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)