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:

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Powerful Learning Practice

During a 25-year education career, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor and digital learning consultant. Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice, where she works with schools and districts from around the world to re-envision their learning cultures and communities through the Connected Learner Experience and other e-learning opportunities. She is the author (with Lani Ritter Hall) of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age (Solution Tree, 2012) and serves on the ISTE Board of Directors.

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