and share 3D models.
  • I'd also like to focus our professional growth on an introduction to the K-12 Online Conference. The learning opportunities available to educators through our connected world are amazing!
  • Mr. Billet has suggested that we discuss laptop cart management on the agenda. Many, including Mr. Billet, have experience and suggestions that would benefit all of us. Bring your comments and suggestions to the meeting. Also, please contribute your ideas to our Local District 6 Google Group. See details below about how to join this online group.

One note: Beginning in October, I thought I'd change our snacks to something more healthy like fruit and nuts. Any suggestions? Leave a comment on the blog with suggestions, if you have any. Also, please take the poll on the right sidebar. You can vote for our traditional pizza or a more healthy fruit and nuts. If I get other suggestions, I'll add them to the poll. Please only vote if you actually attend some of the meetings. :-)

I would like to thank those who attended last month's meeting:
Mr. Lizardi, Ms. Kawaguchi, and Ms. Coakes - South Gate HS
Mr. Billet - Gage MS
Mr. Bonilla - San Miguel ES
Ms. Nimnualrat and Ms. Ethirveerasingam - San Antonio ES
Ms. Morris - Bryson ES
Mr. Pacheco - South East HS
Ms. Abad - International
Mr. Mention - Nimitz MS
Ms. Valencia - ITB
Mr. Campbell - Bell HS
Mr. Albert, Mr. Gutierrez, Ms. Walker, Mr. Elias (virtually!) - South Gate MS
Your attendance is so much appreciated! The community of educators we are building to learn from one another is strengthened by your support in attending and participating in our monthly face to face meetings. Thanks to all of you for your continued support!

We now have a Google Group that you can join. There, we will share minutes from our monthly meetings, resources, and a discussion forum. Already, those who attended last month's meeting have been connecting and discussing topics this month through the group. You are invited to join here:

  • In order to join, you will need to have a Google Account.
  • You can create one using your email, or if you already have one, you may use that.
  • Once you sign in with your account, you can join the group by requesting an invitation.
  • The invitation asks you to supply your name and school. This won't be shared with others, but your nickname will.
I hope you join us. It's one more way to extend the conversation.

Professional Development

  1. LACOE's 21st Century Learners Symposium - Friday, October 19th, 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
    Registration Deadline: Monday, October 15th. Cost is $45.00
    Keynote Speakers: Alan November and Cheryl Lemke
    Hands on sessions, opportunities to focus on 21st Century Learning!
  2. CUE Los Angeles Technology Fair - Saturday, November 3rd, 8:00 a.m - 3:30 p.m.
    Register now for this outstanding event. This is a fantastic conference!
    Keynote Speaker: Chris Walsh
    I hope to see you there!
  3. K-12 Online Conference 2007 - October 15th - October 27th - and beyond...
    This fabulous, free online conference, with over 40 quality sessions, kicked off this Monday, Oct. 8th, with a pre-conference keynote by David Warlick, and a fireside chat on Tuesday. This is one of the finest professional development conferences you can attend, and you can do it for free, anytime and anywhere you choose. There are live events you don't want to miss. Here's the schedule: K-12 Online Conference Schedule. Each session has a tag, so use those tags when appropriate in your blogging, social bookmarking, etc. Download the flyer and share with your colleagues.
  4. Imagine earning a salary point for participating in the K-12 Online Conference. Now it's possible! We are now offering an LAUSD UPDATE class for participating in the K-12 Online Conference.
    UPDATE K-12 Online Course -
    Dates: Nov. 7, Nov. 14, Nov. 21st, Nov. 28th, Dec. 5th.
    Hours: 4-7
    Locations: Local District 5 and Local District 6
    Collaborate with colleagues as you participate in sessions from the online conference. Create content from what you learn, and share it with the rest of the class. Reflections and presentations may be recorded for a podcast. I'm facilitating the one at Local District 6, and Jose Rodriguez will be facilitating the one at Local District 5. Come join the fun! Download the flyer and share with colleagues.
    To enroll in this and all UPDATE courses, please visit Log in with your single sign-on account. Click on Courses. Click on Class Offerings. Select UPDATE under program and click on search. Click on one of two offering of K-12 Online Conference to begin the enrollment process. Click on the orange button to enroll yourself.
    While you are in the course catalogue for UPDATE, check out all the other great courses you can take for salary points.
  5. LAUSD's InfoTech - Saturday, June 7th. It seems to be a long time from now, but start planning now for your student showcase. This such an incredible opportunity for your students to showcase the wonderful work they are doing. Please plan to participate.
  6. CUE Conference - March 6 - 8 Palm Springs, California
    Registration is now open for our annual Computer Using Educators Conference. This is a fantastic opportunity to network and learn with energized educators from all over California and other places as well.
  7. NECC 2008 Conference - June 29 - July 2 San Antonio, Texas
    Start making plans now to join us for the National Education Computing Conference in San Antonio, Texas. This is such a fabulous opportunity to network with educators from around the world, all passionate about technology in education.
  1. Atomic Learning Year Subscription for only $20!
    TechSETS is pleased to offer special statewide pricing on Atomic Learning, made possible through an agreement with the California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP). Individual subscriptions to Atomic Learning are regularly $79.99, so please take advantage of this special offer. Orders must be placed by December 31, 2007.

    If you're not familiar with Atomic Learning, go visit the site to see the incredible tutorials they have for all types of software.
    Atomic Learning provides web-based software training for more than 100 applications students and educators use everyday.

  2. Tech Chicks Tips Blog and Podcast
    This is one of the best podcasts I've heard lately, all about great tools and tips that you can use in your classroom. Their show is full of wonderful ideas and is quite fun to listen to. They seem to know what each other is going to say, and often say the same phrase at the same time. Their show is quick and light, and you will definitely find some gems that you can use the same day with your students. Subscribe to the podcast by clicking the podcast tab at the top of the page of their blog.
News and Events
  1. Rock the Web - Get your high school students involved in the presidential election process.
    On November 14th, 2007, students will be able to listen to the candidates speak, ask questions of the candidates through a forum, and have an opportunity to vote. These votes will be available for all the public to see. This is a fantastic opportunity for your students to have an authentic experience in the upcoming presidential election. Registration details are here.
  2. Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and supporting gifted and committed photographers, has recently announced that Joan Dooley, of Bell High Humanitas Academy, won the Patron Saint of Photography award.
    This award recognizes educators for their dedication and passion for photographic teaching. Joan was nominated for the award by many students who wrote very passionately about Joan’s commitment of time, knowledge and concern for her students. Please visit the Center's website to see the outstanding work of Joan and her students. Congratulations, Joan, for an award well deserved!
  3. I really enjoy the podcast by Mr. Albert's students at South Gate Middle School. They use the podcast platform to share what they are learning. Check out the Tech! Small Learning Communities Podcast. Awesome!
  4. Apple, Tom Chun, and Upgrade/Downgrade Option:
    As many of you probably know, Tom Chun, our Apple Sales Representative for as many years as I can remember, has moved on to pursue other interests. I know we all wish him success and happiness in his new venture. I also know he will truly be missed. If you have any questions on Apple Education Sales, please direct your inquiries to Leigh Perry or Gloria Bass
    Before Tom left, he emailed me a message about the upcoming upgrade to Leopard that he wanted all to know about:
    Once Leopard is finally released this month, Tiger will no longer be available for purchase. According to the SLA, a "downgrade" is not permissible. Many schools do not yet have Tiger, which is necessary in order to run the new suite of iLife '08 products. Most of the G4 Macs with at least 512MB should do well with Tiger. If your school needs to upgrade to Tiger, now is the time to do so. Additionally, Apple now offers site licences for the new iLife and iWork products at $249 each. Each site license covers up to 500 student Macs and 50 teacher Macs.
    Tom, here's to you. Thanks for all you have done for us over the past years.
Grants and Funding
  1. From eSchool News:
    Awards for combining technology and reading
    Grant Title: Presidential Award for Reading and Technology 2008
    Organization: International Reading Association
    Eligibility: Educators
    Value: 10 awards; amount varies
    Deadline: November 15, 2007

    The Presidential Award for Reading and Technology honors educators in grades K-12 who are making an outstanding and innovative contribution to the use of technology in reading education. There will be one grand-prize winner, seven U.S. regional winners, one Canadian, and one international winner. All entrants must be educators who work directly with students ages 5-18 for all or part of the working day.

    Check out all the other available grants from eSchool N
    ews .

  2. From CTAP at LACOE's Site:
    Adobe Software Donation
    Adobe is pleased to support primary and secondary schools (U.S. K-12) with donations of our latest version software. Adobe’s Software Donation Program allows schools to request a maximum of four individually titled software products or one bundled software package per year.

    Find more grants and funding opportunities at CTAP Region 11 Grants and Funding site.
Technology Gems
  1. Google Presentations! Google recently added the long awaited Presentations to their suite of online applications. It allows 2 or more persons to synchronously collaborate on the same document. It doesn't have lots of bells and whistles, which could be an added bonus, since students can then concentrate on content. This application is part of the new student accounts available for all LAUSD students.
  2. Animoto - This fun, online application allows users to upload a set of pictures that is then automatically converted to a very professional looking movie. This could be used as an introduction to a digital story, and countless other ways. For more information, I wrote a short blog post on my personal blog, where you can see a sample I did using this tool.
  3. The Tech Chick Tips blog has a whole collection of cool tools to check out. Visit them at:
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, in support of Local District 6
Phone: (213)219-0836
E-mail: paulburns (at)

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

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Friday, September 07, 2007

September 2007 - Local District 6 Educational Technology Newsletter

Welcome to the new school year! Here's to a year full of excitement, learning, and professional growth for us and for our students.

Table of Contents
  1. District 6 Technology Leadership Cadre Meetings
  2. LAUSD News and Events
  3. Professional Development
  4. Grants and Funding
  5. Technology Gems
  6. Summer Experiences
District 6 Educational Technology Leadership Cadre Meetings
Everyone is invited to our District 6 Educational Technology Leadership Cadre Meetings. They will take place on the third Thursday of most every month, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Here are the dates for the upcoming meetings, so you can mark your calendars accordingly.

September 20, 2007 - Local District 6 - 3rd Floor Conference Room
October 18, 2007
November 15, 2007
January 17, 2008
February 21, 2008
March 21, 2008
April 17, 2008
May 15. 2008

Our first meeting will be on Thursday, September 20th, from 4:00 to 5:30, at Local District 6, in the 3rd Floor Conference room. If your school can host one of our upcoming meetings, please let me know. Here is the agenda for our first meeting:

4:00 - Introductions
4:05 - News and Announcements
4:40 - Google Docs and Spreadsheets
5:10 - Group discussion - The Future of Technology in Education

I hope you can attend our first meeting. The connections we make allow us all to learn more from one another about how to best serve our students.

LAUSD News and Events

Student Email

The new LAUSD student email,, is a powerful suite of applications, including email, document/spreadsheet sharing, and calendar sharing. These tools, under the lausd domain, are provided by Google, under the Google Apps for Education. With student email accounts, students can engage in collaborative work with their peers and with their teacher. If you would like to learn more about this new set of tools, attend our upcoming September meeting. I am currently also in the process of getting a salary point class approved for learning about these tools. That class should be available by November. Additionally, if you would like for Paul and me to provide professional development for your school or for an interested group of teachers, in using these tools with students, please contact me (janice.stearns -at-

In order for students to have email accounts, a sub-administrator, in charge of creating student email accounts, needs to be designated at your school. If your school already has a sub-administrator, they should be able to create accounts in the new system now. Here are the directions for designating a sub-administrator for your school:
  • The first step in the process is to have your principal designate a school email sub-administrator. who will be responsible for creating and managing student accounts. Your principal can designate a school email sub-administrator by calling the ITD Service Desk (213-241-5200) and requesting that someone on his/her staff receive this type of access. In turn, the Service Desk will send a form to your principal for signatures. Once this form in submitted, the request is processed.
  • Once a school email sub-administrator is established, then this person will receive a sub-admin account that will allow him/her to create individual accounts or request the batch creation of 50 accounts or more. They will also receive directions on how to create these two types of accounts.
Multimedia Cart for Elementary Schools

Every elementary school in LAUSD will receive one laptop cart which contains a laptop and a projector for classroom use. This laptop cart roll-out will begin soon. The principal at each elementary school will be receiving email about this program now. Please remind principals to check their email. Each school will be required to send a representative to a three hour training at a designated site. The equipment will then be delivered to the school. If you would like to see the memo, you can find the correspondence in the e-library in InsideLAUSD. It is Mem-3913.

District Wide Video Conference on Grants and Funding

LAUSD will host the first in a series of district wide virtual video-conferences on Thursday, September 27th. This video-conference will serve to explain several grants that are available and how you can apply for them. Our local district location for this video-conference will be South Gate Middle School. See details here. Download a flier to share with colleagues here.

Recovery System in LAUSD Laptop and Desktop Computers

All laptop and desktop computers bought under the LAUSD contract have a theft tracking/recovery system built in. In order to keep this system activated, the computers need to connect to the Internet at least once every thirty days. Please make sure all computers in your school are turned on and connect to the Internet regularly. If a computer is stolen, one need not wait for the police report to notify the ITD Service Desk of the stolen property. Contact the service desk immediately, as well as the school police, in the event of computer theft. The process of tracking the stolen computers can begin without the police report, but in order to start legal action, the police report will need to be completed.

Professional Development


Howard Johnston, literacy coach at Corona Ave. Elementary, talked with me last school year about the importance of collaboration and using technology tools in the classroom and with our colleagues. Mr. Johnston has some excellent ideas about how this can be done. His style and eloquence make for an informative and engaging listen. You can download part 1 and part 2, in addition to a sample interactive file on room environment he has shared with us. Please subscribe to the podcast at:

I have learned so much from talking to the few people who are featured on our podcast. I hope you find the podcasts useful also. If you would like to add your voice to our best practices podcast, please contact me. Upcoming podcasts include an interview with Bob Moore, a teacher at Montara Ave. Elementary, and Mathew Needleman, a literacy coach of OpenCourtResources fame.

CUELA TechFair 2007

Register now for the oustanding CUELA Tech Fair. It will take place on Saturday, November 3, 2007 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Hawthorne School in Beverly Hills, CA. For more information and to register, please visit the CUELA TechFair Website. Visit the website to see the amazing line up of workshops available. The keynote speaker is Chris Walsh, of Infinite Thinking Machine. It promises to be a valuable learning opportunity!

UPDATE Professional Development

LAUSD's UPDATE offers face to face and online courses for salary points. These courses are offered free to LAUSD employees. Please visit LAUSD's Learning Zone at Log in with your single sign-on identification and password (your email address without the and your same email password). Click on the "courses" tab, then select the "Class Offerings" link. Use the pull-down program menu to select UPDATE, then click "search". Courses offered in the next three months will appear.

LACOE Professional Development

The Los Angeles County Office of Education offers excellent courses for a nominal registration of $25. Check frequently for an updated assortment of courses.

Grants and Funding

BestBuy Teach Awards
Applications are now available for the 2008 Best Buy Teach Awards, which award innovative use of technology in K-12 classrooms. Winners will be announced in February 2008, and eight $100,000 district-level awards will be announced in May 2008. All accredited, public and private nonprofit elementary, middle and secondary schools located within 50 miles of a U.S. Best Buy store are eligible.
Value: Eight awards of $100,000 each
Deadline: September 30, 2007

Technology Gems

Google Earth

I want to recommend an old favorite. The newly updated version of Google Earth includes a wonderful new Sky interface, that allows a user to study planets, constellations, and galaxies. Sally Ride explains the wonderful new features in this YouTube Video. In addition, there is hidden easter egg that opens a built-in flight simulator. I seem to crash and fly in spirals when I try, but I'm sure some of you will love it.


This amazing program from the MIT labs is a free download for both Macs and PC's. Let your students use their creativity and imagination to construct projects. This software is from the same creators of Legos Mindstorms. If you would like to learn more about this project, listen to two excellent podcasts recorded of Dr. Mitch Resnick, the founder of this project.
From the makers of ComicLife, comes the amazing new capture/image editing software called Skitch, a mac-only platform software. With this product, you can take screen shots of just about anything on your computer or on the Internet, add to them, then publish them to documents, web pages, blogs, chats, or whatever. This software is in beta, so you can only download it with an invite. I only have two invites. If you would like this software, I will send an invite to the first two who email me a request.

My Summer

I put my summer experiences at the end of this newsletter. I thought you might find them of interest.

It's been an amazing summer for me that seemed to slip away as quickly as it came.

This summer, I attended the National Education Computing Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I was fortunate to meet, in person, so many outstanding educators from around the world, many from whom I have been learning through blogs and podcasts for the past two years. The connections I made at this conference continue through web 2.0 connections, as we all strive to offer our students the very best education we can possibly give them. I truly believe that the use of collaborative tools made possible by the interactivity of Web 2.0 can only serve to engage our students more in quality, meaningful, authentic learning.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

I also worked at the Teach the Teacher Collaborative in Ojai, California. The first week, I was fortunate to work with the Online Learning group, supporting those that are developing online courses and content for teachers and students in LAUSD. The second week I was there, I was able to work with 4-8th grade science teachers. Educators learned about collaborative tools like Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Social Bookmarking, Wikis, and Podcasting. Their final project was to create a podcast. You can subscribe and download some incredible science content created at Thacher by visiting the Science Branch Website. Once you are registered and logged in, click on the Podcasts link to subscribe in iTunes. Here are some photos of teachers at Teach the Teachers in Ojai:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR

I hope to see you at our upcoming District 6 EdTech Cadre meeting on September 20th.

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, in support of Local District 6
Phone: (213)219-0836
E-mail: paulburns (at)

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

Friday, May 11, 2007

May 2007 Educational Technology News

Welcome, Educational Technology Leaders!

Table of Contents
  1. District 6 Educational Technology Leadership Cadre Meeting
  2. LAUSD News and Events
  3. Podcasts
  4. Professional Development
  5. Technology Gems

District 6 Educational Technology Leadership Cadre Meeting

Our final meeting for this school year is next week!
Thursday, May 17th, 2007
3:45 - 5:15
Southeast High School - Room A212


(Parking is available in the parking lot in front of the school.)
03:45pm – Updates on Technology in LAUSD
04:00pm – New Collaboration/Communication tools, including Skype, YackPack on PB Wiki, and G-Cast.
04:45pm – Open Forum/Technology Leader Networking

We will be collaborating for a short time with those attending the Local District 5 Educational Technology Leadership Meeting. If you have experience with any of these types of technologies, please come to the meeting and share your expertise!
A special thank you to Devery Rodgers for hosting our meeting at the beautiful Southeast High School.

Our last meeting at Bell High School was great! We learned more about how to use LAUSD's Digital Library, with a special presentation by Jennifer BeCotte on Maps 101, then we explored how to use Google Earth in the classroom. Thanks to our wonderful hosts at Bell HS, Michiko and Brian. Michiko had several Macs to donate to other schools, and they were quickly and eagerly claimed. She also shared some cool laser pointers with all attendees. Thanks, Michiko and Brian!

LAUSD News and Events
Infotech 2007
Infotech has a well attended event this year! District 6 was well represented in the student showcase, with 22 teachers and their students showcasing their best work. You can find a list of names in the April edition of this newsletter. In the middle school student competition, the students of James Valadez at South Gate Middle School took 3rd place. In the high school competition, the amazing work by Joan Dooley's students resulted in her students being finalists in second place. All projects were truly outstanding. Thanks to all participants for working so hard, and taking the time to make a difference in the lives of your students. This type of event is what they will fondly remember far into the future. Thanks also to all the District 6 educators who attended the event. It was a fantastic learning experience for all of us.

ITD Service Desk
Our ITD tech support has a new name and a new number. ITD Service Desk is the new name for the ITD Help Desk, and the new number is 213-241-LA00

EPals Migration
Epals migration is now underway! By July 2007, all LAUSD staff will make the migration to the domain. For information about this migration, please visit the E-Pals Migration Home. LAUSDnet's webmail client is very efficient, but some like to set up a separate email client on their computer, so that they can download their email from the server. Information on setting up different email clients can be found here.

New Podcasts

District 6 EdTech Podcast
There is a new episode published on the District 6 EdTech Podcast. It is an interview with Dr. Themy Sparangis, Chief Technology Director, Educational Technology of LAUSD entitled, The Future of Teaching: Exploring the Possibilities of an Internet Enabled Society. Enjoy!

The Save Water Crew
Mr. Gomez and his 4th grade students tackle the problem of creating awareness for the necessity of saving water. His students tell digital stories on their podcast that teach us how to conserve water. Mr. Gomez and his students showcased this wonderful project at Infotech. Outstanding!

Miles Magnet Center Podcast
Listen to students as they share their best writing online. Ms. Robles, the Magnet Coordinator at Miles Elementary, encourages students to be the very best writers so they can share their work with the world. Terrific!

Professional Development

This summer, Teach the Teachers at Thacher is a great place to be.
K-3 teachers and 9-12 science teachers are invited to apply to attend a week-long engaging learning experience during the week of July 15 -20 in Ojai, CA. Download the flyers for more details. K-3 Summer Instititute and High School Summer Institute
PE teachers in Grades k-12 also have the opportunity to attend Teach the Teachers in Ojai during the week of July 8-13. Participants will examine best practices, state framework, standards-based instruction, Fitness Gram testing procedures, Physical Best training, Physical Best philosophy applied to physical education classes, curriculum, unit planning, lesson plans, job alike practices and more. Sign up on Learning Zone. Log in with your Single Sign in account, click on the couses tab, then Course Offerings. In the pull down in Program, select Physical Education, then click the search button. There you will see courses for elementary, middle, and high school.

UPDATE is the best place to find salary point courses that are both face to face and online. Go to the Learning Zone, log in with your Single Sign in account, click on the couses tab, then Course Offerings. In the pull down in Program, select UPDATE, then click the search button. There you will see all the listed courses.

CTAP-LACOE Workshops
The Tech Academies are filling up fast. Don't miss the opportunity to learn how to use technology as a tool in the classroom. Other quality courses are available, including a Smartboard workshop, Using Technology in the Open Court classroom and many others.

WIRED Nextfest
EDUCATION DAY SCHEDULE, 9 AM - 1 PM, Thursday, September 13, 2007
Inspire your students to become the scientists and inventors of tomorrow by bringing them to Education Day at WIRED NextFest. Free for all school groups, Education Day is an amazing field trip opportunity filled with hands-on learning and discovery.

Technology Gems

Skype - This free download allows you to place free computer to computer calls to anywhere using your high-speed internet connection. - An online, collaborative mapping tool. Very easy to use.

Starfall Site Map - Allows users to see all the content of the Starfall web site (early education language arts interactive games) on one single page.

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, in support of Local District 6
Phone: (213)219-0836
E-mail: paulburns (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.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

April 2007 Educational Technology News

There are many exciting events and news items in the area of Educational Technology this month.

Table of Contents
  1. Educational Technology Leadership Cadre Meetings
  2. LAUSD Updates
  3. InfoTech 2007
  4. New Podcasts
  5. Professional Development
  6. Technology Gems
Educational Technology Leadership Cadre Meetings
Our upcoming meeting on Thursday, April 19th at Bell High School, from 3:45 to 5:15 promises to be an exciting learning experience. Thanks to Michiko Sakimoto and Brian Defer of Bell HS for sharing their beautiful lab with us for our meeting.
Here's the agenda:
3:45 - 4:00 News and Events
4:00 - 4:30 Maps 101 from LAUSD's Digital Library by Jennifer BeCotte from Nystrom Maps
Jennifer has some exciting features of Maps 101 that most of us don't even know about. Come learn how to use this valuable tool in the classroom.
4:30 - 4:45 Digital Library - Learn about the wealth of quality tools that teachers and students can use in the classroom.
4:45 - 5:00 Google Earth - A mere 15 minutes with Google Earth will not be enough to show all of the amazing features of Google Earth in education, but at least you can begin to learn how to use this outstanding tool in the classroom.
5:00 - 5:15 Discussion - Come join in our discussion about educational technology. It will be fun and lively, as usual.

Bell High School
4328 Bell Ave.
Bell, CA 90201

Room S-4

Our final meeting for the year will be on Thursday, May 17th, at South East High School. We hope you will all be able to attend our meeting.

LAUSD Updates
E-Pals Migration
As you probably know, all LAUSD employees will be moving from e-pals to the exchange before July 2007. You will need to move all of the email you want to save to your inbox, because your inbox will be the only part of your mail that will be migrated. For more details and a timeline of the migration process, please visit:

New Photo Information Release Form for persons over the age of 18. Please find it on the AUP link on the bottom of each LAUSD page.

InfoTech 2007

LAUSD's InfoTech Conference will take place this Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in concert with the LAUSD Annual Parent Summit. Please register and attend this outstanding conference, where you can learn about new ways to use technology in the classroom from students and teachers showcasing their projects, engage in Roundtable Discussions, attend quality workshops, talk to vendors, and join in a great day of learning.

Joan Dooley and her team of students from Bell High School, will be competing with 7 other teams from across the district in the high school digital storytelling competition. Joan and her students have been working long hours after school and on Saturdays to prepare for this competition. Students will create a 5 minute digital story on-site about how technology helps them to achieve success while also telling the story of InfoTech. Go Team!

Local District 6 also has four finalists in the Middle School and Elementary School Student Competition:
  • Middle School
    South Gate Middle School
    Teachers: Mike Albert and James Valadez
  • Elementary School
    San Miguel Elementary
    Teachers: Ralph Duran and Pete Keuper
Outstanding! Congratulations to all our teachers and students who entered the student competition. Come to InfoTech to see their projects and learn who the Elementary and Middle School winners are!

I would like to thank all the teachers and students from Local District 6 who will be showcasing their work at Infotech this year. We are fortunate to have such an outstanding group of dedicated teachers and students!
Congratulations to the following teachers and their students who will be showcasing their projects at InfoTech:

Elementary School
San Miguel Ave. Elementary School
Carlos Gomez - The Save Water Crew - Water Saving Ideas from 4th Graders
Linda Myring - Rosa Parks Reader's Theater - Audio Podcast
Ralph Duran - Puma Anglers Project
Pete Keuper - Interactive PowerPoint Presentations

Middle School:
Gage Middle School
Beth Billet - SmartBoard, Smart Activities, Smarter Students
David Billet - Digital Video
South East Middle School
Elvia Apodaca - NASA Simulation
Cynthia Walker - Endangered Species
South Gate Middle School
Mike Albert - PSA's in 8th Grade History
Xiomara Benitez - Effects of Chocolate on Humans and Which Fertilizer is Best
Sandra Bravo - The Digital Outdoors
Nancy Chau - My Dream Car Poster
Milessa Filet - SpyCast from Ancient Egypt
Mr. Moraila - My Dream Car Description
James Valadez - Trip to the Desert
Silvio Vidal - Constitution Multimedia Presentation
Edie Walker - Earth Science and PowerPoint

High School
Bell High School
Joan Dooley - Literacy-Based Digtial Imaging
South East High School
Donn Cottom - CyberEnglish and e-Portfolios
Joseph Gresko - Geometry Theorems in Everyday School Life

We hope to see you at InfoTech this Saturday. Please join us!

New Podcasts!
There are two new projects that are fantastic!

Ellen Ochoa Learning Center and Bryson Elementary are engaging in a collaborative literature circle talk using video-conferencing, podcasting, and wikis to share and collaborate on their conversation about the book, the Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton. Subscribe to their podcast at: They already have the first meeting published as a podcast. Cristian Markovich, the technology person in support of the project at Ellen Ochoa, says that with each meeting between the schools, the quality and depth of the conversation increases. They also use a wiki for resources and to extend the discussion. Thanks to all the teachers and administrators involved in such a unique project that allows students to connect and collaborate through authentic learning opportunities.

Susan Ghotra, who works at a high school in Carson, has her students create audio public service announcements (PSA's) about drugs in their health education class. Subscribe to her podcast in iTunes. Students are engaged in creating content from what they are learning. Great work!

Professional Development
    I'm pleased to announce that I will be offering two workshops through UPDATE in May. I hope you can attend one or both!

    Publishing with Purpose through Podcasting
    using iLife ‘06
    Delivery: Face to Face
    Number: 55.21.621
    Dates: May 4, 11, 14, 18, 21
    Time: 3:45 - 6:45
    Location: San Miguel Ave. Elementary - Room 19
    Salary Points: 1

    Learning & Teaching with the Read/Write Web

    Delivery: Online (with initial and final face to face meeting)
    Number: 55.21.632
    Dates: Face to Face meetings: May 7 and June 18 (4 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
    Online will be the 6 weeks in between the above dates
    Location for Face to Face classes - Local District 6 3rd Floor Conf. Room
    Salary Points: 2

    Register for these and other quality UPDATE courses, both online and face-to-face, at the Learning Zone. You will need to sign in with your Single Sign-On Account.

  • LAUSD Summer Science K-3 Institute
    Location: Teach the Teacher Collaborative in Ojai, CA
    Dates: July 15 - 20
    Develop technology integrated science lessons for practical and immediate use in classrooms. Have an opportunity to update technology skills and learn innovative ways to engage students with technology.

    This is a wonderful opportunity to relax and enjoy learning. For more information, download the flyer. Spaces will fill soon for this very popular and long awaited opportunity for K-3 teachers.

  • LACOE (Los Angeles County Office of Education)
    There are quality workshops offered through LACOE. In particular, this summer, there will be an OCR and Technology workshop with Mathew Needleman, and a Digital Storytelling Workshop from the Center for Digital Storytelling. The cost for the 3 day OCR workshop is $50 and includes a copy of Clay Animation from Tech4Learning. The Digital Storytelling 3 day workshop is $495, but the workshop is top quality (something you might want to include in a grant request).

  • Apple Workshop at South Gate Middle School
    On Thursday, May 3rd, Apple's Dave Douglas will conduct a workshop on the Interoperability of Mac and Windows on an Intel Mac. It will take place at South Gate Middle School at 3:45. Details and registration information will be announced soon.

  • Google Teacher Academy
    There's still time to apply for the Google Teacher Academy. The deadline for the application is Monday, April 23rd. This is a great opportunity to learn about Google's tools for education. A short, one minute video needs to be submitted as part of the application process.

  • Microsoft's U.S. Innovative Teacher Forum
    The 2007 U.S. Innovative Teachers Forum will recognize and reward learning teams practicing the elements of 21st century learning in their own professional learning and then incorporating these skills into the student learning environment. Application deadline: July 11, 2007
Technology Gems
  • Google Earth and the Holocaust Museum on the Crisis on Darfur
    In collaboration with Google Earth, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has brought together compelling visual evidence of the destruction in Darfur.
    Download Google Earth and click on Global Awareness in the Layers section to see the devastation and destruction taking place from the genocide in Darfur.
    As I heard on the ABC news the other day, genocide is more successful when it is done without notice. With the new global awareness that Google Earth is making available, perhaps we can begin to come together to do something about it.
    Google Earth has amazing potential for the classroom. Educators and others are creating wonderful learning opportunities using this tool. Check the resources from District 6's account, and those of David Jakes and Wesley Fryer for great ideas on how to use this tool in the classroom.
  • TeacherTube
    A new place for educators to upload and share educational videos. Pay Attention is a compelling video featured on Teacher Tube.
  • Ning and School 2.0
    Ning is a new social networking tool, similar in some ways to MySpace. Many educators are now using it to learn and collaborate in a social space. Join School2.0 and Classroom2.0, especially designed for educators, to learn with others about using new tools for learning. If you join the space, add me as a friend. :-)
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, in support of Local District 6
Phone: (213)219-0836
E-mail: paulburns (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.

Monday, March 26, 2007

New Podcasts

The latest edition of the District 6 EdTech Podcast is now online and available for download.
Please visit:
This is our first best practices podcast, which is an interview with Ms. Beth Billett, from Gage Middle School. Enjoy!

I am pleased to announce another podcast by our colleague, Bob Moore, from Montara Elementary School. His podcast includes student digital stories, as well as an excellent how-to video on using digital storytelling in an English Language Development classroom. You may subscribe to his podcast in iTunes, or another podcast aggregator. Excellent!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 2007 Educational Technology News

Welcome to Local District 6's Education Technology News for March 2007.

Table of Contents
  1. Educational Technology Leadership Cadre Meetings
  2. Great News and Updates
  3. Grants and Funding
  4. Educational Technology Gems
Educational Technology Leadership Cadre Meetings

Our next meeting is this Thursday, March 15th, at Independence Elementary School, 8435 Victoria Ave., South Gate, CA 9028 Thanks to Mr. Diaz, principal of Independence Elementary, and all those at Independence that offered to host our meeting at their school.
  • Agenda:
    3:45 - 4:00 - News and Updates
    4:00 - 4:45 - Presentation by Brad Krey, Program Coordinator from PORTS, connecting you with opportunities for exciting field trips to California State Parks through videoconferencing.
    4:45 - 5:00 - Social Bookmarking presentation
    5:00 - 5:15 - Collaboration and Discussion
All are invited to attend. We hope to see you there.

Our final two meetings are: April 19th at Bell HS and May 17th at SouthEast HS.

Great News and Updates
Educators in Local District 6 are awesome! Several teachers in our district have some great news.
  • Joan Dooley's high school students from Bell High School won 4 out of the 5 statewide high school awards at the recent 2007 Media Arts Competition. Her students will be attending the Awards Ceremony at the Orange County Digital Media Center in Anaheim, CA on March 22nd. Kudos to her and her students! Joan's students will not only be showcasing at the upcoming Infotech, but are also representing Local District 6 in the High School Student Competition. Go team!

  • Joseph Gresko from South East High School is a recent recipient of the Best Buy Teach Awards. He will be using the grant money to purchase materials for his project based learning using digital images in geometry. Come see the great work he is doing with students at the upcoming InfoTech conference.

  • Students in the classrooms of Silvio Vidal and Mike Albert at South Gate Middle School virtually traveled to Sacramento via a PORTS video conference to have a conversation with Assemblymember Hector de la Torre. Read more on South Gate Middle School's website.
Daylight Savings Time is upon us 3 weeks early. In case you are still having trouble getting your computer to display the right time, visit LAUSD's Tech Support TechRep page for information on how to address this change.

Grants and Funding

From e-School News
  • Invent America Contest
    There are 1st - 3rd place prizes and an Honorable Mention prize. The learning and recognition for creative inventing is reason enough to enter this contest. Deadline for Invention submissions: June 15th, 2007
  • ING Unsung Heros
    Each year, 100 winners are selected to receive $2,000 grants to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those will be selected to win the top three awards of $25,000, $10,000 and $5,000. Deadline: April 30th, 2007
Grant Writing Podcast - Listen to a Grant Writing Workshop by Pat Sanford from Tech Ed Services. This workshop was during one of our recent Educational Technology Leadership Cadre meetings. Ms. Sanford allowed me to publish and share this resource with you.

Educational Technology Gems
  • Google Lit Trips - This teacher has used Google Earth to design learning journeys for great works of literature. Try it out. It's a new way to authentically study literature. Excellent! Read about the teacher and his work at the Infinite Thinking Machine blog.
  • CUE Podcasts - Did you miss CUE, but really would like to have been there? CUE Podcasts are one way to virtually attend the conference. There are two podcasts.
    The first is from Infinite Thinking Machine, called CUE Live, a series of interviews from key leaders at the conference. Also included is an interview with students at the Student Showcase.
    The other podcast is the CUE Podcast Network, where soon there will be published a series of short workshops from CUE. In the meantime, there are other great podcast episodes to enjoy at this site.
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, in support of Local District 6
Phone: (213)219-0836
E-mail: paulburns (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.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

LA Marathon

Tomorrow is the LA Marathon. One of our elementary directors, Mr. Jose Hernandez, will be running the marathon for many worthy causes. He has challenged the students at San Gabriel Elementary School to read 26 books or read for 26 hours to match the 26 miles he will be running.

Recently, I talked to him about his passion for developing healthy minds and healthy bodies, and his vision for our community through running the marathon. Listen to the interview on our District 6 Podcast. While you are at the podcast site, you will also be able to access all the resources mentioned in the interview and see a clip featured on NBC where he talks about his motivation for running.

We'll be cheering for you, Mr. Hernandez!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

February 2007 Education Technology News

Welcome to Local District 6's Education Technology News for February 2007.

Table of Contents
  1. Technology Leadership Cadre Meetings
  2. Notable News and Updates
  3. Grants and Funding
  4. Educational Technology Gems
Technology Leadership Cadre Meetings
Our next Technology Leadership Cadre meeting will be Thursday, February 15th, from 3:45 to 5:15, at the Local District 6 Office, 5th Floor Superintendent's Conference Room. The address is 5800 S. Eastern, Commerce, CA 90040.
Our agenda includes:
  • A discussion about the K-12 EdTech Voucher Program
  • Information about completion of the California Technology Survey
  • A call for participation in the upcoming InfoTech 2007 Conference
  • A workshop on Digital Storytelling
  • A roundtable discussion about how we view the role of technology in education.
Please join our outstanding group of edtech leaders for a lively meeting and connected learning. All educators are invited to attend.

Upcoming meetings are all on Thursdays, from 3:45 to 5:15.
March 15th - Independence Avenue Elementary School
April 19th - Bell High School
May 17th - SouthEast High School

Notable News and Updates
  • K-12 EdTech Voucher
    There exists misinformation about exactly how the K-12 Ed-Tech Vouchers will be distributed to our schools. One idea is that they will be distributed directly to each school. Another idea is that the district will oversee the spending of the vouchers. The reality is that nothing has been decided yet as to exactly how the vouchers will be distributed.
    • To date, there is about $34 million district-wide in vouchers that can be redeemed over the next 6 years. Considering the size of our district, that isn't as much money as was once expected.
    • Plans to distribute vouchers will probably not be finalized in the 2006 -2007 school year.
    • The board has charged each local district to form a planning committee appointed by the local district superintendent. All local district committees meet together via video conference on the last Monday of each month to discuss how vouchers will be used to support the instructional needs of our students.
    • This month, the charge of this committee is to determine which three instructional objectives are the most important to address. If you would like to have input into this discussion, please contact me. This will also be part of our discussion at our upcoming Technology Leadership Cadre meeting on February 15th.
    • Vendors may be visiting schools with approaches on how Microsoft settlement funds may be spent, but might be avoiding discussion on addtional costs such as labor, maintenance, and ongoing support.
    More information about the K-12 EdTech Voucher can be found at:

  • California School Technology Survey
    The window for completing the annual California School Technology Survey is open. Every school in the district is required to complete the survey. The survey is to be completed by only the principal, or the person designated by the principal who is most familiar with the technology hardware, software, and employee proficiency at your school. The principal will have the PIN # and the password. The District 6 due date for completing the survey is March 6th. Most of the information from last year's survey is available online at the website, so updating the information is usually all that's required. Federal and state funding is dependent on the completion of this survey. If you have any questions about completing the survey, please contact me at janice.stearns (at)

  • InfoTech 2007 - April 21st, Imagine | Empower | Achieve
    LAUSD's InfoTech Conference will take place on Saturday, April 21st, from 8 a.m to 1 p.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This year, we will share the Convention Center with LAUSD's Annual Parent Summit. This is an outstanding opportunity to participate and learn about how technology can be used as a tool for learning. I encourage all of you to attend, and to also showcase your student work in the Student Showcase and the Student Competition. Here are the events that will take place:
    Student Competition: This year, in addition to the on-site high school completion, there will also be a student completion for elementary and middle school students. All student submissions will focus on creating digital stories centered around the theme "Imagine, Empower, Achieve". Elementary and middle school projects need to be submitted by the end of March for judging. Please view the website for more details.
    Student Showcase: Please consider showcasing your student work. Students will present their content creation to parents, educators, community members, and other students. This is a great opportunity for students to share with a larger audience.
    Four Corners: Showcase of District Wide Technology Initiatives and Services. Hands-on workshops and parent involvement sessions will be available.
    Round Table Discussions: An opportunity to discuss various educational technology topics.
    Vendor Exhibit: Many vendors will be present to demonstrate hardware and software products.
    Scavenger Hunt: Students can participate in an engaging, on-site scavenger hunt that helps them learn more about the projects at the Student Showcase.
    For more information and details on how to register, please visit:

  • District 6 Podcast Available!
    Subscribe to the District 6 Podcast at This podcast will feature District 6 educators having conversations about student learning. The first episode features Mr. Martin Galindo, the Local District 6 Superintendent, with a message for all of us involved in education. The second episode features Mr. Jose Hernandez, an Elementary Director of School Services for Local District 6, talking about his challenge to all of us to promote healthy minds and bodies through a remarkable program in which he would like us all to participate.
    The District 6 EdTech Podcast is almost ready to publish also. Please expect our first episodes sometime next week.

  • FreeBay Donations
    A caring teacher at one of our local high schools would like to donate older equipment to schools in need, rather than have that equipment end up in salvage. Please note that this equipment does not come with any support. If you wish to accept this equipment, maintentance will be the responsibility of the receiving school.
    Equipment available:
    2 tangerine (tray-loading) iMacs
    3 aqua (tray-loading) iMacs
    2 [translucent] purple (slot-loading) iMacs (these have firewire)
    1 NCS Scanner OpScan 2
    If you would like this equipment, and have the ability to support this type of older equipment, please contact me. Equipment will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Mac & Windows Interoperability Seminar - February 22nd, 3:30 - 5:30 @ Local District 5 Office
    Dave Douglas, Apple Systems Engineer, will demonstrate Mac & Windows Interoperability at this FREE seminar. For more information and to register, please visit:

Grants and Funding
  • A+ for Energy Grant
    • BP to Award PreK-12 Teachers $5 Million in Grants & Scholarships for innovative energy and energy conservation projects.
      Deadline: March 23rd, 2007
      Grant Writing Workshop for this grant to be held at Local District 6, 3rd Floor Conference Room, February 27th, 3:30 - 5:30. All interested teachers are invited to attend.
  • Intel Schools of Distinction Awards Competition
    • The Intel Schools of Distinction awards competition begins on December 8 at 8:00 a.m. EST and applications will close on February 28, 11:59 pm EST. Six winners will be selected - one from each grade range, K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 - in each of the two categories of math and science.
      Each winning school will receive a $10,000 cash grant from the Intel Foundation, as well as $150,000 in products and services from the program awards' sponsors
  • CDWG - Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes
    Win a $50,000 wireless lab for your school! 30 additional technology prizes will be awarded!
    Deadline: May 1, 2007

  • From e-School News
    • ThinkQuest International 2007
      Eligibility: Students ages 9-19, and teachers
      Value: $750-$1,000
      Deadline: April 16, 2007

      ThinkQuest inspires students to think, connect, create, and share. Students work in teams to build innovative and educational web sites to share with the world. Along the way, they learn research, writing, teamwork, and technology skills and compete for exciting prizes. Sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation, the competition offers a unique project-based learning experience to students and teachers across the globe. Everybody wins by having their completed websites published in the ThinkQuest Library, a rich online resource visited by millions monthly.

    • 2007 National Teacher Awards Program
      Organization: Time Warner Cable
      Eligibility: K-12 educators within a Time Warner cable service area
      Value: 15 awards of $2,000-$3,000
      Deadline: April 13, 2007

      This program recognizes outstanding teachers who develop creative learning experiences using cable television resources such as programming or internet technology. It also aims to encourage the development and effective use of Cable in the Classroom educational programs, as well as to stimulate a national exchange of innovative ideas and programs among educators. This year, Time Warner Cable will recognize 15 projects for creative use of cable television resources and the winners will receive $2,000 cash and $3,000 for school technology advancement.

    • For more information on Grants and Funding Resources, please visit District 6's Online Resources for Grants and Funding located on
Educational Technology Gems
  • Digital Storytelling - The Life Cycle of a Crane
    A recent post in this section referenced David Jake's online tutorials on Digital Storytelling using Photostory 3 (a free product from Microsoft for Windows). One ed tech leader who teaches at a local elementary school, Bob Moore, used these tutorials as a springboard for developing digital stories with his third grade EL students. He has published one to share about the life cycle of a crane. His students are motivated to map and script even more stories, using the writing process. He uses Thinking Maps and the EL curriculum, Into English, as a basis for the stories students are creating. He is also now teaching other educators in his school how to use this tool. He has graciously offered to share his expertise with us at our upcoming Digital Storytelling workshop on February 15th at our EdTech Leaders Cadre meeting. Please join us to learn more about Digital Storytelling and how it can engage students. BRAVO, Mr. Moore!
    See the story below:

  • Social Explorer Census Maps
    This tool allows the user to visually experience data collections through interactive demographic maps. This is a very engaging way to visualize census data over time.

  • Quizlet - The End of Flashcards
    A description from the website:

    You enter a vocabulary list of any words or data you want. (ex. SAT words, history dates, French-Spanish translations, etc.) Quizlet gives you a specialized learning mode, flashcards, randomly-generated tests, and collaboration tools for classmates to help you study those words.

  • Other rich resources can be found at
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, in support of Local District 6
Phone: (213)219-0836
E-mail: paulburns (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.
Approved by Sharon Sweet, Administrator of Instruction, LAUSD Local District 6
If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please notify me.

Friday, January 19, 2007

January 2007 Educational Technology Updates

Welcome to the January 2007 update to the District 6 Educational Technology Newsletter. This month we were unable to meet face to face, so important updated information will be posted here.

California School Technology Survey
It's near the time when the California School Technology Survey needs to be filled out by one person in every school in the district. This is usually the principal or technology coordinator. The survey will open on Monday, January 22nd. The Local District 6 deadline for completing this survey will be March 9th. More details on this survey will be available soon.
EdTech Profile
This survey needs to be filled out once per year by every educator in the district. So far, not many teachers in our schools have completed this survey. Please remind educators that this important survey needs to be completed annually.

K-12 EdTech Voucher Program
As mentioned previously, district plans for using the K-12 EdTech Vouchers to maximize student learning (formerly known as the Microsoft settelement) are still being developed. In order to fully understand this voucher program, please visit LAUSD's Educational Technology page and click on "voucher" links in the Quick Links section. This will give you a general overview through the video podcast and Powerpoint presentation. If you then have some ideas on how the vouchers might best impact student learning, please send them to me or Paul so that we may suggest them at the next planning committee meeting. Also, if you are interested in participating in the upcoming Planning Committee video-conference meeting on Monday, January 29th, please contact us for details.

Professional Development
Digital Photography Workshop
Joan Dooley, an outstanding digital media instructor at Bell High School is inviting interested educators to attend an after-school class she is teaching at Bell called Digital Photography: Fast Track from Amateur to Pro . This class will cover basics to advanced camera and Adobe Photoshop techniques. Time: Starting 1/10 - 4/18, 3:30-4:30 Place: S7 (across from girl’s gym at Bell HS). Salary points may be available. Even though the class has already started, she is willing to accept new participants. If you are interested, please contact me and I will pass your information to her. This is an exciting opportunity to learn and work with a very talented and gifted teacher.
LAUSD Infotech 2007 - April 21st, 2007
It's time to start thinking about which student projects you would like to showcase at this year's Infotech. Also, the student competition for elementary and middle schools students will involve a digital storytelling project that will need to be submitted by the end of March. High school students will also be involved in a digital storytelling event that will be created and judged at the event. Registration will open soon in the Learning Zone.

Technology Gems
This week, I rediscovered a great podcast series by Alan November. You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. For quite some time, this podcast contained only the wonderful presentations from his annual Building Learning Communities Conferences, but now he is publishing even more quality content, such as reflections on learning and leadership, interviews with key educational leaders, and in-depth discussions on how we need change our teaching to prepare our students for their future. Listen and be inspired!

Please know that the workshop I am creating on Digital Storytelling will be coming soon, in one form or another.

If you have any comments, questions, or feedback, please comment directly on this blog or email me or Paul using the contact information below.

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, in support of Local District 6
Phone: (213)219-0836
E-mail: paul.burns (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.