Peter Eckstein

Peter Eckstein, Director of Congregational Learning

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.

Peter Eckstein is a past eCourse participant from Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  He is the Director of Congregational Learning for the synagogue:  Temple Beth David.  He also teaches EdTech integration to teachers who work in part and full time Jewish schools.

1.  Which PLP eCourse did you take?

Connected Coaching

2.  Have you ever taken an online course?

Yes.  Most recently I earned a Certificate in Education Technology Integration from The Institute for University-School Partnership of  Yeshiva University

3.  Why did you decide to take this eCourse?

I decided to take the eCourse because it offers skills that would help me improve my  professional development teaching ability, in both face to face as well as on-line environments.

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

I would say somewhere between intermediate and advanced.

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

I liked the support offered by the instructor and by my fellow students. I also loved learning the concepts in a new way – both in the context of an eCourse and also in the framework of incorporating them using digital technology.  Some of the ideas I had learned before, but exploring them within an EdTech context was very exciting.

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

Technology is not meant to be the end, but the means. It is a tool to engage our students. Digital tech has introduced us to new ways of creating and defining community. Just as the chalk board created new ways to create relationships between the student and the teacher and the nature of education itself, the digital universe we are entering is opening up new doors that will lead to a different learning and teaching reality. It is incumbent upon us to grasp this new type of chalk, and start writing on the virtual chalk board.

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

As a Jewish educator, I’m trying to understand how 21st century learning can be incorporated into the different types of Jewish learning environments.  I work specifically in a complimentary school setting, which means that I am involved with learners and teachers who study part-time; such as on Sunday mornings and once a week in the afternoon, after secular studies. This is a challenge for many reasons. I’m endeavoring to learn how technology is successfully utilized in secular and full-time educational settings, so that I can adapt it to the complimentary milieu, bringing about increased engagement on the part of the students and their families.

Is PLP’s Connected Coaching eCourse right for you?

The Connected Coaching eCourse will prepare you to coach in online spaces and leverage the affordances of technology for coaching.  You’ll explore the foundations for and elements of the Connected Coaching model, how to use an appreciative inquiry strength based approach to coaching, and much more! To learn more about the format and philosophies of this eCourse, read PLP’s interview with Lani Ritter Hall (course instructor).

Ready to sign up for the next section of this eCourse as an individual or with a group of your colleagues (school/group discounts available)? Click the logo below to register now!


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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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