Plug Us In: Using Digital Tools to Support Learning Teams
Plug Us In Using Digital Tools to Facilitate the Work of PLCs William M. Ferriter http://wferriter.posterous.com
Websites Worth Exploring http://go.solution-tree.com/plcbooks/ Includes downloadable handouts from all of the Solution Tree PLC books, including Bill’s Building a Professional Learning Community at Work: A Guide to the First Year http://go.solution-tree.com/technology/ Includes downloadable handouts and tutorials on using all of the tools that you’ll see presented in today’s session.
Checking In Working with the participants at your table, share what brings you to this particular session. What individual experiences or expertise do you bring to the conversation?
Central Contention Collaborative work requires a measure of new coordination that teachers are not used to. Digital tools can make that coordination more effective and efficient.
Coordination [n: ko-or-de-nashe-ion] The harmonious functioning of parts for effective results
An Inconvenient Truth “ [Teachers] weigh the perceived benefits of new interactions against the additional mental and physical demands of collaboration before changing their behaviors.” — Graham & Ferriter, 2010, p. 130
Lowering Transaction Costs New technologies can lower transaction costs by reducing the need for close coordination between colleagues. Such technologies allow people to work collaboratively and efficiently. (Shirky, 2008)
Checking In Working with participants around you, brainstorm examples of tasks that members of a PLC must coordinate together to produce effective results.
Coordination Task 1: Managing Information Teams must manage huge volumes of shared information, including lesson plans, curriculum maps, common assessments, student learning results, and team meeting notes. How do your teams typically manage this information?
Coordination Task 1: Managing Information My learning team uses a wiki to organize this information. http://6sci.pbworks.com
Coordination Task 1: Managing Information My team has also started using shared tags and a social bookmarking service to organize collections of websites connected to their curriculum. http://bit.ly/salem6scisolar
Coordination Task 2: Communication Teams must find ways to communicate with one another even when faced with few opportunities for shared interactions. How do your teams typically manage these interactions?
Coordination Task 2: Communication Our school used an asynchronous discussion forum to reflect on professional learning communities. http://ed.voicethread.com/ share/113288
Coordination Task 2: Communication I use a microblogging service to gather information and resources connected to my professional interests. http://twitter.com/plugusin http://bit.ly/twitterforsingletons
Coordination Task 3: Collaboration Teams must find ways to collaborate with one another on shared lessons and/or projects. How do your teams typically collaborate around the creation of shared materials?
Coordination Task 3: Collaboration My PLC used a collaborative document service to generate a unit plan together. http://snipurl.com/saunitplan
The Costs of Coordination “ By using digital tools, teachers can offer… targeted support to their peers from their classrooms, their workrooms, or their living rooms. The costs of coordination are reduced to just about zero.” — Graham & Ferriter, 2010, p. 130
The Costs of Coordination “ There are no digital tools that will meet a team’s every need because different tools do different things well. Successful digital collaboration depends on selecting the right tool for the right task.” — Graham & Ferriter (2010), p. 131
Planning Into Action Use the handouts “Tools for 21 st Century Learning Teams: Planning Guide and Matrices ” to think through the kinds of digital work that are right for your learning team.
References and Resources Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations . New York, NY: Penguin. Graham, P., & Ferriter, W. (2010). Building a PLC at Work™ : A guide to the first year . Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
The Tempered Radical http://snipurl.com/temperedradical Twitter Username: @plugusin Email: [email_address] Bill Ferriter has about a dozen titles—Solution Tree PLC author and associate, ASCD columnist, senior fellow of the Teacher Leaders Network— but he checks them all at the door each morning when he walks into his sixth-grade classroom ! Bill Ferriter