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.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

January 2007 Technology Cadre Meeting

Due to current contract negotiations, the January 18th Educational Technology Cadre Meeting has been canceled. The information that would have been shared at the meeting will be shared in this newsletter in the next few days.

Friday, January 05, 2007

January 2007 Educational Technology News

I hope you all had a restful winter break. Welcome back! Here are the news and updates for Educational Technology for the past few months.

Table of Contents
  1. Technology Cadre Meetings
  2. Notable News and Updates
  3. Professional Development
    1. UPDATE
    2. LACOE
    3. Conferences
  4. Grants and Funding
  5. Educational Technology Gems
Technology Cadre Meetings
Our first meeting of the new year will be on Thursday, January 18th, at Madison Elementary, from 3:45 to 5:15. Thank you to Dr. Young, M. Rivera, and the staff at Madison for allowing us to meet there. Please invite all interested colleagues.
The agenda for our upcoming meeting is as follows:
3:45 - 4:15 Updates and News
4:15 - 4:45 Digital Storytelling Workshop
4:45 - 5:15 Discussion, open forum, and school site tour

Podcasts of some of our previous meetings will be published soon.

Upcoming meetings are: February 15th, March 15th, April 19th - Bell High School, and May 17th - SouthEast High School
If your school can host our February or March meeting, please let me know.

Notable News and Updates

  • Education Technology K-12 Voucher Program
    This program, also known as the Microsoft Settlement Program, resulted from the settlement agreement between California consumers and the Microsoft Corporation. Funds remaining after the consumer settlement has been satisfied will be available for dissemination via vouchers to the district for schools.

    For more information about the program, please visit: In the Quick Links section, there are links to a presentation and video from the September Board meeting (ABT Committee Presentation). Also, for an excellent detailed analysis and commentary of what has taken place so far, please refer to the MS Settlement Information, prepared by the ITAF for Local District 8. As pointed out in this analysis, the amount of voucher money that is actually going to be available is far below what was previously estimated. In the next few months, a survey will be available to gather priorities from all interested educators. A fund planning committee consisting of local district designees will also be meeting soon to further discuss how money might be spent. If you would like to offer suggestions for spending vouchers, or have any questions after examining the above documents, please contact me. At our January meeting, we will also be gathering input from attendees to submit to the planning committee.
Professional Development
    LAUSD offers salary point professional development through Learning Zone. Learning Zone can now be accessed from outside the firewall. Access to the current class offerings makes it easy to browse from home. UPDATE courses this month include courses on differentiated instruction and using technology to engage English Language Learners. Also included are new online courses that allow you to learn and earn salary points with anytime, anywhere access. More online courses are being developed. This will be an exciting new way to learn and collaborate with others.
  • Los Angeles County Office of Education
    offers many resources for professional development. Workshops this month include handhelds and claymation. Also, Tech Academies, Levels 1 and 2 (including a $400 compensation fee) are offered throughout the school year to off-track or on-vacation teachers. These courses provide an opportunity to develop technology proficiencies for use in the classroom.

  • Conferences

    • LAUSD's InfoTECH 2007 - April 21st, 2007 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Los Angeles Convention Center
      This year's InfoTECH will be an outstanding opportunity for students, educators, and parents to engage, learn, and participate in using technology as a tool. The student showcase will allow students to showcase their projects. The student competition will be for all grade levels, using digital storytelling as the medium. Also, there will be round-table discussions on various topics, student activities, vendors, and a multitude of other activities for all who attend. Mark your calendar now, and prepare for entering your student projects either in the showcase or the competition. More details will be available shortly.

    • CUE (Computer Using Educator's) Conference - March 1 - 3, Palm Springs, CA
      This outstanding annual state conference is quickly approaching. Pre-registration deadlines are at the beginning of February. This conference is an excellent way to learn and network with educators from all over the state. One can learn so much not only from the sessions at these conferences, but also through the conversations with other attendees. I hope to see you there!

    • NECC (National Education Computing Conference) - June 24 - 27 - Atlanta, GA
      This is the amazing national conference, where people from all over the world meet to discuss technology in education. It is exciting to have conversations with people from around the globe about how they are using technology to engage students. Please let me know if you will be attending this year. We can plan to meet.

    • K-12 Online Conference
      Even though this conference is physically over, the website contains all the learning material from the online courses. If you would like to participate in any of the conference sessions, they will remain available for some period of time. This conference is unique because the materials can be accessed whenever there is time available to learn.
Grants and Funding
  • From CUE's Monthly Newsletter:

    NEA Foundation's Student Achievement Grants provide opportunities to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area(s). The proposed work should engage students in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. Applications for the $5,000 grant may be submitted any time. Review occurs three times a year: February 1, June 1 and October 15 in 2007
    Deadline: Ongoing

    Toyota Tapestry Grants for Science Teachers
    A partnership between Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the Toyota TAPESTRY program offers grants to K–12 science teachers for innovative projects that enhance science education in their school and/or school district. Fifty Large Grants and a minimum of 20 Mini-Grants, totaling $550,000, will be awarded in 2007.
    Deadline: January 18, 2007

    HP Technology for Teaching Grant Initiative is designed to support the innovative use of mobile technology in K–16 education and to help identify K–12 public schools that HP might support with future grants. In 2007, HP will award approximately $10 million in cash and equipment to schools in the U.S. and Puerto Rico through the HP Technology for Teaching Program, including reinvestment for selected projects previously funded. Based on outcomes of the projects funded through this initiative in 2007, HP may offer some grant recipients additional, higher-value grants in 2008. Requests for proposals, with specific details about the grant goals and application process, are available now. Return to the site on January 8, 2007 to begin the application process.
    Deadline: February 15, 2007 for submitting proposals

  • from the LAUSD Grants Assistance Unit

    Lemelson - MIT InvenTeams High School Invention Grants is a national grants initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program to foster inventiveness among high school students. InvenTeams composed of high school students, teachers and mentors are asked to collaboratively identify a problem that they want to solve, research the problem, and then develop a prototype invention as an in-class or extracurricular project.
    Eligibility: High school science, mathematics and technology teachers-or teams of teachers-at public, private and vocational schools; intra- and inter-school collaborations are welcome to apply.
    Deadline: April 27, 2007

  • From e-School News Online

    Dupont Science Essay Competition Challenge
    Students write a 700 to 1,000 word essay discussing a scientific discovery, theory, event, or technology application that has captured your interest. Over the years, the judges have noted that winning essays reflect the several attributes, including creativity, originality, readability, thorough research, and appropriate choice of subject matter. Awards are given in junior, senior, and teacher divisions; the science teacher who sponsors the winning student receives a prize.

    Eligibility: Grades 7-12
    Value: More than $20,000 total
    Deadline: February 12, 2007

    Igniting Creative Energy Challenge
    This award is an educational competition that encourages students to learn more about energy and the environment. National winners will win valuable educational experiences that include a trip to Hawaii and a chance to meet national leaders and energy policymakers in Washington, D.C. New for 2007, the highest scoring student in each state and most provinces will receive additional recognition and a $1,000 (U.S.) donation from Johnson Controls for his or her school.
    Value: Travel expenses and $1,000 prizes
    Deadline: February 17, 2007

Educational Technology Gems

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)

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

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