A big thank you to all who helped with the Building Virtual Learning Communities workshop in Miami via Skype or Elluminate!!!
Last week, I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with some of Dade Schools teacher leaders-- what an awesome bunch of educators. Their hospitality blew me away.
The purpose of my session was to prepare the teacher leaders going through the leadership strand to be able to use the district's virtual platform for communication and collaboration. We met at John Ferguson Senior High, who has the most amazing computer resource person-- Jorge Suarez. Jorge tirelessly helped me prepare the equipment for the two day session.
I presented over two-half days --- to two groups of teacher leaders, most of them NBCTs. Carolyn Guthrie, Executive Director of National Board Certified Teachers in Miami Dade County Public Schools and a TLN colleague, helped to coordinate the event.
These teachers used a whirlwind of technology tools that support virtual community building over the two days and had an opportunity to work online with some key leaders in the field.
The morning group met with Darren via Skype and he rocked their world! They also collaborated with Jeanee Simpson, Aimee Smith, and Scarlett Gaddy in Elluminate.
The afternoon group met with Cathy Gassenhiemer , of the Alabama Best Practice Center, Edith Pickens, Lynda Tramaine, both principals of Alabama schools that participated in the 21st Century Teaching and Learning project, and John Norton of the Teacher Leaders Network via Skype and collaborated with Will Richardson, Gail Ritchie, Suzanne Culbreth, and John Norton via Elluminate.
Turns out the virtual platform crashed and we ended up creating a room in Tapped In. As we speak these teachers are exploring and creating blogs, wikis and other tools that will enable them to grow professionally. Deep discussions around new teacher mentoring and the NBCT process are also taking place.
I am looking forward to going back in two weeks to work with two more groups of NBCTs who will become a part of the virtual learning community.