Ben Franklin Elementary

Team Members: Kirk Samples, Joan Doyle, Sarah Rodriguez, Susan Sailer, Wayne Wittenberg, Stacy Slater

Community: Dublin-Dallas Year 1, 2010-2011

Ben Franklin School is in its second year of working toward a successful PLC. Teachers have time to collaborate as grade-level teams on a weekly basis, but this has not solved all of our communication problems. We still lack time for all staff to communicate and collaborate. As a PLP team we decided that using a social networking tool, such as a Ning, could be an appropriate solution to our problem. We began implementation in March and continue to monitor usage, success and questions the staff have.

We currently lack time for specialists and non-certified staff to communicate with teachers. We also lack time for cross-grade level articulation.
To extend the professional learning and collaboration being done by our PLC to effectively include all members of the staff, while incorporating technology.
  • Initial survey of staff readiness to use a social networking tool within our PLC
  • Development of Franklin’s Ning
  • Introduction of Franklin PLC (the ning) to staff
  • Professional Development to support staff members
  • Incentives for using the tool
  • Survey to check for improvement in communication and collaboration
  • Maintain staff interest over summer with summer Ning activities
We will evaluate our project at the end of the school year when we survey the staff about their experience the last two months using the Ning as a communication tool. Right now there are many staff members who use the Ning on a regular basis and groups who are using it for daily communication, collaboration and coursework. We will continue to try to pull the staff in who are not using the tool by offering tiers of professional development next year as well as offering discussions and groups over the summer to keep us connected.

 

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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