Book Study Preso - The Collaborative Administrator
Working Together as a
Minot Public Schools
Collaboration is a recursive process where two or
more people or organizations work together
intersection of common goals — for example, an
intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature — by
sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.
Collaboration does not require leadership and can
sometimes bring better results through
decentralization and egalitarianism.
Technology tools that have been used to enhance
collaboration include, but are not limited to,
e-mail and listservs,
FirstClass and FC Conferences,
chat and IM,
Web 2.0 refers to the new sites on the WWW that
allow users to easily add content to sites without
needing to have their own server, or know how to
design web sites.
Web 2.0 is also referred to as the “read,write web”
and “the collaborative web.”
Personal Learning Networks (PLN)
Personal learning networks are based
on Web 2.0 technologies.
Blogs, Wikis, collaborative documents such as
Google Docs, Facebook, uStream, Delicious, YouTube,
Flickr, CoverItLive & Today’s Meet, Podcasting (?)
are tools used in PLNs
What is something you learned today?
What is something neat you found recently?
What is something interesting
you have read recently?
What is something you did today
to improve student learning?
Chapter 8 -
Professional Learning Community
Terri L. Martin
My thesis for EdS
in Educational Technology
quot;Teaching Teachers Technology:
Designing a Technology Professional
Development Model to Implement
Integration of Technology Into the
Based on what we had been doing
Staff development workshops
after school, evenings, weekends, summers
Thrown out when I quot;reallyquot; looked at the numbers.
Actually had about 30% of staff involved
many taking multiple courses
so percentage seemed much higher.
Infusion of money via Goals 2000, offering stipends
to teachers who attended.
Still over 60% of teachers did not participate due to
families, coaching, supervision of activities, outside
jobs, summer jobs, etc.
3rd (and ﬁnal) Premise
Take it to the teachers during contracted time
Led to the Curriculum Technology Partners program
and quot;100%quot; participation.
My thesis was not being about
technology staff development,
but about teaching adult learners.
Based on research on farmers back in 1930’s
Small groups, familiar location, comfort level, talk
time, handouts, peer coaching, key leaders.
Dismantled Staff Development Lab
Richard DuFour writes
quot;enabling individuals to improve their effectiveness
is the key to any meaningful
school improvement effortquot;
We know that when schools are focused on learning
for both students and teachers,
our opportunity for success grows.
we must realize that learning for all
includes adults as well as students
quot;Perhaps the most obvious way to address the issue
of professionalism is to engage teachers in
meaningful staff development activitiesquot;
We will have to go beyond the typical quot;sit and getquot;
event that an educator attends
in the hopes of gathering tidbits of information
to take back to the classroom.
...traditional professional development only provides
an inspiring and motivating moment.
a large gap exists between what is known about
professional learning that effects teaching and
improves student achievement and the professional
development that teachers and principals regularly
Without a structure in place to allow teachers to
share, practice, and implement their learning, new
knowledge is rarely embedded in current classroom
shift to high-quality professional development (NSDC)
High-quality professional development... learning is
continuous and best done collaboratively.
Deﬁning professional development in this way helps
teachers understand that it works best not as a
one-time event, but rather as a continuous resource
to improve what happens in their classrooms
Professional development follows
two very different strands:
learning that comes
from outside the school environment
learning that comes from within.
The key is in knowing when it is appropriate to go
outside the district for knowledge and
when it is best to capitalize on that which is well
within our reach.
quot;Because learning has a strong social component, and
because synergy that comes from group problem
solving often leads to innovative solutions, the most
powerful forms of professional development are
centered on teams within schools.quot;
When everyone needs to have the same level of
knowledge and use the same language in regard to
that knowledge, it is appropriate to bring in an
outside expert for the entire group.
When teachers know what they are looking for to
further their knowledge,
they can make educated decisions about where to
Conference, workshops, books, and articles can assist
with ﬁlling the gaps.
Craig’s note: wikis, blogs, podcasts, Twitter, Delicious,
FirstClass, CoverItLive, uStream, etc.
The value of professional development
reaches an entirely different level
when it is tied directly to the needs of the learners,
both student and adult, within a building.
It is not about the next new thing or what someone heard
someone else talking about. It is not about doing what the school
down the street is doing.
It is about the very deﬁnite needs of an individual building and
the collaborative efforts of educators to meet those needs.
Educators also need to keep current on best practices.
Education experts and researchers are continuously updating,
reﬁning, and even identifying new practices to be used in
schools in order to meet the ever-changing societal needs of
those who walk trough the school doors. Effective schools
create a system that connects this new knowledge, when
relevant, to what is happening in the classrooms.
The system may be a sharing circle
where learning articles are distributed around the staff
The most powerful forms of staff development occur
in ongoing teams that meet on a regular basis,
preferably several times a week,
for the purposes of
learning, joint lesson planning, and problem solving.
Collaborative relationships are about teachers
supporting teachers in order to promote success for
Unlike collegial relationships (personal and social
level), collaboration is all about the professional side
quot;While subject-matter knowledge in itself might not
be consistently associated with student achievement,
pedagogical knowledge isquot;
A PLC quot;starts with a group of teachers who meet
regularly as a team to identify essential and valued
student learning, develop common formative
assessments, share strategies, and then create
lessons to improve upon those levelsquot;
(Schmoker, quot;On Common Groundquot;)
In the past we haven't categorized this work as
professional development, simply because it happens
within the school.
All of these tasks and so many more can now be
deﬁned as professional development.
The mindset used to be that for professional development to occur, an outsider
must come in to deliver the message.
quot;such communities are places in which teachers
participate in decision making, have a shared sense
of purpose, engage in collaborative work, and accept
joint responsibility for the outcomes of their work.
This is true professional development.
in a professional learning community, learning begins
to permeate the entire educational environment.
It becomes a part of conversations between staff
members at all junctures of the school day -
before and after school,
during faculty meetings and lunch times.
Whether scheduled or spontaneous this professional
learning is ongoing, job-embedded, and very speciﬁc
to the individual needs of the school.
Administrators can build support for this new culture in many
Model collaborative learning structures during faculty meetings
by eliminating quot;administriviaquot; and focus on the learning needs
of the building.
Share research articles that support the work of the school
and teams and reinforce job-embedded professional
Team time needs to be protected from outside events.
<Craig> or support team time with online collaborative tools<end
quot;many schools are ﬁnding that dollars spent on substitutes for
teachers so that they can engage in professional development
during the school day is money well spent.
Sometimes many of the best educational practices are
happening in a colleague's classroom just down the hall.
uStreaming or iChat (video) could be used,
or video tape for “best practices” library
Reorganize human resources to allow time for teachers to work
together on common issues or view each other in action.
Leadership support of teacher learning outside of
the team structure is relatively new to most people.
Most common structure of peer and collegial
coaching utilizes one teacher as the expert and the
other as the learner.
Coaching in a collaborative environment focused on
professional development is more unilateral. Not
necessarily one expert.
Peer coaching promotes the idea of teachers learning together and
bettering their teaching practices together (Martin & Brown)
Teams need deﬁned times throughout the year to
report out to the collective group as a way of
reﬂecting on and celebrating their progress--and
ensuring that learning doesn't become quot;siloed.quot;
greatest beneﬁts can only be reaped if that learning
is shared and celebrated.
How about sharing taking place collaboratively using
Web 2.0 resources such as Wikis?
This new kind of professional development also
becomes the catalyst for transforming the school
from individuals working in isolation to
groups working collaboratively toward a common
In a professional learning community, everyone
beneﬁts from adult learning.
Students have a better educational experience due
to the increased expertise of their teachers.
Teachers have a support network of peers with
whom they learn and grow.