Bookmark and Share

January 20, 2009

Teachers Embrace Social Web Technologies through Comprehensive Training Program

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has partnered with Powerful Learning Practice (PLP), a professional development initiative that facilitates immersion experiences for teachers in 21st Century learning, technology and teaching methods. Each of the 20 high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has a team of educators and teachers participating in this 7-month program -- a grand total of 140 participants.

At the upcoming culminating event in April 2009, all Archdiocesan PLP members will share their collaborative projects with educators from all schools. These projects will also be shared online via a PLP virtual learning community, where teachers can share resources for implementing the innovative collaborative potential of emerging social web technologies at the 20 Catholic high schools throughout the Archdiocese.

Eleven educators have been named "21st Century Fellows" through the program. These fellows act to foster communications among participants. The 21st Century Fellows from the Archdiocese include: Joe Konecki and Ed Allen of Cardinal O'Hara High School; Evan Ortiz of Conwell-Egan High School; Mary Kirby and Mickey Beachy of J.W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School; Jim Greene of Father Judge High School for Boys; Steve Kerwin of Bishop Shanahan High School; Laura O'Reilly of St. Pius X High School; Gina Craig of Northeast Catholic High School; Bobbi Everling of St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls and Nancy Caramanico, Director of Technology, K-12, Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Office of Catholic Education.

The aforementioned educators began the Powerful Learning Practice program with a two-day educational workshop entitled "21st Century Learning Kick-Off," designed to teach Fellows how to incorporate 21st century learning strategies into an educational curriculum. The program is run by international renowned educational speakers Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum Beach.

As part of a year-long commitment to Powerful Learning Practice by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the educators are also required to participate in four two-hour online modules, where they will develop a deeper understanding of various Web 2.0 tools -- such as wikis, blogs, multimedia designs and social networking websites - and how to incorporate these tools into the classroom.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been proactively placing a strong emphasis on reaching the 21st Century learner. In September, 1,000 high school teachers from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's 20 Catholic high schools gathered at Bishop Shanahan High School to participate in a day-long
in-service program entitled "Understanding and Educating the 21st Century Learner."

"We continue to demonstrate that we're steadfastly committed to providing the 80,000 students we serve in the Archdiocese with an education that fully prepares them for their futures," said Nancy Caramanico, Director of Technology, K-12, Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Office of Catholic Education. "These emerging technological trends are a large part of that future -- and therefore, we will continue to recognize the influence of technology by ensuring its inclusion in our classrooms and encouraging student learning via 21st Century worldwide collaboration tools."

# # #

Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

Back to Top