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Partnerships to Power Professional Learning: Big Apple Style

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 204C

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Instructional Technology Specialist
New York City Public Schools
Laura is a NYC Public Schools alumna and educator with 20+ years of experience as a teacher of Career and Technical Education, Art, and English. As an Ed Tech Teacher Team Leader in the Division of Instructional and Information Technology for the past five school years, Laura is involved in multiple ed tech initiatives supporting Ed Tech Model Teachers and school leaders to build capacity. Laura has a background in media production and media literacy, and collaborates with global educators through knowledge exchanges and intervisitations.
Educator | SPOC | Nerd
NYC Public Schools
As a high school special educator, RJ Circle Keeper, certified Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher through YMTP2 and Reiki Practitioner, along with holder of a multitude of digital certifications, Robyn is an advocate for the use of technology in education along with mindfulness in schools. She is a recipient of the #NYCSchoolsTech Award, Brooklyn HS Superintendents Champion Award for Digital Innovation in the Classroom, and Excellence in Remote Learning. She hosts the NYC Google Educator Group through #NYCSchoolsTech Meetups, is an Edcamp organizer, and leads her school’s Ed Tech team.
JoJo Farrell is an experienced educator who worked for NYC Public Schools for 13 years as a teacher, EdTech Coach, and district leader. He currently teaches aspiring teachers in Brooklyn College's School of Education. He's now on Google's education team, where he supports districts in the northeast using Google. Before becoming an educator, JoJo worked as a journalist and radio reporter in Oakland, California and as a program director for Global Exchange where he led programs in Latin America. JoJo and his wife have three children and they live in Brooklyn, NY.
Founder & CEO
Project Recess Inc
Santi Khairassame is a creative technologist and the founder of Project Recess, an ed tech consultancy that supports schools to embrace emerging technologies through professional learning. With a background as a digital artist and co-founder of an e-portfolio app, Santi brings a unique perspective to the field. Holding a Master's degree from New York University's Learning Technology and Experience Design program and being a Google for Education Certified Innovator, Santi combines his formal training in the arts with a deep understanding of digital learning to ultimately help students succeed.
STEM/Computer Science Teacher
Kerry McGarvey is a STEM & Technology teacher at PS24Q in New York City. Kerry also provides technical support to students, families, and teachers. In addition to her work in her school she also works as a #NYCSchools tech trainer to help run Apple After Hours, the Apple Teacher Certification, and other events. As a result of this work she was named an Apple Distinguished Educator and her school was named an Apple Distinguished School.
Director of Instructional Technology
Jose began his career as a Special Education Teacher with expertise in instructional technology. After 6 years in the classroom, Jose held positions as a school based instructional technology coach and an instructional technology Coordinator for NYC Magnet Schools Assistance Program. In February 2020, he joined DIIT as an Ed Tech Implementation Manager charged with supporting schools citywide with the integration of technology with instruction. In September 2021, Jose transitioned to the Instructional Enterprise Technology team as a Deputy Director of Instructional & Enterprise Technology Team. Jose’s focus is teacher engagement around Enterprise tools and professional development.

Session description

From introducing new technology in individual schools to offering districtwide micro-certifications and citywide edtech meetups, leveraging partnerships with edtech companies can provide innovative professional learning opportunities and create niche professional learning communities.

Purpose & objective

Session participants will be able to:
Understand how collaborating with educational technology companies can enhance their professional learning communities
Dig into resources to find, create or enhance professional learning communities
Construct a, "what to do next" plan to get engaged in or level up a professional learning community
Understand how to use the unconference style to provide participants with a choose your own adventure style of professional learning
See how providing collaborative PLCs benefits both the person in education and learner outcomes.

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- Background and introductions, stated outcomes

What are PLCs
- We will explore the research behind the power of professional learning communities and the outcomes they provide for the educators and learners

Panel Chat
- Panelists explain the type of PLCs they host/are involved in and give an overview of their meetup styles
- Panelists talk about how the partnerships began
- Panelists discuss how the partnerships have evolved, including going from fully in-person meetups, to fully online during remote learning and hybrid meetups
-Panelists speak to improving and creating new partnerships
-Panelists share visuals of the PLCs they have hosted/participated in recently

Audience Connection

Audience Questions
- Answering questions live

Conclusion/Call to Action

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Supporting research

4 Benefits of an Active Professional Learning Community

Professional Learning Communities Can ‘Unleash the Learning!’

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Session specifications

Professional learning
Skill level:
Coaches, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
ISTE Standards:
For Coaches:
Professional Learning Facilitator
  • Evaluate the impact of professional learning and continually make improvements in order to meet the schoolwide vision for using technology for high-impact teaching and learning.
For Education Leaders:
Connected Learner
  • Develop the skills needed to lead and navigate change, advance systems and promote a mindset of continuous improvement for how technology can improve learning.
For Educators:
  • Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.
Related exhibitors:
Microsoft Corporation,