This evening I am taking a few minutes to reflect on the exciting day I had. Today was the launch of the Ontario PLP Cohort with Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. From the moment you entered the meeting room at WECDSB, you could feel the energy and excitement has people found the team tables, plugged in laptops and connected to the wireless internet access. It was great to meet some people face to face that I had only worked with online!
The day was a ‘power’ session designed to make us all feel ‘whelmed’ – close to overwhelmed, but not quite! Sheryl presented first taking us through exercises to define networking and community as it pertains to our roles and the online world. Teams were provided opportunities to dialog about setting their expectations and assumptions about their ongoing working sessions. She beautifully set the stage for Will to present and challenge us as why the status quo will not do justice to preparing students for the world in which they will live and work. The presentations were well designed and delivered with impact.
The balance of the day was a mini ‘boot camp’ to get the 100 participants oriented to the online tools required to complete our work over the next year. We took tours of Wikispaces, Twitter, Delicious and Ning. After each tour, we had working time to register accounts, set defaults and get oriented to using the various tools. We will use #ontarioplp as our Twitter hash tag.
The wrap-up session included establishing our rules of engagement, booking Elluminate session times and reaffirming our individual commitment to participant and get the maximum learning, sharing and contributing over the next few months.
I am very excited to be a part of this project and learning with educators from Canada and the U.S.A. We have a great team from our Board and I look forward to moving our thinking about learning, systemic change and the role of teaching forward.
Thank you Sheryl and Will for a great day.