Team Members: Michael Slechta, Barbara Rule, Linda Cummings, Chris Maiorino, Andrew Wulfkuhle, Burrowes
Community: IU-13 Year 1, 2010-2011
The purpose of our project is to use 21st Century Learning techniques to promote teacher growth and transformation based on inquiry, classroom application and critical reflection. Through the creation of a safe learning environment, we hope to enable teachers to break down the walls that isolate their classroom practice and develop a collaborative community dedicated to exploring professional development topics that they have identified as important to their professional practices and collaborate with others. By exploring topics of need/interest and through the use of 21st Century learning techniques, teachers are supported by their peers as they learn to implement new ideas and technology in their classrooms.
- Problem, Issue, or Possibility
- Objectives and Assessment
- Implementation Plan
- Evaluation and Results
- Identify a collaborative tool for use in the online professional learning. We selected a mini-NING sponsored through Pearson Education.
- Select a test group for the NING. The group was invited in a face-to-face meeting.
- Create a survey about collaboration and professional learning needs. We will use the survey as a pre- and post- survey to determine changes in attitudes and practices.
- Identify collaborative topics for the NING. Based on the survey results, we will see what content the group is interested in pursuing.
- Communicate the availability of the NING to a wider audience. This step is beyond the scope of this project. Revisions to the NING and the action research components will be undertaken after the test period. Once this takes place, we plan to add additional teachers and grow the project. The success of the project will be indicated by regular and productive participation by the members of the NING. Rubric of Participation.
We will also look for changes in the participants’ survey answers after the post-project survey is given.
December 2010 to March 2011 – Research review, idea formation, development of the NING, practice posting and admin features, beta group identification, presentation of ideas for feedback.
May, 2011 – intial content posts, admission of members to the NING
- Who will manage the NING beyond our PLP experience?
- How will District budgets impact this project?
- Creating content – How will we gradually release control of creating content to the NING members?
- How can we create an environment that is sensitive to the privacy concerns and professional needs of educators? This idea is partially addressed in our Purpose and Contract document. Others issues may arise that have not been considered yet.
- Who will control the membership of the community? Currently, the PLP team are administrators for the NING.
- Should the NING membership remain only SDoL?
- What role will the LEA need to play in the project beyond their current involvement?
- Were the results of the beta group what we wanted to see?
- What changes need to be made.
- What suggestions does the NING membership have for the project?
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
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