Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 2009 EdTech News

Hello Everyone,
I hope your last few days before winter vacation are filled with exciting and memorable learning opportunities with your students. I wish you and your family a very happy holiday season.

Upcoming LD6 EdTech Leadership Meetings
I'd like to thank those who attended our November LD6 EdTech Leadership meeting. Educators travel long distances to join us for the learning. You are a dedicated group of educators who inspire me each and every day! We won't have a meeting this month, since it is such a busy time of year! However, we have a great January meeting planned.

January 2o1o LD6 EdTech Leadership Meeting - January 21st, 2010 - 4:00 - 5:15 Gage MS
David Billett, Technology Resource Teacher at Gage Middle School, will be sharing with us the process to create LAUSD student email accounts and also how his students are using all the Google Apps included with the email accounts to collaborate and engage in authentic learning. Join us on Thursday, January 21, from 4:00 to 5:15 at Gage Middle School. (The meeting this time will NOT be at the Local District 6 office.) David has been an advocate for the LAUSD MyMail system at his school since it began several years ago. The students at Gage Middle School use the system to share and collaborate on documents, presentations, forms, spreadsheets, calendars, and more. David has some useful tips and tricks for us. I hope you can join us.

February 2010 Meeting

We need a place to host our February (Feb. 18th) meeting. Please let me know if we can meet at your school. We need a site with access to computers and the internet, because...

For our February meeting, Jutti Marsh will share the new features of Thinkfinity (formerly known as Marco Polo). Please mark your calendars now.

District and County News

The EdTech Profile
If the staff members at your school haven't already done so, please encourage all of them to complete the EdTech Profile. This survey assesses the technology proficiency of educators at your school and is used for many state and federal funding programs. It's very important that all staff at your school complete it as soon as possible. If someone at your school does not have administrator access to see the progress of those who have taken the survey and to send lost passwords, etc., please contact me.

Intel Schools of Distinction
Applications are now open to apply to be an Intel School of Distinction. Read the requirements and application process online. This year, the main content areas are math and science.
Finalists, Winners and the Star Innovator will all receive a cash grant from the Intel Foundation. Finalists will receive a $2500 grant, Winners a $10,000 grant with the Star Innovator receiving a $25,000 grant. In addition program sponsors will provide products and services to the 5 Winner schools and the Star Innovator.

Professional Development

K12 Online Conference
The most amazing online conference is taking place right now - for free at The conference presentations began being released last week and continue until this Friday. Each day, 4-5 outstanding conferences are published for you to attend, any time - any where. This year, the quality of the presentations are excellent!
After eagerly watching almost every one of them, I'm convinced we need to use these to help others learn about the amazing learning opportunities available through technology.
All presentations can be accessed by visiting the Schedule page. You can also subscribe to audio/video/text feeds here.
LAN Party
One presentation demonstrates hosting a "LAN Party" for the district, where educators get together to learn and - of course - to eat. I thought it would be great to create something like this for our district. Watch the presentation here:
and let me know if you are interested in working together to create this for our district.

LACOE Professional Development Workshops
There are many valuable workshops offered by the Instructional Technology Outreach program at the Los Angeles County Office of Education. These workshops look fantastic! Be sure to check out the week long Tech Academies for both beginners and proficient users. These are free to LAUSD educators, and can be taken for salary points during off-track times.

CUE Conference - March 4 - 6
Don't miss California's Computer Using Educator's Conference. This conference has something to offer everyone, from those just starting out using technology in the classroom to experts. Each year I attend, I find new things to learn and new ways to network. I hope to see you there!

Grants, ETC.
Money Monday Michael Leffin from LACOE shares many grant resources. This file contains some great resources for grant seeking.

Grant Wrangler - A place for educators to find classroom grants.

Flip Camera 2 for 1 Offer
Flip is offering 2 Ultra Video Cameras for the price of one through Digital Wish. 2 Flip Video Cameras for $150.

Cool Tools
iPhone/iPod Touch Apps

Dragon Dictation
This app allows you to record, and then converts the audio to text that can be emailed, posted on a blog, or sent via a text message. The possibilities with this tool for students are endless!

Create a story on the iPod Touch with audio, text, and images. Can be shared via email. A great productivity tool.

Cell Phone Tools for Learning

This application allows you to call in reminders, emails, text messages and more. The service transcribes your audio into text, then emails or posts where it is set up to be shared. Truly an amazing tool that has many uses for the classroom.

Record a podcast and publish it for all to hear. This can be done using any phone.

Cell Phones for Learning
Liz Kolb posts many ideas for using cell phones in the classroom. Her blog and weekly radio show are full of great ideas.

Web Resources

ScreenToaster - This free web application captures the computer screen and audio from a microphone to create quick tutorials. This app empowers students to become teachers of what they know. Videos can be shared in many different ways, and downloaded in several different formats.

Common Craft Videos
The folks at Common Craft have added many useful how-to videos to their site, including Web Search Strategies, Electing a US President, Podcasting - all in "Plain English", with very easy to understand explanations.
Below is the video on using Effective Search Strategies in Plain English

Many other great resources can be found at
Enjoy the holidays!

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)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 2009 PD Opportunities

Day of Discovery - December 12, 2009
Free day of workshops and learning opportunities, from Discovery Education. Visit to register and for more information.

K-12 Online Conference - Nov. 30 - December 17th
This year's conference, Bridging the Divide, brings together educators from around the world for a virtual online conference like no other! This is an outstanding opportunity to learn anytime, anywhere. There are many scheduled live events to complement the virtual workshops. Join the ning to participate online.

Monday, September 14, 2009

EdTech News for September 2009

Welcome back to the 2009 - 2010 school year. Looking forward to a fabulous year of learning with you!

Video of the Month

Want to learn more about Creative Commons? Visit and also Dr. Lawrence Lessig's video on copyright laws on Ted Talks.

Upcoming Meetings
This year, as in past years, we will be meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month, beginning in October. Meetings are scheduled at the Local District 6 office, but if anyone would like to volunteer your school for our meeting, we would love to meet there.
I'd like to propose that each of us bring a tool or strategy to share at each of our meetings. The most powerful learning has always been from the sharing of ideas in our meetings.

The focus of our meetings will be how to support learning in our schools. We, as educational technology leaders, understand the why and the what of learning. We feel the urgency of getting collaborative tools into the hands of our learners. I think what we need to learn from one another is the HOW. How do we create interactive, collaborative learning environments in our schools, where everyone is a learner? From this question, we can formulate an essential question that can guide our learning for the year. I look forward to meeting with old friends and colleagues, and I hope we can encourage more of you to come and meet with us this year. Our meetings are informal, but powerful opportunities for sharing and learning.

Time: 4:00 - 5:15 at (tentatively) Local District 6, 3rd Floor Conference Room
5800 S. Eastern, Commerce, CA
October 15, 2009
November 19, 2009
January 21, 2010
February 18, 2010
March 18, 2010
April 15, 2010
May 20, 2010

I hope can join us on October 15th!

Local District 6 News

Local District 6 Social Network
Our Local District now has a social network at Please join and add to the conversation and learning there. Your input is highly valued. Together, we can build a community of educators online who can support each other as learners.

Local District 6 Website
Our Local District 6 Website went through a make-over during the summer. Please give your input on what more you would like to have access to on our website.

LAUSD District News and Events

Site Computer Inventory MEM-4170.2
All schools should complete the Site Computer inventory by October 1, 2009. For more information, please refer to the memo.
Note: The site used to update a school's inventory:, appears to work only within the firewall.

EdTech Profile
All staff at each school in our local distrit should update their EdTech profiles at If the principal at your school would like to designate someone to be the administrator for your school, please have him/her send me an email with that person's name. An administrator of the school's edtech profile information can send staff their login information and gather data from the survey.

LAUSD iTunes U
LAUSD is now online on iTunes University. (Please note: This link requires iTunes) If you have content you would like to contribute, please contact me.

EdTech at LAUSD
The LAUSD EdTech WebPage has useful content that is updated regularly.

School Websites
Many schools have requested information on how to update their school's website. There are several great resources available to address this:

iWeb Workshop
On Monday, October 5th, Dave Douglas, Apple Systems Engineer for LAUSD, will be offering a workshop at our Local District 6 Office from 3:45 to 5:45 on developing your school's website using Apple's iWeb software. For more information, download this flyer. This is an easy way for schools to easily update their web presence using free tools and LAUSD's web server.

School Loop
School Loop is offering free websites for all LAUSD schools. This is a fantastic opportunity to create an interactive website for your school. To find out more, please visit the website

Upcoming Conferences

21st Century Learners Symposium - Friday, October 23, 2009 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
LACOE's Instructional Technology Outreach offers this conference to all educators. The cost is $95 per person or $375.00 for a group of 6. For more information, download this flyer.

CUE Los Angeles Technology Fair - Saturday, November 14, 2009 8:30 - 3:30
Paradise Found at Mulholland Middle School. Registration and more information coming soon!
The keynote speaker this year is Ted Lai.

More upcoming conferences and information about them can be found on the Local District 6 EdTech Calendar, which can also be found on the right sidebar of this newsletter.

Geek of the Week (or month...)
Here are my picks. If you have any to share, please leave a comment below. Thanks.

Computers and the Internet
Brain Pop has been offering great content for years for a subscription price. Sometimes, they offer some of their content for free for a limited time.
For the month of September, they have a great section on computers and the internet. This page shows the free sections.
BrainPop ESL
BrainPop ESL is a new service designed specifically for English Language Learners. Since it's in beta, it's free to access. The content already there looks very useful.

Google for Educators
Google has developed a site specifically for educators, filled with online tutorials and lessons in varied curricular areas. It's a goldmine.

Digital Scantron Template by our very own YOUSSEF ELIAS!
Youssef Elias, iMAST coach for the past several years at South Gate Middle School, has developed a digital scantron template for Google Docs that allows you to create a quick quiz for your students and keep a running record of their scores. It's brilliant! Visit the site, download the template to Google Docs, and give his template a great rating! Enjoy!

Teaching Copyright by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a great place to find lessons and resources about teaching copyright. Teaching Copyright "was created to help teachers present the laws surrounding digital rights in a balanced way." The lessons reflect opportunities for authentic learning for students.

More great resources can be found daily at

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)

Friday, May 08, 2009

April/May 2009 Ed Tech News


Table of Contents
  1. Meetings
  2. District News
  3. Events and Opportunities
  4. Grants and Funding
  5. Tech Gems

Local District 6 EdTech Leadership Meetings
Our final Local District 6 EdTech Leadership meeting will take place on Thursday, May 21st, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the Local District 6 Office, 3rd floor conference room.
We will discuss how social media impacts student learning and also discuss the format and content for future meetings. Thanks to all who have attended our meetings this year. Your participation is sincerely appreciated!
5800 S. Eastern
Commerce, Ca 90040

District News

Smartboard Training
via Angela Folendorf, Education Consultant for Smart Technologies - Southern California

On August 19th-21st, Santa Monica-Malibu USD is hosting Los Angeles' first ever SMART Content Creation Seminar. This free, three day event will focus on learning intermediate to advanced skills to build integrated, interactive lessons. The first day will be all about learning these techniques from the lesson design experts at SMART, and the second and third will be time to build lessons with colleagues. At the end we hope to have 100 lessons to share amongst everyone. Space is limited and we are opening this up to 100 teachers only. There is an application process and some prerequisites which are outlined in the - PDF. Meals and parking are provided.
Content Creation Seminar.pdf

Infotech 2009, LAUSD's student led educational technology confererence, was a great success. It was wonderful to watch students teach others about their projects and teachers creating learning networks and making connections to learn from one another. I would like to extend my gratitude to all Local District 6 educators who came to participate and interact with students at this conference. I would especially like to thank the students and teachers who showcased their projects at the conference. You are amazing!

Montara Elementary School
Michelle Ngai - Listen to This!

Gage Middle School
Beth Billett - High Tech Statistics
David Billett - Full Scale Digital Video Production

SouthEast Middle School
Vanessa Kelterborn - Mutltimedia Interpretaion of Poems
South Gate Middle School
Marivenus Magbitang - An Informational Podcast
Silvio Vidal - If I Were President
Mike Albert - Web 2.0 in a History Class
Anne Gonzales - Algebra Readiness, Algebra, and Technology
Xiomara Benitez - Exploring Cell through Different Modalities
Kimberly Cole - My Own Whitman Poetry Reading
Violeta Llamas - Public Service Announcements
Tom Castle - The Use of Sketchup in Design
Tamara Moore - Why Should Califonia Leaders Save Me and My Peers a Spot in College?
Michelle Touceda - Imagining Dystopia: Responding to The Giver
Youssef Elias - IMaST Coach and Inspiration Giver

Maywood Academy High School
Walter Hamilton - Computer Network Adminstration and Design

Thanks to Paul Burns, our EdTech ITAF, for supporting our schools, teachers, and students in Local District 6 who participated in InfoTech.
I took many pictures and recorded lots of audio. I hope to have that published soon.

Events and Opportunities

Google Teacher Academy

On August 5, 2009, a Google Teacher Academy will be held at Boulder, Colorado. The Google Teacher Academy is a FREE professional development experience designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google's free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region.

Apply now online by midnight, July 3, 2009 to be considered. To apply or find out more information, go to

Instructional Technology Outreach
through the Los Angeles County Office of Education

The ITO at LACOE offers some outstanding professional development at a nominal fee.
Please visit their site to see the variety of rich content offered.

Grants and Funding
GrantWrangler is a very useful resource for finding available grants. Just put in your search terms and the site will return related grants sorted by due date. Here are a few when I put in the search term, "educational technology":

Samsung Techwin America, Application Deadline: June 15, 2009
...offering 50 Samsung 850DX document cameras to worthy applicants based on need.

The Gale Library/Media Connection TEAMS Award, Application Deadline: June 15, 2009
Three winners will receive: $2,500 (U.S.) cash award; Gale products (approximate value $500 U.S.); a one-year subscription to Library Media Connection; and Educator's Professional Bookshelf (approximate value $500 U.S.) from Linworth Publishing.
They will be looking for evidence of:
  • Collaboration between media specialists and teachers during the 2007/08 school year
  • Effective techniques that positively impact student learning and achievement
  • Support received from school leadership
  • Ability for others to replicate this best practice
Sol Hirsh Education Grants for Meteorology - Deadline, June 15, 2009
The National Weather Association sponsors the Sol Hirsch Education Fund, which offers $500 to K-12 teachers to help improve the education of their students in meteorology. Selected teachers will be able to use the funds to take an accredited course in atmospheric sciences, attend a relevant workshop or conference, or purchase scientific materials or equipment for the classroom.

Tech Gems

New Ways to Search Using Google
Google just released new options for using search in Google. After you search for information, click the Show Options link to find new ways to view your results.

You can now search by time parameters, separate your searches by forums, reviews, or videos, and view search results by looking at a graphic representation on a Wonder Wheel (my favorite), or a timeline. Find more information on the Google Blog.

Educator Thomas Cooper has started a site similar to Google LitTrips, where students use literature about expeditions to create learning projects using Google Earth and other tools. Listen to his recent podcast interview on the Seedlings show to learn more about this and other projects he offers for his students.
Mr. Cooper shares directions and templates to help others get started with similar projects. It's so very exciting that other educators offer support to others to help them get started with such engaging, authentic projects.

Tricking out CoolIris as a Presentation Tool
(above linked post by Alan Levine)
There's been a lot of buzz lately about the Firefox plug-in, Cool Iris, which shows any collection of images, whether it be on the internet or on your desktop as a gallery presentation.Even more cool is that it has the ability to play video as well as display web pages. In order to really appreciate what some educators have done with this tool, download and install the plugin before clicking on the links below.
Alan Levine, Vice President and CTO of The New Media Consortium realized that the Cool Iris plug-in would be an excellent presentation tool that could acheive Presentation Zen. His presenation. The More Things Change, uses Cool Iris as the presentation platform. The presenation is not only visually stunning and information rich, but the post contains a link to helpful tips on how to set up this type of presenation.
Other presenations that are using Cool Iris:
Dean Shareski's 10 Disrutions That Could Transform Your Classroom
Alan Levine's encore presenation: 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story

All of these presentations are outstanding. What a great tool for classroom use!

Google Earth and Map-a-List
A few months ago, I set out to map all the schools in Local District 6 on Google Earth.
Not wanting to enter all the data one school at a time into Google Earth, I first used Spreadsheet Mapper to create the map, but I found that sometimes the data wouldn't load from the spreadsheet into Google Earth.
I heard that Map-a-List would import data from Google Spreadsheets and export data as a .kml Google Earth/Google Map file. I imported my Excel spreadsheet with school names, addresses, and phone numbers into Google Docs, linked it to Map-a-List, and voila, I instantly had a Google Earth file that I could download. I put in a few links to LAUSD's school pages and some pictures and changed the map pins a little. Here's the Google Earth of all the schools in Local District 6. Please share with all who might find this useful. You can also view the file in Google Maps, but you lose the ability to zoom in on schools, and the schools are not separated according to level.

Around the same time I was creating this file, I listened to the most recent Tech Chick Tips podcast, where Anna (one of the show hosts) shared an experience using Map-A-List with Google Forms with her daughter. Her daughter created a survey to gather data for a map. Anna used the power of Twitter to ask for input on the form. Before too long, over 200 people from around the world had taken the survey. Since the form creates a spreadsheet, it was very easy to input that data to Map-A-List, which then generated a Google Earth map! Imagine using this type of tool with our students! Wow!

I look forward to working with you all in the future.

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)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

EdTech News for March 2009

Hello All,
Here is the Local District 6 EdTech News for March 2009.


Infotech 2009!
Please have your students participate in this outstanding opportunity!
via John Lendhardt, EdTech ITAF

There is still time to register for InfoTech 2009!

You are invited to the 13th annual InfoTech. The theme this year is “Expanding Student Learning.” InfoTech 2009 will take place Saturday, April 25, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

LAUSD’s Educational Technology is once again partnering with the Parent Collaborative’s Parent Summit and the entire school community is invited to both events! InfoTech 2009 will consist of student showcases and displays from a variety of technology providers.

Teachers throughout LAUSD are expanding student learning through the innovative use of instructional technology. Across subject areas and grade levels, teachers are engaging students with video conferencing, podcasting, interactive white boards, student response devices, computer animation, Web-based applications, and collaborative tools.

Don't miss this opportunity to see over 90 showcases where teachers and students share their innovative use of technology to expand learning.

Teachers interested in participating in the Student Showcase can register online.

For more information and to register, visit:

For more information on the Parent Summit, visit

Acer K-12 Seed Unit Program
Try out a Acer Aspire 1 for 30 days then return it or purchase it at a special reduced price. This might be a good way to test drive the potential of netbooks for our classrooms.

Digital Voice Awards - Entry Deadline - March 31st
Do you have some great multimedia student projects? Enter them into LACOE's Digital Voice Awards. Submit your project to showcase your student work. Entry submission deadline is March 31st.

Tech Gems

An application for creating flashcards, created by MIT student Andrew Sutherland, when he was 15 years old. It's a fantastic studying tool that has collaborative features that make it engaging and powerful. To find out more about this great tool for students, listen to the recent interview with Andrew Sutherland on the Seedlings show #55. It's a great insight into a young man who used his creativity and imagination to create a tool that is used by thousands. This is a great tool and podcast to share with your students.
This tool is a collection of custom Google Searches for social networks, wikis, social bookmarks, books, and many other web 2.0 tools. This would be a great way to do targeted searches for information.

Into the Book Grades K-4
via Bob Sprankle on his recent HotChalk article:

Developed by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and experienced educators, "Into the Book" centers on the eight research-based strategies for reading comprehension: Using Prior Knowledge, Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing, Inferring, Summarizing, Evaluating, and Synthesizing.
This looks like a good tool for K-4 students. Before you try it out, read Bob's article at HotChalk that clearly explains how the site works.

Note This in Google Reader
A new tool integrated in Google Reader lets you share just about any item on a webpage by using the new Notes feature. Drag the "Note This" bookmarklet to your browser toolbar and use it to collect and annotate webpages. This collection can then be shared in various ways. To learn more, visit Cheryl Davis's Learning Almanac section entitled, "Note This!".
Share your presentations online and even add audio and (YouTube) video. Uploaded presentations can then be embedded in websites, blogs, wikis, or shared via web address.
My recent submission on SocialBookmarks was recently featured on the Education section of Slideshare.

From the TechChick Tips Episode 51 Podcast

Science Buddies
Students fill out a questionnaire on their interests and focus and this site returns science fair projects suggestions. This is a great way to have students generate ideas for creating projects tailored to their needs and interests. It has useful sections for teachers and for parents also.

Internet ClipBoard

Have you ever just wanted to quickly share a set of files, urls, and pictures with your students? This tool, which requires no log in, allows you to quickly set up a page of resources to share. This could be very useful!

This website, geared for younger readers, has articles of interest for K-5 students. It includes categories in each tabbed section: News, Sites, and Earth, with different ways to read and interact with news. The site encourages submissions from students as well.

These are just a few of the amazing finds from The Tech Chicks, Ana and Helen. Check out their podcast and website for more great resources.

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)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February 2009 EdTech News - Updated 2.19.09

Hello All,

Here is the latest scoop in the EdTech world at Local District 6.

Table of Contents
  1. LD6 EdTech Leadership Cadre Meetings
  2. News and Events
  3. Professional Development
  4. Technology Gems
LD6 EdTech Leadership Cadre Meetings
Thanks to all who attended our January EdTech meeting. We set up professional learning blogs on Blogger and talked about how we could use them in the classroom.
This Thursday, Feb. 19th, we will work on setting up classroom blogs for students, using 21Classes. This online blogging portal seems to be the best overall choice for classroom blogs, K-12. If you won't be able to attend the meeting, there's a great tutorial available for creating a 21classes account published by the Intel Teach Program that you can read or print for reference.
Tutorial for
Also, below is a great video I found online that shows how to set up student accounts:

We'll also talk about news and upcoming events. Also, if you are coming to the meeting, please bring one cool tool to share with all of us. Please join us from 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. at Local District 6
3rd floor conference room
5800 S. Eastern
Commerce, CA

Delicious pizza, soda, and candy will be served to give you that extra kick you need after teaching all day...

Upcoming Meetings (3rd Thurday of the month):
Feb. 19th, March 19th, April 16th, May 21st

News and Events

Ed21 unConference - Feb. 21st, 2009 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
This Saturday, join us for a discussion on change in our schools. We want to begin to answer the question, "What does it mean to be well educated?" For more details, see my recent blog post. You can join us face to face or online at (starting at 8:30 a.m.).

CUE Conference - March 5-7 Palm Springs, CA

One of the finest edtech conferences in the nation will take place in several weeks in beautiful Palm Springs, CA. If you are going to attend, please come say hi at the CUELA reception on Friday night. Maybe we can all get together and share our experiences before we go back home.
If you can afford one more day in Palm Springs, on Wednesday, March 4th, the EdubloggerCon will be happening. I might be driving down and back for this event, so if someone would like to join me, please let me know. This event is a great way to network with other passionate educators as we learn together how to best engage our students.

Infotech 2009 - Saturday, April 25th - LA Convention Center - 9:00 a.m. - 12: 00 p.m.
This year, LAUSD's student led conference will showcase student work from across the district. We hope you will consider bringing your students to showcase the wonderful projects they are doing in your classrooms that use technology as a tool for learning. This is a great way for all teachers to learn from one another by visiting with classrooms who are sharing their learning. Please register you and your students on the website.


K-12 Vouchers
All LD6 schools turned in their K-12 Voucher request before the January 31st deadline. That means that all schools will be in Phase 1 of the delivery from AeryJones, beginning soon. Please have areas where equipment is to be set up prepared. AeryJone will deliver equipment, set it up, and dispose of all packing materials.
If schools want to take advantage of the great packages available through the voucher program, those packages will still be available for a short time for purchase through school funds. Download descriptions and spreadsheet forms from

For Secondary Students:
UCLA Engineering Science Corp Outreach Program is offering several great opportunities for secondary students.
TakeTwo Video
From their website:

How to Turn a Teenager Into a Global Citizen

  1. Provide professionally shot conflict-zone footage free of charge to high school and college students in the USA and across the globe.

  2. Support them in creating documentaries, shorts, and Public Service Announcements - encouraging them to understand and empathize with their subjects.

  3. Encourage them to take their projects on the road –acquiring valuable leadership skills while educating a broader public on issues of global significance.

Participating schools will complete one small task to help grow Take 2’s infrastructure and undertake at least one advocacy event upon completion of their projects.

This is a fantastic opportunity to help our students make a difference in the world.

World Math Day - March 4th
Students - ages 5 -18- can register for online math questions and fun - competing against students from around the world. Each game lasts 60 seconds, and students can play as many games as they want. This is great opportunity for students to have fun with math. Register soon for this great event.
World Math Day Video Contest Deadline via TeacherTube for Submission Feb. 20th
Students film themselves preparing for the Math Day Contest and submit it for voting. This contest is almost over, but it might be great to look at videos to get an idea of how to approach this next year!
Doodle4Google Art Contest - Registration Deadline - March 17
Again this year, K-12 students are invited to submit their designs for the Google Home Page Logo with the theme of "What I Wish for the World". Check the Prizes page for details on what students and schools recieve for winning entries. The Grand Prize winner has their entry appear as the Google HomePage logo for an entire day.
This is a fun, authentic project for students.

Professional Development

LACOE, in partnership with LAUSD, is offering 3 levels of CTAP Technology Academies for educators; Level 1 (Beginning), Level 2 (Intermediate), and iTELL (Integrating for English Language Learners).
Participants must be full-time LAUSD teachers or administrators and must be off-track (or on vacation) in order to attend.. There will be no provision for allowing attendees who are currently on-track or working regular time. Participants will receive free registration, course materials, a flash drive and $400.00 compensation upon completion of the Academy. Level 2 Academy participants are eligible to receive 2 salary points. For more information, dates, and locations of the academies, please visit
The LACOE/CTAP website also has listing for other classes they offer on using technology as a tool in the classroom.

Ed Tech Workshops – Earn More Salary Credit
LAUSD Certificated Staff seeking further opportunities to earn salary credit as they learn more about ways to engage students using technology can request courses from Ed Tech Workshops at in order to accomplish that goal. Alternatively, teachers can contact David Boin at (818) 785-0164 or david.boin @

Tech Gems

A great site geared for middle school students that will appeal to older and younger students alike about how to deal with online harrassment - especially texting and chatting. Cute sock puppets explore problems like text harrassment, pic pressure, rumors, and when friends need help. I love the Callout Cards that can be printed or posted as gentle reminders to offenders of text and chat good behavior.

High definition quality videos on science topics. Great resource for free.

This awesome website allows you to record and then embed audio recordings on the web. You can also share a link to the audio recording. You can do all this without registering, just by simply visiting the website. Teachers are using this in many creative ways to share audio of students with parents and a larger audience. Here's a sample:

Printable Checklist
Sometimes, you just need a quick and easy way to create and print a checklist. This is it!

One of my favorite sources of online content is the EdTechTalk Channel of the World Bridges Network. Educators webcast on different nights of the week on different programs. I usually don't have time to participate live, but I subscribe to the podcast and listen on my commute. If you have time to participate live, it's quite an experience. Check their calendar and join in!
A few of my favorite shows include:
It's Elementary - All about using edtech in the elementary classroom. The show's cohost, Mr. Jose Rodriguez, teaches at Humphreys Elementary School in LAUSD
Women of Web 2.0 - This show has wonderful guests and rich conversation every two weeks.
EdTech Weekly - The co-hosts on this show share cool tools and news for the week.

I hope to see you at this week's meeting!

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)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 2009 EdTech News

Welcome to the Local District 6 Educational Technology Newsletter, January 2009 Edition

Happy New Year! With all the budget cuts, it's nice to know that educational technology affords us a way to utilize free and inexpensive tools to engage our students in meaningful, authentic learning opportunities. I encourage you to think of our situation as a challenge and an opportunity to creatively investigate new ways to offer these learning opportunities for our students. Yes, we can!

Table of Contents

  1. Local District 6 EdTech Leadership Cadre Meetings
  2. K-12 Voucher Information
  3. Inauguration Day
1. Local District 6 EdTech Leadership Cadre Meetings
Our upcoming meeting is Thursday, January 15th, 4:00-5:15 p.m. at the Local District 6 Office, 3rd Floor Conference Room.

  • K-12 Voucher Program
  • Blogging as an Educator
Besides discussing the K-12 Voucher program, we will work together to set up a professional blog and to connect with other blogging educators. We will discuss ways that educators can use blogs and see examples. For those that will not be able to attend, but would like to learn about and set up their own blog, there is a great introduction to educational blogging at Martha Thornburg's Web 2.0 Wednesday Challenge site.

For more information on upcoming LD6 EdTech Leadership cadre meetings, check here.

This is a voluntary meeting to which all are invited. We have a great time learning together!

2. K12 Voucher Information - Deadline - January 31, 2009
The K-12 Vouchers are now available for schools to use for technology related equipment. (Yeah!) The website with information for all schools is .

The site contains information on the voucher process, information on packages that can be purchased, and a planning spreadsheet that can be used to calculate quantities. Only the principal can log-in to the actual voucher selection order form, which can be used for also finding the total amount of budgeted allotment.

When the principal selects the submit button on the order form, the selection process is finalized. It can not be edited at a later date, so carefully plan the selections before the principal enters them on the form. The deadline for submitting the form is January 31st, so please make this a priority task!

3. Inauguration Day - January 20th, 2009
One of the days that will mark a significant historical event is the Presidential Inauguration that will take place on January 20th, 2009. Many have asked for guidelines for viewing this. Below are some suggestions and resources for this important day.

Suggestions for Viewing, via Dr. Themy Sparangis, LAUSD's Chief Technology Director
  1. Watch the inauguration in groups. Try to assemble students in large common areas such as a cafeteria, library, auditorium, gym, or multi-purpose room and project the broadcast onto a large screen or provide multiple viewing locations in one large room.

  2. Whenever possible use a television or VCR that receives over the air broadcast channels. If the TV or VCR is not connected to a roof-top antenna a set of rabbit ear antenna should work. Test the location of the TV or VCR to assure reception. Some TVs and most VCRs, have an "audio/video out" connection and can be used with an LCD projector to project onto a large screen.

  3. Some schools have cable or satellite service. If so, use that service whenever possible.

  4. If schools want to observe the inauguration over the Internet through any one of the media streaming sites, then they should view them in large groups. It is not recommended to have individual students or employees watch the event online. This will cause an increase in network usage that would exceed the available bandwidth and could cause the stream to be interrupted for all users, spoiling the experience for all. Consider grouping students together (as noted above) or in larger classroom and have the teacher project the inauguration for multiple people to view.
The following should help you if you plan to use the streaming over the
Internet option:
  • Small schools and elementary schools should consider no more than 10 computers to simultaneously watch the inauguration online.
  • Middle schools should consider no more than 20 computers to simultaneously watch the inauguration online.
  • High schools should consider no more than 40 computers to simultaneously watch the inauguration online.
Online Viewing Resources
With the above considerations in mind, here are some resources for online viewing:
  • Inauguration Day 2009 - This site has a list of sites to view the stream live, as well as suggestions for listening on the radio and on tv.
Some additional streaming sites not mentioned on the above resourceOnline Educational Resources

NYC Department of Education has put together an 18 page resource on classroom activities for learning about the Inauguration. It's divided into elementary, middle, and high school resources. via The Innovative Educator blog.

via Samantha Mora (a colleague through Google Teacher Academy - Thanks, Samantha!)LAUSDnet Kids has some great Inauguration Day educations resources. (Thanks, Diana!)

Kevin Jarrett shares his school's Inaugural Day resources, filled with many great teaching and learning resources.

If you have some more resources to share, please leave them in the comment section below.

More information on grants, funding, and tech gems will follow. I hope to see you at our meeting tomorrow!

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)