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Teachers Connect in Cullowhee and Ocracoke with Technology

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CULLOWHEE—From the mountains to the sea came to life at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching when two faculty members used technology to connect teachers in Cullowhee and Ocracoke.

NCCAT Senior Digital Specialist Elizabeth Joyce and her “Designing Project Based Learning in Digital Format” group in Cullowhee and NCCAT Senior Literacy Specialist Amy Jo Spencer and her “Literacy Strategies For 21st Century Teaching and Learning” program in Ocracoke in May conducted an online Paideia discussion using a poem by Robert Frost.

Joyce and Spencer have been collaborating since being hired at NCCAT, a recognized national leader in professional development for teachers. They worked on a joint program in November of 2015 and had taught together in schools. The NCCAT faculty members will continue to collaborate virtually during onsite programs and in person when schedules allow.

They connected virtually with groups before the May connection using Padlet and Google Slides to have the teachers share their ideas and thoughts in “real time” with each other. They created a version of the Six-Word Memoir Project and fused it with a yearbook idea to create the “NCCAT Six-Word Memoir Teacher Project” that allows teachers to share a photo and six-word memoir about themselves. To date, they have almost 100 teachers’ photos and memoirs.

Joyce and Spencer hope to continue to use these virtual meetings to discover other ways to incorporate the two campuses working together while having teachers experience learning in “real time” using technology.



Increasing teacher effectiveness is fundamental to improving public education. NCCAT provides teachers with new knowledge, skills, teaching methods, best practices and information to take back to their classrooms. For more information about NCCAT’s professional development programs, visit or call 828-293-5202.

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