Friday, July 1, 2011

NCCAT - North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Now that I have a place, I can really get into details about my visit to NCCAT. Many NC teachers will have heard of this. Here is a description from their website (they explain it far better than I ever could!)

NCCAT’s mission is to keep high-quality teachers in the classroom, advancing teaching beyond that of a simple job to an art form and a profession. By renewing their love for teaching, and improving the quality and enthusiasm of the teachers themselves, NCCAT ultimately improves student engagement in learning and academic achievement.
NCCAT’s vision is to build and sustain great teaching in North Carolina as teachers explore their profession more deeply, examine and challenge their ideas, and engage their intellectual curiosity and creative thinking through stimulating scholarly subjects.
NCCAT helps to retain the most caring, highly qualified, and skilled teachers necessary to positively impact the quality of public education in North Carolina. Dedicated to enriching the professional lives of our state’s public school teachers, NCCAT provides support for the entire spectrum of their teaching career.
 To me, NCCAT was a dream. Everything about it was teacher-nirvana. We got to work on cool projects (more on that in a minute,) the food was wonderful, and the setting was amazing.  And don't forget being with a group of like-minded teachers - we were all there to learn about technology and ways we could use it in the classroom. Dream vacation for a teacher.  And they paid for my sub - bonus!  Now if they could have just made my week of lesson plans for me... *wink*

Anyway, we learned about so many tech tools - my mind was spinning by the end of the week.  So my colleague, Lois, and I decided to collaborate on a final project to compile some of those tools into one spot.  Here is what we created!

A Glog! I wanted to embed the Glog here, but with my current set-up, it got all wonky. So please, click the image to go see it in its full glory.  Included in the Glog are these Web 2.0 tools:
  • WeeMee avatars
  • Animoto music videos
  • XtraNormal (Miss Betty will talk you through the whole glog - guided tour Web2.0 style! And by the way, you can get an "educator verified" account - they'll give you points to use to make videos!)
  • Wordle
  • Wiki/Blog provided by my school district (you can get the link on the Glog, not linking from here)
  • YouTube video
  • VoiceThread project done by our NCCAT group
  • Prezi
  • Creative Commons information
I am super proud of this Glog. It represents a turning point in my use and understanding of technology. I "get it" now and am excited to find ways to incorporate it into my teaching.  I may or may not get students involved - but at long last I'm on the right path!

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