Digital Learning Training Enhances Skills for Online Teachers & Staff

North Carolina Connections Academy Teachers Train at NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching

teacher group photo

Durham, NC February 19, 2016 — North Carolina Connections Academy (NCCA) teachers and staff spent February 16-18 in Cullowhee, NC at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) honing their online teaching skills. Their visit coincided with Digital Learning Day on February 17—a national observance to celebrate the effective use of technology in the classroom to strengthen a student’s learning experience. Since NCCA teachers instruct students in virtual settings, this three-day training emphasized digital learning tools, resources and other technology available for teachers when helping students in an online environment.

“In our 30-year history, NCCAT is best known for teachers who learn by doing and work collaboratively to discover education insights through residential, online, and school-based experiences,” said Elizabeth Joyce, Senior Digital Learning Specialist, NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching. “This knowledge then spreads to classrooms across the state to help children achieve more. We work to help schools find solutions and improvements.”

The training’s emphasis on online instruction tied into Digital Learning Day, a national campaign to highlight teaching practices and showcase technology innovations.

“Laptops, tablets, smart phones, interactive whiteboards, and Chromebooks are transforming our schools. As technology continues to impact our daily lives, schools are becoming more engaged with their students with the use of digital tools,” Joyce said. “Digital tools that allow collaborators and are easy to share with a simple URL/embed code are the best for educators.”

NCCA teachers are specially trained in the nuances of providing online instruction and this training allowed teachers to build on those skills, collaborate with colleagues and discover new digital resources and technology to better serve students online.

'One of my major takeaways from our time at NCCAT was just how many free, accessible resources are available online to teachers and students for helping them organize, get connected, create, and explore,” said Chris Van Dyk, Secondary English teacher at North Carolina Connections Academy. “Of particular interest were the resources that help students create different types of visuals and organizers for project-based learning. I can see having these resources in my back pocket for students in need of differentiation, additional support, or perhaps even enrichment. It was such an uplifting and invaluable experience being able to meet with my team, as well as others deeply invested in education for the purpose of providing ever-improving services for our students!'

About North Carolina Connections Academy
North Carolina Connections Academy is a tuition-free, virtual public charter pilot school for students in grades K-9. The school was approved in February 2015 by the North Carolina State Board of Education and NCCA provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere there is an Internet connection and with an innovative online curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of certified North Carolina-based teachers, an award-winning curriculum, engaging electives, technology tools, and social experiences provides a supportive online learning opportunity for students who want an individualized approach to education. NCCA can initially enroll up to 1,500 students across North Carolina in grades K-9, and a grade level will be added each school year until it serves K-12. For more information, call 919-224-4040 or visit