Press release: North Carolina Educators Get Support for Digital Transition

For Immediate Release:
January 21, 2015
Download PDF of Press Release 
CONTACT:
Blythe Tyrone,
919-513-8597
betyrone@ncsu.edu
Amber Taylor
703-201-4893
amber@taylored-communications.com

Professional Development Model Being Implemented to Support State’s Schools

Raleigh, N.C. — On Jan. 8 and 9, over 50 instructional technologists and coaches, mentor teachers, and media coordinators came together at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation for the first event of the yearlong North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaches Network (DLCN): Building Change Agents in Education program.
The Friday Institute has collaborated with Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization, and North Carolina Technology in Education Society (NCTIES) to develop the DLCN to assist schools and districts in the process of digital learning transitions, and to cultivate local capacity by providing support to those in coaching roles, as coaches are essential to leading and supporting student-centered digital learning and teaching.
“Project Tomorrow is partnering with the Friday Institute to extend what we learned from our National Science Foundation funded Teachers’ Readiness to Adopt and Adapt Digital Content grant to more education leaders in North Carolina,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. “This research demonstrates the importance and value of instructional coaches to help teachers leverage technology effectively to enhance student learning experiences.”  
Based on research on effective professional learning, the DLCN will provide ongoing, job-embedded and peer-supported professional development that is grounded in relevant and rigorous curriculum and instruction. This program seeks to ensure that participants have access to personalized and sustainable opportunities centered around pedagogy and digital learning with a significant emphasis on strategies that allow them to apply that knowledge to build capacity among educators, administrators, and students in the school.
Throughout the year, the cohort of educators will reconvene and interact with education experts through monthly face-to-face reunions and in an online environment. This structure will provide participants opportunities for professional networking and collaboration within a blended and sustainable community for the sharing of ideas and strategies. They will also acquire strategies and knowledge related to best practices in leadership and supporting stakeholders in their schools and districts.
“In giving these coaches an opportunity to learn and network with other educators who are in similar roles, we are helping to build a support structure that will ultimately have a positive impact on student learning experiences,” said Nancy Mangum, a research scholar at the Friday Institute and a project lead for DLCN.
This blended learning experience, built on the North Carolina Media Coordinator, Instructional Technology Facilitator & Coaching Evaluation Instruments, will help participants grow as educators, coaches and leaders while assisting them in building strong professional learning networks. The core components of Leadership and Culture, Content and Curriculum, Sustainability and Evaluation, and Being a Connected Educator are woven throughout all components of the DLCN experience.
More information about the program can be found at http://go.ncsu.edu/dlcn
About Project Tomorrow
Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org), a national education nonprofit organization headquartered in Irvine, California, supports the innovative uses of research-based science, math and technology resources to develop critical thinking, problem solving and creativity in K-12 students. Project Tomorrow addresses the challenges of developing schools for the 21st century through national research projects, community and school-based programs, online tools and resources, and advocacy efforts to ensure that all students are prepared to be tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and engaged citizens of the world.
About the Friday Institute
The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation (fi.ncsu.edu) at the North Carolina State University’s College of Education conducts research, develops educational resources, provides professional development programs for educators, advocates to improve teaching and learning, and helps inform policy-makers, all centered on innovations that will help prepare K–12 students for college, a career, and citizenship in the global information age.

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