Glacier Ridge Elementary School

Team Members: Katie DiCesare, Abby Farris, Lauren Scott, Julie Seaman, Karen Terlecky
Community: Dublin-Dallas Year 1, 2010-2011

First we will design a wiki for staff collaboration that initiates conversations about learning and teaching. The next phase will take place over the summer. We will schedule informal “GREat Collaboration” meetings. Over the next year we will develop PLNs within our staff and work towards a broader connectedness for teachers/students using the tools introduced over the summer.



Since our building opened five years ago, we have worked hard to build a climate of collaboration, communication and reflective practice. We have explored several structures for promoting conversations about learning and teaching. These include Literacy Chats, PLC work, Vertical Chats, and grade level meetings. The foundation for our school’s professional culture is built upon shared leadership. School committees are led by teachers, agendas are built collaboratively and decisions are made with the collective wisdom of the staff. Our hope is now to design a system that allows us to collaborate where time or place is not a factor. We also want a place where we can revisit and save our thinking.

Based on our survey response results, our plan is follows:

  • Design a wiki for staff collaboration
  • Initiate conversations about learning and teaching (starting with Word Study in March)
  • Gather online learning resources/links
  • Use this site for shared leadership, literacy chats, vertical chats, PLC work, and grade level meetings / we need to use it together

Over the summer, we will schedule informal “GREat Collaboration” meetings:

  • Exposure to online collaborative tools (twitter, Google Docs, social networking tools, wallwisher, RSS feeds, wiki, ning, social bookmarking)
  • PLP group will model how to use the tools above
  • Work side by side within these groups/learning together/collaborate

Over the next year:

  • Develop PLNs within our staff
  • work towards a broader connectedness for teachers/students using the tools¬†introduced over the summer
  • March 8, 2011: Survey entire staff Survey for staff
  • April 1, 2011: Model how to save thinking on the GRE-Collaboration wiki
  • April/May 2011: Continuing to use the GRE-Collaboration wiki as a place to hold and collaborate our thinking about word study (PLC)
  • Summer 2011: Offer opportunities for staff members to meet and explore other online collaborative tools
  • Fall 2011: Survey entire staff using the same survey from March 8, 2011
  • September 2011-March 2012: Continue both small group and whole group collaboration utilizing the online collaborative tools
  • March 2012: Final survey for staff
After surveying our staff, we noticed that the majority of our staff is very comfortable using social networking tools for social reasons. We also noticed that the majority of our staff does their online networking in the evenings and on weekends. A few staff members are already using social networking tools for professional reasons as well. The survey also showed that our staff values working toward a common goal and face-to-face collaboration. What we found was our staff is comfortable using certain social networking tools (Facebook), they are online in the evenings and weekends and they value face-to-face collaboration. We now want to incorporate social networking tools to allow the staff to learn about other options of collaboration besides face-to-face that would fit the time frames that they are already online. We are hoping to build upon the skills they have already established through the tools that they are currently using. After a year of exposure to other tools, spending time together and collaborating we will resurvey the staff in Spring 2012.

You can read more about the team’s Action Research Plan here. You can also visit some of the team’s helpful links and resources below:


Teachers Questions on Wallwisher

Survey for staff

Centurions Book Club

Kindergarten Teacher Facebook Page

ebook club

Langwitches Blog

Celebration of Learning with Technology.mp4


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

View all Action Research

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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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