As our Powerful Learning Practice Network grows, we are doing some amazing things with communities of practicee-learning, raising the voices of forward-looking practitioners, and more. With these and other PLP initiatives underway, we felt it was time to establish an advisory board to help us keep our work out on the edge of professional learning in the 21st century.

We’d like to introduce our advisory board to you, one by one, and so we’ve come up with seven questions for each of them so you can have a little peek into what they’re thinking and who they are.

Meet Wendy Drexler, 2012-2013 Advisory Board Member

Wendy Drexler

Wendy Drexler PLP Advisory Board Member

I’m Wendy Drexler and I currently work for Brown University as Director of Online Development in Continuing Education.  I took this position because it intrigued me that Brown was just starting to think about online learning and it provided the unique opportunity to build a program from scratch.  I’m originally from Florida and currently commute between St. Petersburg, Providence, and East Boothbay, Maine. I have a son, Alex, who is about to start college.  His college experience is likely to look a lot like mine and that concerns me.

I’m passionate about student-centered learning at all levels and teaching the processes necessary to become a highly effective networked learner.  I’ve taught elementary, middle, and high school, designed eLearning for IBM and AT&T, and currently teach online grad students in the College of Education at the University of Florida.  Teaching challenges me because it’s one of those fields in which you are never quite good enough.  There’s always a way to reach more students and improve upon my practice.  I see technology as a tool, that if used effectively, helps me do that better.

Why did you decide to become a part of the Advisory Board at Powerful Learning Practice?

I was a participant in PLP when I taught at Shorecrest Preparatory.  I believe in the possibility to change a school culture one teacher at a time.  PLP provides the opportunity for a cohort to work together and accelerate that process.  At the same time, it allows individual teachers to reflect meaningfully on their personal practice.  When Sheryl invited me to participate on the board, I thought it would be a great chance to work with others to build upon an already solid model for school transformation.

What are you up to professionally?

Evangelizing about the potential of online learning at Brown and implementing a new cloud-based LMS, working with Shorecrest Prep on a Global Studies Program and Online Strategy, working with the 21st Century Learning Task Force with the National Association of Independent Schools, and wishing I had more time for research.

If you had the power to make an immediate change to our educational system, what would you implement?

I would get rid of textbooks.

What is your favorite quote and what does it mean to you?

I don’t have a single favorite, but I feel, as a society, we are guilty of this:

“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.”  Dewey

It is reprehensible to me that schools are not taking every advantage available via technology. This is not just about increased access to information.  It’s about digital literacy, digital responsibility, identity, organization of content, collaborating and socializing with others including experts, and synthesizing and creating.

Where can people find you online?

Twitter @WendyDrexler


Google+ Wendy Drexler

and quite a few other social networks

Any final words?

Looking forward to working with everyone!!

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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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