Monday, October 17, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Aaron Slutsky to become a Google Certified Teacher

We are pleased to announce that Google has selected Aaron Slutsky as an attendee at the next Google Teacher Academy, to be held in Seattle, Washington on July 28, 2011. Aaron is currently the Director of Technology for McDowell County Schools and serves on the NCTIES board of directors.

Aaron was also invited to be part of the inaugural class at the first YouTube Teacher's Studio. Applications for the YouTube Teacher's Studio were only open to the 50 attending Google Teacher Academy and just 15 were invited to attend. This workshop will occur the day before the Google Teacher. Google believes that this program has the potential to spark a transformation in the way teachers connect with students, both in the classroom and outside.

I am very excited to attend both the Google Teacher Academy and the YouTube Teacher's Studio. I hope to share what I learn at the 2012 NCTIES Conference. ~Aaron Slutsky
The Google Teacher Academy is a free professional development experience designed to help K-12 educational leaders get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google's products and technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, and receive resources to share with colleagues. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local regions and beyond.

Google Certified Teachers are exceptional K-12 educators with a passion for using innovative tools to improve teaching and learning, as well as creative leaders and ambassadors for change. They are recognized experts and widely admired for their commitment to high expectations for students, life-long learning and collaboration.

The Google Certified Teacher program was launched in 2006 with the first Academy held at Google headquarters in Mountain View. The program has since held several academies around the globe, expanding the ranks of Google Certified Teachers. The Google Teacher Academy is produced by Google, in collaboration with CUE and WestEd, both educational non-profit organizations.

You can follow Aaron on twitter!/aslutsky or circle him on Google +

You can follow NCTIES on twitter at

Saturday, July 16, 2011

2011 Amended By-laws and Constitution

On behalf of our NCTIES board members, we have been working to review and make changes to our current bylaws. At our summer retreat, we passed a motion to send our proposed amended bylaws and constitution to our membership for a vote. Our timeline is listed in the column to the right.

Current bylaws are in black
Deletions are represented with a strike through
Proposed changes are in red
(Click here to see our proposed amended bylaws and constitution)

Reason for amending the NCTIES Constitution and By-laws is...
to ensure representation for all areas of our state.

The NCTIES board currently has one regional director from each of the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Instructional Technology regions defined in 2006 plus two at-large directors. In 2011, the NCDPI Instructional Technology division redefined state regions. Over the years, NCTIES has aligned our regions to match changes made by NCDPI in the instructional regions. The proposed change to our by-laws will more closely align the NCTIES board to the NC State Board of Education (NCSBE) education districts. Future changes to the NCTIES board will be made as there are changes made to the NCSBE education districts.

Reason for amending the "Standing and Other Committees" in the NCTIES By-Laws is...
to the align NCTIES awards with ISTE awards listed below:
SIGMS - Media Specialist Technology Innovation Award
ISTE Outstanding Teacher
ISTE Outstanding Leader
Making IT Happen

As required by our bylaws, all proposed bylaws and constitution amendments are scheduled for a 30 day posting period (July 16 - August 16) , after which they will be put to a vote (August 16 - 19) by our membership via a separate e-mail that will be sent August 16.


NCTIES Board Members

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Friday Correction

Correction on page 110 of the conference program.

Session II: The Ripple Effect…..Impacting Education with Video
March 4th: 9:10am
Room 202
With video at the heart of the interactive classroom multiple technologies have a conjoining point creating a larger impact than any one technology could on its own. This opportunity needs to be media rich with multiple sources of content and interactions for reaching a diverse learner population. Leveraging video, this learning environment can ripple to a remote class, a remote individual, a blog, a wiki, or an iPod/iPhone. Positioning video at the center provides a common interface for both synchronous and asynchronous communications allowing content creators/deliverers to reach further.

Dr. Lance Ford is an educational technology advocate for TANDBERG, now a part of Cisco. For the seven years prior, he served as a teacher and technology facilitator/coordinator for Howe Public Schools in Howe, Oklahoma. . Lance has been named Wal-Mart regional teacher of the year, Oklahoma Technology Administrator’s Technology Director of the Year, and the recipient of the Polaris Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2007 Lance was recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator, was awarded the 2008 Long Term Service Award from the Oklahoma Distance Learning Association, and received the Technology Facilitator of the Year award from the National Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

Cruising Raleigh

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau welcomes NCTIES back to Downtown Raleigh! To help you find local attractions and restaurants, learn about local tours and how to ride the new R Line, or just to get answers to your questions, please stop by our welcome booth set up in the lower lobby of the Raleigh Convention Center. We’ll be right across from the entrance to the NCTIES exhibit hall, or stop by our visitor center in the connector space between the Marriott and the convention center. And you can always learn more at visit

Did you pick up your complimentary Greater Raleigh SMART card yet? If not, be sure to do so before you go to dinner! The card is provided complimentary by and When you use it, you'll save money at area restaurants and attractions. To preview the many businesses that accept our card, see

What’s new since NCTIES was here last year? Have you tried Zpizza on City Plaza located street level in the Bank of America Building – we think you’ll like this pizza made from all organic and gluten free ingredients. Good and good for you!

Would you like another restaurant idea? Buku is just a few blocks away at the corner of Wilmington and Davie Streets. Featuring street foods from around the world, it’s a great spot for trying something different for lunch, dinner or late night snacks. We loved the Plantain Crusted Chilean Sea Bass!

Interested in live music later on Thursday night? Consider “Enter the Live Haggis” at The Pour House off Moore Square , check out the Lounge at 42nd Street Oyster Bar or live jazz at The Mint . For a complete look at Raleigh nightlife see

If you can grab some time before heading home, check out the newly updated IMAX Theatre at Marbles Kids Museum. The new IMAX is even better than before. Now playing: Hubble 3D, Ultimate Wave 3D and I Am Number Four. For more information about show times see: While you’re there, check out Marbles – expanding the imaginations of children by providing great adventures through play. See

NCTIES may end Friday afternoon, but why not get in a little “R and R” before you head home? Stay around for First Friday, a great way to enjoy art, dinner, and a wide range of cultural activities

And finally, who says you can’t shop in Downtown Raleigh? For shopping adventures we have a great variety of galleries, unique gift stores and interesting consignments. To plan your downtown shopping see:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

NCTIES 2011 Sets Sail


Our ship embarks today!!!! It's exciting and new, come aboard, we're expecting you. All 1400+ passengers and nearly 300 Deck Hands!!!

On-site registration is still available for $160.00.
Check out the "Sessions at a Glance" just published today.
Conference Wiki: Take a minute to look at the conference Wiki and check out the sessions.

Parking and Internet
Marriott Parking: Please allow yourself plenty of time. With complimentary valet parking (one space per room) at the Marriott, there may be a backlog of cars to be parked if everyone shows up at once. And, anyone using valet parking would need to bring in any luggage to be stored by the hotel until check-in later in the day.

Sheraton Parking: Please enter the parking deck on Gale Street.

Sheraton and Marriott Internet: Both hotels offer Internet included in your rate. Ask the front desk if you have questions.

Thursday check in: If you are driving in Thursday morning, see advice above. Given the high occupancy rate at the hotels, early check-in or late check out will not be available.

Friday check out: While our conference does not conclude until 2:30 or so on Friday, please remember that hotel check out time is noon. The Sheraton, Marriott and Clarion (overflow) have all graciously agreed to work with guests to store guest luggage after check out.

Cruise Raleigh: While you're in Raleigh, don't forget to take advantage of the free, user-friendly R Line bus to visit the area restaurants and nightspots. For more info:

Don't hesitate to contact us for more information at
We are happy to help!
Sonya Terry
Cruise Director, Conference Chair and Vice President

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good Ideas or Why You Should Be Excited About NCTIES 2011

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know I have recently and frequently quoted social science author Steven Johnson. It’s no secret I’ve been reading his latest book, Where Good Ideas Come From; The Natural History of Innovation. As I read through Johnson’s book I’ve been intrigued in his attempt to identify the circumstances and physical environments that foster great ideas. After all, I am in education where we ALWAYS look for better ideas, better methods, better ways to engage – good ideas.As I read and found a phrase or section that particularly struck me, I “tweeted” it out of force of habit because I found value in the anecdotes and research. I thought others would too.We work in cultures of PLCs (professional learning communities) and attend LTMs (learning team meetings), often by district and administrative requirement, and get evaluated by a walk through the classroom. The question then becomes what we do with that kind of professional culture. How do we mold it? What do we contribute?Do we dread the scheduled merger; simply go out of requirement, or do we do create something constructive that helps us achieve better ideas to teach students not just to prepare for a test, but for life.As somebody who attends six or more LTMs a week I read Johnson’s book wanting to learn how to foster an environment that truly leads to innovation and celebrates and values the vast talents of my colleagues.I looked back over my archived tweets inspired by Johnson’s book, and it became crystal clear why I am excited about the NCTIES 2011 conference, and why you should be too. Here are a few of the most profound things I found in Johnson’s book and how they explain my excitement, which I hope becomes contagious.Johnson explores seven patterns to innovations and I won’t go into them, but the first he entitled “The Adjacent Possible.” When dedicated professionals come together and share it creates the adjacent possible because we all come with different perspectives, different strengths, and being willing to share that opens doors to new ideas. I tweeted:"It’s not so much a question of thinking outside the box as it is thinking through multiple boxes."NCTIES offers those who choose to take a hard look at what others are doing and have genuine discussions to get the most out of the experience the conference offers. This also struck me while thinking about environments that encourage innovation and good ideas. While they become commingled (which is a good according to the book) as we go from session to session they do provide opportunity to connect to new ideas later (something Johnson calls the “slow hunch”)."It's not that the network itself is smart; it's that the individuals get smarter because they are connected to the network"These are words by which I live. If I really think anything I’ve been able to accomplish has been because of the people with whom I have chosen to share, network, and collaborate. Without my network of friends and colleagues I dare say I would have accomplished close to nothing. I owe many thanks to many people, some I have met personally, and others only through my personal learning network.“The most creative individuals had broad social networks that extended outside their organization and included people from diverse fields of expertise.” And"Encouragement does not necessarily lead to creativity. Collisions do - collisions that happen when different fields of expertise converge in shared intellectual space."I encourage NCTIES to continue to strive not only to bring in technology educators and keynote speakers from our own profession, but also from other vocations so we get a clear view of what we need to do, where we need to go, and what we need to do to be innovative educators. Without those opportunities we cannot create the collisions in that shared intellectual space.The final tidbit that Johnson left me was:"Being right keeps you in place. Being wrong forces you to explore."We talk a lot about giving students opportunities to fail, learn from failure, and that school should be the “safe” place for them to experience failure. We must offer ourselves those same opportunities. If being right keeps us in place and being wrong forces us to explore, then we should continue to explore. What better place to explore than at the NCTIES annual conference?All of what the NCTIES conference offers gives every open mind a chance to think through multiple boxes, connect to a broad and diverse network of individuals and have those productive “collisions” in an intellectual space. Johnson says are all components of an environment that fosters innovation and “good” ideas.The litmus test will be whether we leave the NCTIES conference energized (as I always do) and take that back to our schools, our LTMs (required or not) a genuine encouragement to our colleagues to share ideas, play to their strengths, and attempt to create an environment of innovation. I strive for that daily. See you in Raleigh!
Sam Walker is the Technology Facilitator at Kimmel Farm Elementary School in Winston-Salem, NC and the 2010 NCTIES Instructional Technology Educator of the Year. - Photo provided by Cayusa via flicker and a creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license.