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 BendaƱa 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.

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