testimonials

Marsha Ratzel
Marsha Ratzel Leawood Middle School, Kansas

This community thinks deeply about Problem Based Learning, student centered learning, making the shift to being a connected teacher and inquiry learning. There are lots of practical ideas that someone can take away and immediately apply in the classroom. In a similar way, there are posts and articles about how to start thinking about these topics, so if you don’t know anything, it’s a good place to get started.

Lastly there are such a variety of teachers, classrooms and types of schools represented, you can probably find someone who is very much like you and your classroom that is offering practical, tried in the classroom reports of how it went and what you can try.

Mary Rearick
Mary Rearick Professor at Eastern Michigan University
The PLP team has done a wonderful job drawing on theory, research, and evidence-based best practice and in creating a framework for professional development for educators. The guided tour provides a clear and coherent picture of what the network offers and how participants will participate. The timeline of the courses and the sequencing of the learning experiences enable participants to build capacity as well as trust, focus on authentic learning projects, and communicate and share work within and beyond the network. Thank you!
Stephanie Bader
Stephanie Bader Saint Margaret Mary School, Pennsylvania

I am a better teacher, learner, and person because of what I was empowered to do this year. I became a true leader in a role I feel I was born to play and in my second year of teaching, no less. I realized that a young, motivated, passionate person has something to teach her colleagues no matter how much less teaching experience she has than they. I accomplished feats I never believed I’d overcome and led a team, in their time of need, to successfully begin and execute a dynamic action research project. And without PLP and your push back, championing, and teaching, the year would have looked much different-lacking color, passion, direction.

I feel I am truly part of a PLP family and that I have discovered my true mini-vocation within my main vocation of teaching–bringing 21st century technology and shifted thinking to teachers as learners as well as our students.  I am quite amazed at how clear this mission has become and how comfortable I feel in executing it.

Steve Goldberg
Steve Goldberg Triangle Learning Community Middle School, North Carolina

This is a thoughtful community with lots of people from around the world who are doing very cool things. Members are generous with their time to help new members of the community and are transparent about the work they do, so it’s easy for new members to get up to speed. I’ve broadened my perspective a great deal from my work with PLP and I continue to learn on a daily basis from PLP.

Becky Bair
Becky Bair Elizabethtown Area School District, Pennsylvania

There are many different reasons why I am thankful to be part of the PLP community. As a PLPeep I have learned new tools that have allowed me to connect with educators throughout the country and the world. These connections helped me create a professional learning network that has taught me more than any professional development day or conference I have ever been a part of. Prior to being part of PLP I was not happy with the test-centered focus of my classroom and wanted to integrate technology more, but I wasn’t sure what to do to change things. PLP taught me how to make effective changes in my classroom so I can meet the requirements of the tests I give and still provide my students with learning opportunities that will prepare them for their future experiences.

Shelley Wright
Shelley Wright Cornerstone Christian School, Saskatchewan
I am truly grateful to be part of the PLP community. It has been a huge source of encouragement and inspiration. Through the seminars and interactive community I have learned to completely shift my classroom from an overfocus on prescribed content, to a student-centred, project-based, tech embedded classroom. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’ve received a lot of support from PLP. My favourite part is that it’s provided job embedded PD, which has changed my classroom more than any conference.
Patti Grayson
Patti Grayson Hampton Roads Academy, Virginia
PLP is a fantastic community of passionate learners. There is enormous support within the community, and a strong leadership through Sheryl, Will, and the community leaders. “PLPeeps” are there for one another through Twitter and other social media, providing information and encouragement for teachers attempting to shift their classrooms, long after they have completed the program. PLP truly “gets” learning communities, and fosters leadership in these communities. PLP also helps members understand how to bring 21st century skills to their classrooms and schools through guided action research projects. There is a reason it’s called POWERFUL Learning Practice!
Christa Forster
Christa Forster The Kinkaid School, Texas
The PLP professional development model is so smart: It allows teachers to be true learners again. In our PLP work, we encounter new information, skills and concepts related to how technology is contributing to the shift and shape of education. We are challenged to make sense of our roles in this shift, and we are encouraged to develop a community of connected colleagues with whom we wrestle with the questions of how we can best help students learn and thrive with their knowledge and skills in the 21st Century.
Darren Kools
Darren Kools Kenner CVI, Ontario

Powerful Learning Practice is such a game changer. The process of discovery that I have embarked upon will help all of my students in the future. I try to share more, connect more and challenge myself to be better because of this program. My energy and excitement about teaching is at an all time high and it’s not coming down. If you have the chance, try it! Make the chance, be the change you want to see in the world, because most likely they will be doing PLP too!

Allison Robertson
Allison Robertson Bryan ISD, Texas

Dedicated, passionate people–many are right where I am in the process of learning to infuse technology into the classroom using an ever-changing landscape of tools. Best Quote: It is no longer what you know, nor who you know but rather “Do you know what who you know knows? This learning community has been a lifeline to connect with others for meaningful discussions and practical information on blending pedagogy, knowledge,and technology . Thank you for starting this community!

Patti Rodger
Patti Rodger Lindale School, Saskatchewan

This is my second year in the PLP community. It has been one of the best PD opportunities that I’ve been involved with. It has given me the tools to lead our teachers and students in embracing 21st C learning tools and processes. While we have a long way to go and a lot still to learn, Sheryl and Will’s leadership, as well as many others who have taken leadership roles, has been phenomenal. They are credible and practical and they help make sense of paradigm shifts.

Cary Harrod
Cary Harrod Forest Hills School, Ohio

Without a doubt, this was the most life changing professional development experience of my 23+ years in teaching. I was fortunate enough to be a “fellow” for our district for three years. We have had over 40 of our district staff participate in PLP. This professional development embodies what we now know about professional learning: it must be job-embedded, long-term, community-driven, passion-based and leverage digital technologies to bridge the gaps of space and time. Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and Will Richardson have their feet firmly planted in the 21st Century; their understanding and knowledge of good teaching practices, coupled with a deep understanding of networked learning and digital technologies is the basis for this compelling PD. All professional development should be based off the PLP model.

Sister Geralyn Schmidt
Sister Geralyn Schmidt Our Lady of Angels, Pennsylvania
PLP is an amazing community of educators that are committed to life-long learning. It is a place in which one can collaborate about a girth of topics about education. I am a better person for being a member of PLP. It has taught me that we are better when we lean on others and when we collaborate with others. In short, we are better educators when we connect educational dots with others from across the county or across the world.
Peter Skillen
Peter Skillen 21st Century Specialist YMCA of Greater Toronto, Ontario

The PLP community pushes the boundaries. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. We, as individuals and as colleagues, are encouraged and supported to push our own boundaries – to become ‘natural’ learners similar to what we were like as children before formalized school. PLP is a community where we can follow our passions, engage in questioning our understandings of education and learning, challenge others and be challenged by ‘critical friends’. It encourages us to be transparent about our learning – our wonderings, frustrations, ahas, questions, ‘thinking aloud’, revelations, and classroom practice. The Powerful Learning Practice community is daunting in its wealth of information – both ‘stuff’ and people resources – but, in that way, it is not unlike the ‘real’ world. The real world is rich with complexity and we struggle all our lives to make sense within it. PLP is similar.

One learns to be in the community with ‘intention’, with purpose and passion. This allows ‘ideas to find us’ as Eleanor Duckworth might say. It’s not always comfortable – but then ‘cognitive & emotional dissonance’ are at the heart of learning. If you want to learn how to best meet the needs of students in this era, this differentiated environment affords the best opportunity I know.

Sheamus Burns
Sheamus Burns The Lawrenceville School, New Jersey

PLP has pushed our independent school educators to think about professional development in ways that alight with 21st century values and ideas. The community continues to grow and we find invaluable resources in each other. If you’re just starting to develop your own online presence and looking for a place to team up with others like you as you navigate the web and strive to connect with a diverse group of educators, I recommend PLP.

Renee Hawkins
Renee Hawkins Educator and Director of Instructional Technology, Garrison Forest School, Baltimore, Maryland

The life of a Technology Coordinator can be a pretty lonely experience. I speak a language only a small number of people understand; few people want to buy what I’m selling. At least it seems so much of the time. That’s why the Powerful Learning Practice has become so important to me both personally and professionally. Contrary to the popular myth that the internet has weakened social connections, I have found my professional family with the individuals I have met through this organization. I share, I learn, and I grow with with teachers from all over the world. This year my Year Two PLP Cohort is exploring Passion-based learning and it is having a real impact in our classrooms. I’m grateful to the good people at the Powerful Learning Practice, especially Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson, for providing me and others with the support and space to make this happen.

Kathy Cassidy
Kathy Cassidy Westmount School, Saskatchewan
Being part of the PLP community has pushed my thinking and helped me to be more reflective about what I do in my classroom. I love the fact that it is a year-long experience and that it is job-embedded. Change does not happen overnight. The asynchronous/synchronous model of PLP allows those involved to learn at their own pace and at a time that works for them,while still bringing participants together to learn. I am a better teacher because of my involvement with these educators.
Lani Ritter Hall
Lani Ritter Hall Director of Connected Coaching Powerful Learning Practice, Ohio
Members of the Powerful Learning Practice community, affectionately dubbed PLPeeps, collaborate together to effect systemic change in education. As learners first, they aspire for a more accomplished collective practice. From NE Ohio I’ve connected with educators in Australia where it was our tomorrow, with passionate teachers in Texas, in PA, in Ohio, in Kansas, in NY, and across Canada. Their diverse perspectives have added a special synergy to our learning. Relationships, both personal and professional have become long lasting. The world has become a better place for the action research they have conducted and for the PBL units they have designed. My interactions with others in this community have had a profound impact on my life and my beliefs around learning.
Trish Dower
Trish Dower Yuille Park Community College, Victoria

I participated in PLP community in 2011 in Victoria as part of the DEECD (Education department Victoria). I was a wonderful opportunity to build a community of like minded individuals and to network to develop and challenge ideas, understandings and approaches to how we can best engage and support learning in 2012. I met amazing people both face to face and during online workshops and was inspired to ‘embrace change in my teaching practice’ and to promote problem based learning as the key to engage learners in our school. Sheryl, Will and all the gang involved were supportive and really encouraged you to think deeply, asking questions that promoted thinking and problem solving at a deeper level. Our wrap up ‘show case’ day was fantastic. It was inspiring to see the growth and development of the community of PLPpeep’s across Victoria. If you have a chance to get involved, I’d say, “Go for it!” I’m glad I did.

Kathleen Tsakaris
Kathleen Tsakaris Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, Pennsylvania

I am a year 2 PLP member and this is the best opportunity to learn how our students already and will continue to learn in the future. This community models how I want my classroom to look. Everyone participating – all moving forward with their learning – endless support – the permission to make mistakes and ask any question – time to slow down or move ahead as needed – all levels of expertise addressed- all effort celebrated! The perfect combination of self-directed and collaborative learning with endless resources to facilitate both.

Lisa Noble
Lisa Noble Queen Mary School, Ontario

PLP has been an incredible growth experience for me. Here, I find people to bounce ideas off, to challenge the way I think, to push me to do more, go further, think deeper, try again and again and yes, again, to figure out the best way to help my colleagues and students and me make the shift to 21st century learning. I am not the same learner I was before I began this journey, and I know I have much farther to go.

Sharon Raquet
Sharon Raquet St. Francis of Assisi, Pennsylvania
I am in my second year with this wonderful group . Support, ideas, latest trends, a caring community of educators.
Chris Shriver
Chris Shriver Garrison Forest School, Maryland

This is my second year as a member of the PLP community, and during these two years I have found myself on a learning adventure unlike any other. Through the course of the journey, I have grown as an educator in ways that I could never have envisioned, and I have met some of the most amazing people who stretch my thinking with each encounter. I am grateful for the journey because of where it has taken me and because of where I know it will lead me in the future. My outlook as a teacher and a learner has been forever strengthened because of my place in the PLP community.

Susan Davis
Susan Davis Chinquapin Preparatory School, Texas

This community has helped me grow enormously. Whenever I need advice or an idea, I know I now have a huge group of wise and thoughtful educators to turn to. I also have learned from PLP how to work with students and teachers in ways that will help them grow as well. I don’t know what I would do without PLP and have a hard time imagining my professional life before my colleagues there came along. PLP is such an important resource for me — it is a key place where I learn and expect to learn for the rest of my professional life.

Michele Redding
Michele Redding Fredericksburg Academy, Virginia

The benefits of being part of a global community and having so many dedicated educators who share ideas openly has inspired me to continue to grow as an educator. I am thankful for foresight of Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson to create an online community that fosters lifelong learning.

Lyn Hilt
Lyn Hilt Brecknock Elementary, South Dakota

Powerful Learning Practice is more than a company that provides professional development – it is a true learning community. Participants are encouraged to share their voices and ideas in collaborative spaces, the discussions in which challenge traditional thinking and help educators grow as professionals. Through appreciative inquiry, a network of critical friends, and action research, educators are pushed to shift their thinking about teaching and learning in 21st century schools, and they are supported in embarking on innovative endeavors in their classrooms and schools.

Last year, I participated in Year 1 of the program, and experienced with a team of my teachers how PLP challenged us to grow in so many ways. This year I continue to learn with Year 2 participants, where we are engaged in PBL work and continued reflective practice. I am also privileged enough to serve as a community leader for one of the cohorts, and contribute to PLP’s fantastic group blog – Voices from the Learning Revolution.

PLP is constantly looking to inspire its participants, challenge their assumptions, and support them through the change process. By putting the emphasis on teachers as learners, first and foremost, PLP helps strengthen the way in which learning organizations serve students.

Larry Kahn
Larry Kahn The Kincaid School, Texas

Powerful Learning Practice is all about learning and sharing. It is a learning environment where educators learn about the shifts taking place in how people learn. They learn how to work in a virtual space and share deep discussions. Also, they take part in Action Research that benefits them and their schools. Many teachers from my school who have gone through the Powerful Learning Practice program have changed their teaching practice for the better. Their kids are more engaged learners, and the teachers are happier in their practice.

Stephanie Bader
Stephanie Bader Saint Margaret Mary School, Pennsylvania

Powerful Learning Practice has impressed upon me the importance of being a learner first. Since joining the community in September, my PLN has grown exponentially. I have connected with educators across the globe, educators who have knowledge to share and aren’t keeping it to themselves. I have learned more from these intelligent men and women in the last few months than I have in my many years of formal education. The barriers between what I thought I was capable of accomplishing and what PLP has taught me that I CAN accomplish have been broken down; my fears of questioning or putting my thoughts out there to the community have been diminished. PLP is helping me to grow as a learner and a teacher and does so with unfailing encouragement and positive feedback along with a healthy dose of supportive, yet critical pushback that serves to challenge, extend, reform, and revolutionize my thinking. I am grateful to be a part of it!

Dana Livne
Dana Livne 5th Grade Teacher in Maryland

PLP has completely changed the way that I think about teaching me. Through the PLP network, I feel that I have grown as a teacher and the support has helped me to change my practices in the classroom in a way that enhances the learning of my students to be prepared for the world which they will enter.

Pat O
Pat O'Donnell Principal, St. Patrick's Elementary School, Malvern, PA

The PLP experience forced me to stretch and push my thinking out of my comfort zone. It encouraged me to think of ways to “push out” what we were doing in school with technology and connect with other schools and educators. PLP infused an incredible amount of energy into our PLP team and also into our school. We made great strides with working towards total integration of technology into all of our curriculum and it was the PLP experience that spurred us on.

Patti Rodger
Patti Rodger Middle school teacher in Alberta, Canada

I think your leadership was remarkable. You are both so credible and knowledgeable. While at first the problem based learning was mucky for me, I look back at it as a wonderful experience. I am so empowered by the experience.

Hadley Ferguson
Hadley Ferguson Springside School, Pennsylvania

…the experience shook me out of a comfortable position of being “The Teacher” and encouraged and cajoled me back into being “The Student.” PLP gave me a forum within which to stretch myself.  It gave me people to talk to along the way, to share confusions and frustrations as well as successes and joys. It allowed me to move slowly, step by step, out of one comfort zone into another, one where the colleagues I share and learn from circle the globe. As I live that, I can share it with my students and empower them for the world that will be their future.

Scott Kemp
Scott Kemp Teacher, Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute, Ontario, Canada

PLP was a chance to recapture my love for learning in a cerebrally challenging environment.

Danielle Cripe
Danielle Cripe Language Arts Teacher, Nagel Middle School, Ohio

In my opinion, PLP has been the best PD experience in my career thus far. From this experience, I have learned that teaching isn’t just teaching, but learning as well. We can’t expect our students to develop amazing, innovative projects if we aren’t giving them the chance to do so. Also, with the constant changes around us, it is imperative that we open our eyes and those of our students in order to allow them to make the connections necessary for a strong future.

Patti Grayson
Patti Grayson Hampton Roads Academy, Virginia

PLP was a phenomenal experience that introduced me to endless resources through the creation of a Personal Learning Network. It was an energizing and inspiring year that has completely transformed my role as both teacher and learner!

Scott Warren
Scott Warren Director of Technology, Northbrook School District 28, Illinois

We are thrilled to be working with Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, two internationally recognized educators and leaders in technology, to create a core of teachers who are highly proficient in the use of 21st Century skills with our students.

Janet Ott
Janet Ott Science Program Coordinator, The Chinquapin School, Houston, TX
PLP expanded my understanding of using the internet and on-line tools exponentially. I have been doing workshops for helping small business professionals use on-line tools to build their business and get connected, but I was completely unaware of the tools for educators, in spite of going to every technology workshop that the college I worked for gave up to the time I left 4 years ago. I was stunned at what was newly available since that time. Thanks so much for getting me restarted!
Marie Williams
Marie Williams First Grade Teacher, Our Lady of the Angels School, Columbia, PA

PLP was a very challenging experience. You not only got your feet wet a little, I felt you were challenged, inspired, and driven to the edge and then totally immersed.

Billy Peebles
Billy Peebles Headmaster, Lovett School, Atlanta, Georgia

Our experiences with PLP and with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson have been absolutely stellar.

Rose Arnell
Rose Arnell K-12 Gifted & Technology Specialist, Nagel Middle School, Cincinnati, OH

The sky is the limit! If you are ready to launch your professional growth into the next century, buckle up and join PLP.

Carol Barber Troskosky
Carol Barber Troskosky Associate Superintendent for Planning, Chief Technology Officer, Erie 1 BOCES, Buffalo, NY

The Powerful Learning Practice celebration was an awesome event to attend. There was a buzz in the room and it was wonderful to see adults sharing their learning. The pride was so evident. The level of achievement was amazing. I am so encouraged to have witnessed the use of Web 2.0 tools in use in classrooms of western NY. Teachers and administrators took risks, stretched their minds and tapped into each others’ expertise and experience.

Leanne B. Reynolds
Leanne B. Reynolds Associate Head of School/Dean of Faculty, Hampton Roads Academy, Newport News, Virginia

Learned more than any conference

The PLP process has been the least structured professional learning experience in my career and because the learning has been self-driven, we have learned more than any conference or workshop we’ve ever attended. Participation in Powerful Learning Practice has changed our school because the PLP process gave our seven participants the power to do so. I believe that PLP is changing the educational world from the inside out.

My advice to other administrators…understand that change doesn’t happen by chance. Your faculty, and more importantly your students, need you to quit considering PLP and instead, “Just Do It!”

Margo Nygard
Margo Nygard Learning Services Coordinator, Chinook's Edge School Division, Alberta, Canada

What drew me to PLP was the passion in the words Sheryl and Will used to describe the work they were doing. I had never heard of anything like this before, but it totally intrigued me as it felt part of that missing link in the work we are trying to do in education and professional development. Being an active participant in the PLP Canadian Cohort has provided me with relationships, PD, and a personal and professional understanding of teaching in the 21st Century. This experience has changed, moved, and inspired me to work on becoming the educator that our students need.

Renee Hawkins
Renee Hawkins Educator and Director of Instructional Technology, Garrison Forest School, Baltimore, Maryland

Powerful Learning Practice is different than traditional face-to-face PD. It’s not just about meeting other teachers and sharing ideas; I feel like I’m being challenged to grow in ways outside my comfort zone. No one else is pushing me to grow as a teacher and a leader like you are. Thank you so much.

Alan Stange
Alan Stange Elementary teacher, Moose Jaw, Canada

Participating in Powerful Learning Practice is an effective way to introduce yourself to the critically important role social networking is assuming in professional practice. The experience provides an authentic opportunity to learn and grow through Web 2.0 applications.

Lauren Wiethorn First grade teacher, Ayer Elementary School, Cincinnati, Ohio

PLP was a thought provoking challenging experience. My increased understanding of the 21st century learner has changed the way I present lessons every day!

Barbara Niederriter Technology Administrator, St. Bede School, Philadelphia, PA

I knew many bits and pieces of this 21st century learning environment, but this project gave me a total picture of where we need to be five years from now. I understand now how critical it is to advance beyond having PCs and internet in every classroom.

Teacher in the Canadian Community

PLP has enabled me to become the educator I have been wishing I could become. I knew I was falling behind in new technologies in education and I had a very impressive “to-do list” created from attending conference sessions and reading journals, but I could never take it to the next step until I connected with the community in PLP and also with the others in my small cohort group– that has been invaluable as well. I have made a huge leap in professional growth.