Julie LaChance - Tech Learning

Julie LaChance

 Julie LaChance, technology facilitator at Northwest Cabarrus High School, was named ISTE's Outstanding Young Educator for 2010
Publish date:

Julie LaChance, technology facilitator at Northwest Cabarrus High School, was named ISTE's Outstanding Young Educator for 2010. In 2009, she was named North Carolina Instructional Technology Educator of the Year. LaChance has worked closely with her school improvement team and others to create a modern computer lab with SMART Boards, animation stations, podcasting centers, iPod cart and full working lab. She founded NC Second Life Educators, an educational group in Second Life dedicated to helping teachers use the virtual world in the classroom and for sharing general educational ideas, and EDTECH Retreat, which assists with educational endeavors in Second Life.

T&L contributing editor Matt Bolch spoke with Ms. LaChance about her views on Second Life and edtech.

What role does Second Life have in K-12 education?

Second Life, or any virtual world for that matter, has a large impact on education in varying ways. I have used it mostly as a professional development tool. Teachers can "walk" into a virtual world, connect with teachers all over the globe and discuss or problem solve issues facing education today. It really is a fantastic social networking tool that allows people to create strong connections in the education community.

The other way virtual worlds can be a positive impact on education is with the students. I have been fortunate enough to watch students on the reaction grid recreate an entire historical village (Michigan Island with Haley Swansong. Her real life name is Kellie Irish). As part of this project, the students had to learn what buildings looked like during that period, how people dressed, etc. This opportunity allows the students to become fully immersed in their learning and proves a strong understanding of the concepts linked with the lesson.

How do you juggle bringing new technology into a school with keeping existing technology relevant to education?

Just because a new technology is being introduced does not necessarily mean that the existing technology has to be pushed aside. I usually encourage teachers to not only learn one new technology each year but also to take what they're currently using and "fluff it up" with a new technique. Many times there are lots of valid uses for existing technologies so we as educators should not be so quick to throw them aside because we have something flashy and new sitting next to it. I also think it is important to keep existing technologies as long as they are useful because it allows teachers to find something they feel comfortable using and to perfect it as a learning tool.

Has your life changed any since being named ISTE's Outstanding Young Educator? How?

It most certainly has. Probably the biggest way is that it has opened many unexpected doors for me. Just having my name out there a little more to the world network has been a tremendous plus. It, along with a new job, has also made me take a step back and look at what is most important for learning with technology. I've had many opportunities to do large scale projects involving installation of new equipment (smartboards, computer labs, etc.) but now I want to take some time to get down to the basics and work more closely with the teachers to make sure they're comfortable with the instructional application of the technologies they have available to them. There are many resources out there, but the difficult task is finding the good ones and then using them correctly with students while making sure they align with state and national standards.



Image placeholder title

Julie Bohnenkamp

As the technology director for a high-performing, awardwinningschool district, Julie Bohnenkamp knows she mustdeliver high-quality training to keep students engaged andhelp teachers personalize and differentiate their instruction.


Julie Young

Julie Young is president and chief executive offer of Florida Virtual School, which she helped launch in 1997. The organization, which has a staff of more than 1,200, provides nearly 100 courses to more than 130,000 students annually. Young chairs

Image placeholder title

July 2011, What’s New

SureScore has released an updated version of a classroom-based core-curriculum program that prepares middle school and high school students for college learning.

Image placeholder title

July 2010 What’s New

Online & Software A+® VLABS SCIENCE PACK 1 WWW.AMERED.COM VLABS A+® VLabs Science Pack 1 provides a way for educators to engage students and present scientific concepts and experiments. Students observe, record, and enter data using methods similar to those

Image placeholder title

July 2013, What’s New

Aerohive has enhanced its HiveManager cloud-based management system with new client management capabilities, combining device configuration, management, and monitoring with policy-based network access and an employee self-service portal.

Image placeholder title

July 2009

FEATURES FOLLOW THE MONEY PART 3 Read the last in a three part series on what the stimulus package means for education technology in America’s classrooms. Go online to techlearning.com for the full series. Smart Money By Ellen Ullman From

Brian Nichols

For transforming Hidenwood Elementary School in Newport News, VA, from one facing sanctions into one that exceeded AYP benchmarks for two consecutive years, ASCD named Principal Brian Nichols is 2010 Outstanding Young Educator.

BLOG BITS, July 2012

Many schools and districts are putting in place policies about gadgets and media rather than people and behavior. – Lisa Nielsen