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)

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