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: http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/edtech.

  • 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) lausd.net.

  • 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: http://infotech.lausd.net/

  • District 6 Podcast Available!
    Subscribe to the District 6 Podcast at http://district6.edublogs.org 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: http://applela.com/


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 del.icio.us.
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 http://del.ico.us/district6
Contact Information
Janice Stearns
ITAF, LAUSD Local District 6, Office of Instruction
Phone: (323)278-4903
E-mail: janice.stearns (at) lausd.net

Paul Burns
ITAF, Instructional Technology Branch, in support of Local District 6
Phone: (213)219-0836
E-mail: paulburns (at) lausd.net

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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