Cross-posted on TechConnects

By Nancy Caramanico


The video below was created at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia. Initiatives there have focused on created 21st Century Learning Environments enriched by technology and new learning strategies.

Administrators report that the key to success has been a combination of factors. Surely, as offered in the Nets -A, the various pieces working together make the right kind of difference.
Principal Helen Chaykowsky says technology integration has occurred‘teacher to teacher’. Administrative support, funding for new technology and great tech support played starring roles. The tipping point was ‘teacher to teacher’ encouragement and celebrations of success. A thriving professional learning community has evolved. Assistant Principal Jim Meredith, also a Powerful Learning Practice member, says he encourages innovation at every turn and supports teachers as they incorporate new strategies into the learning process.

A combination of factors were cited. The school is in the third year of belonging to a PLP cohort. They have periodic and ongoing professional development, and they have made 21st Century change part of their Middle States goals. They also have Webinar Wednesday’s where a group of teachers get together and learn together either by watching ISTE podcasts or by having individual teachers share what they are learning.

  • How did they create these classroom environments? Teacher to Teacher. -Collaboration
  • How will this have a positive impact? Teacher to Student. -Engaged learning
  • Why is this important? Students to the World! -Relevant 21st Century classroom environments, with students ready for meaningful participation in college, work, the world.

Related Resources: The above video was created in the style of Michael Wesch’s – A Vision of Students Today


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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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