housesThe whole Canadian community is benefiting from the discussions that have been initiated by our members. Here’s a sampling!

Trading Post

Alan Fletcher’s ‘Connecting Students’ discussion led to a new space called PLP Trading Post where teachers can share connections they’d like to make with other teachers about classroom or personal ventures – check it out!

Gathering and Validating

Tony Hardy initiated a discussion that concerns us all – ‘Gathering and Validating Information’. He suggests, “If not careful, won’t we possibly increase the opportunity for misconceptions based on poor information?”  This led to some great practical resources being shared about the Ontario Institute of Education’s Knowledge Building research and the Critical Thinking Consortium’s classroom activities on this topic. Brian Smith also speaks of discussing a hierarchy of trust with students to help them determine validity.

‘Inquiry Based Learning’ discussion

After Webinar #2, folks began sharing resources and thoughts about the importance of inquiry.  Alastair McGillivray said it well when he describes the opportunity to explore in PLP this way, “As system educators we’re often challenged to think critically and even creatively to solve problems but that challenge is directed by those around us who need to see results.  How often do we get this chance to identify a particular set of needs, devise a strategy for exploration, determine our own success criteria and complete all of this on our own time BEFORE moving to implementation.  Thanks PLP!!!”  Lucie deLeBruere brings in the work of John Seely Brown and Colin Jagoe notices that “once you start thinking about teaching in an inquiry fashion, it starts to infiltrate all aspects” of your teaching – a great thing!

Excitement building

Some members of our Pick One are just returning from two weeks of holidays and team spaces are starting to come alive with thoughts of the new year and of the upcoming webinar.   Many team leaders participated in a valuable webinar and shared some practical ideas in support of the whole community.

Celebrations and awards

  • Chad Reay had a second baby boy, Oliver, in November
  • Brenda Sherry and Peter Skillen were awarded the ISTE Making IT Happen award.

Communities are forming now

A Powerful Learning Practice Community is an ongoing, job-embedded professional development experience built around emerging, social Web technologies. Within these communities, participants are supported in an intensive community-building process online and in person by a passionate team of experienced experts and educators. Our professional development model encourages you to learn through immersion and then as a team develop an action plan for how you will scale what you are learning with others. Communities are forming now! Learn more and sign up for an info session.

Photo credit: Flickr

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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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