Patricia O'Donnell

Patricia O'Donnell K-8 Principal

PLP eCourses attract participants from across the globe to learn and grow with one another.  Over the next few weeks, we will feature interviews with current and past PLP eCourse participants.  We’ll ask participants to share information about themselves, why they chose PLP eCourses and what they are up to professionally.

Patricia O’Donnell is a current eCourse participant from Malvern, PA.  She is Principal of a K-8 school for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and is taking a PLP eCourse with her faculty.

1.  Which PLP eCourse are you currently taking?

Transformation, One Lesson At A Time

2.  Have you ever taken an online course?

I have taken a few on-line classes some with PLP and currently through the University of Wisconsin.

3.  Why did you decide to take this eCourse?

I took this eCourse because the title caught my attention. I also liked that we would be talking about current topics, strategies and tools – and that we would be able to apply them right away as well as share and collaborate with other educators. I thought this course would give me tools that I could share with our faculty – tools that would improve learning, creativity and excitement in the classroom.

4.  Prior to taking this course, would you describe your knowledge on 21st century education as basic, intermediate or advanced?

I think my knowledge of 21st century education is between intermediate and advanced.

5.  What has been your favorite thing about this eCourse and/or instructor?

I like that the instructor has practical, real life experiences that she brings to the discussion. I also like the topics and the sharing with colleagues.

6.  What is your personal philosophy/belief on learning in the 21st century?

My personal belief for learning in the 21st century is that it is an on-going journey. The development of new technology and tools pushes me to keep on learning – not in an isolated way, but in a more creative and collaborative way. 21st century learning will encourage deeper thinking and better questioning and exploring by students if teachers become the model for this type of learning.

7.  Any other information you would like to share about yourself personally or professionally?

My job is a principal but I still try to teach one class – which is the best part of my day! I like doing this because it allows me to try some of the things I am asking teachers to implement into their classrooms – walking the walk and talking the talk.

PLP loves working with faculty to transform their practices through eCourses and year long programs of study.

Glacier Ridge Elementary School Team and Ben Franklin Elementary are just two schools that have created action research projects with PLP and used technology to increase collaboration.  If you want to learn more about how PLP can help your staff collaborate and transform their practices through year long programs of study, click here.  Not ready to commit to a full year of study, sign up for the next section of this eCourse as an individual or with a group of your colleagues (school/group discounts available).



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Christen Dodd

Christen is a Connected Learning Specialist for PLP. After earning her MEd. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Virginia, she began her career as a K-5 Computer Resource Teacher. She enjoyed collaborating with staff and creating technology lessons that engaged students, but caught “the bug” for presenting to educators on a national level. For eleven years, Christen trained educators both face-to-face and virtually with Verizon Thinkfinity. She also served as their Distance Learning Coordinator and Vice President of Professional Development. Christen has enjoyed working with Powerful Learning Practice since 2011 and continuing her work with educators, parents and students alike. Currently, she is also an instructional technology specialist at her children's JK-8 Catholic school.

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