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.

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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)

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Edie_Walker said...

Another newsletter packed full of great fun stuff. Thanks Janice

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment--we appreciate the "shout-out"! I like the way you've structured your site--seems like a great resource for your group. Take care!