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.

Agenda:
  • 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 http://edtech.lausd.net/voucher .

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) lausd.net

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