Friday, May 14, 2010

EdTech News for May 2010

Amazing that it's May already!

Video of the Month: Dan Myer at the New York TEDX Conference on March 6, 2010
Dan talks about how he teaches math in authentic ways!

Catch more amazing TEDXNYEd talks at their website. (These videos are only viewable outside LAUSD's firewall.)

Our Upcoming Meeting
District News and Events
Grants and Funding
Professional Learning
Amazing Tools and Resources

Local District 6 EdTech Leadership Meeting - May 20, 2010
Our final EdTech Leadership meeting for the year will take place on Thursday May 20th, 4:00 - 5:15 p.m.
Location: Local District 6 3rd Floor Conference Room - 5800 S. Eastern, Commerce, CA
Please bring some tools to share. Our focus will be supporting the EL learner using technology as a tool. I'm looking forward to sharing ideas with the very best educators in LAUSD!

District News and Events
LAUSD Student EdTech Profile - Due before May 31, 2010
Please encourage those at your school responsible for administering this survey to please finish by the deadline of May 31st. This survey is to be taken by all 5th, 8th, and 11th grade students in the district.

LAUSD offers a variety of online learning programs. Paul Burns, our edtech ITAF in support of Local District 6, will be visiting high schools in Local District 6 to make sure that principals are aware of these valuable resources. If you are teach students in a high school or middle school and would like more information than what you can find on the website, please contact me and I will let Paul know that you are interested.

InfoTech 2010
LAUSD's Infotech took place on Saturday, April 24th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. What a terrifice event. Thanks to the following Local District 6 educators and their students for showcasing at this conference:
  • Michael de la Torre - Bryson Ave. Elementary School
    Pod Touches for Good Health
  • Lissett Rodriguez - Middleton St. Elementary School
    Persuasive Commericals
  • Constantine Haramis - Montara Ave. Elementary School
    From Google Sketchup to Google Groups
  • Mayda Montes - Montara Ave. Elementary School
    The Exciting World of Animals
  • Michelle Ngai - Montara Ave. Elementary School
    BBC NewsMontara's Bulldog Broadcasting Coorporation!
  • Patricia Escalante - Montara Ave. Elementary School
    Google Sketchup
  • David Billett - Gage Middle School
    Unleashing Creativity with the Green Screen
  • José Nuñez - Gage Middle School
    "Sound" Recording Technology
  • Vanessa Kelterborn - Southeast Middle School
    Multimedia Poetry
  • Michelle Touceda - South Gate Middle School
    The Diary of Anne Frank through Music and Pictures
  • Mike Albert - South Gate Middle School
    Viking Radio Podcasts
  • Xiomara Benitez - South Gate Middle School
    The Makings of Life
  • Silvio Vidal - South Gate Middle School
    Public Service Announcements
  • Steve Scanlan - Huntington Park High School
    X-Box Games for HP Students
  • Kimberly Balala - Maywood Academy
    21st Century Booktalks
  • Walter Hamilton - Maywood Academy
    Computer Network Administration and Design
 Students and educators showcased their learning and taught others how they used technology in their classrooms. It was outstanding!

Congratulations to Michelle Ngai - educator at Montara Elementary. She and her students will be honored at this event. Kudos to Michelle and her students for a well deserved honor. Her school's podcast is fabulous, as is the showcase of student projects!

Grants and Funding
Money Monday and other grant resources from LACOE
Mike Leffin, a consultant for the Instructional Technology Outreach program from LACOE, provides an amazing resource each month on grants and funding opportunities, called Money Monday. He has begun to post and archive these publications on the LACOE website at  LAUSD educators can log in with a guest account to access the grant and funding resources for this month. On this site, he has also placed grant and funding resources into categories that make searching for a particular type of grant very easy. Check out this new site to find some great grant and funding opportunities.

Professional Learning
ISTE Conference - June 27 - 20 Denver, Colorado
This is the major international edtech conference - the major happening of the year, from the International Society of Technology for Educators. If there's a way you can attend this amazing conference, I highly suggest you do! There are activities and fun learning for everyone!

Google Geo Teacher's Institure - July 21-22 - (Probably at the GooglePlex in N. California)
This free institute sounds amazing. Visit the website for registration details.
From the website: The Geo Teachers Institute is an intensive, two-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google's Geo products: Google Earth, Google Maps, and SketchUp, including a focus on features like Mars, Moon and Sky in Google Earth.

ScratchPalooza - May 22 - 10:00 - 2:00 p.m. CalState Northridge
ScratchDay is a worldwide event for everyone interested in the free software out of MIT called Scratch. It's great that there's an event happening nearby!
From the website:
Scratchers – Do you know how to put the pen down and repeat 10 when you receive this message? If you do, then come to Scratch Day and meet other Scratchers. Show off your best stuff and learn new tricks and hints. Enter a project in the Scratchapalooza Challenge and win prizes!
What is Scratch? A versatile media tool by MIT for students (age 7 and up) that helps to enhance logical thinking, math skills and creativity through easy-to-use programming interface. The program is free and students can upload their projects at . Scratapalooza will have beginner workshops for people who are just starting out.

Digital Cafe - May 26 - 9:00 - 11:30 LACOE Downey Flyer to Download and Share
Especially targeted to Promethean Whiteboard Users
From the website: Come learn about best-practices and strategies based on Dr. Marzano’s current research. This informational session provides an update on the work of Dr. Marzano who has examined the affect of interactive whiteboard use at different grade levels and across different academic content areas in schools across the country.
LACOE iTell and EL Workshops
Los Angeles County Office of Education offers some very engaging workshops for educators at affordable prices. I'd like to make sure you know about 2 in particular.
The iTell (Integrating Technology for English Language Learners) Workshop (Summer 2010)
During this FREE 4 day workshop, educators will create technology enhanced products that can immediately be used in the classroom to support English Language Learners. Enroll soon as these classes are filling up soon.
Using Technology for Differentiated Instruction - June 25th 9:00 - 3:00 - LACOE Downey
This workshop will give you experience with several tools that help scaffold and differentiate learning for English Language Learners.

Global Ed Conference - November 15 - 19, 2010 - Online
Mark your calendars now for this new conference where all can come together to learn about how to connect globally. The tentative strands include:
from the website: Teachers (professional development, training, etc.), Students (student-led initiatives, exchange programs, service learning etc.), Pedagogy (curriculum, digital citizenship, assessment etc. ), Policy and Leadership (exemplary schools, ICT infrastructure, government initiatives etc.), and Change (peace and social justice, equity, etc.).
Sounds exciting! If you want to volunteer, please fill out the form linked above. 

Amazing Tools and Resources
Twitter is a tool that pulls the most popular tweets by all the people you follow and puts them in an easy to read format. This is a great tool to learn about what topics are being talked about on any given day. Sometimes, I don't have time to check all the tweets in Twitter that are passing by, but I can check this site to find out what I need to know more about. Jeff Utecht wrote a great post explaining his experience with this new tool and its impact on his learning: Mining Twitter for Content.
Here's my Twitter . What a great way to really harness the power of your professional learning network.

Sylvia Tolisano, aka @langwitches on Twitter, has started a new social network for connecting educators with others who are interested in connecting through Skype, a video conferencing tool. What a great way for students to gain an appreciation of other cultures and geographic locations while practicing their communication skills!
(This site used to be on Ning, but since Ning is now charging for their services as of July 1, this website has moved to a self hosted site using a tool called BuddyPress.)

Imagine being able to upload a picture and then collaboratively sketch and add to this picture online with others. That's what CoSketch allows you to do. Simply begin a sketching session, share the resulting url with others with whom you would like to collaborate, and you will be editing together in real time. No registration is required. Drawings can be saved and embedded in websites when finished.

I learned about this tool and many other great tools by subscribing to Kathy Schrock's Mailing List: Sites of the School Days (SOS). Each week, Kathy sends out via email a new terrific resource that you can use in the classroom the next day. This is a great way to learn about new tools on a weekly basis.

This week, I wrote a post about how to download and convert YouTube and other videos using various tools. I thought you might find it useful.

This online comic creator is easy to use and very engaging for students. This could be a great motivation for writing for students. No registration is required and finished products can be saved or printed out.

This website allows you to watch a short video clip, listen to the pronunciation, then use the built in tools to record your own naration. The website grades your pronunciation. This would be a non-threatening way for beginning English Language Learners to practice speaking. 
I found this website by subscribing to Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day. This website has so many resources, its a bit overwhelming. However, if you subscribe to his blog, you only get a few posts with links a day - manageable and very rich in resources.

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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