Collaboration – Philly Style

Today 2 of our Philadelphia Archdiocesan Catholic high schools had a combined professional development day for learning about Technology, 21st Century Learning and Web 2.0 technologies. This was the first time ever that the faculty members of these 2 schools met for this purpose. If you saw some teachers early this morning walking down Vine Street, past the Cathedral and towards the Art Museum, they might just have been our Roman Catholic High School teachers as they walked to Hallahan High School to spend the day. Kudos to the principals Mary Kirby at Hallahan High School , and Bob O’Neill at Roman Catholic High School for arranging this opportunity for collaboration.
The day was arranged in 3 sessions.
1. Intro The first session was an intro talk by me in which I shared resources and ideas for technology use in departments and a few of my current favorite video clips, A Vision for Students Today and Thoughts of Students and Teachers from Karl Fisch. Also shared was the Technology Weekend page put together for the Archdiocesan Technology Conference held this past February in Avalon. Karl Fisch and Anne Smith shared so many fantastic, creative ideas with us there and kindly together a great website for the Technology Conference for using technology in our schools that we thought this was a good time to share it.
2. Web 2.0 – The second session was an inspirational and highly informative talk by Joe Konecki, an Instructional Technology Coordinator at Cardinal O’Hara High School. Joe shared Web 2.0 ideas and implementation tips. See Joe’s blog post here.
3. Departmental Sharing – Teachers collaborated with their own departments and those in the corresponding departments at the other school. To get the conversation going, they were asked to discuss their vision for technology use in their schools using the Questions to ask yourself and each other as offered by Karl and Anne at our recent conference. Essentially teachers were asked to discuss the following: ‘Do you have a vision for where you want to be as an educator? for your department? for your school?’
The conversations that started today between these 2 schools will hopefully continue for a long time and will perhaps include a shared vision for innovative ways to use technology for teaching and learning and maybe even some Philadelphia soft pretzels.
Of course the web offers unending, quality opportunities for collaboration and sharing with teachers and it will only get better in this regard. Meeting other teachers and sharing ideas will always inspire us as teachers, whether online or face to face.

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