The teachers at Springside School in the Advis Cohort, were already comfortable and familiar with using technology before the Powerful Learning Practice came to work with them.

So for many, the PLP journey was more of a chance to confirm beliefs and articulate their thoughts about the value of social networking with students.

“I wasn’t convinced with social networking as a tool for teaching,” said Ellen Fishman-Johnson, one of the team’s members. “But our group started thinking in terms of tools to create something really outstanding, to show how this really does work.”

The team’s end of year project was to show how to “reinterpret existing curriculum using a Lower School lesson on the Japanese Tea Ceremony.” The team placed the original curriculum side by side with the 21st century skills so teachers could envision the shift.

“We are very excited about moving on and doing (the inservice for teachers). This is solid lesson and having done it, we are more certain what the switch is and we are now able to verbalize to our faculty.”

Besides shaping the curriculum, the Springside team had fun! “We do a lot of talking at school. This group in particular likes to have a good time so everyone was jealous,” Ellen said of their year-long adventure with PLP.

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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.

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