St. Bede’s School

Team Members: Kathy Mercurio, Regina Fatiga, Kathy Zimmerman, Lorraine Harrison, Loretta Gordish, Barbara Niederriter

Community: Archdiocese of Philadelphia Year 1, 2010-2011

The purpose of this project is to expand our teachers’ and students’ technology skills to be used in various curriculum areas as well as┬ádevelop our students’ geographic and cultural knowledge using different 21st century technology tools.


To expand our students experiences beyond the walls of our school and into the global commuinity by introducing them to persons, places and things in other countries.

Global Presenters

We invited several speakers to present personal accounts and artifacts they collected during their travels throughout the world.


Microsoft Office 2010

Students created world maps using advanced word processing skills highlighting the countries where the speakers traveled.

Students composed letters in response to letters received from St. Mary School students in England.



We researched the use of blogs in a classroom and our 4th and 5th grade teachers developed their own classroom blogs.

Students began using the blogs at home for homework assignments and classroom activities.

Blog topics included reading comprehension questions, religion questions and various classroom discussions.

We established a faculty blog, created detailed documentaton on how to use it and presented it at a faculty meeting.



We investigated and selected wikis as our tool for student communication with other students in other countries.

Our 4th and 5th grade teachers created their wikis.

Our 4th grade teachers designed questions for their wiki, emphasizing persuasive essays about local tourist attractions.

Our 5th grade teachers designed questions for their wiki, highlighting comparisons of the student school day between countries.

Our students responded to the wiki questions through the discussion tab with emphasis on the writing process.

The students first answered the questions on Microsoft Word, reviewed and revised their writing, then posted their answers on the wiki.

Digital Citzenship Our students reinforced their learning about internet safety by a presentation from a professional law enforcement officer.

Officer Joe Sciscio from the Bensalem Police Department gave two internet safety and cyber-bullying presentations to upper primary grade students and middle school students.


Professional Development for Teachers

Teachers experimented and learned to use Web 2.0 tools.

September to May – Worked on learning Web 2.0 tools as a group every Tuesday and Wednesday at lunch time. They also worked at home incorporating these tools into their classroom curriculum and worked on ning activities.

England December 16, 2010 – Ellie Spencer, a 5th grade student from England spoke to our 5th graders about life in England. She presented our students with letters from 5th graders at St. Mary’s School.

January – Our 5th graders wrote letters to England.

February – Developed Wikis for 5th grade correspondence with St Mary’s School in England

March – Our 5th graders used the writing process to post responses to wiki discussion questions.



February – Mrs. Henzel, our Spanish teacher, gave a presentation to our students about her Christmas travels to Singapore.

March – We contacted Mrs. Henzel’s nephews school to establish student communication between the two schools.

April – Developed Wikis for 4th grade correspondence with Overseas Family School in Singapore.

April – Our 4th graders used the writing process to post responses to wiki discussion questions.


Other Global Presenters

March – Mrs. O’Hara, a school parent, spoke to 4th, 5th graders about Mediterranean region.

April – Ed Rogowski talked to students about his travels in Saudi Arabia and Japan. Students were able to handle artifacts from these countries.

May – Monsignor Marine, pastor, will talk about his recent trip to Rome.


Digital Citizenship

April – Officer Joe Sciscio from Bensalem Police Department spoke to our students about digital citzenship adn cyber-bullying.


Blogs February – Classroom blogs were created by our 4th and 5th grade teachers.

February to present – Students respond to blog questions on various curriculum topics and classroom issues.

February – Faculty blog was created for staff to voice opinions on school topics.

Global Presenters Students global knowledge about countries and cultures was increased. We completed an evaluation in the classroom by asking our students to write on the topic “What did they find fascinating about Saudi Arabia and Japan?” The questions and answers by students in the wikis and blogs themselves demonstrate their openness to immediately explore and expand their global knowledge when given an opportunity.

Microsoft Office 2010 1. The response letters written by our students to their English counterparts included digital camera photos, clip art, and standard letter writing format. Students transferred their knowledge of Word 2002 to the more advanced version of Word 2010.

2. Students learned advanced Word 2010 skills while incorporating their geographic knowledge of PLP project countries into into a world map. Students’ maps were assessed on accuracy.

Classroom Blogs 1. Students are very engaged when blogs are used within the curriculum. Teachers assesed student interest in blogs by asking them to write about “Life before and after Blogging.” Student responses were all positive, for example, “It takes homework, computers and fun to the next level.” They wish to continue using blogs and had plenty of ideas about using blogs for many other curriculum/school topics.

2. The classroom blogs will be used until the end of the 2010-2011 school year. They will continue for the 2011-2012 school year.

3. Our 5th grade math teacher is investigating the use of a math blog for next year.

Faculty Blog 1. The blog purpose and topics to be discussed should dictate whether it should be an open blog (to anyone to read/contribute) or a closed blog (invited members only). This blog will be changed to a closed blog, where users are invited. This will allow more open communication and discussions can center on topics that are relevant to our faculty.

Wikis 1. Students are very engaged when wikis are used to correspond with overseas students. Students communicated in the evenings and at home.

2. A hgher level of learning was achieved as students read all the responses in the wiki, absorbed the information, and then evaluated, synthesized and compared school life between the U.S. and England.

3. A higher level of learning was achieved as students read persuasive essays on why they should visit Singapore, and then tried to convince Singapore students on why they should visit Philadelphia.

4. Communication with England and Singapore will be continued next year with new projects.

Digital Citzenship 1. Students experienced real life internet safety stories and lessons from Officer Joe Sciscio from Bensalem Police Department presentations.

2. NetSmartz curriculum will be continued to instruct students at all grade levels for internet safety and cyber bullying.

3. Brainpop reinforces internet safety lessons and accompanying assessments and quizzes test student knowledge about these subjects.

Professional Development 1. The PLP teachers will present to the St Bede School faculty how blogs and wikis engaged students and replaced traditional learning tools such as paper and pencil.

2. Paper documentation was issued to teachers for “how to” documentation. Next year our goal will be to explore online storage, such as live binders, or Google Docs to cut down on paper and have it accessible by many readers.

Overall Observation by Teachers The use of these new Web 2.0 technology tools enables teachers to easily prepare alternative assessments to evaluate student comprehension of numerous academic areas.


4th Grade Classroom Blogs –

4th Grade Classroom Blogs –

5th Grade Classroom Blogs –

5th Grade Classroom Blogs –

Wikis: 4th Grade Wiki – (Communication with Singapore)

4th Grade Wiki – (Communication with Singapore)

5th Grade Wiki – (Communication with England)

5th Grade Wiki – (Communication with England)

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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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