Sometimes a little inspiration goes a long way.

Claude Sigmund from the Edina School District in Minnesota said he has always been interested in technology.

But it was the PLP piece that provided the needed inspiration to take it further.

“I could do the tool. I knew what to do in the classroom,” he said. What he didn’t have his head around was decision-making at the policy level.

Claude’s team in the TriState cohort, which just finished up, worked on getting a “grassroots” push to help those at the top understand the importance of their decisions and the impact those decision have on the classroom teachers.

“PLP brought together people with common interests and ideas and forced us to challenge our perceptions. It got other people to ask questions about use, policy issues, legal issues,” he said. Then, once the questions were on the table, the team researched themselves, sharing ideas and working together to come to conclusions.

“It was a really refreshing way to learn,” Claude said.

What the team discovered during their work was that “everything was so top down in our district. There was an actual culture of resistance,” he said.

Part of their project, then, was to create a plan to combat the resistance. This included meeting with the new technology director and several principals. The team also met with teachers about understanding the culture of change and what it might mean to them.

“Because of PLP, I am seeing an awakening in them and the rest of the PLP team,” he said. “I can bring the discussions and debates into our school, and once it happens in our school, that will ignite tinder and turn into fire.”

The bottom will push the passion up to the top who will provide the best support….and that’s what will work, Claude believes.

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Susan Carter Morgan

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