By Lani Ritter-Hall

UnfoldingThoughtful discussions, nudging, push backs

Sharing, holding back

135 cohort members in the main forum of the Ohio Consortium virtual learning community, learning in quest of a more accomplished global practice–

20 professional learning teams in their private team rooms, meeting face to face– collaborating with plans to scale their learning to faculty/district—

Team leaders and team members from each school –common passions, not always agreeing– storming, norming and striving for performing.

An example—

3 teams from the Forest Hills School District (Team 1, Team 2, Team 3) mentored by lead Fellow, Cary Harrod

Sharing and Planning—

I’m so excited about the f2f meeting we had this afternoon I have to share. We started by reading “The Lurking Cave”. What a wonderful forum! Thank you Cary for starting it! We had a very open discussion about our thoughts about the replies to that forum and also our own feelings about lurking. We then had a discussion about the purpose of PLP. Most of our responses involved some sort of a personal learning experience. We then looked at the “4 c’s of Participation in Online Communities” and shared with each other where we are and where we wanted to be. We took this to the next step and set personal goals related to the curriculum focus areas and we posted them on our team page.  Our next step is to start working on our goals before our next meeting. In addition, we are to respond to each other’s goals by telling each other specifically what we will do to support each other in meeting the goals. It was a great meeting!!!!  –Mary Mitchell—

In terms of how we are going to tackle the curriculum… We are each tracking our own digital footprints, reading over the digital citizenship stuff and selecting two we find most relevant to our work, we divided the 21st century skills up, are going to read the supporting materials about communities of practice, and are reading the 21st century engauge and ISTE NET’s. We are meeting again on Thursday (and every Thursday in November) to decide which seemed most interesting to us that we want to dig into more as a team..  We are going to use our group page on the ning to post our reflections to the curriculum stuff we are reading this week and our wiki to keep notes of our meetings.  –Ellie Preston

Thinking deeply—

As we move towards letting some students and teachers move towards using new and innovative technology, the thing that always strikes me is how this impacts the “what” of the curriculum. I am not talking about inquiry learning or student centered learning, or PBL or anything like that, but the actual content of what we teach.  –Bob Reynolds

Asking questions–

Consistency is key factor! How do we promote consistency with teachers yet promote differentiation. I do believe we can accomplish both but have to be creative!  –Wendy Hertel

Nudging and prodding—

I’m wondering if your difficulty in “coming to the table” has more to do with time management or a comfort that exists in established patterns?  –Tracy Varner


I know it looks like a lot and we probably won’t get through all of it (in fact I know we won’t) and that’s okay. As I immerse myself more and more into this experience I see how we just have to let it unfold. Let the unfolding begin today.  –Mary Mitchell

And I — on the sidelines, silently cheering each and every team, as the unfolding continues.

Photo Credit

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Lani Ritter Hall

Lani is Community Leader for Powerful Learning Practice. She also serves as the “Newbie Maven”, helping along and nurturing newbies to the PLP experience, as well as facilitator for the Connected Coaches. Lani brings more than 35 years of teaching experiences in urban, sub urban, and independent schools at the middle/secondary level in the U.S and Canada to this work. A national board certified teacher, she and her students began collaborating globally in the late 1980’s. Lani has created and facilitated professional development around technology infusion into learning for over twenty years and served in a leadership role for the K12Online Conference for 2 years. She is co-author of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age.
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