Digital Teaching & Learning News

Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) Now Available to All DPS Users

posted Dec 9, 2015, 9:34 AM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Dec 9, 2015, 9:34 AM ]

Canvas LMS
All DPS teachers now have the optional ability to deliver courses to their students through Canvas, a Learning Management System (LMS) within Home Base. Canvas will be available to DPS users at least through the end of the 2015-2016 school year. At the end of this school year DPS leadership will decide whether to fund Canvas beyond 2015-2016.

The DPS Media & Educational Technology created a "Getting Started with Canvas" course for all DPS staff to optionally participate. Click here for details.  Additionally, teachers can get a jump-start using our DPS Teachers' Guide to Getting Started Quick with Canvas Guide

Staff should check True North Logic for face-to-face introduction classes from now until the end of the school year.

See all details and provide Canvas feedback at

Google Classroom Three-Part Tutorial

posted Oct 22, 2015, 7:31 AM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Oct 22, 2015, 7:31 AM ]

Google Classroom Icon
Did you know that DPS has Google Classroom available for use as part of our Google Apps for Education domain?  Google Classroom is a sleek learning management system that integrates and leverages many Google Apps such as Drive/Documents, Calendar, YouTube, and Calendar.  The Gooru has a great three-part tutorial to guide you through learning Classroom from its most basic to its most advanced functions here.  

Digital Learning Day: Call for Submissions Deadline

posted Oct 9, 2015, 6:53 AM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Oct 9, 2015, 6:53 AM ]

Digital Learning Day
The Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance) is looking for the next set of exemplary secondary schools and school districts to honor for Digital Learning Day on Feb 17! With a particular emphasis on schools and districts that are making a difference for high school students in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, the Alliance seeks to identify exemplars in the following areas:
  • personalized learning;
  • project- and work-based learning;
  • data-informed instruction;
  • emphasis on deeper learning outcomes;
  • strategic technology integration; and
  • innovative uses of time
To learn more and submit an application, click HERE.

Submissions received BEFORE or ON October 5 will be reviewed and finalists will be invited by Friday, October 9, to advance to the next round of the submission process. Submissions received AFTER October 5, but by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday, October 19, will be reviewed and finalists will be invited by Friday, October 23, to advance to the next round of the submission process.

North Carolina State University Fall 2015 FALL MOOC-ED COURSES

posted Sep 27, 2015, 9:25 AM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Sep 27, 2015, 9:26 AM ]
North Carolina State University's Friday Institute is offering four free classes beginning September 28th, but registration is open for two more weeks:
  • Digital Learning Transition: Creating Future Ready Schools
  • Coaching Digital Learning
  • Learning Differences
  • Teaching Statistics
Educators can receive a certificate for 20 hours of continuing education and can earn micro-credentials in Learning Differences.  You can find out more about these courses at

Jennifer Umbarger Nominated for the Media Coordinator of the Year Award!

posted Sep 15, 2015, 12:29 PM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Sep 15, 2015, 12:29 PM ]

Jennifer Umbarger
Congratulations to Jennifer Umbarger, Media Coordinator at Rogers-Herr for receiving the nomination from the Piedmont East Region for the North Carolina School Library Media Association’s Media Coordinator of the Year Award.  Jennifer and the other three regional finalists will be recognized during the Opening Session of NCSLMA on October 23rd in Winston-Salem, and the winner announced at that time.     


Best wishes, Jennifer, and congratulations again on this much-deserved honor!

Home Base Maintenance Scheduled for Friday, September 18 through Monday, September 21

posted Sep 15, 2015, 9:41 AM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Sep 15, 2015, 9:41 AM ]

The next Home Base maintenance weekend is scheduled for Friday, September 18 through Monday, September 21.  Maintenance will only be performed on the PowerSchool application.  All other Home Base applications will be accessible through the IAM Service. 


PowerSchool will shut down Friday at approximately 5 p.m.  Once maintenance is completed a message will be sent to notify users that the system is up and available for use.  PowerSchool will be returned to service no later than 6 a.m.Monday morning.  If a delay in bringing up the system should occur, users will be notified via NC SIS email.


Please join NCDPI in their efforts to alert users to urgent issues affecting Home Base through Twitter alerts. Sign up by visiting the link and joining the twitter feed at: 


For those who like to plan ahead, please view the 2015-16 Home Base Maintenance calendar at: 


Donna J. Hudson

Director of Student Assignment

Home Base Project Manager

Durham Public Schools

New Classroom Assessment Items Available in the Instructional Improvement System (Schoolnet)

posted Sep 14, 2015, 1:48 PM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Sep 14, 2015, 1:48 PM ]

From North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:

As you log in to the Instructional Improvement System (Schoolnet), you may notice that there are more assessment items available in Math and ELA. We recently purchased an additional 55,000 assessment items for classroom level use in grades K-12.  The new items include multiple choice and open response items for both ELA and Math. You can find these items under the publisher name “FAIB from Certica Solutions, Inc.” when doing an advanced search in Item Central.
In addition, the NWEA items for Science and Social Studies were also refreshed and have been assigned a new publisher name. The new publisher name is “FAIB from Certica Solutions, Inc.” As a reminder these items (and the new items noted above) are available to ALL users in Schoolnet so they are intended for Classroom Assessments (not Benchmark Assessments).

Welcome Back DPS Staff!

posted Aug 17, 2015, 1:17 PM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Aug 17, 2015, 1:18 PM ]

Welcome back to DPS traditional calendar staff!  We hope you enjoyed your summer.  We will convene for our Media-Tech PLC on August 18th and 19th at the Staff Development Center.  Visit our Media-Tech home page or PLC materials page to view our presentation.  Have a great start of school!

UID System Maintenance - August 14 - 16, 2015

posted Aug 14, 2015, 12:34 PM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Aug 14, 2015, 12:34 PM ]

In preparation of start of school, NCDPI will be performing maintenance on the UID system this weekend.  UID will be taken offline today, August 14 at 5 p.m. and will return to service no later than 8 a.m.Sunday, August 16.  If you should incur any problems with the UID system once it is returned to service, please submit a Remedy ticket to the Home Base Support Center

Summer Home Base PD Opportunities for Administrators and Teachers with Stipends Announced!

posted Jun 1, 2015, 8:50 AM by Jerry Williamson   [ updated Jun 1, 2015, 10:02 AM ]

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) is offering professional development regarding Home Base to users (administrators and teachers) this summer.  If you are interested in participating in this great opportunity, click on the appropriate link in the details below.

  • Registration deadline is Friday, June 19th.  
  • Participants will receive a $165 stipend
  • Durham Public Schools' Region, Region 3, is scheduled for July 23rd at Rocky Mount High School in Nash County.  
  • NC DPI is also looking for Home Base (PowerTeacher, Schoolnet) "power users" to lead the PD sessions, as well.  There will be stipends for these presenters, as well, but details have yet to be released.  You can email if you are interested in being a presenter for the sessions.  

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