K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Asynchronous conversation matters: Part I
Tap into your students' ease for using digital communities by structuring meaningful online conversations using free tools for asynchronous discussion that center around classroom learning.
Format: article/best practice
By Bill Ferriter.
Asynchronous conversation matters: Part II
Meaningful online asynchronous discussion requires careful planning. Using the tips from this article, teachers can create questions that will generate enthusiasm for a topic and motivate students to think critically and practice skills of collaborative dialogue.
Format: article
By Bill Ferriter.
Beyond blended learning: Reaching every student
This archived presentation from the 2010 NCTIES conference explores the theory and application of blended learning and offers ten ways to improve teaching using a blended approach.
Format: presentation/best practice
Building and maintaining an online professional learning community
Many schools have moved away from one-time workshops and toward the more sustained approach of professional learning communities. But finding the time for all PLC members to collaborate can be difficult. This article offers suggestions for using online tools to make PLCs run more smoothly and effectively.
Format: article/best practice
By Jayme Linton.
Citizen science: Real-world applications for science students
Citizen science projects enlist everyday citizens to collect or analyze data for real-world research studies. This article suggests that bringing citizen science projects into the classroom can help students understand the relevance of curriculum objectives. Several projects are suggested, for elementary, middle, and high school.
Format: article/best practice
By Rebeccah Haines.
Digital posters: Composing with an online canvas
This article discusses tools and best practices for assigning digital poster-making projects to students.
Format: article
By Kevin Hodgson.
Evaluating multimedia presentations
A PowerPoint presentation is just another form of communication, and the same rules apply to multimedia that apply to writing or verbal communication. This article offers guidelines for using and assigning multimedia presentations in the classroom and includes a rubric based on the Five Features of Effective Writing.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Fostering creativity and innovation in the science classroom
This article presents resources and ideas for presenting science students with challenges designed to spark creativity and innovation. Resources listed include national competitions and websites listing suggested classroom projects.
Format: article/best practice
By Rebeccah Haines.
High-tech maps: Education or eye candy?
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 16
Finally, let's take a look at technology. It's made a lot of maps available, but does it help teach map skills? We've all heard the core arguments for expanding our use of technology in the classroom: that technology engages students, that they're surrounded...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
How do special education students benefit from technology?
Students with disabilities can benefit greatly by using technology in the classroom. This article examines the use of assistive technologies with special education students.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.
Inclusion in the 21st-century classroom: Differentiating with technology
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 7
While most teachers recognize the need to differentiate instruction, many face barriers in implementation. These barriers include lack of time to prepare lessons, the need to cover a wide range of content in a small amount of time, and extensive classroom management needs. This article advocates for using technology as a means to overcome some of these barriers.
Format: article/best practice
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D. and Lauren Ormsby.
Instructify Live - Episode 001 - Electronic Sub Plan
Bill Ferris (00:02) Good morning class, my name is Mr. Ferris. I'll be your substitute today while Mr. Hobgood is out, let's take a look at our lesson for AP Physics. Bobby Hobgood (00:11) Being away from your class is always...
Format: video
Interactive conference 2009
LEARN NC’s fall 2009 interactive conference was held October 1, 2009, in Chapel Hill. Educators participated both in person and via the Web. If you missed it, everything is archived here -- Adobe Connect sessions, handouts, and more.
Format: (multiple pages)
Interactive conference 2010
LEARN NC’s fall 2010 interactive conference was held October 14, 2010, in Chapel Hill. Educators participated both in person and via the web. We'll post the archived sessions here soon; in the meantime, you can view the conference agenda and access the handouts.
Format: series (multiple pages)
The interactive whiteboard in your classroom
This article helps educators "think outside of the box" when using Interactive Whiteboards in their classrooms and provides innovative strategies that engage students and make them equal partners in the instructional process.
Format: article/best practice
By Bill Ferriter.
iPadagogy: Teaching and learning with iPads
UNC School of Education professor Janice Anderson is leading a team of education graduate students in examining how teachers are integrating iPad technology into their daily classroom practice. Using a design-based research methodology, the iPadagogy research...
By Janice Anderson.
Just beyond the walls: Teachers as writers in virtual space
This article addresses the notion of teachers as writers — providing reasons why a personal writing practice can improve instructional practice, offering a variety of online networks and other sites to help teacher-writers connect with peers, and suggesting ways to bring this idea into the classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Kevin Hodgson.
Keep parents in the loop with a class website
This article discusses the process of creating a website to keep your students' parents apprised of what's happening in your classroom. The author discusses a variety of tools, including blogs, wikis, Google sites, and paid hosting websites, and suggests elements to include in a useful website.
Format: article/best practice
By Rebeccah Haines.
Keeping students digitally safe
Interactive web applications offer a variety of ways for students to share their work with teachers, classmates, and the world. This article suggests best practices for keeping students' identities safe while using these tools.
Format: article
By Bill Ferriter.
Map skills and higher-order thinking
This series of articles looks at map skills as a kind of visual literacy, considering what maps are, how they're made, and the higher-order thinking skills students need to move from simply decoding maps to fully comprehending them.
Format: series (multiple pages)