Great things seen and heard at NCTIES

Making IT Personal

NCTIES is the North Carolina Technology in Education Society. It is "a membership association for educators and educator leaders engaged in advancing excellence in learning and teaching through the effective use of technology." Each year in March, they hold a conference in Raleigh, NC.

While the focus of the organization is instructional technology (IT), it's important to remember that technology is defined as the application of scientific knowledge. So, NCTIEs' focus is really about the application of scientific knowledge about instruction. And, boy did they live up to that definition!

Here we will share some of the information we acquired at the conference, as well as some links to more information.

***Want more? Find the full list of sessions here:

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Personalized Learning

The focus of the conference was personalized learning, and there was lots to learn. Of course, the very best session was the first one listed, presented by GCS' own PLEFs, Teena Martin and Lande Brady. But if you want to see how other districts are doing it, browse some of the other sessions as well.

Personalized Learning in a 21st Century Classroom

Presenter: Teena Martin, Guilford County Schools

Lande Brady, Guilford County Schools

Website: PLE Resource Center


Not The Same Old Song and Dance

Presenter: Shelley Bryant, Surry County Schools

Chris Sizemore, Surry County Schools

Leading Instructional Change: A Roadmap of One Districts Journey to Implementing Personalized Learning

Presenter: Jill Thompson, @edu_thompson Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Kay Hall, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Our website: and #cmspl

Want to see Charlotte-Mecklenburg Personalized Learning Schools in action? Join us for our Personalized Learning tour on April 2nd, 2015 - more information here:

MakerSpaces and Collaborative Spaces

MakerSpaces was a hot trend at NCTIES this year. What are MakerSpaces? According to the article Designing a School MakerSpace on Edutopia, it is a space designed to provide "hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering, and tinkering." Closely related to that are spaces that are designed to encourage collaboration among students. Schools across the state are creating these spaces in their classrooms, libraries, even hallways. Take a look below at some of the presentations about these spaces.

If you'd like to create a MakerSpace or a Collaborative Space in your classroom, let me know! I'd love to help!

Makerspaces on a Shoestring Budget

Presenter: Alicia Ray, Flat Rock Elementary School/Surry County Schools

The Minimalist Makerspace for Schools with Minimal Budgets

Presenter: Mary Brown, Wittenburg Elementary School

Andrea Robinette, Wittenburg Elementary School

So you want to start a STEAM lab...

Presenter: Maggie Caldwell, Clemmons Elementary

Julie Addington, Clemmons Elementary School

Sandy Holt, WSFCS Schools

Presentation Link:

STOP, Collaborate and Listen! Creating Your Own Collaboration Room/Makerspace

Presenter: Felicia Davis, Mooresville Middle/Mooresville Graded Schools @MrsDavis66

Allison Long, Mooresville Graded Schools/Mooresville Middle @MMSmediatips

Maker Professional Development

Presenter: Kevin Oliver, Digital Teaching & Learning at NC State

The Middle School Makerspace: A True Tale of First-Year Adventures

Presenter: Greg Garner & Gabriel Graña


Making STEAM: Creative Tools for Starting a Maker Space

Presenter: Rebecca Bennett, Copeland Elementary

Lesa Thomas, Copeland Elementary

Augmented Reality

Another big trend that only seems to be getting bigger and better is Augmented Reality (AR). AR takes boring one dimensional pictures and turns them into awe-inspiring 3D and 4D images. Wanna get your students' attention? Use AR! Below are some sessions that focused on AR.

Augmented Reality in the Elementary Learning Environment

Presenter: Sherry Harris, Cabarrus County Schools

Mary Ellen Brafford, Cabarrus County Schools

Camella Herrin, Cabarrus County Schools

Visual Storytelling Through Interactive (Augmented) Storybooks

Presenter: Conni Mulligan, Region 8 PD Consultant, NCDPI

Peter Panico, Rama Road Elementary

Augment Your Literacy!

Presenter: Sarah Emmerich, Craven County Schools

Carla Sittig, Trent Park Elementary


Amazing Student Projects Using Augmented Reality

Presenter: Dorene Bates, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Evan Herreid, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Augmented Reality in School

Casey Johnson, Mitchell High School

Tracy Deyton, Mitchell High School

Misty Self, Mitchell High School

Blended Learning, apps, and web tools

What technology conference would be complete without apps? Not this one, for sure! Here are some of the best app and web tool roundups available. You may know some of them, but I doubt you know them all!

Apptastic Daily Five

Presenter: Linnea Czerney, Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering

Emily Johnson, East Mooresville Intermediate

Website Wow! Creating an Interactive Classroom Hub with Google Sites

Presenter: Lauren Boucher, Pitt County Schools

Creating an engaging, online hub is imperative for any teacher teaching in a 1:1 or blended environment. Google Sites is a free website creation and hosting tool that will allow you to embed interactive activities to excite your students, develop and manage collaborative projects, and engage your students in learning in a way you never have before! Join us as we look at creative ways to make your website, "Wow!" For the session site, head on over to

Comics in the Classroom to Increase Digital Literacy

Presenter: Evan Herreid, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Katie Yoder, National Heritage Academy

Digital Tools for a Digital Generation

Presenter: Keith Ledford, McDowell County Schools

Adam Wiseman, McDowell County Schools

Experience the ultimate way to use Google and Chrome friendly resources in the classroom! Learn how to seamlessly integrate technology applications in the classroom to make standards based learning fun and interactive.

Otus, the Only Tool You'll Need to Teach 1:1

Presenter: Lauren Boucher, Pitt County Schools

Are you tired of having to rely on a variety of apps or websites to adequately function in your 1:1 or blended classroom? Join us as we explore Otus, a powerful tool that allows you to track classroom behavior, deliver differentiated instruction, assess, and much more...all for FREE! Available as an iOS app and on any web-enabled device, Otus is the only tool you'll need to teach 1:1 or in a blended environment. You can check out the session site at

Data, Algebra, and Free Oh My!

Presenter: Staci Lyon, SAS Institute, Inc.

Website: SAS Curriculum Pathways


Two Students, One Device

Presenter: David Schouweiler, Newton-Conover High School

James Frye, Newton-Conover High School

Resources Document (includes presentation)

Google Apps in the Classroom and Beyond

Presenter: Cyndi Childers, East Burke Middle School

Tracie Lail, East Burke Middle School

Presentation slides and Templates

Three Ways Google Tools Can Save Teachers Time

Presenter: Rushton Hurley

Sessions Slides (to be added at the conference)

Video Library and Free Resources

Newsletter and February Issue

Digital Differentiation For Learning At All Levels

Presenter: Andrew Julian, La Grange Elementary School


All About that Blend...No Trouble!

Presenter: Molly Zimmer, Brawley Middle School @MollyZimmer

Kelly Coban, Iredell Statesvile Schools @KHCoban

Making Math Personal for ALL Learners: Blended Learning ''Khan'' Work for You!

Presenter: Justin Bock, Wake County Public Schools

Julie Resua, Mills Park Middle School

Brianna Tucker, Mills Park Middle School

Embracing the Backchannel: Increasing Student Collaboration and Engagement

Presenter: Ike Smith, Watauga County Schools

Jeffrey Carpenter, Elon University

Presentation link:


There were a lot of other great sessions, including Gamification, presented by Lande Brady and Teena Martin. Here are a few of those:

Keep the PD going: Create a Mini NCTIES in your District

Presenter: Andrew J. Smith, Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Great information and an inspiration for us all. Want to create a mini-conference at your school? Let your PLEF know!

Digital Age School Library Media Programs

Presenter: Kathy Parker, School Library Media Consultant, NC Department of Public Instruction

Reading, Writing, and Programming...Oh My!

Presenter: Lynn Bradley, Cleveland Elementary School

Joanna Brown, Isenberg Elementary School

Our Resources

Our Zip File

Lesson Plans for Digital Environments

Presenter: Ouida Myers, NC DPI

Donna Murray, NCDPI

The Epic Win: Using Games Based Learning and Gamification in your Classroom


Bethany Smith, NC State University

Daniel O'Keefe (follow), Institute of Play (follow)

From Makey Makey to Coding

Presenter: Gail Holmes, NCDPI

Gamification: Your Course, One Game, Real Life

Presenter: Teena Martin, Guilford County Schools

Lande Brady, Guilford County Schools

Website: PLE Resource Center

Presentation: of Wisdom: