Category Archives: Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education (MSITE)

News from the Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education Department

Recognizing the Best

awardsdaybrownreposted from ECU News Service
by By Jeannine Manning Hutson

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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Abbie Brown sported the wearable technology Google Glass while accepting the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Brown, a professor of instructional technology in the College of Education, accepted the award wearing Google glass, a wearable computer with an optical display. He explained that Google glass users are called “glass explorers” and he sees himself in that term.

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.

“And since my courses are delivered entirely online I have to find ways to effectively deliver content,” he said. At the same time, he must “create a social environment that encourages community development and professional networking” and in a setting that is “new and different for most of them.”

Translation? He’s an explorer.

“I spend my work day learning about things and figuring the best ways to share what I’ve learned. I study the discoveries made by explorers past and present, and I share my own discoveries with fellow explorers present and future,” Brown said.

Read more about Brown’s approach to teaching at http://www.ecu.edu/news/abbiebrown.cfm.

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GAMMA CHAPTER STUDENT-FACULTY SPRING SOCIAL

gamma3On Sunday, April 27, 2014, graduate and undergraduate mathematics education students gathered with mathematics education and mathematics faculty at the Blount Sports Complex. The warm weather and blue skies were perfect for a game of kickball featuring mathematics education students with Dr. Cayton and Dr. Adu-Gyamfi on opposing teams. After working up an appetite, attendees gathered in the shade to enjoy cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and best of all one another’s company. gamma2 gamma1

This wonderful event marked the end of a phenomenal year of growth for the Gamma Chapter and continued a long-standing tradition of building community among students and faculty. We would like to thank everyone that attended and helped make the event a success. Enjoy your summer and look for more great events sponsored by the Gamma Student Chapter in Fall 2014!!

MATE Student Wins Teacher-Leader Grant

Tomika Altman-Lewis receives 2014-2015 MET Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics Grant from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She will be providing professional development for teachers at Burton Magnet Elementary School.

Burton

Mathematically Speaking: Best Practices for Teachers and Students
Tomika R. Altman-Lewis, Burton Magnet Elementary School, Durham, North Carolina

Elementary teachers are faced with the challenge of being “experts” in not just one subject area, but in multiple subjects. Often this results in being a novice in one area; which is especially daunting when we are equipped with the task of developing the mathematical foundation for all higher level mathematics. We are our students first introduction to mathematics in which they either learn to love or loath mathematics. More often than not, professional development is geared toward literacy with little to no emphasis on mathematics. Considering this, the purpose of this grant is to equip fourth and fifth grade elementary teachers at my school with much needed professional development. Teachers will participate in sessions that will expose them to best practices and strategies while deepening their mathematical reasoning and understanding in an effort to more effectively teach our students while allowing me to further develop my math leadership skills.

COE Students Initiated into Omicron Delta Kappa

Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society, was founded December 3, 1914 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia by 15 student and faculty leaders. The founders formulated the idea that leadership of exceptional quality and versatility in college should be recognized, that representatives in all phases of college life should cooperate in worthwhile endeavors, and that outstanding students, faculty, and administrators should meet on a basis of mutual interest, understanding, and helpfulness.  OΔK was the first college honor society of a national scope to give recognition and honor for meritorious leadership and service in extracurricular activities and to encourage development of general campus citizenship. Since its founding, Omicron Delta Kappa has initiated over 300,000 members.

The Society recognizes achievement in the following five areas:

  • Scholarship
  • Athletics
  • Campus or Community Service, Social or Religious Activities and Campus Government
  • Journalism, Speech and the Mass Media
  • Creative and Performing Arts

Congrats to students from the College of Education who were initiated into this prestigious society—

James Coda is a native of Fayette City, Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing a Masters of Education in Adult Education and a graduate certificate in Hispanic Studies.  His organizational affiliations are ALMAS and he is a member of the College of Education’s Junior Advisory Board.  After finishing his studies at East Carolina, James hopes to pursue a PhD in Second/Foreign Language Acquisition.

Kimberly Nicole Herring lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership, while holding an administrative position at Wake Forest University. She is highly engaged in her church, community, and, undergraduate and graduate alma maters, Salem College, and, Wake Forest University, serving on a diversity of boards, committees, guilds, and organizations. Kimberly is also a member of Golden Key International Honor Society, and, the Association for the Advancement of Educational Research.

Margaret Elizabeth LeGrand is a native of Belmont, North Carolina and is majoring in History Education. She has previously been a pirate tutor and is currently the secretary of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and a member of many honor societies.

Jennifer Moser is from Tolland, Connecticut and is a Hispanic Studies Education major.  She is the Vice President of Golden Key International Honor Society and Captain of ECU Women’s Rugby team.  She has served as a Resident Advisor for Scott Hall and works on campus as a lead tutor for the Pirate Tutoring Center.  Upon graduating East Carolina, Jen wants to be a high school teacher. Jennifer could not be with us today because she is traveling with the ECU Women’s Rugby to nationals.

Nathaniel Paul Over is a native of Fayetteville, Pennsylvania and is currently a major in the Masters of Arts and Teaching program for Health Education. His leadership positions include being a member at GCF Church and a Student Teaching Intern at Greene County Middle School. After graduating from East Carolina, Nathaniel hopes to teach Health and Physical Education

Morgan Elyse Pearce is a native of Bunn, North Carolina and is majoring in Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics. Her other organizational affiliations include being a part of Gamma Beta Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, the Elementary Education Club, and multiple intramural sports for all four years here at ECU. Upon graduating from East Carolina, Morgan hopes to find a job and begin her career in the classroom.

Vasti Rodriguez-Tejeda was born in the Dominican Republic and has been in a resident of the United States for twelve years with her family.  She is currently in the Masters of Arts in Teaching-Special Education. Her organization affiliations include East Carolina Abolitionists and the College of Education Dean’s Junior Advisory Board. She is also a Graduate Research Assistant in the College of Education and a volunteer in the support group for Hispanic families with children in Special Education. Upon graduating from ECU, she hopes to pursue Doctorate degree.

Amanda J. Sines is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. She is currently working on a Master’s in International Studies with a double concentration in Security Studies and Education Administration. She is simultaneously completing the certificate programs in Security Studies and International Teaching. Amanda is also a writing consultant here on ECU’s campus. Upon graduating from East Carolina, Amanda hopes to complete an internship with the Department of State

Lauren Renee Stefan is currently pursuing her Master’s in International Studies with a concentration in International Higher Education Administration. She is a graduate assistant at the Office of International Affairs, a consultant at the University Writing Center, and is the Vice President of the Graduate Student Association for International Studies. She is also a member of the Women’s Club Lacrosse team.

Kimberly Ann Sugg is a native of Middletown, New York and graduated from high school at Hoffman Estates High School in Hoffman Estates Illinois.  She is majoring in Middle School Education with a concentration in Math and Science, through the State Employee Credit Union Partnership East Program.  She is also a consisting member of Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi.  She is married and a mom of three children.  She coaches soccer and softball and is a foster fur-parent with Southern Bell Pit Bull Rescue. Upon graduating she hopes to work in the Greene County Public School System.

Julie Kennedy Whetzel is a Virginia native and currently resides in Eastern North Carolina. Julie is currently pursuing Curriculum Instructional Specialist licensure with the Department of Educational Leadership at East Carolina. She is currently employed as an Exceptional Children Program Specialist with Franklin County Schools, where she helps special education teachers better meet the needs of their students.

Lorin Nichole Wicker was born in Orangeburg, SC, but grew up in Rocky Mount, NC. Her major is Elementary Education with a concentration in literature. She has previously been a Leader at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Pitt County. She is affiliated with the Elementary Education club on campus. Upon graduating from East Carolina University, Lorin hopes to join a group of this states’ most prized professionals, educators!

Justin Waters hails from Pinetown, North Carolina, and transferred to ECU, then graduated in 2009 with a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education. Receiving an offer to become the graduate assistantship for Club Sports in the Campus Recreation and Wellness department, Justin accepted the offer and graduated in 2011 from East Carolina University with a Master’s of Education. After graduation he became the Club Sport Coordinator at NC State University before returning to his alma mater in July 2012.

Melvin Everett Lee III is a native of Knightdale, North Carolina and is currently the student ambassador for the East Carolina Political Science Department; where he works to inform prospective students about the advantages in majoring in the Liberal Arts Divisions. He is a five-time Dean’s list recipient and is now considering his options for fall admissions to various law schools around the state. Melvin is an important member of the COE Dean’s office as a student assistant and continues his service as a mentor for Project with Project LINC.

Paper Folding to Construct Regular Polygons!!

paperfolding2paperfolding1On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Ashley Grant shared a paper folding activity to construct regular polygons with the Gamma Student Chapter, Mathematics Education Club. Ashley received her MS in Mathematics from ECU in Dec 2013, and she currently teaches at Southside High School in Beaufort County. As the pictures show faculty and students were very engaged throughout the activity!!paperfolding3

The final Gamma Chapter event will be Saturday, April 26, 2014. We are planning a social that will include student vs. faculty games, food, and most of all fun!! Further details will be shared in the near future. Please save the date and plan to bring a friend!

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!

Gamma Chapter Celebrates Pi Day!!

pi dayOn Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Dr. Ron Preston met with the Gamma Student Chapter, Mathematics Education Club to celebrate Pi Day (officially 3-14 each year). He shared history and humor related to pi. Attendees also participated in several pi related mathematical tasks appropriate for middle and high school mathematics. Everyone left for the evening with expanded knowledge of pi, as well as resources for their future classrooms. Next year Pi day falls on a Saturday, so be sure to celebrate on 3-14-15 at precisely 9:26 am and 53 seconds (pi = 3.141592653….)!!

The next Gamma Chapter meeting will be Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Our guest speaker, Ashley Grant, will share how to use paper folding to construct regular polygons. Please join us and bring a friend!

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.

Abbie Brown

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.

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.

Catherine Schwartz

Dr. Catherine Schwartz, assistant professor of math education in the College of Education, received a grant that will support beginning math teachers in eastern North Carolina.

“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.