PLN/PLC Lesson

I am happy to report that my Google Hangout to discuss David’s Problem of Practice was a major success! It was a productive half hour of rich discussion about how I can support David in solving his 2nd grade math Problem of Practice (see my previous blogpost for more information).

Aside from gaining a lot of knowledge on how I can best support David, I gained knowledge in an areas I did not expect.

1.) Reach out to your PLN (Professional Learning Network) and PLC (Professional Learning Community) when you are in need. They will help you in more ways than you would expect. I was so worried to reach out to people and interrupt their schedules–but every colleague I asked to join made a point to be there (even one who was on a lunch break). Not only did they show up, but they took the time to read David’s analysis of his problem ahead of time and then provide useful resources and insight. I am so thankful to be surrounded by equally selfless and knowledgeable educators. Shout out, again, to: Debbie SchuitemaHeather VernonStefanie CairnsRachelle GalangPiotr Buniewicz, and Stephanie Raezler.

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2.) Always reach back to someone who reaches out to you. I am usually pretty good at responding to colleagues when they come to me for help–but experiences like this remind me how prompt, professional and resourceful I need to be, no matter how small or large the request. Everybody needs help at one point or another–and it is our job as educators to support each other and be good models.

3.) Google Hangouts are a GREAT way to bring people from all over together to collaborate. I have participated in a couple Google Hangouts before, but with no more than 2 people! It was great to introduce my MAET buddies to my school district buddies–and then watch them collaborate with their wealth of knowledge.

It’s time for me to continue my research and put my new knowledge to work. I have a great start thanks to these fine educators. I’m looking forward to sharing with David (and all of you) the awesome things I have learned! Have a great weekend!

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What’s your Problem of Practice? #PofP

One of the projects we are working on this summer through our Masters courses is revolved around a Problem of Practice one of our peers has identified. Our job is to act as a consultant to help our peer improve  a “unit”  his or her students are struggling to fully grasp an understanding of. We all began the process by first identifying and analyzing one of our Problems of Practice, and then we were buddied up with someone else in class and passed our problem of practice on! Then the technological consulting began!

Right now, it is my job to work as a technology integration consultant to identify and develop a transformed learning experience for my friend, David Mattie. I am carefully analyzing his problem and using the TPACK Framework (Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge) as a critical tool in my instructional design.  David is a fantastic 2nd grade teacher from Ypsilanti, Michigan. His problem of practice occurs during his math instruction. His students are struggling to count and add money. You can read more about the problem and David’s context, here.

My journey to help David began with a Q&A to help clarify any misunderstandings I had after reading his analysis of his problem. The next step is reaching out to my PLN & PLC (Professional Learning Network and Professional Learning Community) via social media. I have contacted six educators who teach similar content in a similar context to David to participate in a Google Hangout. Participants will have read about David’s problem ahead of time and come prepared to discuss/offer insight to his problem. David is not the only educator who has this problem, so it will be interesting to hear how others have tackled instructional issues in their own classrooms. I cannot say thank you enough to these amazing educators who are taking time out of their summers to have a discussion with me and on such short notice! Here they are:

Debbie Schuitema – ELL Math Coach at Godfrey Lee Public Schools

Heather Vernon – 2nd Grade Teacher at Godfrey Lee Early Childhood Center

Stefanie Cairns – Technology Integration Specialist of Oakland Schools, former second grade teacher, former MAET student

Rachelle Galang – Technology Integration Specialist of Oakland Schools, former Technology teacher, former Kindergarten teacher, former MAET student

Piotr Buniewicz – Teacher at Mackinac Island Public School, current MAET student

Stephanie Raezler – Teacher of Elementary Education at Utica Community Schools, current MAET student

Aside from a Google Hangout with these rockstar educators, I will be reaching out to other educators on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I am looking forward to this process and hoping I can come up with some awesome solutions for David!