vcv_squareOccasionally, Powerful Learning Practice likes to share great opportunities that we are doing in our Year Long Connected Learner Experience with others. We have decided to invite the public to our third of five – Virtual Classroom Visits.

Beth Sanders is a social studies teacher at Tarrant High School in Birmingham, AL  She describes a lesson in which she uses the TPACK framework in her design for learning.


Description: The Upstander Project Overview
Essential Project Question: How can an individual influence the path of a nation?
Guiding Question: How did this individual stand up for the marginalized in history & how did his/her actions influence the path of American HY?
Upstander Unit Student Friendly Learning Targets:

  • I can identify and critically analyze the Civil Rights Movements related to the Upstander project.
  • I can demonstrate deep understanding of essential details, big ideas and multiple points of view related to my Upstander.
  • I can create a bio cube, social media page, and elevator speech about my Upstander.
  • I can show mastery of thinking, reading, writing, and content skills related to my Upstander.

TPACK Lesson Written Abstract:
At this point in the project students have worked in small groups and become experts on a particular Civil Rights Movement. Students participated in an EdCafe teaching each other about the movements and then wrote Evernote reflections before moving on to the individual Upstander part of this project. They used Americans Who Tell the Truth to choose their individual Upstander after completing a webquest and indepth research on the portraits. Students then completed individual research in Evernote with Americans Who Tell the Truth as a major resource and have been doing daily connect and reflect tweeting throughout the project.

In the video students are preparing to participate in a Google Hangout (Skype is the term used in the video) with Robert Shetterly, the founder and artist of Americans Who Tell the Truth. Mr. Shetterly and Beth connected through his organization’s Twitter account developing a relationship that enabled this learning activity. The purpose of the lesson is for students to become experts on the mission statement and driving philosophy of Americans who Tell the Truth so that they are prepared for the Google Hangout while also creating a personal connection.

The technology tools students will be using are: Twitter, Haiku Deck, Skitch, and Google Hangout.

In our Virtual Classroom Visits we watch the teacher teach the lesson and then engage in a threaded conversation around what she did that was in the best interest of kids or what we would change or sometimes just how do you do this.

Then we meet together online for 30 minutes and have a chance to debrief with the teacher about her lesson. We would love for you to join us.

Thursday, April 11 at 8 PM-8:30PM EDT New York
In Blackboard Collaborate (Click Here)

Beth Sanders is a social studies teacher at Tarrant High School in Birmingham, AL. She is interested in anything and everything innovative, positive and progressive. She believes that technology is a tool that should be used to empower individuals and thus believes that what people do with technology, not the technology itself should be celebrated. Beth is a Technology Consultant for Alabama Best Practices Center, co-founder and co-director of Youth Converts Culture, and has been a Connected Coach for PLP and most recently a Digital Organizer for IDEA. You can find Beth on Twitter at @mssandersths and on Posterous.


Coming up on April 18 and 25 are two more classroom visits— with Amy Musone and John Falcone.  Plan to join us for all three!

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Lani Ritter Hall

Lani is Community Leader for Powerful Learning Practice. She also serves as the “Newbie Maven”, helping along and nurturing newbies to the PLP experience, as well as facilitator for the Connected Coaches. Lani brings more than 35 years of teaching experiences in urban, sub urban, and independent schools at the middle/secondary level in the U.S and Canada to this work. A national board certified teacher, she and her students began collaborating globally in the late 1980’s. Lani has created and facilitated professional development around technology infusion into learning for over twenty years and served in a leadership role for the K12Online Conference for 2 years. She is co-author of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age.

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