Just two months ago, we launched Voices from the Learning Revolution with this message from PLP co-founder Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach:

We’ve titled this group blog “Voices from the Learning Revolution” not because our bloggers are necessarily revolutionary leaders — but because they are leaving behind outdated practices and mindsets and shifting toward the kind of connected, digitally infused teaching and learning that we know our 21st century students need.

Nearly 30 posts later, it’s time for a recap. Here’s what our teachers, librarians, IT specialists, principals, district leaders and consultants have shared so far. A special thanks to all our twitter friends and blogs like MindShift, The Answer Sheet, Connected Principals and many more for pushing some of these great ideas and insights out into the viral stream.

You can browse all our posts here:

Easy Reference Index: Voices Posts (1-29)
Easy Reference Index: Voices Posts (30-65)
Easy Reference Index: Voices Posts (66-92)

1. Welcome! You’re Hearing Voices from the Learning Revolution
PLP co-founder Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach introduces our new group blog written by “the collective us (the educators and schools) who share a powerful vision about the future of learning.” Read more

2. It’s Always Opening Night: The Arts and 21st Century Learning
High school arts teacher and assistant principal Ed Allen offers a vivid example of the power of arts in schools, reminding us that they have always incorporated the skills we now describe as 21st century – “since humankind first picked up a brush or tapped out a tune.” Read more

3. The Unconference: Revolutionary Professional Learning
District learning leader M.E. Steele-Pierce explains why unconferences (participant-driven professional learning gatherings with little or no top-down organization) are “the best PD ever.” Read more

4. The Courage to Change
High school English teacher Shelley Wright makes the first post in her 4-part series describing how she and her class made the shift to student-driven project learning by creating a “Museum of the Holocaust.” Read more

5. Visual Textbooks: Three Simple Shifts Can Speed Up Adoption
Textbooks, like food, should be locally grown, writes teacher and district technology leader Bud Hunt. School systems “can pretty simply build, maintain, and distribute textbooks that meet the needs of 21st Century classrooms in multiple modes and means — without breaking the 21st Century budget.” Read more

6. 21st Century Science Teaching: Getting Students beyond Formula Hunting Strategies
Coming up with correct answers, says AP Physics teacher and school IT director Dolores Gende, does not always mean students have done the hard thinking that results in deep scientific understanding. She introduces problem-solving strategies that can help. Read more

7. Personal Learning Networks: Gearing Up for the Big Game
“As a child I knew instinctively that mastering reading skills would be empowering,” says Renee Hawkins, an intermediate teacher and IT director at Garrison Forest School near Baltimore. “I feel the same way about the tools I use to connect to my personal learning network. My network feeds my professional soul.” Read more

8. Principal 2.0 — Becoming the Lead Learner
Our students will be expected to enter adulthood “as critical thinkers, problem solvers, and productive team members,” says Pennsylvania principal Lyn Hilt. School leaders have a responsibility to model digitally enhanced learning for kids, teachers, and for the community. Read more

def poetry logo9. Small Changes Toward a World I Want
Novice teacher Jennifer Jones describes her struggle to become comfortable using technology in the classroom and how some first steps have given her more confidence. “Be the change you want in the world. Such a clichéd term, but yet so true.” Read more

10. In a Transparent World, We’re Always Being Observed
From our international contingent, Australian teacher/librarian and popular blogger Jenny Luca reminds us that the lives of educators “are becoming more transparent as we use social media for communication, and the things we post in social networks might become our undoing.” Responsible use is not just something we teach our students. Read more

11. Connected Teaching: Some Tips for Getting Started
If you truly want to take advantage of the web and connect with educators you have to invest some time, says Norwegian teacher, blogger and instructional leader Ann Michaelsen. And time is usually “the first obstacle and strongest argument teachers have against participating,” in Norway or anywhere else. She highlights three tools to help teachers get started. Read more

12. The Nuts & Bolts of 21st Century Teaching
In her second post about shifting to passion-based, student-driven learning, Shelley Wright notes that “in the past, because I was responsible for distilling the information, I learned much more than my students did. This semester they’re doing it all themselves.” She offers a useful description of how that’s happening. Read more

13. Words Matter — Choose Wisely
“I know teaching is all about relationships,” writes former teacher and PLP social media strategist Susan Carter Morgan. “I know we must show authentic care and concern to create opportunities for students to learn. I know people respond better to kindness than hostility or fear. Yet, one day I made a student cry.” Read more

14. Making the Shift — Teachers Learning from Teachers
When a teacher contributed a stapled packet of fill-in worksheets for the time capsule, Renee Hawkins began to wonder whether, 25 years in the future, they would be still-familiar objects or quaint artifacts of the past? As the result of some powerful professional learning taking place in her school, Renee is betting on the latter. Read more

15. Now I Remember Why I Love This New Pedagogy!
Test prep and other required programs “can cut my students off from pieces of the ‘new pedagogy’- blogging, project and problem based learning,” says veteran 5th grade teacher Brian Crosby, author of the popular blog Learning Is Messy. But Brian and his students are re-energized when they return to a global learning adventure with students 2500 miles away. Read more

16. Everyone’s a Writer — NWP Taught Me That
With the venerable National Writing Project under budgetary attack, Bud (the Teacher) Hunt remembers some NWP lessons learned. These days, “it’s all about helping our students develop their 21st century skills. And critical thinking is powered by thoughtful reflection and summary, which is fostered by writing. You don’t know what you know until you write.” Read more

17. Science Simulations: A Virtual Learning Environment
Experimental work is an integral part of science courses, says teacher and national AP consultant Dolores Gende. And while virtual labs and simulations should not substitute for hands-on learning, they can supplement and extend such experiences. Dolores makes her case with ample research evidence, ideas about “how to,” and a wealth of resource links. Read more

18. Book Chat: Empowered by The Power of Pull
Public school leaders Lyn Hilt (principal) and M.E. Pierce-Steele (assistant superintendent for teaching & learning) begin a conversation about the implications for educational leadership of the intriguing 2010 business book The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion. Read more

19. Book Chat 2: The Path from Push to Pull
“It was not until my transition into administration that I first began to appreciate the power of pull,” says principal Lyn Hilt. “No amount of push was going to help me flourish as an effective educational leader. Something, someone, somewhere, had to be experiencing the same conflicts and could lend a supportive, critical perspective.” Read more

20. Powerful Project Learning: The Growth of My Students Truly Amazes Me
Many teachers who attempt project learning “might do it once, but with all the difficulties never try it again,” says high school teacher Shelley Wright. “I can see why that would be so. But I will teach every unit I can this way.” It’s only by doing the hard first-time work “that your students learn how to deal with difficulties” and become stronger learners. Read more

21. We Must Help Students Connect & Collect
All of Ann Michaelsen’s Norwegian students write blogs in English. “And they’re learning to love it. It’s a great way for me to keep track of what they’re working on and how well they know the material.” But for students, the real excitement came when “we looked our site statistics and discovered we had an international audience.” Read more

22. Book Chat 3: Five ‘Pull’ Ideas Are Changing My Thinking
M.E. Steele-Pierce, a district leader in Ohio, is not certain whether the ideas in The Power of Pull have changed her leadership style, but “I am sure that Pull ideas have transformed my learning.” She highlights five Pull concepts that are reshaping her worldview: serendipity, knowledge flows, moving to the edge and back again, leadership as talent development, and learning to manage our “return on attention.” Read more

23. What Do We Mean by Authentic Learning?
Educators talk about the desirability of “authentic learning,” but do we know it when we see it? Principal Lyn Hilt asks: “Administrators, what do you look for when you spend time in classrooms? Teachers, how do you know authentic, meaningful, passion-filled learning is happening before your eyes? How often do we ask children what learning means to them?” Read more

24. Passion-based Learning in the 21st Century
In this interview (portions of which first appeared at Education Week Teacher), PLP co-founder Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach makes her case for a passion-driven pedagogy. “We need a 21st century vision of teaching, where there is less teacher talk and more student talk — where what I’m doing is thinking about how am I going to pull the most out of these kids; how I’m going to enable these students to be empowered; how I can make sure that I create a classroom where they’ll be willing to take risks.” Read more

25. Students Can Make Magic When We Give Them a Worthy Challenge
In the culmination of her four-part series on changing to a project- and passion-based style of teaching, Shelley Wright shares a remarkable moment of profound “authentic” learning when an elderly Jewish couple visits her students’ culminating project — a “Museum of the Holocaust.” Read more

26. “Teacherpreneurs” — A Review of Teaching 2030
“Classroom teachers who are working to make a difference have reached a critical juncture point,” says teacher/librarian Jenny Luca. “We can’t be expected to continue running ourselves ragged trying to do it all, battling the demon that is time.” The authors of Teaching 2030, she says, propose to address this issue by encouraging investments in “teacherpreneurs.” Read more

27. The Necessity & Promise of Online Learning
Most educators understand that the skills necessary to be a successful online student are the same skills that will serve our students well as adults, says teacher and school IT director Renee Hawkins. “Successful students are self-directed, self-motivated, and self-assessing” — skills they gained “because a great teacher taught them how.” It’s a myth, Renee says, “that any student can just sit at a computer and learn, even with the best online curriculum.” Read more

28. Catholic School 2.0
A new world is opening up in Catholic school classrooms, says IT leader Sister Geralyn Schmidt, as Catholic educators embrace technology and become connected teachers who model life-long learning themselves. “We are creating a culture in which collaboration is cross-generational, a climate in which no ONE individual knows everything.” Read more

29. Powerful Learning Put into Practice

Can a small group of teachers lead an entire faculty to make the shift toward technology-infused 21st century teaching? Third grade teacher Patti Grayson describes how her group’s PLP action research project around collaboration did just that. “The faculty response has been nothing short of incredible.” Read more

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John Norton

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