Monday, November 29, 2010

A New Form Of Professional Development For Members

As part of our on-going effort to provide more professional development opportunities for our members we would like to invite you to our first, hour-long, live, professional development seminar on Wednesday, December 1 at 7pm EST in Elluminate. Our guest will be educator and blogger, Shelly Terrell. Shelly is a widely known expert in teaching English  as a first and second language but she is also an expert in teaching teachers how they can use technology to reach out beyond the walls of their classroom. In her session entitled Creating Global Collaborative Partnerships, Shelly will talk to us about the many projects she has brought to her students in Germany and around the world and give us ideas on how we can do the same in our classrooms. We will also have time for you to ask questions.

Joining Elluminate is easy. 15-20 minutes before just click this link and you will be joined. NCTIES would like to thank Edublogs for allowing us to use this room.

We hope to do more of these types of sessions in the future. Visit the NCTIES Sigs and suggest what you would like to see next!

See you on Wednesday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Free Webinars for NCSIGS Members

NCTIES will be offering free webinars beginning in January to members of the NCSIGS. Do you have a suggestion for workshops you would like to participate in? If so, please add your thoughts to the discussion happening on

Thank you!
Marlo Gaddis
NCSIGS Administrator

Friday, November 12, 2010

Conference Update November 12th

NCTIES is turning 40 and we are so happy and pleased to announce the NCTIES Conference 2011, Honoring Our Past, Charting Our Future, March 2-4, 2011 in the Raleigh Convention Center.  We have many new and exciting things to share this year and cannot wait to see you there!

The Call for Presentations is open and accepting applications until November 30, 2010.  Get yours in today!

Registration is open - get in early and save money!

Super Early $100 NOW -  December 19, 2010
Early $120 December 20 - January 7, 2011
Regular $140 January 8 - February 15, 2011 
On Site: $160 after February 15, 2011

Our Keynote is Rushton Hurley, a true technology leader.

For complete information about the conference, including registration and call to present information visit the website.

Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the upcoming conference!

Sonya Terry, 2010 Conference Chair and Vice President, NCTIES
Barbara Moose, President, NCTIES

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Conference Update


All Aboard NCTIES Members,

We are so happy and pleased to announce the NCTIES Conference, Charting Our Future; Honoring Our Past, March 2-4, 2011 in the Raleigh Convention Center. We will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary!


Our keynote speaker this year is Rushton Hurley. He has been a Japanese language teacher, principal of an online high school, a teacher trainer, an educational technology researcher, and a school reform consultant who has worked and studied on three continents. He was one of the inaugural cohort of Google Certified Teachers and is now director of an educational nonprofit called Next Vista for Learning, which he hopes may someday save the world from ignorance.

Graduating from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, Rushton majored in history with a minor in religion. His two master's degrees are in Education and East Asian Studies from Stanford University, where his research included using speech recognition technology with beginning students of Japanese in computer-based role-playing scenarios for developing language skills. In the late 1990's his work with teenagers at a high school in San José led him to begin using internet and video technologies to make learning more active, helping him reach students who had struggled under more traditional approaches.

Rushton trains teachers at schools, workshops, and conferences around the United States, including in 2010-2011 keynote spots at Fall CUE in California, TETN in Tennessee, METC in Missouri, ICE in Illinois, and MACUL in Michigan. He was also a featured speaker at ISTE in Denver in June, 2010. His fun and thoughtful talks center on the connection between engaging learning and useful, affordable technology, as well as professional perspectives of teachers. In addition to his regular work, he devotes time to the community as a Rotarian and in international exchange efforts. In early 2005, he was awarded the Baha'i Unity of Humanity Award in San Antonio, Texas, for his work developing online and international programs for at-risk students. He also juggles, though he has never received an award for it.

Rushton is joined this year by a distinguished group of presenters: Leslie Fisher, Kathy Schrock, Kevin Honeycutt, Tammy Worcester, David Warlick, Patrick Crispen, Lucas Gillespie, Steven Anderson, Aaron Slutsky, Bobby Hobgood and Melissa Thibault

For information about call to present, visit our website at

Our registration and pre-conference information will be posted shortly and we will send you an e-mail as soon as we have it ready

Registration Costs
Super Early $100 (Oct. 1 - Nov. 19)
Early $120 (Nov. 20 - Jan. 7)
Regular $140 ( Jan. 8 - Feb. 14)
Onsite: $160 (after Feb 14th)

Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our upcoming conference! All aboard! We’re expecting you!

Sonya Terry
2011 Conference Chair and Vice President, NCTIES

Barbara Moose
President, NCTIES

Thursday, September 30, 2010

2011 NCTIES Awards

Each year NCTIES recognizes outstanding individuals who have shown outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education. This year we have revamped our awards to align with ISTE awards. Winners of each award would be eligible, per NCTIES Board approval, to submit applications for the ISTE awards.

2011 Media Specialist Technology Innovation Award
2011 Outstanding Teacher Award
2011 Outstanding Leader Award

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Teacher Tech: Animoto

Well, yesterday was project day in Room 307. My students' first booktalks were due, and they had a choice: they could present a traditional booktalk OR they could create a book trailer. I've offered the book trailer option in the past haven't had many takers. Apparently, as is so often the case, that was my fault because this time around I had more trailers than traditional talks. So what did I do differently to correct my past mistakes? I have instituted a "Tech Thursday" talk in my classroom. Each Thursday, I share a different Web 2.0 tool that my students can use for various projects in the classroom, including book trailers. I have shared links to these tools in the past via my web site, but I have never taken class time to share them with the students (too pressured to cram, cram, cram for that EOC, I think). I've realized now that the "Tech Thursday" talks don't take that much time and the pay off far outweighs the time loss anyway. Plus, the kids love them!

So what does this have to do with animoto? Well, animoto was one of the first sites I shared with my students. I have an educator account (which I highly recommend) so I was able to share a code with my students that gives them 180 days of the "All Access" account. While the students could use a variety of tools to create their trailers (Movie Maker, Photostory, even Power Point), I had several who used animoto and did a great job! I showed students (on another "Tech Thursday") how to find pictures in the Creative Commons on Flickr that they could use for presentations with out worrying about copyright infringement (I also showed them how to use KnightCite to cite their pics), and they really took it from there. Some managed with the limited text options on animoto, while others used Power Point so that they could use more text and then saved the slides as jpegs to upload to animoto. Another beauty of animoto is that students can (and should) use the music offered by animoto for their videos to avoid those ever-problematic copyright issues. The selection is great, so my students had no problem finding songs that worked for their presentations.

Obviously, book trailers are just one option for using animoto. Teachers could also create videos using class pictures to share at parent nights or other events or to share on class webpages. Students could create videos representing characters or themes in books their reading in class. History classes could create videos for various time periods or events using historical photos. Teachers or students could combine text and photos to represent important vocabulary words. The possibilities are endless. Check it out! You won't be sorry! And make sure to apply for an educator account to get free access--it is an easy process!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Question of Leadership

We’re 19 days into the 2010-2011 school year and the question of leadership has been at the forefront of my mind for quite some time. What kind of leadership do we need to create thriving schools in 2010? What does it look like? How does it affect school climate, and most importantly how does it positively affect student learning?

With the upcoming release of the documentary “Waiting For Superman” receiving much attention and condemning public school education I wanted look at what it takes to create successful schools! After all, there are schools trying to get it right.

The challenges we’re facing at my school are to maintain a culture of achievement with a greatly increased student enrollment, successfully assimilate new colleagues into already cohesive and collaborative grade level teams, and continue the synergy that prevailed in our inaugural year. I believe these challenges, or some form of them, is common to all schools.

Too often we lay the total leadership burden on the person at the head of the organization. After taking a hard look at leadership we may need to rethink our notions, change our perceptions, and perhaps the way we do business. Here are three leadership principles I’ve found necessary in creating great 21st century schools.

1. Great leaders clearly define and disseminate a mission statement.

Too often I think schools lose focus on what they are about, and when that happens teachers are driving down different highways headed for different destinations. Staying focused on the school mission statement keeps us all traveling down the same road together. Michael McKinney blogged about the principles of outstanding leadership quoting the report published in January 2010 by The Work Foundation, a British think-tank. His post is What Kind of Leadership Will Work in 2010? The report identified three things great leaders do.

Outstanding leaders work systematically connecting the parts by a guiding sense of purpose, see people as the route to performance, and act consistently to achieve excellence through their interactions. At my school, our mission is, “…in collaboration with our families and community, will prepare students for their future by implementing Problem Based Learning and authentic, real-world experiences. By providing them with rigorous and relevant academic opportunities, we ensure that students will excel as critical and creative thinkers while becoming responsible citizens who will thrive in a changing world.”

We believe in problem based methodology supported by our business partner, the Center of Excellence for Research, Teaching and Learning. It’s revisited often as we plan for instruction, and that keeps us “on mission.”

2. Great leaders create a culture of “can do.”

A year ago our faculty came into a brand new building with technology-rich classrooms, and most had little experience using any of it. One year later, the faculty here uses daily their technology, asks to learn more, and are thinking of new ways to integrate their tools. They see the potential power in using them. They were given the support and autonomy to learn these tools at their own pace and with greater depth. A colleague who provides training to teachers in schools all over North Carolina and did much of our interactive white board training made the comments that on our faculty nobody made excuses, nobody said, “This is too hard.” They worked within a culture of “can do,” and were supported by administration who saw the need and value in building those capacities. Our faculty often hears from our principal the phrase, “You don’t realize your own greatness,” and in turn they believe in themselves and in bettering themselves as educators.

3. Great leaders empower educators through shared leadership, and foster a community where educators are seen as professionals.

This comes straight from Learning From Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning, a study published in July by University of Minnesota Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and commissioned by The Wallace Foundation. The study looked at the link between school leadership and improved student learning. The study concluded, “When principals and teachers share leadership, teachers’ working relationships with one another are stronger and student achievement is higher. Where teachers feel attached to a professional community, they are more likely to use instructional practices that are linked to student learning.” PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) and LTMs (Learning team Meetings) are in vogue in education right now, but if teachers don’t feel shared leadership and that they are equal stake holders in the process is it time well spent? The Learning from Leadership study also concluded, “Principals who are closest to the classroom are most effective when they see themselves working collaboratively toward clear common goals...” Administrators need to be fully invested in the PLC/LTM process. At my school, these weekly meetings, totally focused on instruction, provides time for the principal to interact with the faculty in a scholarly fashion.

The question of school leadership is a slippery slope as education reform gets driven by competition for funding and through the encouragement of innovation. It leaves wide open the opportunity for school leaders to implement a myriad of programs in the name of reform. What we need to realize is we all have a stake in the education of our children. Leadership in schools really is about finding a way to stay on mission and create a positive, professional, and collaborative culture. That culture is all-inclusive, and leadership matters at every level.

Sam Walker is the Technology Facilitator at Kimmel Farm Elementary in Winston-Salem, NC and the 2010 NCTIES Outstanding Teacher/Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year

Photo courtesy lumaxart's photostream via Flickr under a Creative Commons Share alike2.0 License

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teacher Tech: It's a Wiki World, and I'm a Wiki Girl

Ok, I have a confession to make. I'm addicted to wikis! Starting out, my knowledge of wikis began and ended with Wikipedia. Perhaps many of you are at the same point. However, once I started learning more about wikis, I immediately saw a world of possibilities for using them as a teacher. The beauty of wikis is that they are so easy to create. The formatting is very simple and easy to learn no matter what wiki server you might use and the real beauty is that wikis are designed to be collaborative, making them the perfect tool to use in the 21st century classroom. Teachers can use wikis to collaborate with one another or to encourage collaboration among students. Another plus is that wikis are dynamic--they are designed for growth. Isn't that what we all want for ourselves and our students? Growth?

To date, I have created five wikis on a variety of topics and for a variety of purposes. For each wiki, I have started by researching my topic, if necessary, deciding on a format, and then submitting material. While the format can, and probably should, change as the wiki grows, it is important that new contributors have a framework to begin with--a blank wiki can be a scary thing! My next step has been to present the wiki to the appropriate audience: my students, my department, my faculty. As part of the these presentations, I provide "cheat sheets" for navigating and editing the wiki and offer my assistance one-on-one, if needed. What I want most is for teachers and students not only to utilize my wikis but to contribute to them, so I want to make this process as simple as possible.

So, how could you use a wiki? Think about your school's vision and look at the goals on your School Improvement Plan. My first wiki developed from my school's goal to increase student achievement on EOC's. My media specialist was planning a professional development on review games as a way to increase student engagement and achievement, so I created a wiki to house all of the ideas teachers were already using along with some new ideas I found through research. Think about ways to make your teaching life easier. My second wiki developed out of a need for teachers in my department to share materials quickly and easily. How many have you have emailed document after document to the teacher down the hall or passed around your flash drives to copy files? What a hassle! With the wiki I created for my English department, we can all upload our materials, new and old, and have access to our colleagues great ideas anytime, anywhere. Think about how your approach research in your classroom. Wikis are a great format for pathfinders. I am teaching all ninth grade English this fall, so I decided to create a pathfinder on The Odyssey for my students to use in a research assignment. I set the pathfinder up as a wiki, with each wiki page covering a different topic, such as the gods and goddess or Ancient Greece. Now, as my students and I find new resources, we can simply add them to the wiki for future use.

Of course, these are just a few ideas for using wikis, and I know that you will have many more...and probably better ones! So, now that you have your ideas, where do you start? If your school or county has a wiki server like mine does, check with your media specialist or instructional technologist to find out how to set up your wiki. If your school or county doesn't provide this option for you, no worries: there are plenty of free wiki hosts available online. My favorite is Wikispaces (, but there are plenty of others out there, so ask your colleagues what hosts they use or simply do a Google search and see what is available. But be careful--you might soon find yourself addicted to wikis just like me!

Teacher Tech

Hi, everyone! My name is Lee Ann Perry, and I am a high school English teacher who is also working on a Master's in Library Science. I have been invited to contribute to the NCTIES blog, so I am planning to contribute weekly posts about tech tools teachers can use in the classroom, in planning, and for professional development. So, please check out "Teacher Tech" and feel free to share your ideas, successes, and discoveries in the comments section!

Monday, June 28, 2010

ISTE Announces First Recipient of New Outstanding Young Educator Award

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) has named Julie LaChance, technology specialist for Northwest Cabarrus High School in Concord, N.C., its first Outstanding Young Educator.

The new award recognizes and honors outstanding young educators under the age of 35 years old who have demonstrated vision, innovation, action and transformation and used technology to improve teaching and learning. As part of the nomination process for the ISTE Outstanding Young Educator award, LaChance submitted a video addressing the role of technology in learning and teaching. The video can be viewed below.

NCTIES recognized Julie as Instructional Technology Educator of the Year in 2009.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Screen shot 2010-03-09 at 3.52.34 PM

NCTIES is very excited to launch our new special interest groups for the state of NC. These groups are intended to bring educators together in order to create, collaborate, and share resources and conversations. We want this to be all you want or need it to be! As we are just getting started, your thoughts are very important and we want your voice in this project. Please let us know what we can provide in these groups so that they are useful to you.

To participate, please join our Ning Social Network

Monday, February 8, 2010

CRSTE Cyber Conference


The CRSTE CyberConference 2010 is our first online event free to educators promoting the exchange of ideas and opportunities for collaboration across the CRSTE region and beyond. Each evening from between February 21 – March 5, 2010. Plan to attend any and all sessions of interest to you. Can't make a specific presentation? They will be archived online for your future perusal!

Here it off the cyber-presses..the final version of the CRSTE CyberConference 2010 Catalog!
Simply point your browser to to get your copy.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Three (3) $3000 Grants will be awarded for innovative, student-involved projects, which effectively use technology. Each grant recipient will receive a check for $3000 and agree to present at the 2011 NCTIES Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center March 2nd – 4th. The winner will receive registration and one night’s lodging in addition to the check for the school. At that conference each winner will present a session concerning the product/project that was aided by the grant money.

Please visit for more information