04 November 2010

A Vision for Professional Learning in ZPS

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a training/discussion about coaching, specifically tech coaching. While there are lots of reflections I could share, the conversation that I find myself engaging in with a variety of folks is centered on developing professional learning communities (PLCs) in ZPS. Sandy & Shari started this conversation this summer when they began talking about creating PLCs in ZPS prior to presenting at the administrative retreat.

At our tech coach discussion, Steve began by having us view this video by Sheryl Nussbaum Beach of Powerful Learning Practice, a group that facilitates professional development through a "cohort model [that] offers a unique approach to introducing educators to the transformative online technologies that are challenging the traditional view of teaching and learning." Our purpose for watching was to understand the difference between PLCs and PLNs, and then look at how our vision for instructional/tech coaches fits with the two and other existing structures within ZPS.

As my group began to discuss and illustrate our thoughts on chart paper, a drawing similar to the one pictured below began to emerge. Groups then had a chance to share out. The drawing below represents my synthesis of the thinking that was shared that day (in other words, these are not my own thoughts). I am hoping that other ZPS staff who were not present at the coaching meeting will be willing to view and edit the following drawing in Google Docs so we can create a vision for professional learning communities in ZPS as we make the transition to "transformative" learning in conjunction with our roll-out of 1:1 technologies.

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