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

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 . 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 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 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 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)

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

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