Celebrate International Literacy Day

Celebrate International Literacy Day

Faculty in the Department of Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education are thrilled to celebrate International Literacy Day on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. #ILD2015

International Literacy Day helps bring our attention to the nearly 800 million adults worldwide who cannot read, write, or perform simple math calculations. This is a time when groups and individuals can renew their efforts to promote literacy and demonstrate their commitment to providing education for all.

Dr. Johna Faulconer, Associate Chair of the Department of Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education, noted, “About 26% of the world’s population is illiterate and women make up two-thirds of that number and while that number is high, it has dropped. International Literacy Day is a day to call attention to the importance of literacy and to celebrate our accomplishments. We are thrilled that so many groups across the ECU campus are taking part in the effort to support International Literacy Day, Our ECU community truly models our mission to inspire positive change.”

The Department of Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education, partnered with the Teaching Resource Center and the Pitt County Literacy Volunteers invites anyone to attend a Book Exchange in celebration of literacy awareness on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 outside of Joyner Library from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. For more information, contact Emily-Lynn Adkins at adkinse@ecu.edu.

To mark the occasion, many ECU faculty, staff, and students submitted photos.

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OAA presents at VBEA

The Virginia Business Education Association held their annual summer conference at the The Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach, VA. The Conference, which took place from July twenty seventh to July thirtieth, was entitled “VBEA…Charting the Course for Success“. The conference hosted a wide range of business associated topics from Adobe Dreamweaver to Programming 101.
Jason Whited, Instructional Technology Consultant from the Office of Assessment and Accreditation was asked to host two workshops covering Social Media and Google Apps for Education on mobile devices. The first session, “Google apps; Collaborating Across Devices!” looked at how Google Apps for Education allows users to collaborate across devices. The second session, “Using Social Media in Education; How to Harness the Power of Tweeting, Liking and Pinning!” looked at the exploding phenomenon that is social media and how it is shaping education. Participants were introduced to social media and many of the available tools to help harness its expansive potential not only for the classroom but for professional development as well. Both sessions were attended by enthusiastic teachers who had many questions and comments on the topics. If you would like to know more about any of these topics feel free to contact Jason Whited at whitedj@ecu.edu.

Students in Corey Gilman’s second-grade class use a mix of old-school and new technologies in the classroom. Photo: Peggy Barmore

Former Dean Keeping Teacher Preparation in the Spotlight

Dr. Linda Patriarca, former dean of the College of Education and current Special Education professor may be on hiatus, but she is still making sure that East Carolina and the work done in the College for teacher preparation stays in the spotlight, as shown in the US News and World Report article “Colleges Struggle to Blend Tech, Teacher-Training Lesson Plans.”

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Professional Development Opportunities for 2015-2016

The Office of Assessment and Accreditation’s professional development for the 2015-16 academic school year will have two different overarching themes for participants. The workshops will be presented in two different formats to better fit the schedules and preferred learning styles of those interested in attending.  Participants will have the opportunity to attend either a face-to-face or an online session.

Google Apps for Education – A Progressive Workshop Series

Google Apps for Education are becoming a powerful tool in the Pk-12 education world.  Google has created a cost-effective way to bring collaboration tools to the classroom.  This has led to greater integration and implementation of this tool in the classroom with many of our LCSN partners using them.  If you have any questions contact Jason Whited at whitedj@ecu.edu.

Instructional Design for Online Student Success

This professional development series will focus on motivating and retaining online learners by developing a course that incorporates interactive tools, student collaboration, and a variety of assessment activities. In addition, these sessions will include strategies for creating and fostering a sense of community in online or blended courses.  If you have any questions about this workshop contact Holly Fales at heathh@ecu.edu.

For detailed descriptions of each of the sessions, please visit College of Education Professional Development for Faculty and Staff.

ECU faculty and staff can register for these session via Cornerstone.


COE Alumna and Current MAEd Student Named Pactolus Teacher of the Year

Melissa Zurawski was named Teacher of the Year at Pactolus School in Pitt County where she teaches fifth grade English Language Arts. She is in her fourth year of teaching and uses the principle, “Effort rather than ability leads to success,” to guide her work with students. She explains, “I want my students to understand that they should forever put their all into everything they do and always be perseverant. My students understand that I believe in them and that regardless of their strengths and weaknesses, they will succeed if they put forth effort in all they do.”

Melissa earned her BS in Elementary Education in 2010 and is currently continuing her studies at East Carolina University in the Master of Arts in Education – Reading Education Program. She explained, “Throughout my experience in the READ Master’s program, I have gained knowledge of specific reading interventions to use with my students who are struggling in reading. I am learning new strategies that build a strong literacy foundation and target areas of needed instruction for my students. I am becoming a lifelong learner and I am always encouraging my students to do the same. There is no barrier in a child’s reading education that cannot be moved, no bridge that cannot be crossed and no gap that cannot be closed with the dedication of teachers that care.”


College of Education is Busting Myths about Teaching

On August 23, 2015, the College of Education helped welcome over 5,000 students at Pirate Palooza, the university’s largest annual welcome back celebration, held in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. . Pirate Palooza featured a variety of ECU traditions and activities where students had the chance to participate in athletic games, speak with vendors, enjoy food, and win prizes!

The College of Education hosted an outreach and recruitment booth at Pirate Palooza with a theme of: Myth Busting: Why You Should Teach! which featured information about the 17 undergraduate teacher education programs and 23 graduate and certificate programs ECU offers.

College of Education faculty and staff engaged students in conversation to dispel myths about the field of education and teaching through an interactive, informative activity. Students were able to choose a question related to teaching and respond to whether it was a truth or myth. Topics covered through the activity ranged from questions about salary to the employment demand for teachers.

It was a successful night for the COE team that staffed the Palooza Outreach booth, speaking with 232 students, many of whom expressed an interest in education and or teaching. Students were impressed with the College of Education representation at the event and the opportunity to get interesting factoids about the teaching profession, college, and ECU.

The College of Education was proud to participate in this event as a creative method of outreach, recruitment, and retention for teacher education programs!

For more information about teacher education at East Carolina University, please visit our website at http://www.ecu.edu/coe

The Education Living-Learning Community

The New Education Community of Scholars Get Acquainted and Settle In

One week ago today, the College of Education welcomed 31 new Teacher Education students to ECU and moved them into the newest residence hall on campus, Gateway Residence Hall. This group of students is our newest cohort of Education Living-Learning Community members, which consists of 12 Abernathy, Lane and Maynard Scholars and an additional 19 teacher education students who have expressed an interest in community service and teacher education leadership opportunities within the ECU community.

Over the last week, these students have moved to campus, participated in a campus “meet and great luau”, participated in the ECU teambuilding Challenge Course, and attended their first days of class together, including a cohort section COAD 1000. These 31 new members join our other three cohorts of students and make up our Education Community of Scholars Program (formerly known as the ECU NC Teaching Fellows and Maynard Scholars Program). Please enjoy the video of their exciting week and help me welcome these newest Pirates to our College.  https://animoto.com/play/VXBSN78BIPD6fkoHINEwKQ


COE Instructional Technology Consultants Attend Pitt County Tech Fest

On August 10th, College of Education Instructional Technology Consultants, Christine Wilson, Jason Whited and Holly Fales attended Pitt County Schools’ 10th Annual Tech Fest at South Central High School. Over 500 educators from Pitt County and surrounding school districts gathered at Tech Fest to learn about the latest ways to implement technology in the classroom.

Teachers, media specialists, and technology facilitators from across Eastern North Carolina conducted a majority of the sessions with several technology vendors also presenting. Popular sessions included Google Apps, NearPod, and Canvas LMS. In addition, teachers shared examples of projects and lessons from their classes that utilized technology to reach a vast range of learners. The majority of sessions were interactive, with attendees using their own devices to participate.

The Pitt County Robotics Team provided entertainment during lunch with a demonstration of Roboxsumo, a cost effective robotics activity where robots are constructed of cardboard. Participants also had an opportunity to try 3D printing, Stop Motion Video and Green Screening throughout the afternoon.

Attending Tech Fest provided an opportunity for the COE ITC team to connect with school partners and gain additional insight into how technology is being utilized in local classrooms. For more information about Pitt County Tech Fest visit https://sites.google.com/a/pitt.k12.nc.us/tech-fest-2015/.

Ellen Dobson

Dr. Ellen Dobson Serves on National Taskstream Panel

Photos Courtesy of Taskstream

In June 2015, Dr. Ellen Dobson, Assistant Director in the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation, was an invited panelist at Taskstream’s CollabEx Live in New York City. Dr. Dobson participated on a panel addressing CAEP standards and program assessment with Mel Horton of Central Connecticut State University and Courtney Peagler of Taskstream. She also led a roundtable discussion on the use of Taskstream in preparation for the CAEP accreditation process.

In addition to serving on  the panel, Dr. Dobson was also recently recognized as a Taskstream Knowledge Ambassador. This group is a collection of Taskstream clients and advocates who are especially committed to advancing assessment and continuous improvement on their campuses. They work together to promote dialogue and engagement around best practices in assessment.

ECU has used Taskstream since 2009.

Ellen Dobson Leading Discussion

ILS Teacher Prep

Reading Education Faculty Member Elizabeth Swaggerty co-authors Preliminary Report on Landscape of State-level Standards for Teacher Preparation for Literacy Instruction

Dr. Elizabeth Swaggerty headshotThe International Literacy Association issued the first of a two-part report by its Teacher Preparation Task Force reviewing preparation that U.S. teachers receive to teach literacy and how different state departments of education differ in their requirements. The 13-member task force, co-chaired by Deanna Birdyshaw of the University of Michigan and Elizabeth Swaggerty of East Carolina University, includes leading literacy experts from across the country.

The task force used a two-part procedure to inform this preliminary report. The first part included compiling information about requirements for teacher preparation in literacy from 50 state education department websites between July and October 2014. The taskforce then interviewed state education department officials from 23 states to confirm the data collected and to increase understanding of how literacy instruction was addressed in the certification guidelines.

The preliminary report uncovered inconsistent standards and criteria for preparing teachers on how to teach literacy. “While there are limitations to this data and further review is underway, our initial findings show that few states require coursework related to preparation to teach literacy,” said Birdyshaw. Angela Rutherford, University of Mississippi, explained, “Surprisingly, our analysis showed only 18 states require specific courses in literacy for elementary teacher candidates, and half the states did not require specific coursework in any of the licensure areas. Further, there do not appear to be any requirements for literacy experiences during student teaching or other required practica.”

“Our primary takeaway is that all stakeholders need to be involved in the conversation about how to improve preparation of preservice teachers to design and implement instruction that increases the literacy learning of children in kindergarten through grade 12,” added Swaggerty. “We hope this initial report is a starting point for that conversation.”

Given the importance that state education standards and assessments play in the review of Teacher Education Programs, analysis of the data suggests:

  •  Systematic and comprehensive research that investigates preservice program features that effectively prepare candidates to develop students’ literacy across all grades and in all disciplines should be conducted and shared.
  • State standards and assessments related to literacy teacher preparation should be research based and of sufficient quality to provide the feedback needed to develop or revise teacher education curricula and state certification guidelines.
  • State guidelines for preservice teacher preparation should make explicit reference to what candidates should know and be able to do in relationship to literacy instruction.
  • All preservice teachers should be required to participate in activities during their practica that develop their ability to design literacy instruction and monitor literacy growth.

In considering the findings, the taskforce recognized three primary limitations to the research.

  1. This is a preliminary report with the second phase ongoing.
  2. Teacher education programs are in transition, with state education department officials from 15 of the 23 states interviewed stating that changes were being made to teacher certification requirements in the coming year.
  3. State education officials interviewed were knowledgeable about the teaching requirements, but not necessarily experts in the areas related specifically to teaching literacy.

Swaggerty emphasized, “The report shares information gathered about certification requirements at the state level, not teacher education programs. Many teacher education programs go above and beyond the state requirements and have wide-ranging experiences related to teaching literacy.”

The second year goal is to interview Teacher Education Programs officials, administrators, and professors in all 50 states to determine how they are integrating the guidelines.

Preliminary Report on Preparation for Literacy Instruction. pp. 1-13. Newark, DE: International Literacy Association. http://www.literacyworldwide.org/docs/default-source/where-we-stand/teacher-preparation-report.pdf