Howard RheingoldThis week, noted educator, author, and thought leader Howard Rheingold interviewed PLP co-founder Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach to answer this question: As digital media and networks make possible more networked and collaborative pedagogies, who teaches the teachers how to take advantage of the opportunities (and avoid the pitfalls) that new technologies afford?

Howard and Sheryl talked about big questions with practical, local implications: What do global, online communities of practice mean for day to day life in classrooms? How do educators use personal learning networks purposefully in their practice? How can teachers bring their questions and problems to solve to networked communities of inquiry? How do connected learning communities form?

A highlight from the conversation: The way that I’ve been learning all along, it always began with inquiry, it began with this passionate desire, this wild curiosity, this sense of wonderment. And then, when I started teaching I came to be known as an inquiry-driven teacher in that I wanted to start with, what is it that you really wonder about? Read more

Watch the full interview

Watch the video here and gain more insights about appreciative inquiry, passion-based learning, who will “teach the teachers” and more.

Watch the interview

Like what you heard? Want to know more?

Here are some useful links that recap some of the concepts Howard and Sheryl talked about in the interview.

Appreciative Inquiry
The Appreciative Inquiry Commons
The Art of Appreciative Inquiry

A learning theory for the digital age
George Siemens – Connectivism: Socializing Open Learning

Passion-Based learning
Passion-based learning: an interview with Heather Wolpert-Gawron and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
Education Week: Passion-based learning for the 21st Century

Project-Based learning
Edutopia: Why teach with project-based learning
What is project-based learning?

Inquiry-Based Learning
What is inquiry-based learning?

The Connected EducatorFor more about A Day in the Life of a Connected Educator, and to explore all these concepts even further, be sure to check out The Connected Educator: Learning & Leading in a Digital Age by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach.

What do you think?

Are you using networks in a meaningful way in your classroom or profession? Do you have a community of practice that’s part of your “toolbox”? Leave a comment below and tell us your thoughts!



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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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