Cocalico School District

Team Members: Tim Butz, Jill Lutz, Nicole Horst, Kelly Martin, and Jan Lorah
Community: IU-13 Year 1, 2010-2011

We created an on-line community where Cocalico students and teachers meet to exchange ideas with the help of technology. There are many ways to use the PLP site, but we recommend that classrooms check in as a whole group to this website once a week or as often as possible to:

  • keep up with what is happening in current events (locally and globally)
  • stretch your mind with a math brain teaser
  • read the joke of the week
  • see what other Cocalico classrooms are doing in the Class Spotlight
  • find out who has earned a Sweet Tweet from a teacher
  • post your own ideas, comments, or stories in Read and Feed(back)
  • recommend or learn about great sites on the internet
We found that our district’s elementary students use school computers in a restrictive manner that focuses mostly on basic skill reinforcement. The purpose of our PLP site is to expand student awareness and usage of technology to include utilizing it as a tool to connect, share and learn from other students and teachers throughout the district.
Objective/ Goal 1: Introduce Cocalico elementary students to various types of current technology available to enhance learning.

Objective/Goal 2: Create a network in which Cocalico students can extend learning, expand their perspectives, and share knowledge with other students.

Objective/ Goal 3: Increase the network literacy of other Cocalico Educators. Network Literacy being defined as “the ability to create, navigate and grow personal learning networks in safe, effective and ethical ways.”

  1. Each PLP teacher will acquire student accounts from the technology department by March 1.
  2. Team leader will set up PLP google site and create survey by March 1.
  3. PLP team will collaborate on PLP site and make a list of activities to be accomplished – March 2-11.
  4. Conduct student survey – March 2 – 11.
  5. Activities to accomplish from March 14 to April 22

– Critical Friends Evaluation will occur each week while a class is in the SPOTLIGHT. Teachers will give the spotlight teacher an evaluation. PLP flip camera will be available during each class’s spotlight week. Spotlight activities may include but are not limited to iMovies, Powerpoints, Videos, Storyboarding, etc.

– Each week activities: Responding to an on-line article (Team Leader post link); Responding to a grade level Brain Teaser (Tim Butz post); Class spotlight Activity (see schedule above); Information Graph/poll(Team Leader post); Read and Feedback (optional); Teachers share too! Links, ideas etc. (optional); D.N.A.A. -Daily Number All-around activity(i.e. 23 is… and the number of days we’ve been in school this year!) (optional); A Sweet “Tweet” Award – Teachers may “tweet” an acknowledgement to a student who deserves district recognition. (optional)

6. PLP team will evaluate the effectiveness of the site and invite other Cocalico teachers and classes to join the site. Encourage peers to post a link on their eboards or class sites. – Week of April 11

7. Conduct student post-survey and have educators give feedback – Week of April 25

8. Team meets to create project for the May 10th event, evaluate site, and create a list of next steps to continue the growing of our network. – Week of May 2

To be determined after second survey results are completed.
The Cocalico team created a Google Site community where students and teachers can exchange ideas – Peers Learning with Peers.


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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