Monday, June 06, 2011

June 2011 EdTech News

Thanks to all of you who have attending our EdTech Leadership Meetings throughout the year(s). Your dedication and expertise are so very much appreciated! I hope your summer is filled with exciting adventures!

Events and Professional Development

June 8 or June 16, 2011 Getting Started with iPad Workshops
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Soto Street Lab,
2151 N Soto St
Los Angeles CA 90032
(also June 9th at Valley Region EL #6, Panorama City or June 15th at Peary Delta Center in Gardena).
Description from the website:
 FREE Professional Development Seminar hosted by LAUSD EdTech and presented by Apple Education
In this 90 minute session we'll cover:
  •  Using the on screen keyboard, including editing tools like cut, copy, paste, and undo
  • Connecting to wireless networks
  • Installation of the LAUSD Root SSL Certificate
  • Connecting to your e-mail account
  • Presenting with the iPad and your VGA projector
  • Apple's Free “Find my iPad” service
  • Using Apple's Safari Web Browser
  • Recording Video with iPad 2
Please visit the website for directions on registering for this workshop.

Update: June 9,  2011 SMARTBoard User Group - Canceled 
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Stevenson Middle School

Join us for the final UserGroup meeting of the year. Learn some great tips on using the SMARTBoard in the classroom. If you are planning on attending, please let me know.

June 10, 2011 Apple iPad Webinar 
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
From the list Email:
Our seminar host is Michael Wells, Director of Technology for Vallecitos Union School District. He will describe a variety of factors that have made the iPad program a powerful way to use Apple’s innovative technology to transform teaching and learning.

By the end of the seminar, you will
    •  Understand how iPad devices are providing rich, interactive content - apps, books, internet browsing, video and media tools.
    • Hear techniques and tools for managing iPad content.
    • Learn from an early adopter how the iPad is redefining teaching and learning through a personalized, highly engaging approach for students and teachers alike!
    • Participate in a live chat for Q&A.
Click on the registration link to reserve your space!
Register URL:   <>

For assistance, email
PDF Flyer

June 11, 2011 iFest 2011
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mulholland Middle School
Come join us for the first ever iFest, a conference on Mobile/Tablet Technologies.
From the website:
If you have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or a droid, join us for a day of learning. These mighty devices are changing the world! Let's figure out how to make them work for education. We will have sessions about personal use, best classroom practices, how to set up sets of iDevices, ePublishing, Classroom Responders and lots more. Click HERE to register.
I hope to see you there. It's going to be fun!

August 2-3, 2011 SMART Content Creation 2 Day Seminar 
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. LA County Office of Education
Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity! From the email from Angela Folendorf, Education Consultant, SMART Technologies:
Thanks to our gracious hosts at the Los Angeles Office County of Education, we are able to offer this free two day seminar. Please send this opportunity out to your intermediate/ advanced teachers. Space is limited to 100 spots.


Enhance your ability to create professional and interactive SMART Notebook lesson activities.  During this seminar you will learn tips and tricks for using SMART Notebook software’s interactive tools and Lesson Activity Toolkit.  You will create lessons that can be shared with educators and uploaded to the SMART Exchange.
SMART’s experts will be on hand throughout the seminar to guide and assist in your lesson creation.  You must bring a laptop to create lessons.  No laptops will be provided onsite.  We also encourage you to bring any curriculum materials you might need, such as teacher guides and supplemental materials.

The seminar is open to intermediate and advanced SMART users.  Complete the application by Tuesday, July 5, 2011.  Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Participation in both days of the seminar is required.

Lunch and parking will be provided.  Dress code is casual.

Dates and Location:

LACOE Ed Center West 606A
12830 Columbia
Downey, CA 90242
08/02/2011 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM
08/03/2011 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Cost: free

Target Audience: Classroom Teacher


Technology Gems

 If You Were on Twitter by Scott McLeod
This post really gets at what Twitter is all about, and why it can empower teachers with collaborative learning opportunities for themselves, like no other tool. Click on some of links to see the wealth of information you can find in just one day!

A Google a Day - One new question is asked a day. Search the web to find the answer, then submit. A great tool for all learners!
Google Scribe - This site uses predictive text to help writers complete words and phrases. An excellent classroom tool!
Google Apps Training Programs
This resource helps you to become an expert in Google Apps for Education. (Our student MyMail system is a Google Apps for Education program.) The Google Apps Training Program consists of online curriculum, qualification exams, and certified trainer status. Study the curriculum, pass the exams, then apply to become a Google Certified Trainer! Even if you don't desire to become a Google Certified Trainer, the curriculum on this site is excellent for anyone who would like to learn more about this powerful suite of tools that you can use in your classroom.

InfoGraphics as Creative Assessments by Kathy Schrock This site is a rich resource for learning how to use Infographics as creativity tools and assessment tools in the classroom.

Horizon Report K-12
The third annual Horizon Report K-12 is now online. This report predicts the trends in educational technology and how those might affect the classroom. The major trend to watch in the near future is: MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES. How will we use these in the classroom? How can we best engage the learner? These are questions that need to be addressed. This article  by Daniel Donahoo explains it well.
The image below is a chart analyzing the Higher Ed Horizon report, which has been published since 2004. This chart comes from jochen_robes on Flickr. It looks like the predictions from the past Horizon Reports are all fairly accurate! (Click on the image to see a larger chart.)

Have a great summer, everyone!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 2011 EdTech News

On April 30, teachers and students in LAUSD came to the Los Angeles Convention Center to present to over 3,000 educators, administrators, community members and parents how they are learning with technology. Thanks to all of you for making this such an amazing event! Some teachers have shared sites of student published work. Here are some of the examples of outstanding work that our students presented at InfoTech. Bravo! Visit the entire page at:

SMARTBoard Users Group - May 12th, 4:00 - 5:30 Stevenson Middle School
Join us this Thursday for our May SMARTBoard Users Group. Educators support each other as they are learning to use the SMARTBoard in the classroom. Please share this with colleagues at your school. Please download the flyer for distribution.

EdTech Leadership Meeting - May 19th, 4:00 - 5:15 San Miguel Ave. Elementary School
Our last EdTech Leadership meeting of the year will take place next Thursday, May 19th. Bring your favorite application and strategies to share. I'll be sharing what I know about "the cloud" and storage solutions. Come join us as we learn from one another. Thanks to Carlos Gómez and Andrea Johnson, principal, at San Miguel Ave. Elementary for allowing us to meet at their school.

LAUSD and iPad Best Practices Workshops throughout the district!

Click on the COURSES tab
·      Click on CLASS OFFERINGS
·      Select EdTech under PROGRAM and click SEARCH
·      Locate and click on LAUSD iPad Best Practices
·      Click on the orange ENROLL NOW button
·      Look for an email confirmation for session information

From the course description: 
... and with thousands of apps on the App Store, you’re sure to find the perfect one. From math games to vocabulary flash cards to anatomy visualizers, there’s an app for every subject...

But how do you manage and deploy these apps? What about configuring a classroom set of Apple mobile devices to use your LAUSD wireless network? What about getting a volume discount on purchasing apps? Join Apple Education Sr. Systems Engineer Dave Douglas for an in-depth look at planning and deploying and managing iOS devices on your LAUSD campus or department. 

Workshops are from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Soto Street Lab (Near the Local District 5 Offices) May 16, 19, or 26
Peary Delta Center (Near Peary Middle School) May 23
Valley Region Elementary #6, May 25

To fully benefit from this session, it is strongly recommended that you bring an iPad to use during the demonstration.

Grant Opportunities
Money Monday, filled with a wealth of grant resources, is published regularly on LACOE's Instructional Technology Outreach site. Access the latest edition by visiting  Click on LAUSD and login with guest as both the username and password.

Tech Gems
Flip Camera Alternatives
Now that Cisco has terminated the life of our beloved Flip Camcorder, what are the contenders for pocket video cameras? Here are two articles that mentions some worthy replacements:
12 Fabulous Alternatives to the Flip Camera in Education
Flip Alternatives: 5 Great Pocket Videos
How are educators using pocket video cameras in the classroom?
10 Uses of a Flip Video in Education
Forty Interesting Ways to Use Your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom

Digital Citizenship
Common Sense Media recently published an article on digital citizenship called, How Rude! Manners for the Digital Age While the target audience is parents, there are useful tips for educators to share with students as well.

Digital Media - Scoop It
ScoopIt allows you to create an attractive online display of web resources (like the InfoTech publication). Add news and RSS feeds and easily allow this tool to capture and curate resources that can then be used for research. This would be a great tools for students to use to gather resources from social media and news resources.

iPad Resources
I've recently updated my iPad site at I've also been bookmarking some amazing iPad resources lately. Check them out at You can sort the iPad resources by adding tags like "apps", article, or research.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More April 2011 EdTech News Updates

Some Important Events and Information

InfoTech 2011

Please join us for LAUSD's InfoTech 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Saturday, April 30th, from 9-1. There are many wonderful student presentations and teachers who are ready to share best practices with you. It's the best way to learn new ways to use technology in the classroom, by learning from others. Parking is free. Please see for more information.

Video Conferencing Made Easy - Free!
Attend a 3 hour free workshop on video conferencing with one or two other team members from your school and receive a free video-conference unit to use at your school to connect with the world! Sign up early, as this first-come, first served workshop is filling up quickly! There are 2 locations and dates to choose from: May 7th at South Gate Middle School and May 21st at Mulholland Middle School. Both workshops are from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. You can find out more information and register at
Please share the flyers for this opportunity with your colleagues:
Workshop at South Gate Middle School on May 7th
Workshop at Mulholland Middle School on May 21st 

The Great American Teach In - on May 10th
From Chris Lehman on the Huffington Post:
These days, it seems like everyone is talking about how to fix education. Open the paper, turn on the news shows, and you can see billionaires, businessmen, union leaders, former superintendents, and even the occasional teacher and parent talking about how we have to fix our schools. There is, however, a powerful constituency that is missing from the dialogue:
The kids.
From the website:

What is the Great American Teach-In?

A day to remind ourselves and our students that citizenship means asking questions, finding answers and standing up for what you believe in... and that education must mean that too.
Every classroom, every student, every school... draft a declaration of educational rights.

Join students and educators everywhere to post your declaration of rights in education. The site has resources like essential questions with prompts, plans, and icebreakers. Join and let your student voices be heard!

I don't know if I really want to make a connection here, but ...:

Be Heard School Grant!
From the website:
The Be Heard School Grant recognizes the importance of being heard in the classroom.  Voice amplification is an effective, affordable, and measurable tool for improving teaching and learning for all students in all subjects.  Research has also shown that classroom voice amplification can dramatically reduce special education referrals (up to 40%)

Grant Details:
 -  Calypso will be giving away $35,000 in portable microphone systems
 -  1 school will receive 30 portable microphone systems 
 -  3 schools will receive 3 portable microphone systems
 -  No installation required!  Just plug in and use!

Application Deadline: May 20th, 2011

 Click here for more information and to submit a Be Heard application
Apply Now!
Other Grants

Money Monday, filled with a wealth of grant resources, is published regularly on LACOE's Instructional Technology Outreach site. Access the latest edition by visiting  Click on LAUSD and login with guest as both the username and password.

Tech Gems
 LAUSD's own Mathew Needleman has created two outstanding tools to aid students in reading:
Reading Remedies, an app for the iPad,  iPhone, or iPod Touch 
From the web page:
Diagnose areas of potential reading difficulty and support beginning readers with Reading Remedies! 
Quick and easy assessments you can conduct in each of six areas of literacy: rhyming, blending, segmentation, fluency, and word attack. 
Suggested follow-up activities to teach specific skills in each area as well as complete lists of sight words, common prefixes, suffixes, and vowel combinations are included.
Fluency Timer, for Mac OS 10.5+
Record, playback, and save one minute fluency readings. This tool can really help students boost their fluency levels. Studies have shown that this type of process can boost fluency levels significantly. This is a great tool for the busy teacher who wants students to get that extra support that digital tools can offer.
Check out these and other outstanding resources on Mathew's website at

CoSketch - This collaborative tool allows learners to work together on a whiteboard-like environment. Background images can be uploaded for annotation. It also has support for using Google Maps as a background. Work can be shared by weblink or can be embedded elsewhere. The best part? It's free!

Comic for the Day
The question this comic makes me ask is:
How are we changing the learning environments in our schools to include these types of tools? How about you?

Contact Information
Janice Stearns
EdTech ITAF, liaison in support of Local Districts 5 and 6
janice.stearns (at)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

April 2011 EdTech News

Video of the Month
Will Richardson from TedxNYEd. To view within the firewall, go to and sign in with your LAUSD single sign-on, then return to this page. Be sure to catch all the compelling presentations from TedXNYEd 2011. They are great!


EdTech Leadership Meeting
Our April 21st meeting is canceled due to the fact that Spring Break is that week for many of our traditional calendar schools.
Our last meeting of the year will take place on May 19th at San Miguel Ave. Elementary School from 3:45 - 5:15.  I hope you all can attend!

SMARTBoard Users Group
Our April SMARTBoard Users Group will meet Thursday, April 14th, from 4:00 - 5:30 at Stevenson Middle School. This is a great opportunity to learn with others how to improve your SMARTboard skills. Angela Folendorf, from SMART, does a fantastic job of facilitating the learning opportunities at these meetings to maximize your learning. Come join us!

InfoTech 2011
LAUSD's Annual EdTech Conference is happening on Saturday, April 30th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. More information can be found by visiting
InfoTech District Employee Registration: Walk-in  registration is available for parents, students, educators, and guests  on the day of the event. Registration will be located in the  Parent Summit/InfoTech Registration kiosk in the South Hall.

A heartfelt THANK YOU! to the following teachers and their students in Local Districts 5 and 6 who will be showcasing their work and amazing projects! I hope you attend InfoTech to learn from these outstanding teachers and their students and all the teachers and students throughout the district!

Local District 5

Carver Middle School
  • Melissa Alvarez - Convincing Evidence (Comic Life)
  • Harold Oakley - Technology Menagerie (Photoshop, Flash, Digital Comic Books)
  • John Stephens - Technology Menagerie (Claymation, PSA, Virtual Tours, Movies)
  • Ernest Jamison - Number Properties (PowerPoint)
  • Kenneth Udeh - Family Theme Park - Systems of Equations 
  • Leonard Walker - Geometry In The Real World and Earth Science Concepts
  • Emebet Berhanu - Evolution (Comic Life, PhotoStory)
  • Jose Acosta - Illustrate the composition and structure of the atom using the periodic table (Comic Life)
  • Hussain Mayaki - Atoms, Rounding of Atomic Numbers
  • Lorelei Triche - What's the 411?
  • Pedro Melo Perez - Linear Systems - (PowerPoint)
  • Jose R Herrera - The Percent Proportion Applications
  • Johnson Liu - Long & Short Term Effect of Drug Use - A Comic Life Study
Hollenbeck Middle School
  • Tony Semaan - iSTEM in Action
  • Monica Guerrero - The Truth About Robots 
  • Ngay Tang - Propellants & Combustion
  • Michael Johnson - The Final Frontier (Final Cut and iMovie)
  • Emily Jaffe - Finding the Right Triangles (digital images)
  • Miguel Mendivil - Mathemmaticious
  • Gerardo Morada - Scratch the Anime (Scratch and Anime Studio)
  • Joanne Lingad - I. Am. Done. With. Poster Boards! (Google Sites, Glogster, mixed media)
  • Claudia Flores & Kat Czujko - Poster Boards are so Old School (Google Sites and Symbaloo)
  • Cindy Mata - Connecting World History & AVID Through Technology (Google Tools, Animoto, media)
  • Cesar Castellanos -Visual Vocabulary/"I Am" (PowerPoint)
Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Magnet
  • Penelope Valdez - Book Trailers
Local District 6

Middleton Ave. Elementary 
  • Leo Hargreaves - Expressing "Response to Literature" with Technology
  • Lissett Rodriguez - Persuasive Ads
Montara Ave. and Montara Ave. Magnet Elementary
  • Sonia Maravilla and Silvia Leon - Showcasing our Heritage - (PowerPoint, Digital Storytelling)
  • Gisela Guzman - Discover How to Heal an Illness with a Folk or Scientific Medicine  (video, iMovie)
  • Dora Muñoz-Andrade - Summarizing and Making Connections with VoiceThread
  • Kate Weber - Our Heritage: Folk Remedies of Our Families  (VoiceThread and iMovie)
  • Anne Lanoix Labat - Animal Habitats (VoiceThread)
  • Felyce Thomas - Earth's Inner Space (iMovie and media)
  • Maria Aguilar - The Solar System (Prezi)
  • Constantine Haramis - Robotics and More (Mindstorms Robotics and more)
  • Jorge Alfaro, Jr. - Comic Life in the Classroom
  • Patricia Escalante - Prezi, Glogster, Google Docs and More!
San Miguel Ave. Magnet Elementary
  • Carlos Gomez - Pumas on the Prowl  (iMovie, iWeb and other tools to make a broadcast)
South Gate Middle School
  • Mike Albert - Classroom Blogs 
Southeast Middle School
  • Laura Ramirez - Comic Life for Math and Science
  • Sandra Beltran-Mata - Project Based Learning in the Library
  • Patricia Encarnacion - Interactive Learning (SMART's Notebook and PowerPoint)
  • Natalie Young - Technology Projects from Room 312
  • Cristina Vazquez - Endangered Species and the Biomes in which They Live
Bell High School
  • Stacia Salanoa and Elizabeth Clark - Book Trailers - BHS students promoting library books
Maywood Academy High School
  • Walter Hamilton - Network Administration/Design Certifications & 3D Game Programming

Bravo to all of you for bringing your students to experience this amazing event!

Professional Development

Inspire Summer Academy (Elementary) - July 17th to July 22nd (Application extended but let them know ASAP if your school team is interested)
  • This institute provides elementary educators with innovative instruction focused on integrating engineering learning into the elementary classroom. See this flier for more information. Each member of your team will need to complete the online application. (Thanks to Vicki Grant for this information!) 
Workshops from LACOE
Register for some great and affordable workshops at the LA County Office of Education.

Mobile Learning Experience
Are you interested in mobile learning? Check out Tony Vincent's reflections on the Mobile Learning Experience Conference taking place now.

Tech Gems
For our Teacher Librarians and all of us who will miss them... terribly!  Who Among Us is Explicitly Tasked with Helping Children Learn to Teach Themselves? by David Warlick

How Much Data is That? An Infographic on how much data are bits, bytes, megabytes, terabytes, etc. . Shared by Laurie Yen. Thanks!

Komputers4RKids - A place to recycle older computers to re-purposed for our children, and to get them out of landfills. Contributed by Kate Weber. Thanks, Kate!

My Tweeted Times - I use Twitter to connect with very smart educators from around the world. Time doesn't permit me to always read the gems that come in from Twitter every day, but I can get the most outstanding tweets from all the people I follow using tools like The Tweeted Times. Each morning, I open this up like a newspaper and delight in all the wonderful resources. Follow some really smart educators on Twitter and create your own Tweeted times. Here's mine.

Storage - As you probably know, Amazon just came out with a storage plan, the Amazon Cloud Drive, that gives you 5GB free to store anything you wish. It's great to always have access to your favorite music, using this tool. I recently published a resource post with many other online storage options you might find useful.

FriendFeed - For a stream of my online resources, check out This is a stream of all my bookmarks, tweets, blog posts, and Google Reader shares on the web. I really like how FriendFeed aggregates everything into one stream. I find that useful. However, since FriendFeed was recently purchased by Facebook, one never knows what kind of future life the tool will have. Still, I recommend it for its simplicity and usefulness.

Contact Information
Janice Stearns
EdTech ITAF, liaison in support of Local Districts 5 and 6
janice.stearns (at)

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 2011 EdTech News

Hello All,
Happy February to all of you. Below are just a few of the edtech news tidbits for the month of February.

Video of the Month
PBS will be airing a new series on television called Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century. Check your local stations for the most recent broadcast. (I'm recording it Monday, Feb. 14th, on Channel 58.) There are plenty of great videos to watch at the site, as well.
What implications are there for our classrooms when students come with new literacies that need cultivating?

EdTech Leadership Meeting
Our next meeting is next Thursday, February 17th, from 4:00 - 5:15. We will meet at:

South Region Middle School 2B 
Media and Arts Academy (The academy is located on the second floor.)
6411 Orchard Ave. 
Bell, CA 90201
Thanks to Principal David Manzo, Coordinator Delia Castillo, and teacher Liseth Bendaña for allowing us to meet at their school!
Please bring a tool, best practice, or tip to share at our meeting. Our meeting is all about learning from one another. Last month's meeting is archived here, where you can find a wealth of great tools. I'll be sharing some free word cloud generators that are especially useful for ELL students.

There will be no March meeting, due to the CUE conference. (I'll be in Palm Springs.)

LAUSD News and Events

InfoTech 2011 - LAUSD's annual student led edtech conference, Infotech, will take place on Saturday, April 30th. Please begin thinking of the projects your students will be presenting. The site and registration will be available soon.

Microsoft's Innovative Education Professional Development - April 12th and 13th
Attend Microsoft's 2 Day Workshop to become a Microsoft Innovative Teacher. Not only will you learn about some great software programs and resources, but you have time to prepare to bring what you learn to others. These 2 documents will give you more information:
Overview and Invitation
Overview PowerPoint Presentation

Free Thinkfinity Workshops at LACOE is a resource with a wealth of resources aligned to content standards from a variety of sites. Learn about Thinkfinity in a 2 hour workshop, or attend the 4 hour workshop to become a certified trainer. Below are the fliers that contain more details about each of these opportunities. 
2 hour informational workshop - Feb. 24th 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at LACOE
4 hour Thinfinity Trainer Workshop - April 21 - 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

SMARTBoard User Groups
Our first SMARTBoard User Group for LD5 and LD6 went very well. We hope you can join us for our upcoming meeting on Thursday, March 10th at Stevenson Middle School. You can download a flier here. Please share with colleagues. Our collaboration site is: Additionally, Local District 1 also has a SMARTBoard User Group that meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month (February 17th). You can download their flier here.

Grants and Funding
Each week, LACOE publishes available grants in their Moodle space. Visit and login as guest.

Tech Gems

The 2011 Horizon Report came out this week. 
This report, while predicting edtech trends in higher education for the next 5 years, has many implications for K-12 as well. I find it interesting that the key trends involve increased use of mobile technologies, cloud based solutions, and how the nature of collaborative learning is shaping the design of learning opportunities. I don't think educators in either K-12 nor higher education can ignore the implications of what is to come. This is definitely a must read!

Open CourseWare - There's an App for That!
It's encouraging that so many quality open courseware resources are now coming to mobile devices. Students can now enjoy the following resources on their iPad, iPodTouch, and iPhone. I would think that these resources will be coming to other mobile platforms in the near future.
The Khan Academy App
MIT OpenCourseWare App
iTunesUniversity App

Skype in the Classroom
Skype, a free videoconferencing tool, has officially opened a site where teachers can join and find other teachers with whom they can connect via video-conference around a selected content area. As more and more teachers join this site, the better and more resourceful it can become. Join Skype in the Classroom to access lesson plans, resources and to make connections with other Skype using educators. You will need to have a Skype account.

In case you missed it, catch the important news and information posted at the end of January.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Several January Announcements

Here are a few things that just can't wait until February:

For Elementary Schools

The Arcademics study
A web based company, Arademics, is looking for 3-5 elementary schools district-wide that would be interested in participating in a study on the effects of using their program to learn math, compared to not using their program. The study is being conducted by the National Science Foundation. Several teachers from each school will be asked to participate in the study for about 2 hours a week for several weeks. They would be compensated by a small stipend. Also, the school could use the subscription until the end of this school year. Please see the  flyer listed below for more information. Please contact me before Thursday, January 27th at 10:00 a.m., if your school is interested in participating.

Download the informational flyer.

If you’d like to learn more about Arcademics, Bob Sprankle  interviewed the CEO of the company on his podcast last year: and here is his write-up from a few years ago:

DB Primary Learning Platform
The DB Primary Learning Platform is a complete learning management system for elementary students. 

Please read this flyer for more information. 

If your school is interested, they will be able to get a free subscription until the end of the year, if you contact them before January 31st.

Middle School
Computers For Youth Program
If you want your students and their parents to have computer access at home, this program might be good for your school. It includes parent training, a computer for the home of each participating family, and software for the computer. There will also be some kind of reduction in paying for internet access at home. 
Application deadline: February 18th 2011
Here's the information on that program:
Informational Flyer

Middle School and High School

Google Global Science Fair 2011 - Ages 13-18- Submission Deadline - April 4

Great opportunity for students to compete globally in a collaborative science fair. Check it out!

All Grade Levels

Doodle 4 Google - Deadline - March 2, 2011
Let your students design a Google logo on what they would like to do someday...

SMARTboard User Group
Are you just starting to use the SMART Board? Would you like to get together with other educators from around the district to share lessons, tips and tricks, and best practices? We are starting a SMART Board user's group. We'll meet monthly (sometimes virtually), The first SMART Board User Group (or SBUG) meeting will be Thursday, February 10th, at Stevenson Middle School, from 3:30 - 5:00. All educators are welcome. Please share with your colleagues. Here's a flyer to download and share
Money Mondays Grant Announcements from LACOE
Visit and click on LAUSD  with guest access to find the grant information.

From our meeting on January 20th. These are the resources that were shared at our meeting. Thanks to all who attended. It was great!
We hope you can join us on February 17th. More details to follow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

EdTech Leadership Meeting This Thursday!

Please come to our EdTech leadership meeting this Thursday, January 20th, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Montara Ave Elementary School Michelle will share how students are using Prezi and GlogsterPlease be prepared to share a new tool or best practice. It's the best professional development ever, since we learn from each other. It's great fun and the best way to learn - together! Please invite your colleagues. We always welcome new friends. As always, our fine cuisine of goodies, plus great conversation, will keep you going for that extra hour!

A special hanks to Ms. Cortez, principal, and Ms Ngai, tech. coordinator,  for allowing us to meet in the lovely computer lab at Montara!

Montara Ave. Elementary School
10018 Montara Ave.
South Gate, CA 90280

See you there!


Monday, January 10, 2011

EdTech News for January 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!
I hope this year is filled with happy moments and rewarding experiences for you and your students!

Please try to come to our EdTech Leadership meeting on Thursday, January 20th, at Montara Ave Elementary. More details below.

This compelling presentation uses the audio from Sir Ken Robinson's talk, Changing Educational Paradigms, with wonderful animation by the RSA Animate Team.  In this talk, Sir Ken Robinson talks about the future of education, what needs to change, and why.

EdTech Leadership Meetings
We haven't had an EdTech Leadership meeting for such a long time! Our next meeting will be on Thursday, January 20th, at Montara Ave. Elementary School. Michelle Ngai has graciously allowed us to meet in Montara's computer lab. Hope to see you all there! Michelle has offered to show us how to use either Prezi or Glogster. It's going to be great! Please be prepared to share some tool or best practice. It's the best professional development ever, since we learn from all who attend. It's great fun and the best way to learn - together! I hope to see you there! Please invite your colleagues. We always welcome new friends and colleagues.
Thursday, January 20th, 4:00 - 5:15
Montara Ave. Elementary School

District News and Events
This news comes primarily from LAUSD's Educational Technology Blog
LAUSD's Online Learning
Online learning is a great resource that many secondary schools throughout LAUSD are beginning to use. There are many models for implementing online learning at your school. Credit recovery and advanced placement courses are among the many needs that online learning can address. You can browse the types of online courses available here. Several professional developments for the facilitators/teachers of the Apex online credit recovery classes are scheduled during the month of January.  (Please visit the Learning Zone and search courses for "Educational Technology.") If your school is interested in or have questions about LAUSD's online learning, please contact me.

LAUSD Speak Up!!!! Due date: January 21, 2011

What is Speak Up? From their website:

The Speak Up National Research Project provides participating organizations with a quick and easy way to collect authentic feedback from your students, teachers and parents on important education issues - and to ensure that the voices of your stakeholders are heard loud and clear in Washington DC and your state capitol.
This data will be available for use in early February.
To take the survey, go to…
Click on one of the four buttons that are set up for US participation:
  • Students (all grades K-12)
  • Educators (includes surveys for teachers, administrators, librarians and tech coordinators)
  • Parents (in English) or Parents (in Spanish).
Pull down state menu and select California.
Enter school name (just really need first few letters).
A list will come up with school names – it most cases it will be just one option - click on your school name.    
Enter secret word: lausd
Click to take the grade appropriate survey for you:  K-2, Gr 3-5, Gr 6-8, Gr 9-12

Microsoft bliink: a web design contest…

…will be open for student registration beginning January 5, 2011.
Students will:
  • Dream big about how technology can make the world a better place
  • Learn more about the power of technology to solve real-world problems
  • Receive Microsoft Expression®  Studio professional software at no charge
  • Develop career skills in design, technology, and communication
  • Create a website to communicate their learning and creativity
  • Be excited about the opportunity for local and national recognition 
  • Work hard to earn prizes that include Xbox 360 and Kinect
  • Feel pride and accomplishment in their success and learning
Blink is open to U.S. students ages 13-19 participating in teams of two to four.
Students can submit projects created in or out of class.
Contest Registration begins January 5, 2011. Submission deadline dates in early March vary by state.
Visit   Expression For Educators for free Expression Studio learning resources.
Inquire about receiving Expression Studio software free of charge for your school:
Students can download Expression Studio free of charge for their personal PCs at DreamSpark.
Complete details will be posted in mid-December, 2010, on the Bliink website.
Email questions at
Free Live Meetings sessions to learn more about the contest and Expression Studio.
Introduction to bliink - The Expression Web environment - Creating sites from a template
More about bliink- Creating a new site with layers
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Creating Dynamic Web Templates (DWT)
Make sure the Office Live Meeting client is installed before the meeting: connecting from outside the Microsoft network
For more details on connecting contact:
Good luck to your students in Microsoft bliink 2011!

Thinkfinity Online Course
The California K-12 High Speed Network (K12HSN) will be offering several FREE Thinkfinity Train the Trainer sessions in 2011. If you are interested in becoming a Thinkfinity Trainer, please sign up for one of our face-to-face trainings OR register for Thinkfinity’s six week online course. 
Registration for the Thinkfinity Trainer Online Course will close on January 10, 2011. 
Make sure you register early!
If you are not interested in our Trainer Program but would like to learn more about Thinkfinity, we invite you to sign up for a free webinar.
Click here for the Thinkfinity Webinar Schedule or visit

LAUSD's Infotech
Mark your calendars. LAUSD's  annual student-led technology conference will take place on April 30th, 2011. I hope you and your students are planning great projects to share! More information will be coming soon.

Professional Development
User Groups
SMART Board User Group
Are you just starting to use the SMART Board? Would you like to get together with other educators from around the district to share lessons, tips and tricks, and best practices? We are starting a SMART Board user's group. We'll meet monthly (sometimes virtually), The first SMART Board User Group (or SBUG) meeting will be Thursday, February 10th, at Stevenson Middle School, from 3:30 - 5:00. All educators are welcome. Please share with your colleagues. Here's a flyer to download and share. If you have any questions, please contact me.

iPAD Administrator's User Group
Many educators are now beginning to use iPads in classrooms and schools all around LAUSD. If you are an iPad using administrator, you might be using your iPad to do some tasks common to many other administrators. Let's get together and share ideas, apps, and best practices to learn from one another. If you are interested, please fill out this form
I'll put together a social space, organize a place to meet, and bring some food for our first meeting!
I'm beginning to put together some online resources on iPads at

Los Angeles County Office of Education's Instructional Technology Outreach program offers a wealth of workshops at a reasonable price. Check out the listings on their website.

EdCamp OC - January 15th, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p,m. - Costa Mesa, CA
This is the first Southern California EdCamp. Educators from all around get together to talk and share with one another in an informal, unconference environment. Since there are no "formal" sessions, you can suggest a topic you are passionate about, share what your students are doing, and learn from everyone else who is attending. I think this will be a great learning opportunity. I hope to see you there. For more information and to register, please visit

CUE - March 17th - 19th - Palm Springs, CA
California's annual Computer Using Educators conference is coming soon! Join thousands of other educators to learn and network at one of the finest educational technology conferences in all the nation. This is a great experience for all who are passionate about using technology as a learning tool in the classroom. For more information and to register, please visit

ISTE - June 26th - 29th - Philadelphia, PA
The International Society for Technology in Education will host their annual conference this year in Philadelphia. I know budgets are tight, but if you can, this is an amazing conference to attend. You will mix and mingle with almost 20,000 other educators from around the world, all passionate about the love of learning and the role that technology plays in that love and that learning. For more information and to register, please visit

Grants and Funding
Mike Leffin, a consultant for the Instructional Technology Outreach program at the Los Angeles County Office of Education, gathers grants and funding resources each month to share with educators. Visit and click on LAUSD  with guest access to find the grant information.

Tech Gems

By far, one of the most amazing tools to come out lately is Google Body. You need to be running the latest version of ChromeBeta. This app lets you explore all layers of the human body, from the skeletal system to the cardiovascular system, all in 3D that can be manipulated to turn in many different directions. When you click on a particular part of the body, it becomes darker and is labeled. This is magnificent, and only hints at what will be possible in the near future!

Richard Bryne, on his Free Technology for Teachers site, shared this amazing resource on multi-modal guides to current global issues, Interactive Guides to Global Issuses, that offer not only video, but different media such as timelines, text, audio, and graphics. These are issues that are happening now, and not available in textbooks.

Creating a School Website
There are many schools that would like to create a school website, but don't have the staff or time required to create a truly interactive, up-to-date website. I wrote a post that suggests how to use a few different tools to create a website. Please note that these are suggestions only. There are many different ways to publish a school website.

You can find most of what I'm learning through my social bookmarks on Delicious and Diigo . Note that Delicious, owned by Yahoo, might be closing down soon. If you have bookmarks there, you will want to back them up by importing them to Diigo or another service. This article, by Wesley Fryer, offers some suggestions for alternatives to Delicious: Delicious Social Bookmarks Going Away - What Shall We Do?

Contact Information
Janice Stearns
Instructional Technology Applications Facilitator (ITAF)
Educational Technology Branch, ITD, LAUSD
E-mail: janice.stearns (at)