Building Teacher Learning Communities

Community is a wonderful word that scales in meaning from a small team of people to the global community of the citizens of planet Earth. Based on the grade levels and content areas in which you are engaged in the schools, you are divided into teams, a small community with the mission of developing and teaching using digital technology to enhance professional practice. It will be helpful to imagine yourself sitting at your school at the end of the teaching day, and going online to participate in a lesson planning session with content/grade level colleagues who are sitting in different classrooms in different schools. The digital skills for such work meet a number of the goals of the ISTE standards for educators (

So far you have had 3 class sessions to become familiar with Web conferencing software through its use in every minute of class time instruction and studying Web site and image composition for instructional applications. The next challenge is to use these technologies to plan the development of a lesson plan and to discuss and invent ever better ways to use these technologies in planning.

To prepare for this meeting, have an idea to share with your team for a lesson plan. Collect some images using the knowledge covered in this chapter that might be used instructionally for this lesson to help stimulate thinking and imagination. Put those images in a Powerpoint presentation. The following slide or slides should contain the images. If the images are small enough, several might fit on the same slide. If not, use more slides. To provide maximum time to think about your lesson plan topic, you will not be asked to put your lesson plan topic into the first Powerpoint slide until you arrive in class.

Team members will then be asked to upload their slide sets into their assigned Wimba Team Meeting room (and on the assignment link on the course home page in Blackboard). The meeting must conclude with a consensus on someone’s lesson plan topic or a merger of collective ideas and one or more goals from the NCSCOS.

Several digital skills will be practiced in this online Web conferencing meeting. Taking a turn to talk requires using the mouse to press on the Talk button or holding down the control key for the duration of the turn to talk. Uploading PPT slides to the meeting room requires the use of the Go button found on the Presenter Console when the participant has presenter level status. Sharing the slides means selecting the PPT presentation from the pull-down menu to the left of the Go button and using the orange arrow keys to advance slides.


At class time, your instructor will request these results of your team meeting information in one of two ways. If there is time, each team will be responsible for creating a Web page at a Google Site for this course that is shared by all class members. If not, a member of this team will need to send a Blackboard email message with this information and a list of the team members.

The goal is for this week’s team to create a lesson plan (lesson plan template and NCSCOS) within a content area and topic of your choice in which makes heavy use of still images that come from: Microsoft Office clipart; Word Art, screen captures, photographs you have taken; images you have drawn. In your presentation of information in the lesson plan demonstrate your capacity to scale, crop and change the file size of an image through the images you show. Put these images in a desktop application (Word, Powerpoint application (12 pp),that will be used in teach the lesson.

The Net continues to use digital technology to forge relationships through a wide variety of communities and problem solving groups on a global scale. If we imagine preparing today's kindergarten children for their adulthood in which the world has continued this trend of global engagement for a dozen more years, what knowledge and skills do they need? Can you imagine what must their teachers know to prepare them for them this world? Imagining is not good enough. The capacity is and has been readily available for a large percentage of educators for several years now. For these reasons the widely accepted standards of ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education) provide goals that guide and encourage this preparation. As noted in the syllabus, the ISTE standards for teachers, students and administrators guide the ongoing development and content of this course of study.

Selected parts of ISTE Standards 4 and 5 apply in particular to these ideas.

Standard 4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

Standard 5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources. Teachers: