Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Special May 2008 Edition

Hello All,
There are a few great resources I wanted to share with you.

All K-5 Schools - Smartboard/Student Response System Matching Grant
The Riordan Foundation is offering a matching grant opportunity to purchase Smartboards, Projectors and Student Response Systems. Please visit the website for more details and access to the grant applications and guidelines. The grant deadline is June 1st, so a quick response is necessary. Since this grant would pay for half of the equipment, it might be a great way to get some very useful equipment for K-5 classrooms.

Laptop Cart Management Presentation
At our May 2008 EdTech Leadership Cadre Meeting, David Billett, Technology Coordinator at Gage Middle School shared some very useful information with us in his presentation on laptop cart management. David manages many laptop carts at his school and had some great recommendations for us.
At the last minute, we decided to stream and record his presentation. I used the built-in camera and microphone from my computer and the free application, Ustream. Except for my head constantly popping into the corner, the recording is okay. If you missed David's presentation, you can see it here:

Part 1

Part 2

You can also watch both videos from the channel I created at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/laptop-cart-management

David has also shared the forms and documents he has created for managing laptops in a school. You can find these documents in our LD6 EdTech Cadre Group at http://groups.google.com/group/ld6edtech If you are not yet a member of this group, please request membership and you will be added to the group.

A Special Note:
Thanks to all of you who have come to our monthly meetings throughout the year. Your support, leadership, and dedication are so greatly appreciated. You all are the best! Thank you!

Grants and Funding
I recently received a correspondence from the president of GrantsAlert.com, Joseph B. Mizereck, letting me know about the resources at GrantsAlert.com He states, "My focus is on helping K12 teachers and administrators find funding for their schools. I would think your readers would appreciate learning about the site."
An educator can search through the various types of grants to find one that matches their needs. There are many resources on different types of grants and funding available . The top section of the front page lists recently posted grants. The bottom section has some useful resources, including a "Good Stuff for Teachers" section that lists funding specifically targeted for classroom teachers. I, too, think you might find this useful.

Friday, May 09, 2008

LD6 Educational Technology News for May 2008

Hello All,
It's hard to believe that May is here and our school year will soon be ending. It always seems that the year goes by so quickly. I hope your year has been great and that your next year will be even greater!

Table of Contents
  1. Technology Leadership Cadre Meeting - Our Last One of the Year!
  2. District News
  3. Great Opportunities
  4. Grants
  5. Technology Gems
Technology Leadership Cadre
Our last meeting this year will be next Thursday, May 15th., at South East High School. It will be in Devery Rodgers' classroom. Thanks to Devery Rodgers and Vic Pacheco for hosting the meeting at their school. It will be from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Our guest presenter is David Billet, technology coordinator at Gage Middle School. He will be sharing some laptop management tips, as well as some other tips for managing a successful technology program. David has left a discussion question for you in our Local District 6 EdTech Group. Visit the discussion to reply. Please add to the discussion.
We will also be doing a round table sharing of how to make our meetings better and what else you might want. Please bring your ideas and share them at the meeting. If you will not be able to join us, but would like to join the discussion, post your ideas in the discussion at our groups site at http://groups.google.com/group/ld6edtech

May 15th, 2008 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
South East High School
2720 Tweedy Blvd.
South Gate, CA 90280

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District News

Site Computer Inventory

Each school site is responsible for updating their site computer inventory as detailed in Memorandum 4170 (mem-4170). The memorandum outlines several ways this can be done. One of the options mentioned is to update the inventory at http://pc-inventory.lausd.net/ . This information was given to all principals several months ago. Please make sure that this has been completed.

CAMSP Science Leadership Institute
There are still a few spaces available for this summer's week long wonderful professional development experience at the Thacher Academy in Ojai, CA. This is available for free to all 4-8 grade science teachers. Teachers will also be able to earn salary points. Join us for an incredible week of learning science for the classroom, using technology as a tool. Download the flyer for more information and registration details.

Great Opportunities

AFI ScreenNation
Come visit ScreenNation, AFI’s (American File Institute's) new video-sharing community for middle and high-school students and the educators who support them. Registration is free. There are scheduled challenges for students around a theme. Students can win prizes for their videos. The current theme is Your Home Town's Claim to Fame. This challenge will accept videos until June 30th, with winners announced on July 15th.
The production tips are wonderful. Here's a video on the basics of conducting an interview:

More tips can be found on the website. I discovered these embeddable videos when reading Joe Brennan's Digital Storytelling Blog post entitled: To Transition or...
He embeds a wonderful video about transitions, those special features that students (and educators) like to (over)use. Read his post for more details.

EdZone - from California's K-12 High Speed Network
From their website: T
he California K-12 High Speed Network (K12HSN) is offering a comprehensive set of tools to support teaching and learning in California classrooms. This free suite of tools, edZone, currently includes blogging, videoconference scheduling and a file sharing system where educators can upload videos, podcasts, images and documents.
If you have been wondering about where to upload and share your videos and podcast episodes, this sounds like a great place to do so. They will be adding social networking, wikis, and instant messaging this summer. This is a fantastic offering by our California State Department of Education! Registration is free!

My Tech Desk
As I was browsing the above site, I re-discovered MyTechDesk, a free offering from the California Department of Education's TechSets project. This is a free way to manage requests for technical assistance. I know we all use LAUSD's Help Desk, but often, there are many requests that don't require the use of this service. MyTechDesk could help you manage and keep track of all your requests.

Google Teacher Academy
As I mentioned in my last post, Google is once again offering the Google Teacher Academy on June 25th in Mountain View, California. The application is due May 28th. For more information, please visit
http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html I hope many of you decide to apply. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and collaborate with outstanding passionate educators with innovative tools.

LACOE's Professional Development
Please take advantage of all LACOE has to offer. There are workshops, week-long institutes, and events that are outstanding. Visit their website at http://ito.lacoe.edu/ for all the great opportunities.

Grants and Funding

From LACOE'S Grants and Funding Page:

ASM International's Living in a Material World
Amount: $500
Target: K-12 Teachers
Deadline: May 25th, 2008
ASM International Foundation's mission is to excite young people worldwide in materials careers. To help teachers bring the "real world" of materials science into the classroom, the ASM International Foundation is awarding 10 grants of $500 each to teachers, K-12.

From E-School News

Save Our History Grants
Museums, historic sites, historical societies, preservation organizations, libraries, and archives are invited to partner with a local school or youth group and apply for funding to help preserve the history of their communities.
Amount: Up to $10,000.00
Deadline: June 6, 2008

Content Meets Technology Sweepstakes from eSchoolNews
In 250 words or less, students and teachers are asked to describe their vision for the role of technology in education. This gets posted on a Google Maps mashup Refer others to the site and get credit for more chances to win.
Amount: Up to $8,500 per classroom of Interwrite Products
Deadline: May 13, 2008 (I know - it's late.)

From my Personal Learning Network
Live Green Teacher Grants
From their site:
What’s your vision for inspiring the next generation of eco-smart, energy aware kids?...
Earn a $1,000 LIVE GREEN grant - 40 grants will be awarded to teachers for the most forward-thinking ideas. In addition, the 40 recipients will be treated to an exciting online professional development program designed to help them reach their school’s specific green initiatives, including a free digital camera to document and share the experience!
Deadline: June 15, 2008

There are a wealth of additional grants at http://www.eschoolnews.com/funding/funding-news/ Free registration required.

Grant Wrangler is another site that lists recent grants for K-12 educators.

Technology Gems
From the most recent Bit by Bit Seedlings Podcast...

Read the Words

A service that will convert text to speech that can be listened to on the website, downloaded as an .mp3 for portable devices, or embedded on a website. This would be a great tool to use with learners with diverse needs, including English language learners.

This great online application works like TinyURL to make long web addressess shorter, but you can also personalize them and make them permanent.

From my personal learning network...

Using Google Docs in the Classroom

A great resource for teachers who want to learn to use this great tool.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mathew Needleman, a literacy coach in LAUSD, has created a great video to make you think about education and how we use technology. Enjoy!

I will be posting a special edition in the next few weeks of student projects that people have sent me. Please send me links to the great work you and your students are creating, so I can include it in the post.

Contact Information
Janice Stearns
Instructional Technology Applications Facilitator (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

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happy Teacher's Day!

Today is National Teacher's Day. Here's the good news straight from Google and CUE:

Google Teacher Academy - at the Googleplex
Mountain View, CA
June 25, 2008
Applications Due: May 28, 2008

Since today is National Teacher Day, we thought it would be the perfect day to announce that Google's FREE training program for K-12 educators is back at the Google headquarters! Outstanding educators from across the country (and beyond!) are encouraged to apply for the Google Teacher Academy taking place on Wed, June 25, 2008.

Learn more about the program and apply online!
Google Teacher Academy
June 25, 2008
Mountain View, CA

Applications Due: May 28, 2008
I hope many of you decide to apply for this amazing learning opportunity. It’s great to surround yourself with such a wonderful community of passionate learners! I highly recommend it as an outstanding experience.