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)

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