Monday, April 12, 2010

EdTech News for April 2010

iPod Touch in the Classroom by Kern Kelley

This well done presentation about the iPod Touch in the classroom is by Kern Kelley, an educator in Maine. Kern used the online presentation tool, Prezi.

Upcoming Meetings
Thanks to all who were at our March meeting on collaboration. It was a great conversation and learning shared among all of us. It was so much fun!

Although it seems like we just had a meeting, our April meeting is on Thursday, April 15th, this week! (I am sure the weeks come faster after Winter break. Don't you agree?) It will be at the Local District 6 office at 5800 S. Eastern, Commerce from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

For this week's meeting, one topic I'd like to discuss is effective professional development.

I've been thinking a lot lately about professional development and how people learn. I know we are all in the business of facilitating the conditions for learning for students and/or for our colleagues. How do we make learning sticky? Are our workshops effective? How many who attend actually use what they have learned in their classrooms? What are the barriers? What works? What doesn't work?
Many other people are thinking about this too.
Kim Cofino, in her post, The Way of the Workshop, states:
It’s the experience, the collaboration, the creation of something new, the feeling of being on a team, and the satisfaction of actually doing something with your time. It’s what I’d like to call “The Way of The Workshop”
Will Richardson, in his post, The PD Problem, quotes Linda Darling-Hammond’s new book The Flat World and Education:
Short workshops of the sort generally found to trigger little change in practice are the most common learning opportunity for US teachers…A summary of experimental research found that short-term professional development experiences of 14 hours or less appear to have no effect on teachers’ effectiveness, while a variety of well-designed content-specific learning opportunities averaging about 49 hours over a 6- to 12-month period of time were associated with sizable gains.
Hope to see you at the meeting. Please also bring some ideas to share.

News and Events

Infotech 2010
- April 24th at the Los Angeles Convention Center 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Register online at for the greatest student-led conference in LAUSD. Students from all over the district will showcase their best work at our educational technology conference.
Thank you to the following dedicated educators and their students from our own Local District 6 who will be presenting at this conference:

Michael de la Torre - Bryson Ave. Elementary School
Lissett Rodriguez - Middleton St. Elementary School
Constantine Haramis - Montara Ave. Elementary School
Mayda Montes - Montara Ave. Elementary School
Michelle Ngai - Montara Ave. Elementary School
Patricia Escalante - Montara Ave. Elementary School
David Billett - Gage Middle School
José Nuñez - Gage Middle School
Vanessa Kelterborn - Southeast Middle School
Michelle Touceda - South Gate Middle School
Mike Albert - South Gate Middle School
Xiomara Benitez - South Gate Middle School
Marivenus Magbitang - South Gate Middle School
Silvio Vidal - South Gate Middle School
Steve Scanlan - Huntington Park High School
Kimberly Balala - Maywood Academy
Walter Hamilton - Maywood Academy

Please attend Infotech and see the amazing work that our students and teachers are presenting. We can all learn from one another! The conference is free, parking is free, and with registration, you get a free lunch and the best, most valuable learning in LAUSD!

LAUSD Student EdTech Profile Due - March 30 - May 31
All students in grades 5, 8, and 11 take the online student edtech profile between March 30th - May 1st.
The website, LAUSD Student EdTech Profiles, has clear directions for administering the survey, video tutorials for students, and links to student accounts for each school. Please share with those at your school who are responsible for administering the survey.

Interactive Whiteboard Class - 1 salary point - Starting April 19th, 2010
Join Manuel Vadillo, instructor for this very valuable class, each Monday for 4 consecutive weeks, starting next Monday, April 14th and ending on May 10th, at SouthEast Middle School. Learn the basics of using an interactive whiteboard in the classroom and develop some tools that you can take back and use in the classroom.
Registration is on the Learning Zone at The class is under the program, Local District 6. If you search for "smart", the class is easy to find.

Smithsonian historians, scientists, researchers and other experts share their questions, their methods, and their unique way of thinking in an interactive format that welcomes you to contribute your own ideas during this two-part conference. The conference sessions take place in the morning of each of these days, and will be recorded and archived for later listening. This sounds like a terrific opportunity to interact with scientists, historians and other professionals.

60th Annual LA County Science Fair - Wed.-Friday, April 14-16th.
Get all the information about this interactive science fair on their website.

Grants and Funding
Mike Leffin, from LACOE, shares his Money Monday grant resources for April 2010.

Money Monday - April 2010 -


WolframAlpha for Educators
WolframAlpha is an amazing tool to explore the relationship between words, numbers, concepts, and ideas. On the WolframAlpha website, they explain the tool:
Wolfram|Alpha is a free online computational knowledge engine that generates answers to questions in real time by doing computations on its own vast internal knowledge base. Our long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. This can be valuable to educators in many ways.
They have designed a resource especially for educators, WolframAlpha for Educators, with ideas on using the tool in different content areas, with videos and lessons to make using this tool with students a rich experience.
As you know, the collaborative workspace, Etherpad, was purchased by Google several months ago. Since that time, they have released the code so that other could create their own servers using the Etherpad engine. Etherpad is slowly closing their online space. is the best so far of this type of site, since it allows up to 15 collaborators at once. This tool is a quick and easy way to collaborate on text.

More gems are on our social bookmarking site, Delicious, 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)

No comments: