Elizabeth Town Area School District

Team Members: Todd Davis, Mike Sernoffsky, Nancy Weikel, Jeanette Norton, Jason Kingsborough, Melissa Anderson, Becky Bair Heather Geist, Katie Niven

Community: IU-13 Community Year 1, 2010-2011

Our district is anxiously awaiting the opening of a new building which will see classrooms equipped with SmartBoards, six laptop carts, two computer labs and a more stable network. While teachers are excited about this new technology they are also apprehensive because we have had little technology professional development. With budget situations as they are there will be no funds to provide additional coaches to support the teachers as they begin using their new tools. With this in mind our plan includes professional development to provide teachers knowledge of the tools available to them and how to use those tools for instruction. We plan on organizing the teachers into professional learning communities based upon the tools they would most like to learn so that they can participate in job embedded professional development that helps them recognize themselves as life-long learners. While working together, the teachers will provide support for each others’ learning and use of technology and promote effective educational practices for student learning.

Our main issue is that the faculty of our new school will have a variety of technology tools but believes that they do not / will not have the support necessary to use these tools effectively. We want to show the teachers that, as life-long learners, they can support each other during the implementation of new instructional strategies.
  • Objective 1 – Provide teachers with background knowledge about the basic technology tools Web 2.0 that are available for use in the classroom.
  • Objective 2 – Allow teachers the opportunity to select a tool they would like to learn about during the school year.
  • Objective 3 – Develop PLCs based upon the teachers’ self-selected tools so that teachers can work together to implement their selected tools.
  • Objective 4 – Each PLC will create a goal that they will work together to meet over the course of the school year.
  • Objective 5 – Create a wiki where individuals and PLCs can share websites, artifacts of student work and artifacts of teacher lessons that can be used by other people when they are ready to try using a new tool.


  • Redo the teacher survey from February 2011 in May of 2012 to see teacher growth.
  • Reinterview teachers at the end of the 2011-2012 school year to see if their ideas of support have changed (from needing somebody else to support us to we can support ourselves.
  • Review the artifacts uploaded to the wiki.

  September 1st, 2011

– 8:00 – 8:30 – Introductions

– 8:30 – 9:00 – Layout the frame work for the entire day. Answer teachers questions/concerns/comments

– 9:00 – 11:30 – Introduce the four technology tools being offered (Glogster, Google Docs, iMovie, and Wiki’s) Showcase the potential of each software & how it can be implemented in ‘their’ classroom. Teachers decide which of the four technology tools they would like to learn more about

– 11:30 – 12:00 – Place teachers in PLC’s based on which technology tool they selected

– 12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch

– 1:00 – 3:00 – Paired PLP members will teach the teachers and demonstrate how to use their desired technology tool. Teachers will have time to experiment and ask questions about their technology tool while paired PLP members walk around and help out the staff

– 3:00 – 3:30 – Reconvene to debrief about the day

Please see the team’s wiki page for more details.
Please see the team’s wiki page for more details.


About Action Research Projects

Action research is a process in which Powerful Learning Team members collaboratively examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully. Action research is:

  • Disciplined inquiry into a problem or possibility within the school or classroom
  • Collaborative and usually takes place in a community of practice
  • Meaningful, positive, and reflective
  • Data-driven, action-based, improvement-focused
  • Transformative

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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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