Update from our director

Greetings!

We at LEARN NC hope you each are enjoying the springtime weather and that your school year is finishing strong. We have been quite busy ourselves, adding new resources, lesson plans, and courses to our collection — some of which are shared below. We’re also busy adding — people! That’s right; LEARN NC is hiring. So, if you are energetic, innovative, passionate about education, and want to live in one of the coolest towns in America, visit the UNC jobs website and apply today:

Standards: Common Core & North Carolina Essential Standards
LEARN NC offers thousands of lesson plans already aligned to the Common Core Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts and to the NC Essential Standards in other subject areas — and we are aligning more each day. We are in the process of making these lessons available from the Common Core and NC Essential Standards area of our website. For example, you can go into third grade social studies and click on the “Find aligned resources” link to find lessons plans for each of the strands. Soon, all Common Core and Essential Standards strands will have this link, allowing you to search for resources according to all the new standards
Lesson Plans: Commemorative landscapes
LEARN NC is partnering with the History Department and the University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to encourage critical inquiry into the construction and revision of North Carolina’s history through an examination and study of North Carolina’s monuments, markers, and other commemorative landscapes. The lessons plans being developed facilitate student engagement with primary documents and digital media to promote a broader understanding of North Carolina history, familiarity with historical discourses and practices, and thoughtful approaches to research. For example, did you know that the Edenton Tea Party meeting in North Carolina has been referred to as “the earliest known instance of political activity on the part of women in the American colonies?” Visit LEARN NC in May to experience our digital narrative of the Edenton Tea party using a collection of primary documents from the Commemorative Landscapes database and examine how the event has been commemorated across North Carolina.
Research: The Well
If you haven’t visited The WELL yet, come see how the research being conducted here by our colleagues in higher education is having immediate impact, right now, on education in our classrooms. Recent articles and videos deal with issues such as: engaging parents in urban communities, creating a “commonplace” book to support pedagogical reading, and a longitudinal study on the positive effects of high quality early childhood education.
Courses enrolling now!
As you make your summer plans, consider joining the thousands of teachers across North Carolina who have taken one of our engaging, relevant online continuing education courses. This summer’s offerings are organized according to the following three clusters:

  1. Beginning teachers/Pedagogical development
  2. Teaching diverse populations
  3. Integrating Common Core — including Algebraic Thinking in Elementary Schools, Developing Your Classroom Management Plan, Teaching Writing in Middle Schools, and Embedding Gifted Strategies into AP Instruction.

Each content area course we offer has Common Core-aligned resources embedded within to help you with your transition. And, of course, our Carolina On-Line Teaching (COLT) certification program is preparing the next generation of K-12 teachers to extend their abilities and reach into the world of online teaching themselves. Visit the COLT site to join our next cohort. NOTE: Ask us about how our Invest in Teachers program can help make our courses even more affordable for you!

Staying Connected
Thank you to all of our new Facebook friends and Twitter followers. It has been exciting to engage in conversations with each of you around the great resources we all are finding and sharing. With over 2,300 followers, it is easy to connect and find interesting ideas and tools to bring into your classroom. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and join our YouTube channel to see what new and interesting resources we are finding throughout each day and to stay in touch.

Thanks for being a part of the LEARN NC network. Connect with LEARN NC, and let us know how we can continue serving you.

Best,

Steve

Stephen C. Bronack, Ph.D.
Executive Director, LEARN NC
http://www.learnnc.org
bronack@unc.edu

A message from our new director, Steve Bronack

Greetings!
I am honored to be writing to you for the first time as Executive Director of LEARN NC. As a former K-12 teacher and a teacher educator here in North Carolina for many years, myself, the value of LEARN NC is clear to me. For nearly two decades, LEARN NC has provided access to the best learning innovations and thousands of exemplary mediated resources to aid the continual improvement of education in North Carolina, and beyond. I’m proud to be here, serving the teachers and students of North Carolina, and helping advance the pioneering spirit and the good work led by previous Directors. I hope you find the resources and information below useful; please share it with your colleagues, and stay connected with LEARN NC!

Standards: Common Core & North Carolina Essential Standards

We at LEARN NC are committed to supporting teachers’ understanding of and adaptation to the Common Core and North Carolina Essential standards. I am pleased to announce that our work aligning each of our 1,600 lesson plans to the Common Core and NC Essential Standards is complete, and ready to use. Stay tuned as we continue to align the thousands of external lesson plans linked on our website, as well. Come take a look! Additionally, we are taking a leadership role in collaboration with our eLearning for Educators partners to design, develop, and deliver innovative online professional development opportunities and resources to help guide teachers through the transition to the new standards.

Lesson Plans: Commemorative Landscapes

LEARN NC is developing resources using the Commemorative Landscapes Database, a collaborative project of the History Department and the University Library of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to encourage critical inquiry into the construction and revision of North Carolina’s history through an examination and study of North Carolina’s monuments, markers, and other commemorative landscapes. The lessons and projects being developed for grades 3-12 facilitate student engagement with a variety of primary documents and digital media to promote a broader understanding of North Carolina history, familiarity with historical discourses and practices, and thoughtful approaches to research. Check in with us soon for lessons that give your students the opportunity to create their own monuments, become North Carolina tour guides, and solve the mystery of the missing Hippo statue!

Research: The Well

It is exciting to be here on-campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and to have the opportunity to share with teachers and students some of the amazing work in which so many of our bright and dedicated colleagues here are engaging. If you haven’t visited The Well yet, come see how we are helping our colleagues turn their latest research into practical advice for you. Right now. Recent articles and videos deal with issues such as: working with immigrant students, “outside-in” school reform, community journalism as a novel pedagogical strategy, and finding multicultural texts to encourage struggling young readers.

Curriculum: NC Heritage

Did you know there was a military base in Greensboro during World War II? Or that our state dog, the Plott Hound, is one of only a few known breeds to have originated in America? LEARN NC has partnered with the North Carolina Digital History Center to create online curriculum, lesson plans, and podcasts using the Center’s incredible collection of digitized historic materials. Stay connected with us over the next few weeks, as we integrate these materials into our website and announce them on our Twitter feed (@learnnc).

Courses enrolling now!

Each day, hundreds of teachers participate together in one of the many informative, engaging, and relevant online continuing education courses offered via LEARN NC. Courses currently enrolling include: American Indians in North Carolina, Using Blogs and Other Collaborative Tools to Improve Student Writing, Using Models to Understand Fractions, and Planning Instruction with the National STEM Digital Library. And, of course, our Carolina On-Line Teaching (COLT) certification program is preparing the next generation of K-12 teachers to extend their abilities and reach into the world of online teaching, themselves. Visit the COLT site to join our next cohort.

Staying Connected

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Like our Facebook page, and join our YouTube channel to see what new and interesting resources we are finding throughout each day and to stay in touch with us — and with each other!

EVENTS: 2012 North Carolina Science Festival

Celebrate science statewide April 13-29, 2012 at the annual North Carolina Science Festival. The Festival is a multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology. It highlights the educational, cultural and financial impact of science in our state. Through hands-on activities, science talks, lab tours, nature experiences, exhibits and performances, the Festival engages a wide range of public audiences while inspiring the next generation of students. As supporters of tomorrow’s scientists, K-12 educators are critical to our mission. The North Carolina Science Festival encourages both educators and students to be involved in the Festival. To find one of more than 300 events near you, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.
The UNC Science Expo, a signature event of the North Carolina Science Festival, will be held on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill on Saturday, April 14. This annual Expo features hands-on activities and demonstrations for the science enthusiast. Exhibitors include UNC-Chapel Hill scholars, University laboratories, local entertainment and a kids’ make-and-take area. Celebrate science with more than 50 Expo exhibitors!
. . . . .
Thanks for being a part of the LEARN NC network. Connect with LEARN NC and let us know how we can continue serving you.
Best,
Steve

Stephen C. Bronack, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Executive Director, LEARN NC

LEARN NC Help Desk has new number, now available 24 hours

As LEARN NC has grown, we’ve sometimes had trouble keeping up with the demand for customer service. To fix this, you can now call the LEARN NC Help Desk any time, day or night, Monday through Sunday at 919-962-HELP (4357) for all your technical assistance needs. You may also email us at helpdesk@learnnc.org. A real person is always ready to diagnose your problem and provide the appropriate response.

LEARN NC online courses provide the flexibility to work on a course when it’s most convenient to you, whether that’s during school hours or at home in your pajamas. If you run into a technical issue, waiting until business hours isn’t always an option. Whatever day or time you’re reading this, know that help is available to you right now.

LEARN NC server outage canceled

We previously reported on server maintenance scheduled for Saturday and Sunday March 13-14. We’re happy to say that this outage has been canceled, as the necessary maintenance was accomplished without necessitating any server down time. As such, users should experience no outages on the LEARN NC website, Instructify, or online courses offered on our Moodle servers.

LEARN NC moving courses to Moodle

In the summer of 2008, LEARN NC will switch to the Moodle Learning Management System, replacing our Blackboard service. Moodle’s widespread use throughout North Carolina and open-source development made it a logical and cost-effective replacement.

We are currently formulating a migration plan for existing Blackboard users, which includes free Moodle training for users who have completed LEARN NC’s Blackboard Training course. Users who wish to transfer their Blackboard courses to a different Blackboard server will be able to request course archives at no cost.

As additional details become available, we will post them here and make them available as system announcements on our Blackboard server.

Come in, sit down, relax, converse.

Welcome to LEARN NC’s new news, information, and updates blog! There is now more happening at LEARN NC than we can tell you about in a single monthly email, and so to keep teachers informed we’ll post updates here, as they happen.

You’ll find:

  • New online courses and other professional development opportunities
  • Freshly published resources for teachers and students
  • Information about LEARN NC programs
  • Upcoming events, including conference presentations and LEARN NC workshops
  • Updates on resources and programs in development
  • Fabulous stuff we found on the web and don’t know where else to put
  • Announcements of professional development opportunities from selected partner organizations

Finally, this blog is a chance for you to talk to us — to tell us what you think about our programs and resources, make suggestions, and ask for help.

You can subscribe to the blog via the RSS link in the banner. (Not familiar with RSS? That squarish orange icon with the white broadcast lines always means an RSS feed, which sends updates directly to your browser or other “feed reader.” Read our RSS primer for more information.)