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Academic Fest

Join like minded educators and a peer facilitator to dive deep into one of the following six areas:

  • STEM for Lower and Middle School

  • Leaving Textbooks Behind

  • Developing an “apps” Library for Students with Learning Differences

  • Developing Digital Integrity/Best Practices Using Technology

  • Implementing and Maintaining the Best 1:1 Option for Your School

Each area will be led by a facilitator who will share their successful plan, materials, and resources. Participants will then be able to analyze and develop their own rubric/and/or outcomes statements for their own school initiative/goals. In addition, the majority of the afternoon will be spent developing an action plan/unit that participants can take back to their respective schools to use immediately.

The Pre-conference Academic Fest is designed for any NCAIS educators who are interested in one of the areas listed above.


 2014 NCAIS Academic Fest

October 23, 2014

Concord Convention Center

10:00 am          Registration/Exhibit Hall                                                               

10:30 am          Welcome

10:45 am          Academic Fest Part 1

Topics Include:

      • STEM for Lower School
      • Leaving Textbooks Behind
      • Developing an “apps” Library for Students with Learning Differences
      • Developing Digital Integrity/Best Practices Using Technology
      • Implementing and Maintaining the Best 1:1 Option for Your School

 12:00 pm          Lunch/Exhibit Hall

1:00 pm             Academic Fest Part 2: Analyze and develop a rubric/metrics based on Academic Fest area

1:45 pm             Break/Exhibit Hall                                                                                 

2:00 pm            Academic Fest Part 3:  Develop Action Plan

4:30 pm            Adjourn

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Registraton has closed.  There are a limited number of seats still available.  Please contact Mary K Little ( if you would like to register.


Presenter Bios

Karl Schaefer

Digital Learning Coordinator

Durham Academy

Karl Schaefer is the Digital Learning Coordinator for the Durham Academy Middle School, a private school based in Durham, NC, USA. He also serves as the Technology Department Chairperson coordinating the curriculum. As the Digital Learning Coordinator he is responsible for helping to devise, schedule and implement the digital learning and integration needs of the Durham Academy Middle School. He is an authorized Google Education Trainer, an Apple Foundations Trainer, and a North Carolina Association of Independent Schools Master Teacher. He has successfully helped Durham Academy introduce a student iPad Learning Program. Over the years he has conducted numerous workshops and presented at conferences for years helping teachers and schools to implement tools like Moodle, Google Apps for Education, VoiceThread, and others.

Justin Carlson

Director of Technology

The Hill Center, Inc

Justin Carlson, Director of Technology at The Hill Center in Durham, has been with the program since 2006.  He is responsible for all technology for Hill academic and outreach programs. Justin regularly develops and presents professional development workshops in instructional technology on topics such as iPads for literacy instruction, using SmartBoards in the classroom, and assistive technology. Justin received his B.A. from UNC-Asheville and his M.Ed. in Instructional Technology from N.C. State University.

Alan Becker

Upper School English Department

Charlotte Latin School

Alan Becker has been involved in media education at Charlotte Latin School over the last fifteen years, and he has made several NCAIS presentations on this subject.  As a member of the Upper School English Dept., he taught a senior elective class dealing with media education for many years. He currently coordinates a series of parent education sessions on media and health, and he collaborates with all three divisions at CLS to develop ways to deliver media education to students and parents. CLS currently has a 1:1 iPad program for all students in grades 3-8 (the Upper School will be 1:1 by next fall), and the school is working on strategies to teach media literacy and digital citizenship to all students as a complement to its iPad program.

Jenny Grabiec, M.Ed

Director of Instructional Technology

Apple Distinguished Educator

The Fletcher School

Jenny’s  love of technology as a young child blossomed into a passion for teaching with technology. She graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and then from the State University of New York at Albany with a Master of Science in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology. She began her teaching career as a third grade teacher and has worked in New York, Virginia and North Carolina; transitioning into the roles of Technology Teacher and Instructional Technology Specialist.

Her passion is inspiring students and teachers while supporting them in building creative projects that utilize mobile devices, web tools and apps. Selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2013, Jenny has spent four years working primarily with iPads in education, beginning with an ESL 1:1 iPad pilot at a middle and high school and a K-12 grant funded, district-wide rollout of administrator, teacher and student iPads; all in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Currently, as Director of Instructional Technology at The Fletcher School in Charlotte, NC, Jenny has had the privilege of leading a one-to-one iPad/Mac rollout with students, faculty and staff.

Jenny enjoys working with many private, public and charter schools looking to integrate technology alongside strong curriculum and pedagogy. Jenny is also the CEO and founder of Tech Girl Savvy, LLC. Find her on Twitter @techgirljenny

Tom Dubick

Teacher and Head of the Engineering Department

Charlotte Latin School

I am an experienced science, technology, engineering and math educator at Charlotte Latin School with over twenty-five years of experience as a teacher and an engineering evangelist who has promoted S.T.E.M. education in and outside of the k-12 classroom. I have created, developed, and implemented innovative curricula used in my classroom and across the country. I have successfully worked with a broad range of organizations including both education and business, and I am currently looking to work with other thought leaders and to speak on topics important to S.T.E.M. education. I have been very involved in using LEGO robotics in the cIassroom for over twenty years. I am very excited about aviation and Fly To Learn and the opportunity for students to use math and science to design, build and fly virtual airplanes using the engineering method. I also believe in Raspberry Pi as a way to bring the opportunity of low cost physical computing to the classroom for all kids.

Brent Stimmel

Director of Technology

Cape Fear Academy

Brent Stimmel is the director of technology at Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington NC.  Brent was born and raised in North Carolina and growing up always had an interest in technology.  After attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Brent got his first job out of college working in education technology.  After working in private sector IT for a number of years, Brent returned to education as Director of Technology at Cape Fear Academy.  Brent started a unique 1:1 program to CFA which give students the choice between bringing their own device or using a school owned laptop.  Brent was a pioneer in using cloud based technology to deliver IT services to students and teachers and has presented and numerous educational conferences.

Bill Kanzinger

Future Minds Teacher

Cape Fear Academy

Bill Kanzinger has been a private school teacher for over twenty years, the last twelve at Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Bill has spent the last 5 years developing a STEM based technology course called Future Minds for Lower School students grades 1-5 at CFA.  This course employs 21st Century teaching practices allowing students to collaborate on projects while interacting with tablet computers, robotics, Scratch programming, and 3D printing and design.  In addition, he teaches Middle School courses in Graphic Design, Video Game Design, and Broadcasting.

Trevor Hoyt

Director of Technology

Durham Academy

Trevor Hoyt is the Director of Technology for Durham Academy, which has both 1:1 iPad and 1:1 laptop programs and was recently recognized by Apple as a distinguished school for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. Trevor is a product of independent schools, having attended both Berkeley Prep in Tampa, FL and the American School in London. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bates College with a double major in economics and music, and a master’s degree in music from the Shepherd School at Rice University. Trevor has always been interested in the use of technology in performing and composing music and co-directs Durham Academy’s auditioned music ensemble, In The Pocket.


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