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QTL™ for K-12 expands into new territory

Summer 2004

Elementary, middle and high school teachers from four states experienced ExplorNet's Quality Teaching & Learning™ program (QTL™) during Summer 2004. In addition to numerous cycles in North Carolina and at the Botetourt Center for Quality Teaching & Learning in Virginia, QTL™ was offered to teachers in Arkansas and Mississippi for the first time. Dozens of teachers attended QTL™ Cycles in Corning and Hot Springs, Arkansas and in Simpson County, Mississippi.

Northhampton County teachers complete a QTL activity
Northampton County, NC, teachers complete a QTL activity.

Teachers across North Carolina continued to experience the benefits of Quality Teaching & Learning. Among the Cycles completed in the Tar Heel State were two at Garysburg Elementary in Northampton County. Teachers from that school district attended QTL™ Cycles set up in their own backyard through the use of federal Enhancing Education Through Technology (E2T2) funding.

Instructional Technology Director Rhonda Moses even found grant money to buy laptops and Palm Pilots for participants who gave up a week of their summer to improve their teaching practices. "Our folks really enjoyed the sessions, and we are much better for it," Moses says.

ExplorNet Director of Instruction Tamara McCulloch led many of the sessions in Arkansas and Mississippi, which were offered through partnerships with local educational entities in those states.

Teachers from Corning School District were the first in Arkansas to complete QTL sessions. Participants say they immediately found practical ways to improve what they are doing in the classroom. Click here to read more about their experiences.

Tamara McCulloch in QTL in Mississippi
ExplorNet/QTL™ Director of Instruction Tamara McCulloch (standing) leads Nancy Jordan (center) and a team of Mississippi teachers through a QTL™ activity.

The initial Mississippi sessions were wrapping up just in time for the Independence Day holiday, and participants were excited about the experience.

"This is one of the most dynamic workshops I have ever attended," says Kim Clark. "Not only do you get introduced to great computer programs, you get introduced to all types of tecnology tools to integrate into your classroom. It will change the way you teach for the better."

"This week has probably been the most interesting workshop that I have ever attended," says Nancy Jordan. "There have been many RELEVANT hands-on activities. I have enjoyed the fact that we have spent the week working rather than strictly listening to lecture."

Some teachers found multiple benefit in the approach of using technology tools in ways they had not tried.

"It was a wonderful experience for us, as we learned so many new methods, concepts and teaching techniques using 'old school methods' blending with the new technology, while having fun," says Lakshmi Meka.

Meka says learning to plan ahead and work together on collaborative projects will be one of the most useful lessons of QTL™, along with learning to use technology as a tool for learning.

"In my opinion, all educators should be exposed to this type of training with the updated technology as frequently as possible. This allows educators to reach all students, individually, and get the best out of each young person, as they are the people who will be shaping the future of America."

Elementary principal Kathy Swalm, who had attended a QTL™ Leadership Seminar last November, had advice for teachers preparing to attend the 7-day QTL™ Cycles.

"When you decide to attend the QTL™ workshop, do not plan to be bored and doodle," she says. "This workshop provides actual 'hands-on' use of technology, best practices, and management. The participant will not feel intimidated by the ues of technology. The facilitators are very willing and patient... You will not be able to sit back and watch others; you will be fully involved in this learning process."

Plans for additional QTL™ Cycles in Mississippi and Arkansas are already in the works.

High school teachers at the Botetourt Center for QTL
After gathering data into a GPS unit, high school teachers enter it into spreadsheets to complete an exercise at the Botetourt Center for Quality Teaching & Learning.

Meanwhile, the new high school version of QTL™ was part of the summer schedule in QTL™ Centers including the one in Botetourt County, Virginia. Instructor Susan Herring was carried away by the enthusiasm of teachers there.

"Every group I've had there (at Botetourt County), I've been impressed with," she says. Cycles continued at the Botetourt Center through summer, and more sessions are on the agenda well into the 2004-05 school year as the school system works to put more of its teachers through QTL™.


For more information, contact Robin Fred via e-mail at or call him at 888.507.3800.

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