Author Archives: Jessica Nottingham

ECU Awards Day: Several COE Faculty Recognized

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Several College of Education faculty were honored and recognized ECU’s Founders Day Awards presentation held on April 30 in Hendrix Theatre. UNC Board of Governors member and ECU alumnus Bob Rippy presented the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest teaching award given by the board, to Dr. Abbie Brown.

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An online-only instructor, Brown teaches graduate-level courses to current or aspiring educators aiming to improve their ability to teach and create instructional materials. “This means I have to model the best teaching practices for a sophisticated and critical group,” he said. Results from Brown’s Google Glass video recording is available: Google Glass View of ECU University Awards Day.

The Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award recognizes and supports excellent teaching at each of the 16 constituent universities in the UNC system.  Two COE recipients were selected:

  • Dr. Kylie Dotson-Blake, Department of Higher, Adult and Counselor Education. Dr. Dotson-Blake was also a finalist for the ECU Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Teaching.
  • Dr. Allen O. Guidry, Department of Literacy Studies, English Education and History Education. Dr. Guidry was nominated for three awards.

The 2013-14 College of Education recipient of the Scholar-Teacher Award:

  • Dr. Steven W. Schmidt, Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education

Other College of Education award nominees and recipients for 2013-14 are as follows:

  • Dr. Brian Housand, Department of Elementary and Middle Grade Education, was awarded the Max Ray Joyner Award for Faculty Service Through Distance Education.
  • Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Department of Literacy, English, and History Education, was a finalist for the ECU Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Teaching.
  • Dr. Al Jones, Department of Information Library Science, was inducted into the Servire Society.

The full story by ECU News Services is  available in addition to a photo gallery of the event.

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Swaggerty Posts on NC Reading Association Blog

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Terry Atkinson, member of Tar River Reading Council and professor of reading education, reads to two students at the Earth Day Expo at East Carolina University on April 8, 2014.

Dr. Elizabeth Swaggerty wrote a post about the Tar River Reading Council’s participation in the ECU Earth Day Expo that was just published on the North Carolina Reading Association blog. “It was a great outreach activity that connected ECU faculty, area teachers, the Tar River Reading Council (local affiliate of the International Reading Association), and ECU’s Center for Biodiversity and Biology Department with local children,” said Swaggerty of the event.

 

ECU Pirate Profile: Jessica Chirico

Jessica Chirico promotes literacy through her EC Scholars internship.

Jessica Chirico, a senior studying English at East Carolina University, chose to incorporate her passion for literature into her final collegiate internship. Chirico worked with the instructional coach at G.R. Whitfield Elementary School in Grimesland, to identify the classroom that needed her assistance the most – a third grade class where most of the students are below the average reading level. chirico1The full profile is the available at ECU’s news website.

Institute Features ECU Assistive Technology Students

The Irene Howell Assistive Technology (IHAT) Center presented on assistive technology at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) New Special Education Directors Institute on April 9, 2014 in New Bern, NC.

Led by the Director of the IHAT Center, Dr. Laura King, undergraduate student members of the IHAT staff, including Ayla Allen, André Anglin, Bridget Corrigan, Sara Farwell, Rob Hicks, Chloe Morgan, and Murphy Newton, presented to 40 new Special Education Directors through engaging and interactive breakout sessions, allowing the new directors to learn about a variety of AT hardware and software, as well as implementation strategies through a universal design for learning approach.

The format and venue allowed the IHAT Center to share snapshot views of the professional development sessions currently offered to all ECU students and is moving towards offering the sessions for continuing education credits for teachers currently in the field.

“The growth of the professional development sessions in the two years they have been offered has been amazing to see. It has become something with momentum of its own, causing us to strive to keep up— what a wonderful challenge to have,” said King.

The feedback from the state presentation shared by Cynthia Debreaux, NCDPI EC Consultant for Regions 1 & 2, was overwhelmingly positive. The participants in the session shared that they enjoyed learning new information and technologies in the AT field, and they were particularly impressed by the professionalism and level of engagement that the undergraduate students demonstrated. King shared that one participant commented that “having future teachers present was powerful!”

For more information about the IHAT Center, please contact the center at atcenter@ecu.edu.

Bridget and Rob group Murphy and Chloe Andre Sara and Ayla

 

NC Council of Teachers of Mathematics Elections

The North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) is the professional organization in North Carolina of all persons responsible for the teaching of mathematics. Its membership includes teachers from all levels, kindergarten through graduate school, and other professionals who work with curriculum and materials for the teaching of mathematics. You’ll find out more about NCCTM through the website, including state and regional conferences, publications, grants and awards, and other professional activities.

The NCCTM Executive Committee met Saturday, April 1 were given the official results for new presidential elections. Two are College of Education faculty members in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education: Drs. Ron Preston and Lynnly Martin.

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Dr. Ron Preston was elected NCCTM president.

Dr. Ron Preston, who earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University, was elected President of the organization. Preston has been at ECU since 1995 and has served in a variety of roles during his time at the university including professor, department chair and director of students.

Lynnly Martin ’06, who received a MAT in mathematics education and is an adjust faculty member, was elected to serve as Eastern Region President. Martin is a mathematics teacher at Hope Middle School and has served as co-director of the Eastern Region Math Fair for many years.

Get Ready for Education Summer Camps!

ECU/PSC AIG Camp AIG camp

East Carolina University and Pitt County Schools’ AIG camp is an annual summer camp for Pitt County gifted students who are identified as academically/intellectually gifted that also provides a summer experience for ECU teachers pursuing AIG licensure through ECU coursework.

The theme for 2014 is INTERACTIONS, allowing students to learn about photojournalism, robotics, cryptography, and more, as they investigate numerous aspects of interaction sin the world. Students attending the camp will be able to select topics that match their interests and all topics will include hands-on activities and interactive use of technology. 2013 ECU/PCS AIG Camp video

AIG Camp Quick Facts

  • 105 participants attend camp: 60 elementary students and 45 middle school students from Pitt County Schools participate at Ridgewood Elementary School, our host site.AIG camp2
  • 92 East Carolina University AIG licensure students, under the guidance of ECU faculty, gain experience to prepare to teach and advise gifted students.
  • Camp master teachers are Pitt County AIG (Academically and Intellectually Gifted) teachers, who begin each camp day with a large group session and model teaching for the ECU students.
  • ECU teachers present academically rigorous units in small group learning stations. Four to ten children are in each station at a given time. All units incorporate this year’s theme “Interactions.” Small groups of campers move through two learning stations each day.
  • Campers filled out an online interest survey to choose two stations of interest prior to the first day of camp. Station topics and room locations are listed below.

For more information about the camp, visit www.ecugifted.com and for more information about the registration process, contact Carmen Webb, camp director, at webbc@pitt.k12.nc.us.

Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics

East Carolina University (ECU) is one of four UNC system campuses hosting Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics. Administered through the College of Education, the ECU Summer Ventures program invites academically talented high school students with demonstrated interest in science and mathematics to four weeks of research and intensive study in a living-learning environment on ECU’s campus. Camp participants are North Carolina residents with aspirations to have a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

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Contact the Summer Ventures Camp Director, Shawn Moore, at mooresha@ecu.edu for more information.

The camp curriculum will focus on experimental design, laboratory skills, mathematical modeling, exploratory data analysis, and more. Program topics include biological, physical, and earth sciences, archaeology and anthropology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics. In addition to the rigorous academic experience, Summer Ventures students engage in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, arranged by institute directors.

Summer Ventures is a state funded program that is cost-free for participants. ECU expects to host 60 students for Summer Ventures in June and July of 2014. For more information, contact Shawn Moore, director, at mooresha@ecu.edu or Cheryl Miller, program assistant, at millerche@ecu.edu. Also, visit www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/smventures/Index.cfm.

ECU Summer Science Camp

East Carolina University is partnering with Go-Science for the eighth year to offer a range of summer day camps that engage, entertain and educate children about the wonders of science. The camps offer small group experiences for children preparing to enter 2nd through 8th grades and feature experienced teachers from Pitt County.

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Contact Tammy Lee, ECU Summer Science Camp director, at leeta@ecu.edu for additional information about this camp.

Current ECU students serve as camp counselors and guide children through the discovery of science principles while having FUN! With creative sessions including “Lego Explorers” and “Getting Buggy” elementary and middle grades children have an opportunity to engage their minds while enjoying a summer day camp experience. For more information, visit www.ecu.edu/educ/msite/summersciencecamp/ or contact Tammy D. Lee, Summer Science Camp Director, at leeta@ecu.edu. Online registration for 2014 ECU Summer Science Camp is now active!

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ECU Library Science Program Receives $490k Grant

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced that the Library Science degree program in the College of Education at East Carolina University is the recipient of a 2014 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) grant for the project “North Carolina Economically Disadvantaged and Diversity Scholarships.”

The IMLS awarded ECU $492,324 in funding that will support library science recruitment efforts and full-tuition scholarships at ECU for 30 incoming master of library science (MLS) students with the first cohort starting fall 2014. The grant has a matching requirement using non-federal funds for all recipients, bringing the grand total to $657,369.

In addition to tuition costs, the grant will cover university fees and offer a book stipend for the entire degree program until spring 2017. Membership to the North Carolina School Library Media Association is included as well as a travel stipend to attend one of their conferences.

ECU’s location and mission to support eastern NC aligned with the IMLS’s charge to prepare librarians who will work in high-need districts.

“Rural public schools in the economically depressed communities of eastern North Carolina face daunting challenges in recruiting and retaining school librarians,” according to the IMLS’s website with descriptions for each institution receiving the 2014 grant. “East Carolina University and its partner, the North Carolina School Library Media Association, will recruit and educate 30 MLS school librarians from economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented backgrounds and place them in school library media centers. The project will use the ‘grow your own’ model, focusing on individuals who want to stay and work in eastern North Carolina by completing their degrees in an all-online degree program.”

Reviewers of submission proposals identified ECU’s LS program as one that has the potential to grow the number of enrolled LS students, conduct the necessary research that will support successful recruitment efforts and the education of the next generation of librarians, and enhance curricula within graduate schools of library and information science, as well as programs of continuing education for librarians and library staff, according to the acceptance letter from Maura Marx, deputy director for library science at the IMLS.

“This projHarerJohn_harerject will increase the number of trained, professional media specialists that reflect the diversity of their communities and increase the ability to connect with those diverse populations,” said Dr. John Harer, MLS degree program coordinator in the College of Education at ECU.

IMLS accepted 82 grant proposals from libraries requesting more than $24 million. In total, the organization granted $7.5 million to 23 institutions across the country and the recipients are matching these awards with $3.6 million in non-federal funds. IMLS received 82 applications for the program this year.

“Librarians and staff from all types of libraries, from school media centers to rare book collections to archives, need to be prepared to meet the changing informational and educational needs of their customers and constituents,” said IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth. “The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program helps them meet those needs with projects for continuing education, training, professional development, and early career research.”

About the Library Science Program at ECU
The master of library science (MLS) graduate degree program is the largest producer of school-library media-coordinator graduates in the state and is the largest program in the College of Education at ECU. The library science program at ECU has prepared library professionals since 1939 with a high-tech and hands-on emphasis, providing a web-based course of study using new and emerging technologies.

Our online program is especially attuned to the needs of nontraditional students and is designed for students seeking employment as librarians and information professionals in pre-K–12 schools, universities, community colleges, and public libraries.

The program’s mission statement: The master of library science program, reflecting the missions of East Carolina University and the College of Education, prepares library professionals to serve, lead, and partner in their communities.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

IMLS News Release: Grant Awards Announcement: FY 14 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

Click here to view the list of funded projects.

NCAGT Recognizes ECU AIG Faculty

 2014 Conference Logo FINALTwo College of Education faculty members were recognized in the North Carolina Association for Gifted & Talented (NCAGT) 40 Years, 40 Faces celebration marking the 40th anniversary of NCAGT at the organization’s 2014 conference that was held on February 27-28, 2014.

Dr. Liz FogFogartyElizabeth_fogartyearty, associate professor in the College of Education, was selected for her involvement in NCAGT and their collaboration with NCAGT that resulted in significant contributions to gifted education in N.C. Fogarty served as the NCAGT 2009 conference co-chair and secretary from 2011-2013. Fogarty is also a lifetime member of NCAGT.

Also recognized was Dr. Brian Housand, assistant professor in the College of Education, as one of the 40 Faces of the Future. Housand served as a signature series speaker in addition to presenting several breakout sessions. For more information on the NCAGT 2014 conference and 40 Years, 40 Faces anniversary, visit www.ncagt.org.

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Dr. Brian Housand at the 2014 NCAGT Conference in Greensboro, NC. Housand was named one of 40 Faces of the Future.

About ECU’s AIG Add-on Licensure
As with all AIG licenses in the state of North Carolina, the program entails completing four courses. At ECU, our courses run in a four course sequence which begins in the summer and concludes the following summer. All of the courses required by the AIG Licensure Program at ECU are taught online, with the exception of two face-to-face weeks (one the first summer and one the second summer) involving a camp for gifted children.

About ECU/PCS AIG Camp
The ECU/PCS AIG camp is an annual summer camp for Pitt County AIG students.  This camp began in 2005 and has grown each year.  We will host 120 gifted students this summer.  Along with PCS master teachers, ECU faculty and students will offer a week of rigorous enrichment for your child.

This summer’s curriculum theme is INTERACTIONS. Whether the students are learning about photojournalism, robotics, cryptography, or other exciting topics they will investigate numerous aspects of interactions in our world. Following an opening morning session, students will participate in interactions-themed sessions. Students will be able to select topics that match their interests and all topics will include hands-on activities and interactive use of technology.  Snacks will be served daily.

For more information, visit the AIG Add-On Licensure website or the ECU Gifted Online Resource. To learn more about AIG camp, visit the ECU/PCS 2014 AIG Camp website.

Dr. Abbie Brown earns 2014 Award for Teaching Excellence

Local Media Coverage
WITN: ECU Professor Wins Top Teaching Honor
ECU News Services: Top Honors: Brown receives prestigious teaching award

Official News Release:

CHAPEL HILL — The Board of Governors of the 17-campus University North Carolina has selected some of the University’s most outstanding faculty to receive its 2014 Awards for Excellence in Teaching.  The 17 recipients, representing an array of academic disciplines, were nominated by special committees on their home campuses and selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Personnel and Tenure.

Each award winner will receive a commemorative bronze medallion and a $12,500 cash prize.  All awards will be presented by a Board of Governors member during each campus’ spring graduation ceremonies.

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Dr. Abbie Brown, professor of instructional technology in the College of Education at ECU, receives highest teaching award from the UNC Board of Governors.

Winners include Professor Timothy J. Huelsman, Department of Psychology, Appalachian State University; Dr. Abbie Brown, Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education, East Carolina University; Associate Professor Eyualem B. Abebe, Department of Natural Science, Elizabeth City State University; Associate Professor Lori A. Guevara, Department of Criminal Justice, Fayetteville State University; Associate Professor Angela K. Miles, Department of Management, School of Business and Economics, NC Agricultural and Technical State University; and Associate Professor Jim C. Harper, II, Department of History, NC Central University.

Dr. Brown is professor of instructional technology in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education in the College of Education at East Carolina University. He is a nationally recognized, widely published expert in instructional design, media production, and teaching with technology. During his eight years at East Carolina, Dr. Brown has been a leader in the development of an online graduate program; he has also mentored faculty across the University in their development of online instruction.

Dr. Brown believes that online instruction can be as rich if not richer than face-to-face instruction.  He says, “With forethought, careful planning, and creative use of innovative technologies, one can develop learning environments that empower students by helping them gain mastery of content, as well as providing [them]a rich, satisfying social experience and access to a larger world.”   He models the very best instruction to the teachers and technology professionals in his classes, developing their content knowledge, skills, and confidence to be lifelong learners.  He structures his student-centered classes so he becomes the “guide on the side” rather than the “sage on the stage.”

Dr. Brown, says his dean, brings a “powerful blend of innovation, dedication, and passion to his teaching. He has distinguished himself as one of our most effective teachers and scholars.  He is professional, talented, and dedicated.  His passion and creative approach encourage his students to embrace both new technologies and design excellence.  His commitment to his discipline is also evidenced by his substantial publishing record.”

Dr. Brown believes it is his obligation to “model best teaching practices,” and his students praise his courses as interactive, engaging and reflective.  “[He] is an enthusiastic and well-organized instructor . . . [who] gives excellent and fast feedback and shows a genuine concern for each of his students.  He values and encourages student input, and his love for teaching shows.”

Students respond to the sense of community Dr. Brown creates.  One said, “Distance learning can be a very isolating experience but Dr. Brown requires students to engage with each other throughout the course as if we were all in one room together.  This allows us not only to learn from the course materials but also to learn from each other.”  His colleagues agree with his students.  One wrote: “Dr. Brown models exemplary design, organization, instructional delivery, and interaction within the online environment.  Transforming a course traditionally taught face-to-face to Blackboard requires the instructor to do more than move existing course content to the online environment.  It requires a different mindset.  The instructor must rethink what it means to teach and learn online. Dr. Brown’s [course] provides faculty with one model of the best of online teaching and learning.”  Another colleague wrote, “He is a rare, great teacher.  He has helped steer the current culture of online teaching on our campus and in our nation.”

Dr. Brown earned the BA in Communication and Theater Arts from Temple University, the MA in Languages, Literatures, & Social Studies: Teaching of English from Columbia University, and the MS and PhD in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University.  His teaching experiences as an elementary and middle grades teacher provided a rich background for his preparation of teachers and technology specialists at his previous institutions and East Carolina University.

Other winners are Professor George R. Hess, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NC State University; Professor Dwight B. Mullen, Department of Political Science, UNC Asheville; Professor Christian Iliadis, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UNC-Chapel Hill; Professor Kimberly Kreisler Buch, Department of Psychology, UNC Charlotte; Professor Bruce K. Kirchoff, Department of Biology, UNC Greensboro; Professor Weston F. Cook, Jr., Department of History, UNC Pembroke; Professor Patricia H. Kelley, Department of Geography and Geology, UNC Wilmington; Associate Professor Tadeu Coelho, School of Music, UNC School of the Arts; Professor Annette Debo, Department of English; Western Carolina University; Associate Professor Leslee H. Shepard, Division of Nursing, Winston-Salem State University; and Jonathan R. Bennett, Instructor of Physics, NC School of Science and Mathematics.

Award citations and photos for all 17 award recipients can be found on the University of North Carolina website.

The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls more than 222,000 Students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students.  UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering and a specialized school for performing artists.  The UNC Center for Public Television, with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, is also under the University umbrella.

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ECU Receives Grant for New Math Teachers in Eastern NC

With $70,000 in funding from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, East Carolina University (ECU) has developed a program that trains new elementary school teachers to teach math more effectively. This cohort of new teachers hails from school districts across eastern North Carolina, many of which are experiencing some of the highest teacher turnover rates in the state. The program aims to ensure that the math performance of students who are taught by beginning teachers more closely aligns with the performance of students who are taught by veteran teachers.

New elementary teachers often find teaching math particularly challenging. ECU’s induction program helps these teachers implement the Common Core Math Standards more successfully and provides continued support for them through teacher mentors. At the same time, participants gain the added benefit of a sense of “connectedness” within their peer group of new teachers, which research shows is a major factor in teacher retention.

“Beginning teachers have a lot to manage,” says Catherine Stein Schwartz, Assistant Professor in ECU’s Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education. “Giving them the time and space to focus on mathematics teaching and learning beyond the day-to-day challenges of the classroom is important in helping them focus on their practice and their students’ understanding.”

The math-focused training program supports new teachers over the course of two years. At the start of each year, the group participates in an intensive, three-day overnight training where teachers develop a year-long vision for their math instruction, while also considering the context-specific environment of their classrooms and schools.

After the initial intensive training, beginning teachers work with a master teacher mentor specifically selected for his or her expertise in mathematics instruction. Mentors work with these teachers virtually, via phone and Skype, over the course of two years, providing guidance and advice on general classroom instruction and management as well as content-specific math support. Each year, both the three-day training and the mentor coaching are individually tailored to meet the needs of each beginning teacher.

“While it is still early in the process, the program is already seeing impacts in participant teachers’ practice and confidence in teaching mathematics,” says Schwartz. “The community and networking that has developed as a result of the professional development and mentoring is encouraging.”

The project’s first year of data is expected to be available during the 2014-2015 school year.

View original story: Supporting Beginning Teachers: ECU’s work with new math teachers in Eastern NC.