DTL InSights Newsletter - February 24, 2017

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FEBRUARY 24, 2017

Digital Teaching & Learning InSights


February 24, 2017

We hope that you were able to participate in #DLDay activities yesterday. North Carolina was well represented in Digital Learning Day events in 2016, and there were a great number of events on the map for 2017. NCVPS held Twitter chats, and you can check out the discussion on Twitter with #DLDNCVPS.

As we approach Spring, the DTL team is hard at work as we strive to provide regular updates from our division about digital learning highlights and happenings throughout our state as well as throughout the nation. We have enjoyed seeing many of you at the Home Base Symposium this week, and look forward to seeing you at NCTIES next week, or at CCSA at the end of March.

Have a great weekend!



Director, Digital Teaching & Learning Division

happening in NC
Mark Johnson Symposium

NC Superintendent Mark Johnson Opens Home Base Symposium

Citing innovation as a “game changer” for public education in North Carolina, State Superintendent Mark Johnson told the more than 1,000 attendees at the first day of the Home Base Symposium on Wednesday that their work is key to the state’s efforts to improve outcomes for all students. “The kind of innovation you all are working on is going to make the difference,” Johnson said. Under his leadership of the Department of Public Instruction, he said, the agency will rank innovation alongside “urgency” and “ownership” as guiding principles in its role to better support the state’s schools, educators and students.

“We want to be your people in Raleigh,” he said, “not telling you what to do. We want to support what you do.” Johnson said he believes that the effective use of technology holds real promise to help transform teaching and learning to the benefit of more students. “I have seen how technology can be a valuable tool for teachers. We still need great teaching talent, but technology is a tool that can help engage students.” Johnson concluded his remarks by urging conference attendees to share their ideas about the Home Base tools. “Tell us what works, and tell us what doesn’t.”

Digital Learning Competencies

Digital Learning Competencies - Registration Deadline Fast Approaching!

Teachers are invited to join an interactive and fast-paced professional development session on the Digital Learning Competencies beginning in March.  This event is designed specifically for teachers and is intended to model practices and tools that teachers can utilize in their daily instruction and planning. During the day, participants will explore best practices for digital teaching and learning in each of the four Focus Areas through engaging in learning stations, Breakout EDU, Hyperdocs, collaborative talk, and hands-on fun with tools such as Little Bits, Google Cardboard, Makey-Makey and more!


To learn more about the Digital Learning Competencies and this professional development, check out the Digital Teaching and Learning wiki page.

This session, from the NC Department of Public Instruction, in partnership with the Friday Institute at NC State University and area RESAs, is offered to educators in North Carolina as a  comprehensive and layered professional learning approach to support digital teaching and learning in NC classrooms. If you have specific questions about these competencies, please reach out to your area consultant for guidance and support.

Librarian to Librarian Summit 2017

East Carolina University's Librarian to Librarian Summit - Share. Learn. Connect.  

The 12th Annual Librarian to Librarian Networking Summit will be held at Joyner Library's Teaching Resources Center on the campus of East Carolina University on March 25th, 2017. The Summit provides a variety of roundtable discussions on current topics for K-12 school library media personnel. Facilitated by experts in the profession, ECU's Librarian to Librarian Summit may provide learning opportunities to help SLMCs grow professionally. For additional information, contact the TRC Service Desk at (252) 328-6076 or by email at TRC@ecu.edu.

Friday Institute

Coaching Digital Learning: Cultivating a Culture of Change

This Coaching Digital Learning: Cultivating a Culture of Change MOOC-ED is brought to you by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University's College of Education. This is a FREE six-week course specially designed to support instructional technology coaches, technology integration specialists, lead teachers, media specialist, or anyone who guides the integration of digital learning to directly enhance and support student learning.

The course began on February 20, 2017, and ends on March 10, 2017. Click here to learn more about the course or to register.

LEARN MORE PDF @ https://goo.gl/r0dlri

REGISTER @ https://goo.gl/YRTWns

EdSurge Summit

EdSurge - Tech For Schools Summit

In partnership with DigiLearn and NCDPI, EdSurge recently provided technology leaders and teachers with opportunities to network and engage with one another and with edtech solutions at a two-day Tech For Schools Summit in Saxapahaw, NC.

Participants explored innovative technologies, engaged in panel discussions with education leaders and students, and connected with colleagues to investigate effective digital teaching and learning practices.

Read more about the Summit and digital learning in North Carolina here.

Home Base Symposium 2017 logo

Symposium Advances Ed Tech in NC

The 2017 Home Base Symposium had a terrific turnout from educators from across North Carolina. More than 1300 are in attendance for the three-day conference from more than 100 of the state's 115 school districts and 53 of 167 charter schools. Aligning with the theme from this year's conference, Plug in and Connect, participants networked and built relationships with other educators to improve practices based on their specific needs and interests.

But it's the value that attendees are finding for their specific needs and interests that are making the real difference.

"This makes the whole day worthwhile," said John Cowan, an instructional technology facilitator from Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools, while getting hands-on instruction Wednesday in Schoolnet, the instructional improvement system in Home Base. With the new knowledge he was gaining, he said he'll be better able to support teachers in his school with Schoolnet. "This is a lot of good stuff. It gives me a place to start."

Joycelyn Hinton, dean of students at Perquimans Central School, also was on a Schoolnet mission - to gather information that she could share with teachers in her school to help them use the application. She'd become a believer while teaching third and fourth grades.

"What I like about this [symposium] is having the opportunity to ask questions," Hinton said.

Landra Cartwright and Cathy Evanoff came from Dare County, where they're both technology coordinators, to be better able to support teachers in their district, particularly with the Canvas learning management system.

"We're looking for suggestions and ideas about how to make our case to teachers," Cartwright said. "We're very pleased with the way that these applications are progressing and meeting our needs."

State Board of Education logo

February SBE Highlights

At February’s State Board of Education meeting in Raleigh, members approved policies on mentor requirements for the beginning teacher support program; Mathematics and Science Partnership grants; a report to the NC General Assembly studying the costs and effectiveness associated with North Carolina prekindergarten slots; and several expansion and renewal recommendations for various charter schools.

They also heard a presentation on the state’s 2015-16 dropout and crime/consequences numbers. The report found that the state’s dropout rate for 2015-16 edged down to 2.29 percent from 2.39 percent the previous year, and that 10,889 students dropped out, compared to 11,190 students the previous year. In addition, the numbers of reportable acts of school crime, long-term suspensions, expulsions and corporal punishment decreased, while the number of short-term suspensions increased,

Earlier, members recognized Jones Intermediate School (Mt. Airy City Schools) teacher Amanda Robertson – the state’s latest Milken recipient, and the 2015 Career and Technical Education Teacher and Administrator of the Year, Michael Holman (East Chapel Hill High, Chapel-Hill Carrboro City Schools) and Lee O'Neal (NCDPI) respectively.

The complete list of this month’s Board actions is available on the Board’s website. The Board’s February agenda as well as supporting executive summaries also are available online by clicking on the SBE Meetings tab.

Canvas blue icon

NEW! NCDPI Releases a "Blue" Canvas Icon

NCDPI has released a “blue” icon for Canvas within your district’s IAM/NCEdCloud application tray. Within this Canvas instance, NC math teachers of record for NC Math 1, 2 and 3 will have access to the professional learning resource entitled "NC Mathematics Collaboratory." This icon will be a temporary shortcut so users will not have to type in the direct link: ncdpi.instructure.com.

Using the blue icon, all NC Math 1, 2 and 3 teachers now have access to any professional learning within NCDPI’s Canvas Instance at no cost to individual districts. Math instructional coaches, coordinators, specialists are invited and can be enrolled in the course by completing this google form.

Please note, access to the blue icon does not allow for LEAs and charters to create locally developed content. Individual districts/charters would need to purchase Canvas (accessed via a “red” Canvas icon in the application tray) to create learning opportunities for students. The blue icon is a temporary solution for access to piloted learning as we strive to make all future non-credit professional development resources available in the professional development component of the Truenorthlogic system slated for next school year.

NOTE: If any user accesses the blue Canvas icon and they are not enrolled in a course offered by NCDPI, they will not see any courses. Please do not submit a help ticket in this case.

For more information on Canvas, click here. For additional assistance or questions contact Yanisha Mann.

NCTIES 2017 Conference Logo

NCTIES Conference

NCTIES is North Carolina's premier ed tech conference and exposition. Registration for NCTIES 2017 gives you access to over 150 sessions, informal meet and greet opportunities, keynotes, exciting featured speakers, and vendor exhibit hall. Your registration will automatically enroll you a member of NCTIES. The 2017 conference is March 1st - 3rd and will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center in Downtown Raleigh, NC.

CCSA: Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement

Register Now for CCSA

Registration for the 2017 Collaborative Conference for Student Success, “Champions for Student Success,” is now open. The conference, on March 20-22, will offer a variety of sessions of interest to educators, administrators, parents, school board members, university and college faculty/staff/administrators, and community and business representatives.


Registration is $200. For more information, please email staff or call 919.835.6133.

NC Kids Digital Library logo

Announcing the NC Kids Digital Library

A statewide eBook consortium specific for children, a first of its kind, has launched in the Tar Heel state. The North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA) together with OverDrive and the state of North Carolina has created a new digital resource sharing service for kids’ pre-K through 4th grade, NC Kids Digital Library. Over 3,700 eBooks, audiobooks, videos and Read-Alongs are now available to younger readers via 85 regional, county and municipal libraries in North Carolina through OverDrive’s digital reading platform. These materials are instantly available for every child, at home and everywhere.

national news
Digital content

Knovation Grant Opportunity to Pilot: Access Digital Content and OER

The SETDA | Knovation K-12 Digital Content Grant application window is now open. This grant is available to all SETDA Members and Affiliates who have specific needs for curated OER and digital content at an extremely low cost. Grant award recipients will receive access to classroom-ready digital content and OER to move quickly from policies, laws, and mandates to impact in the classroom. 

If you are interested, please visit the web page: www.knovationlearing.com/pages/setda-grant for more information and to download the application. The window to apply closes on February 28, 2017.

SETDA and Knovation encourage open dialogue during the grant application process. Please email K12grant@knovationlearning.com with questions or to discuss the pilot and grant opportunity.



Making Smart IT Investments: Updated Tools for School System Leaders

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) recently launched two new tools to help school leaders make and sustain effective IT investments.

The updated SmartIT Initiative’s Total Cost of Ownership and Value of Investment resources will give school technology leaders and administrators a better understanding of the cost of their IT operations and calculate the value of their investments.


“For school technology leaders, it has never been more important to get a full understanding of the cost and benefits of their investments,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “By taking advantage of these modern resources, district technology leaders will be able to demonstrate the educational value of their investment decisions to school leadership and their communities.” Learn more about SmartIT Initiative Resources.

Google Certified Innovator Program

Are You an Innovator?

Join a group of individuals transforming education at Google and across the world. The Google for Education team is looking for the most creative minds in education who empower other educators and students. We're looking for leaders who are excited to drive transformation, advocate for innovative technologies, and grow professionally. The Certified Innovator program is a 12-month professional development experience -- including mentorship, online learning activities, and a face-to-face Innovation Academy focused on helping new Innovators launch a transformative project. Learn more

SETDA logo

From Print to Digital: Guide to Quality Instructional Materials

On February 9, SETDA launched its latest resource, From Print to Digital: Guide to Quality Instructional Materials. The development of this online toolkit has been supported by tireless dedication of over 20 members and partners to support quality instructional materials vetting and curation in states. In addition, SETDA has collaborated with the Council of Chief State School Officers, the State Instructional Materials Review Association and the AEM Center to ensure a robust resource. To join the launch webinar, register here: http://tinyurl.com/setdawebinar02092017. The webinar will provide an overview of the tool as well as examples from Utah and Washington on their vetting processes. 

In addition to the webinar, SETDA is also launching an online community of practice to provide policy makers, school administrators and educator leaders a better understanding of policies and practices related to digital instructional materials. The community, Essential Elements for Digital Content, is free and open to the public. The community will engage in dialogue about the shift to digital including the vetting process, accessibility, professional learning, OER, procurement, implementation and infrastructure. http://www.edweb.net/digitalcontent

Future Ready logo

Future Ready Librarian

Are your school library media coordinators Future Ready? Future Ready focuses on collaborative leadership and personalized learning. "School library media coordinators demonstrate leadership" (NC Professional Standards for School Library Media Coordinators).  To learn more about the Future Ready Librarian initiative see the following resources: 




Future Ready Schools website: http://futureready.org/about-the-effort/librarians/

esri logo

ArcGIS Online U.S. School Competition 2017

Across the U.S., high school and middle school students are exploring their world and creating interesting map products with ArcGIS Online. Esri now challenges students to create and share maps about something in their home states, working to be among the best in the school, state, and nation. The ArcGIS Online US School Competition 2017 is open to high school (gr.9-12) and middle school (gr.4-8) students in the U.S who can analyze, interpret, and present data via an ArcGIS Online presentation, web app, or story map.  Contest details