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)

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