Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 2008 EdTech News

Welcome to the December edition of the Local District 6 Educational Technology Newsletter!

My Favorite New Video:

The Networked Student, by Wendy Drexler, was inspired by CCK08, a Connectivism and Connective Knowledge course offered by George Siemens and Stephen Downes during Fall 2008. It depicts an actual project done by her high school students.
Are we preparing our students for the networked world of learning? Please offer your comments below in the comment section.

Table of Contents
Local District 6 EdTech Leadership Cadre Meetings
District News
Professional Development
Awards and Competition
Grants and Funding
Technology Gems

Upcoming Local District 6 EdTech Leadership Cadre Meetings
Come join us as we learn together how to use technology tools to communicate, collaborate and create with educators and students both locally and globally in a networked environment.
All meetings will be held at the Local District 6 office, 3rd floor conference room, from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on the third Thurday of the month.
Local District 6
5800 S. Eastern
Commerce, CA 90040

January 15th, 2009 - Blogging as an Educator
February 19th, 2009 - Blogging for Students
March 19th, 2009 - LAUSD EdTech Services/ Social Networks
April 16th, 2009 - Wikis in the Classroom
May 21st, 2009 - New Media Literacies

If anyone would like to share their learning in these meetings, please let me know. The more we share, the more we learn together.
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District/County News

Apple Contract

The Apple contract has now been approved. Schools can purchase Apple products by visiting

Microsoft Settlement K-12 Voucher Program
Most all schools will have the opportunity to benefit from the Microsoft Settlement through an equipment refresh program. Vouchers will be in the amount of approximately $22 - $23 per student, based on their ADA. Schools will be able to purchase laptop, desktop, smartboard, and LCD packages. The refresh process will begin at the beginning of the new year and it is hoped that all equipment will be in schools by June 2009. More details on this program will follow.

LAUSD's Infotech Student Showcase will be on Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 Students and teachers should be thinking about the projects they will be showcasing at this wonderful, student centered event. Mark your calendars and let the fun begin. Students at this year's showcase will have the opportunity to apply to present at the 2010 CUE Conference Student Technology Showcase.

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Professional Development

Online Learning
  • Paul Burns will be offering a series of 2 hour courses on Mondays on services that LAUSD offers for students and educators. Registration for these courses will be available through LAUSD's Learning Zone after the first week in January. Announcement will be made when these are available online.
The Los Angeles County Office of Education has a good selection of courses available on using technology as a tool in the classroom.
  • Tech Academies, both Level 1 and Level 2, are week long courses designed to immerse the learner in 21st century literacy skills that can be used in the classroom. LAUSD employees can take these course during off track time and recieve $400 compensation upon completion of the academy.
  • Instructional Technology Outreach courses are offered at various locations around the Los Angeles area.
The annual Computer Using Educators conference, one of the finest educational technology conferences in the nation, will take place this year in Palm Springs March 5 - 7. This is a wonderful way to learn and network with educators from around the state and beyond. Dr. Robert Marzano will be the Keynote Speaker.

ADE (Apple Distinguished Educators) 2009
The application window is now open for applying to become an Apple Distinguished Educator. This is a wonderful opportunity to work with an amazing community of educators dedicated to creating the conditions where 21st century literacies are a priority. Deadlines for application is January 31st, 2009
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Awards and Competition

Microsoft Web Design Curriculum, Software, and Publishing Contest
Microsoft is offering free web design software (a site license to Microsoft Expression) and a free semester-long curriculum to all interested high schools who will participate in the pilot curriculum which will culminate in a web design project. The project will begin in January, with the contest finalists being announced at this year's LAUSD Infotech on May 2nd, 2009 The contest will look similar to this website, although the details of the contest dates will be different. More details will be provided as soon as they are available. If you are interested, please let me know.

KLCS Video in the Classroom Awards Competition
Eligibility: all classroom generated video from Grades PreK - 12 and Adult School, produced after March 14th, 2008
Deadline: February 17th, 2009 5:00 p.m
Recomended length of video: 15 minutes or less
Flyer with more information and Application download

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Grants and Funding

Intel Schools of Distinction
from the website:
Intel honors U.S. schools that have demonstrated excellence in math and science education as Intel Schools of Distinction. Eighteen schools – three elementary, three middle and three high schools in each of two categories – math and science – will be selected as Finalists, receiving a cash grant for $2,500 from the Intel Foundation. Six winners - one elementary, one middle and one high school in each of the two categories receive $10,000 cash grants and more than $100,000 in products and services from sponsors.
Grant Application Deadline: February 17, 2009 5:00 p.m. PST
For more information and access to the online application, please visit the website.

Toyota Tapestry Grant
from the website
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and the National Science Teachers Association are pleased to announce the 19th Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program. This year, 50 large grants of up to $10,000 each and 20-32 mini-grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to K-12 teachers of science in the United States. The categories are Physical Science Application, Environmental Science Education, and Integrating Literacy and Science.
Grant Application Deadline: January 21, 2009 11:59 EST
For more information, please visit the website.

Toshiba/NSTA Exploravision Awards
From the Website:
ExploraVision encourages K-12 students of all interest, skill and ability levels to create and explore a vision of future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science. ...

ExploraVision prizes include:

  • First Prize (4 teams): U.S. EE Savings Bond worth $10,000 at maturity for each student.
  • Second Prize (4 teams): U.S. EE Savings Bond worth $5,000 at maturity for each student.
  • Regional Prize (24 teams): A Toshiba notebook computer for each regional winning school, and a special gift for each student, teacher and mentor.
  • Honorable Mention Recognition
For more information about this opportunity, please visit the website. There will be a special online web seminar on January 14th, 2009 at 3:30 p.m. that will help applicants avoid disqualification. Details are on the website.
Application Deadline: January 28, 2009

More Grants and Funding information can be found at:
E-School News - Grants and Funding - free registration required
Grant Wrangler - My new favorite tool for finding grants.

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Tech Gems
  • Free Rice
    This website donate 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program for each question answered correctly to help end world hunger. There are many categories to choose from, including science, math, and art. This is a nice opportunity for students to participate in a noble cause.

  • Windows Live Skydrive - 25 GB Free Online Storage!
    Windows Live seems like the best kept secret (at least to me) around. This free, online storage space not only offers the space, but the ability to organize in folders, and much more. Check it out!
  • Drawing/Painting Programs - Several free programs I know you'll enjoy:
    SumoPaint - Create and edit images with professional quality tools online. No registration required.
    SplashUp - Free, online image editor with easy, yet professional tools.
    Paintbrush - If you have a Mac, you'll love Paintbrush. This is a desktop application that looks much like the old KidPix, without all the bells and whistles. If you need just a simple drawing tool, you'll be very happy with this application.
    Kerpoof - For younger students, this online application is a must. Not only can you draw and paint, but it has a storytelling application as well.
  • allows you to take the url of a YouTube movie and upload it quickly to, where it can be watched or shared with others. The movies transfer in only a few minutes, and this is a great advantage if you don't want to download and store YouTube videos locally. It's great for uploading and sharing other videos as well. I've found that the embed feature is not liked by some applications. Hopefully, they are working on that.
  • Real World Math using Google Earth
    This site is full of authentic math lessons and projects that help students use conceptual understanding as it applies to real world math problems.
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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
E-mail: paulburns (at)

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