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)

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