Under a recent agreement between North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the United Star Distance Learning Consortium, all 80,000 teachers in North Carolina will be able to choose from over 300 clock hours of online staff development available for renewal credit. Several North Carolina districts have already benefited from these programs.

Several North Carolina districts have already benefited from these programs. “We’re a small rural district. The nearest university campus is an hour drive from us so it’s not hard to see why cost-effective distance learning opportunities like USDLC are so important to our employees,” says Allen Lee, Instructional Technology Specialist, Tyrrell County School System, NC.

According to Ann McCormick, Media Supervisor for the Harnett County School District, USDLC’s Best Practices in School Library Media Programs, “has been one of the best staff development series that we have ever used in Harnett County.”

“I think this (Reading Readiness: Picture Books Enhance Reading Instruction, K-6 with Kathy Barclay) is a great learning opportunity for all new and experienced teachers. It also gives parents ideas of how they can become more involved in the learning process of their children,” says Jennifer Schoolfield, Huntersville, NC.

“Good step-by-step pointers (NCLB Achieving Success with At-Risk Students) on how to relevantly organize your classroom for differentiated learning. I enjoyed the video clips. Good examples of how to implement portfolio assessment, and I really liked how they sent the permanent portfolio to the next teacher,” comments Ann Spencer, Raleigh, NC. Ann also adds, “An exceptionally relevant topic (Teaching Students Right from Wrong in the Digital Age: A Technology Ethics Primer, 6-12 with Doug Johnson) —use of comparison between real and virtual ethical situations was great. Handouts are also excellent. The best features of this activity (Minipond Magic: Creating Aquatic Habitats and How to Use Them with Elizabeth Baird and Mike Dunn) were the step-by-step directions on how to put together a pond! – Then the identification of all of the things to look for there. I love the emphasis on the NC native species—I learned A LOT!”

North Carolina teachers have access to:

Books, Books, Books (14 clock hours K-5, 14 clock hours 6-12)

Keynote Addresses 1 (41 clock hours)

Keynote Addresses 2 (28 clock hours)

Literacy to Learn: Professional Development for 21st Century Educators

Elementary (30 clock hours)

Middle School / High School (30 clock hours)

Digital Literacy (30 clock hours)

Scientific Literacy (9 clock hours)

Best Practices in School Library Media Programs (streamed video) (20 clock hours)

Best Practices in School Library Media Programs (online modules)

(30 clock hours)

No Child Left Behind

Data-Driven Decision Making (15 clock hours)

Achieving Success with At-Risk Students (15 clock hours)

The Paraprofessional’s Guide to Achieving Excellence (15 clock hours)

Achieving Student Success in Reading Literacy (15 clock hours)

Achieving Student Success in Math Literacy (15 clock hours)

North Carolina teachers need to get prior approval from their local LEA central office or building level administrator to ensure the appropriateness of the courses in their personal professional development plans in order to receive renewal credit. All USDLC programs require the involvement of a locally assigned evaluator. Courses include an evaluation rubric to assist the evaluator in this role. Ten clock hours equate to one CEU. Fifteen CEUs are required every five years to renew teaching certificates.

LEA central office or building level administrators should contact Linda Walters, lwalters@dpi.state.nc.us, 1-919-807-3497 regarding username and password access for their teachers.

About USDLC

The United Star Distance Learning Consortium (USDLC) is a nonprofit multi-state educational consortium and winner of four highly competitive United States Department of Education Star Schools Grants. Committed to excellence in distance learning through blended technologies, USDLC’s mission is to ensure that all students and educators, regardless of circumstances or geographic location, have equitable access to high quality education opportunities. The consortium consists of the North Carolina and Illinois State Departments of Education; a university with an active preservice and inservice teacher education program – Western Illinois University (WIU); and an organization devoted to using blended technologies in instruction – the Center for the Application of Information Technologies (CAIT). Program providers include a statewide network of educators using the power of the Internet to improve K-12 education – LEARN NC; Oklahoma State University’s K-12 Distance Learning Academy with a long history of providing distance learning education; AMDG, Inc., a fully accredited academic institution with a complete career tech online high school diploma and a complete college prep online high school diploma; blendedschools.net, a not-for-profit consortium of Pennsylvania school districts that provides online K-12 courses for licensing; and eSpindle, a not-for-profit parent initiative, providing an online approach for the development of spelling and vocabulary skills for grades K-12. For information on USDLC and its programming, visit www.usdlc.org, or email: info@usdlc.org.

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