Powerful Learning Practice: Creating Online Communities for Professional Development

July 1, 2008

Powerful Learning Practice: Creating Online Communities for Professional Development
Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Tuesday 2:00 session

As a parent Will says how are my kids being prepared for the world

Why we need to change professional development

Person notes on communication today

Twenty-Fvie days to Make a difference blog
-wanted to do a good deed everyday before Christmas after her grandfather’s passing.
–5th grader
–donating books, clothing, etc to charities
–asked her readers whom to donate the gifts
–Will showed Custr map of viewer ship

–decompressing New Hampshire primary
–Ustreaming, chatting
–person running the show was 13 year old running the show in his basement

Teachers on the same bus as students, but in the back
Realistic goal is to sit next to students, maybe someday sit in the front
Teach student how to use these tools well and properly

Summer Reading–Clay Shirkly Here Come Everybody
Changes will transform groups …everywhere

No doubt that change will continue and not stop
–how do we work with this information and tools

Beyond a unit on-line or information literary
It is Networks
–every connection provides an opportunity to learn

At this point school’s should have as a goal:
students will create personal learning networks in which they can flourish safely and effectively
–if this is not something we can say
–do not know how to leverage this network for their benefit

Anyone can blog, tools are available to everyone
–can create wiki, podcast in minutes
–was is hard is what happens after you create
–how do you use this to gain knowledge
–this is how professional development fall short
–this is where we fall short

Sheryl asking crowd the definition of community

unknown speaker
–any group of people working toward a common goal
@coachnorm said
—community like your house, safe and develop a relationship
—learn from success and failure, both

Def of Community
–soldier sitting in a shack by himself
–connected Sheryl to people around the community
–express different literature for children
–teacher able to use first hand expereinces from people in other countires
–diverse ideology
Wikipedia def

Many approaches and deagogical frameworks for building and sustaining social networks and communities of practice, certain trends and patterns of best practice do exist.
–walled garden
–you know who is in your group

empowering community
–learners who lurk and whom you may not know

Regardless the focus is on interaction
–impacts intrinsic interaction

Emergent Design Model–professional dev model
Conception and Launch
–focus group and needs surveys on design and functionality
–role out and announcement
–assist in helping educators find the community
Emergent design
–community begins to buld shared vision and design
__simple framework of collaborative tools introuced, including profile tools for connection
–multiple options for feedback on design and tools
–sense of trust and development
Adaptive Shift

Social communities of practice need to be designed in such a way that they evolve over time.
what develops is co-created and collaborative multiple opportunities for member feedback and owenership
–very import aspect is ownership
–not a top down thing

Team based
PLCs are our best hope for reculturing schools.
Focus on shifting from a culture of teacher isolation to a culture of deep and meaningful collaboration.

Characteristics of a healthy community
–clear purpose
–active and consistent participation
–shared history and culture
–participant to participant collaboration

How do convince faculty of lasting impact on learning community
–draw in lurkers
–quickly grew
–started w/ 40 schools
–now statewide
–others now replicating model
–picked up by Business Week

Powerful Learning Practice Delivery Model
2 all day workshops that  build capacity, community and develop 21st century skills
–build in celebration time, excitement
–live meetings, webinars
–deepen understanding, network, share resources and grow as a community of practice
–growth of professional community

PLC Conceptual Framework
1) solid foundation of collaboratively developed and widely shared vision, missio, mvalues and goals that align with the 21st Century learner’s needs.
2) Collaborative teams that work interdependently to achieve common goals
3) a govus on results as evidenced by a committment to continuous improvement
–Will notes this can be done locally and globally
–work within district
–many do not know what the teacher down the hall is doing
Basic experiment design…
Seek out schools willing toinvest some time inexploring the challenge of 21st Century Learning
–find some key leaders to put on the bus
–10 for every 100 learners to help the development
Ask the schools to identify small teams of educators who are ready for this exploration
With the support of the PLP Fellows, begin that exploration together
…with the eventual goal of “scaling up” the exploration

understanding of the transformative potential of Web 2.0 tool in global perspective
understanding of the shifting learning literacies that hte 21st Century demands and how those literacies infomrm teacher practice
the development of sustained professional learning networks for team members to being experimenting and sharing w/ other team members an d online colleagues from around the world. (Within school, districts, global)
–create feelilng of coaching/mentoring rather than evaluation
–50% of new teachers have never seen their mentors actually teach
creation of long term plans to move the vision forward in participating districts at the end of the prgram
an increase in teh abilities and resources of individuals, teams and the community to manage change

Where are You:
Know Nothing
Path Finder
Power Users
Know Everything
–at the beginning one nothing and mostly newbie or explorer
–at end mostly explorer, path finder, power user
–at end on know everything (wow)
–Will laughs

How big is too big
–100 to 120 people to make an impact
–can break down in to sub communities
–send them out to larger community
–lose trust and become small town rather than community

Importance of Face to Face
–crucial to building and working these communities to grow

What about parent component?
–need to get parent buy-in
–can be powerful component
–some groups have taken this model and done so

Handouts available on both blogs and NECC site