The QTL Connection                                                                                                                   Spring 2006

Evaluation: QTL-Enriched Teachers Reach Students

Does student achievement really improve when teachers look for new ways to engage every student? 

A new evaluation of participants in the QTL program from The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning shows that teachers who've learned about research-based teaching strategies and then put them to use in the classroom commonly see an immediate impact on students.  The study shows participants who completed QTL were more likely to use strategies such as constructivism and brain-based learning. 

Nearly three out of four reported that by the time they completed the program, they could already observe a change in students.  A third said students' attitudes changed; 14 percent more reported better behavior; another 16 percent said they'd seen improved academic performance; and ten percent said they'd seen other positive impacts.  See the full report.

NC System Wins National Honor

Perquimans County Schools have received the national CoSN Team Award.  The honor, bestowed by the Consortium for School Networking, was announced last week at CoSN's annual conference in Washington, DC.  The award recognizes a district that excels at integrating instructional technology to improve the educational experience not only for students, but also for educators, parents and the community. Read details from the Scholastic Administrator website.  Perquimans County has transformed its schools during the past few years by helping teachers differentiate instructions.  Widespread implementation of QTL was one part of the process that helped teachers find effective uses for technology that grants brought into their system.  Congratulations to superintendent Dr. Ken Wells, instructional technology specialist Victor Eure, and everyone else at Perquimans County Schools!

Next Step: Whole Faculty Study Groups

Analysis of student data, determining student needs, developing action plans to meet those needs, and monitoring progress on a faculty-wide basis has a tremendous impact on a school's academic climate.  A Virginia school district that asked the question "What's next after QTL?" is finding that the Whole Faculty Study Groups approach forms a natural follow-up.  District leaders found integrating WFSG into QTL concepts was a recipe for success.  Find out why one principal says the process has made him feel more like an instructional leader than ever before.

QTL-Based Collaboration Proves a Powerful Tool

Western Harnett High School has had a very busy year as teachers and staff worked to improve student performance. They've adopted a comprehensive approach using numerous elements including collaboration, research-based teaching strategies, and technology, learned in Quality Teaching and Learning sessions.  Find out why that combination of tools and strategies has proven to be a powerful combination.

Brumback Award to be Presented at NCAECT

The annual Elsie L. Brumback Award for leadership in the use of instructional technology will be handed out at this year's NCAECT Conference.  The conference is set March 22-24 in Charlotte.  Last year's award went to Dr. Betty Weycker of Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools.  The honor is named for Elsie L. Brumback, NCDPI's former director of instructional technology and a member of the Board of Directors of The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning.

QTL Program Lands Teachers on Local TV

Dare County, North Carolina has a tradition of being ahead of the curve - it's where the Wright Brothers launched the First Flight.  Now the county is implementing the QTL program (formerly known as ExplorNet) to keep teachers on the cutting edge of instructional technology.  The effort is generating attention on the NC Coast and beyond. 

Hurricane Recovery Poses Challenges

Some of the schools hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina already lagged behind in the use of instructional technology.  Now, a consortium of technology companies and non-profit organizations led by Intel is studying ways to re-build the classroom technology infrastruction better than it was before the storm.  Read the story from eSchool News (free registration required).

What Keeps New Teachers in the Classroom?

What would keep more new teachers from leaving the profession within years of entering the classroom?  Of course higher salaries would help, but a new report says better peer support and professional development would make an even greater difference.

News and Notes on Classroom Technology

The Internet can be a great learning resources, especially with the rise of research sites like Wikipedia.  But educators and other users face a growing challenge in knowing what information is reliable, and what isn't.  A recent report from eSchool News examines the issue.

An Alaska Volcano Observatory web site gives student's a bird's-eye-view of the Augustine Volcano, which began sporadic activity in January.  The site features frequently updated pictures and data.

Microsoft says it may release Windows Vista - its first full operating system update in five years - by Thanksgiving.  Beta testers and technology writers are already weighing the benefits and the potential problems.  Get an early look from PC World.

Best of the Blogs

eSchool News staff searched for the best educational blogs on the 'Net, and found the following standouts:

  • Best Classroom Instruction Blog for Teachers
  • Best Classroom Instruction Blog for Students
  • Best Education Theory Blog
  • Best K-12 Administration Blog
QTL Instructor Observes Transition

Participation in QTL can bring about dramatic changes in participants' outlook on teaching. A QTL instructor has the opportunity to observe that shift during the first five days of training - then to glimpse the impact on the classroom as teams plan and complete their collaborative projects.  Pam Edwards of The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning reflects on what it's like to show teachers new ways to engage their students in active learning.

QTL Program Expands

The QTL program serves an ever expanding number of teachers and schools across the Southeast.  More than 400 teachers have participated in the program during the first two months of 2006 alone!  Here are some of the places QTL is having an impact:

District partnerships are making QTL available locally to teachers in districts including Buncombe, Person, and Robeson Counties and Thomasville City Schools.  Over the past year IMPACT grants and federally funded projects guided by the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) have brought the program to numerous other districts, and additional partnerships are beginning this spring.  

Among the more ambitious projects in North Carolina is Capacity First, an intensive effort that combines QTL with Whole Faculty Study Groups and Learning Centered Schools in order to meet the needs of Comprehensive School Reform schools. 

Two Virginia LEAs are wrapping up the first phase of district-wide QTL implementation, and will have sent almost every teacher through the program by the end of this school year.  The Botetourt County school system is already launching phase two, with the Whole Faculty Study Groups program forming an integral part of the 'next step' in school improvement.  Lee County Schools are also continuing on with a second phase implementation. 

Meanwhile, in districts across Virginia this year, brand new ITRTs (Instructional Technology Resource Teachers) are working to help teachers make the best use of instructional technology.  More than 50 of those emerging leaders have already gone through a specially focused version of the program called QTL for ITRTs, designed specifically to meet their needs as leaders.  The program focuses on research-based teaching strategies, and models the use of those strategies in a classroom setting.  ITRTs who participate report
they've found new ways to help teachers connect with students.

A 'lighthouse' partnership with East Arkansas Community College in Forrest City began in January.  This summer, that partnership will offer sessions to teachers across the college's service area.  The EACC partnership will serve as a model for further expansion across Arkansas. 

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Department of Workforce Education is partnering with The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning to offer The Technical and Professional Teacher Training Program.  TPTTP is a 90-hour variation of QTL that unfolds over 15 months and prepares lateral entry and other new teachers for the classroom. First sessions are scheduled this summer in the Little Rock area.

A partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi's SCMCEED will bring more teachers through QTL during 2006, after a disruption caused by hurricane aftermath. Scores of Mississippi teachers went through the program in 2006 before nature intervened.

QTL staff presented a Two-Day Leadership Seminar to school leaders in the Dyersburg, TN cooperative during February. The session was presented in partnership with The Rutherford Learning Group.

The Capacity First program is being implemented in Centerville, GA.  In addition to QTL, staff will participate in the Learning Centered Schools and Whole Faculty Study Groups programs. The combination of programs is designed to help the participating school meet the challenges of Comprehensive School Reform.

April ITRT Session Set

A QTL for ITRTs session is scheduled at The Botetourt County Schools Center for Quality Teaching and Learning April 24-28.  The program is similar to basic QTL, but is modified to meet the specialized needs of leaders in the use of instructional technology.  The five-day session is followed by a project relevant to classroom applications.  ITRTs from across Virginia are invited to register online.


Upcoming Conferences:

2006 Virginia State Technology Conference
March 12-14, 2006
Roanoke Conference Center
Roanoke, VA

2006 NCaect Conference
March 22-24, 2006
Westin Hotel
Charlotte, NC

Closing the Gap Conference
March 27-29, 2006
Koury Convention Center
Greensboro, NC

2006 Hot Springs Technology Institute
June 14-15, 2006
Hot Springs High School
Hot Springs, AR

Grant Opportunities

Grant Wrangler Site Makes Process Easier
Looking for funding for a classroom project?  A new site called Grant Wrangler is a virtual clearing house for educational grants.  The site makes it easier for teachers to find funding, and helps grant-giving organizations more effectively promote grants to teachers and schools. To search for the latest classroom and teacher grants or to sign up for a monthly email bulletin, go to

USA Today Seeks All-USA Teaching Team
USA Today is looking for its 2006 All-USA Teacher Team.  The honor distinguishes great K-12 teachers from across the country.  Each of 20 teachers or teams of teachers chosen will get a $500 prize, with additional cash awarded to their school.  Anyone who'll take the time is welcome to nominate a teacher; the nominees have to complete a form as well.  Details are on the
USA Today web site.

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QTL Director of Partnership Development

QTL Director of Communications

The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational partner to schools and state departments of education. It offers fun, effective and rewarding teacher professional development and programs that blend research-based teaching with technology.

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Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning
3000 Highwoods Blvd. Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27604 USA