Today I am facilitating a f2f PD session around Google classroom and wanted to do a quick reflection before my next session.
Knowing we have users with different abilities, I decided to do a 1 question survey – to find out how comfortable our staff is with the tool. Below is the results of this survey.
I was surprised at how many staff had already adopted the tool. I also recognized – that the Spray and pray – One size fits all PD session was not going to suffice to be adequate to all of our teachers’ needs. And so, I decided to use Google Classroom (blended learning) and stations – to differentiate this experience for our teachers.
We also are going down the road of standards-based learning in our district. Last year teachers determined their course ELO’s (Essential learner outcomes) based on standards. They also started creating scales (building on 1-4 model) to show the progression of learning those critical ELOs. For those of you who have adopted Marzano – you should be very familiar with this.
However, I wanted to also model this idea of progression, (a path to mastery) and create learning experiences to go along with it and differentiate the experience. Having observed Daily 5 station work in the elementary school – I decided to create stations within my classroom for the day and test it out with adults. Here is my concept idea. Please feel free to comment or make suggestions to make this better.
My 1st session was a great learning experience and by the second session, I felt I was getting better at it. The opportunity to use technology (like Google classroom or any other LMS) to blend this experience was invaluable. Also, providing direct instruction to those who needed it (small groups vs large group) also helped.
I also wanted to do a 360 recording of this video so I could have some time to observe myself as well. First 2 sessions did not work, Hopefully, I will get a recording soon – I will add it to this post if it works!
Last Friday, I was fortunate to participate in Google’s ExploreEDU event, held at Burnsville High School in Burnsville MN. Part of the agenda, that day, was to take a tour of Burnsville’s new facility. This was a big draw for me. I had heard about their career pathways and their newly designed learning spaces… and decided to take the opportunity to see it with my very own eyes!
The career center is an integral part of the Career Pathway program. Whether they are learning about careers/colleges/ or going on Google Expeditions (career AND college) the space is used independently and with classes. Understanding the students interests and passions are essential to student success within the program.
Check out this snapshot of a Burnsville classroom. No more sage on the stage. Teachers can either stream content to all 6 TVs or students can collaborate with each other using their group TV. The furniture in classrooms is very flexible and powered. They have floor to ceiling windows and many of the teachers were using the glass to write notes. It’s also very easy to observe learning activies this way. Beside every TV was a whiteboard (NOT SMART BOARD) for further STUDENT collaboration/notes/ideation. Just a side note – Burnsville recently went 1:1 with Chromebooks. One point of feedback I heard – was the pickup for the devices was 10 minutes long. Impressive!
Flexible Spaces outside of classrooms
I will be honest, the space outside of the classrooms was pretty cool too. I really liked that moon shaped sofa, with standing desks or tall stools behind it. Again, there is an ability to connect to a large TV screen to and give presentations. Check out the cool furniture and use of space! (Self directed space – that seemed to give students plenty of autonomy)
Certified Nursing Assistant Classroom/Lab
Here is a classroom that is used to certify nursing assistants. It combines the classroom with the “hospital” lab. Students going down this route would also have to have 20+ hours of clinicals at a local nursing home before receiving their CNA certification.
The Cafeteria/Kitchen area had a very upscale feel to it. Check out the digital signage in the kitchen as well as the large commons area. I am guestimating 15-20 TVs. This space is also used by students in the culinary arts pathway and students get to use the professional kitchen as a lab area.
And finally, I was very impressed with the CNC/PLTW/Engineering area. Between the labs, classroom space, and flexible space inside the classroom space – it was amazing! The students had access to industry standard equipment. In the last video, we actually stopped by to speak to some students who just helped the local credit union re-brand their company. How awesome! I also learned that the credit union was also going to be setting up shop in the high school.
Within the pathway program the district is being very progressive in trying to continually provide students with:
Industry level certifications
Business partnerships (some of these partnerships also provide grant $)
One of the roadblocks ( I have heard in the past) is that sometimes these pathways “LOCK” students into a particular path. That is not the case in Burnsville. For instance, let’s say that a student has an interest in a health career. Then, after going through the CNA class, the student decides they really do not like the nursing experience. Students could select other options like business administration in health. See the latest indeed.com job search for the Mayo Clinic as there are so many health careers that are beyond nurses, doctors, ect. I like this flexibilty. I also assume, they can hop over to another pathway all together!
The big picture to remember- is that Burnsville students are going to have a more real world – authentic learning experiences in high school, BEFORE they decide to go to college or step into a career. I can not tell you how important this is especially when you consider the success rate of college students, the amount of student debt students may have upon graduating. (See my past blog post about the parents perspective of innovation) If students decide to go the career route – they will already have some serious resume experiences and certifications that will give them a “one up” on the competition.
This was incredibly inspiring – as someone who works in education and as a parent! Way to go Burnsville – for paving the way for the future of High Schools in MN!
Last night, my students presented their findings from the semester. I have streamed our final presentations online before, but frankly, that has not been good enough. We might be lucky to get 1 maybe 2 viewers at any given time. Just randomly tweeting out YouTube Live links does not automatically equate to an audience. (and an audience that will remain with you for over 2+ hours)
We discussed, as a class, that “audience” is an important characteristic of “Real World Learning” design. I decided, in efforts to model this, to find an authentic audience for our teachers’ presentations. We needed people who cared (beyond our classroom) about what our educators were doing. While we still were streaming this event via YouTube live (for both a digital audience AND to capture and archive the learning artifact) we also had a live f2f audience that included our superintendent, director of curriculum instruction and assessment, our high school principal, instructional coaches, our school board chair, and representatives from higher ed (graduate level prof and teacher prep prof). These are people who are curious about the work we are doing and genuinely care about what is happening in our classrooms. Presenting work to an authentic audience has a tendency to improve the student’s quality of work (from the elementary student to the grad student).
I will admit, as the RSVPs of attendance started coming in… I also became nervous.The audience also included my peers, my superintendent, my board chair. Did I do a good enough job to support these educators? What if the presentations do not go well, what does that say about me? About my course design? My facilitation? That lasted a while… and then I came back to my senses. I know these teachers. I know the quality of their work. I know the passion for their kids and their profession. They got this.
Below is the video of their presentations. It’s over 2 hours long but is so worth the watch. It is a great artifact for me as well. It is something I can refer back to later, it is something I can potentially show future students. It is will serve as an ePortfolio artifact for me.
It’s hard to tell from the video, but as the stories and journeys were unfolding, there was a certain level of excitement in the room — Both from the other teachers (this was the first time they heard their classmates present) and the audience. Now, imagine how you would feel if your superintendent was live tweeting your presentations with comments like below? I appreciated it immensely!
I am so PROUD of our teachers in Byron. You INSPIRE me every day. Saw amazing presentations tonight by Byron teachers. WOW! #byronbears
What will be the impact of having the right people in the room, hearing the story of our educators? Time will tell. But the buzz did not stop last night and the conversation continued today. Regardless of what happens next, I am very proud of the work of these educators and more importantly the learning experiences they created for our students. WTG!
My reflections on the course design/facilitation
It sucked. Yes, I said it. While my students produced some excellent work – the course needs some significant improvement. Below are my reflections for the next go around:
Problem 1. Course design is completely flexible and totally open on day 1 of class. That means, I have to have all resources, activities, assignments, and progress report templates done before day 1. While there are due dates there still is quite a bit of flexibility for students to do as much or as little as they want, and revise accordingly. (my students love this kind of flexibility) There are flaws to this. #1 being how do you fix problems of the course, while in the course live and your students are all over the place within the content? The added online component also makes it difficult to revise in a completely open course.
Problem 2. This course lacked s:s collaboration and communication. While my face to face sessions was some of my best designed so far (One of my personal goals is creating engaging f2f PD) the online collaboration was missing. There were no discussions between our 3 face to face meetings. As this can be a very complex topic for some educators, there was a need to discuss with others and come to a mutual understanding of RWL. And with the problem of #1…Trying to schedule a discussion (that was not previously scheduled in an OLL course) was not going to work.
Problem 3. I introduced design thinking in this course. I LOVE IT. It was fun to see an activity I did in one of my F2F sessions, tried, applied and tweeted out by my students in MS and HS classes the next week! However, there was a clear disconnect btw the design thinking activities and the RWL work. I think it all has to do with timing and deadlines within the course. On a positive note, I know what needs fixing and I loved facilitating this work. Could be applicable in multiple areas in my job as prof and dir. of technology!
Problem 4. We need a good book. And discuss it. I have lots of resources but in the course – but I think a book study could be very beneficial. Right now – I am thinking either Tony Wagners – Most Likely to Succeed or Yong Zhao’s World Class Learners. If you are aware of any good reads… I would appreciate it!
Problem 5. I need to re-evaluate course objectives and make sure course resources/activities are aligned. Focus on specifically on objective 1 and 3.
Connect students and core content to organizations, professionals, and community members and provide rigorous authentic learning and career/life oriented experiences
Evaluate roles in education where teachers become activators and co-learners who model “learning to learn”
Explore and unpack 21st-century skills and habits of mind to model and foster with today’s learners
Assess the impact of real world design on student learning and motivation
IDEA – Continue to re-evaluate the Mindset, motivation, and self-directed learning course and continue to promote in future courses. We need to come back to that language and discussion often.
IDEA – Last night one of my students presented her project which was a series of mini projects. I actually am wondering if the idea of sprints, could be a great way to take small steps to RWL or even a great way to try something small before going a little deeper with it. Or be an entirely different path for a user?
IDEA – How about streaming the presentation on the districts FB page? Or maybe even inviting the entire community…. Hmmm.
IDEA – Build in a feedback loop for teachers designing their lessons. Might be beneficial if they have a draft, and they actually pitch the idea to the cohort for feedback.
IDEA – I need a PLC. I have a PLN, but I am so jealous of educators that have a good support group to discuss learning and strategies around courses. Now, I am not saying members of my PLN could not become my PLC but I need to create a support group specific to course design. You interested? I would be happy to give you feedback on your designs as well. Let’s not work in silos! Reply to this post or DM me via twitter (@jenhegna). My next course (and FINAL) is Innovative Instructional Leadership…Starts January.
Disclaimer – This was attempt #1 of this course so I do have to cut myself a little slack. The first version of anything is not as good as subsequent versions. With one son’s graduation and my other son’s wedding, bringing on a new building in my district and being short 1 tech at the start of the school year… I was drowning. But I had to ship what I thought was a decent course. While I am being very critical of my work (as I should) my feedback from my cohort is very positive.
“You force reflection and deep thought with your assignments. You don’t tell us what to do, but instead require that we think long enough to tell ourselves. This is true across all courses, but I felt it most in this one.”
“Project challenged me to go outside of my comfort zone.”
“I thought the result of this course was beneficial to me as a professional and will certainly help my thought processes when meeting the needs or learners.”
Now that the reflection is done, I look forward to revising the course into RWL 2.0. Stay tuned!
I will be honest, I have led some bad PD in my day. I have read powerpoint slides, provided “click here, click there” how to sessions, all of which have been a one-time, one-size fits all approach. Did my participants learn? How do I know they learned? (both questions, I failed to ask – or maybe was afraid to ask?)
On the other side of the gamut (things I am more proud of) I have co-facilitated district edcamps, provided short Just In Time Training (JITT) sessions (small group), coached educators 1:1, and am currently facilitating a cohort model through the Innovative Instructional Leadership Program.
This year our district goal is:
100% of all teachers will CREATE or REDESIGN and IMPLEMENT at least 3 lesson plans per year that inspire learners to achieve at high levels as measured by student ePortfolio artifacts.
October 19, 2016, was day 2 (of 4) to help support educators in this process. As we (instructional coaches/curriculum director/myself) were designing the activities we wanted to model good instructional practices. We know a day of sit and get does not work in our classrooms, why would we incorporate this on our PD day?
In our PD sessions, have been focusing on personalized and deeper learning that engage/empower kids. We are using a Deeper Learning Protocol (DLP) based on the works of Scott McLeod (McLeod) and Julie Graber (@jgraber). (Called Trudacot)
Our October 19 agenda with results/evidence:
Our Workgroup Table Toppers!
1 – Create District Teams Our first decision was to create district teams with representation of 2 educators from each level (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) We also wanted to mix disciplines. Our teachers are with PLCs on a weekly basis. We wanted the opportunity for them to connect with other educators and learn about their implementation and results. We felt this would be a great opportunity to build cross district relationships and could potentially lead to new sparks!
3. Lesson Speed Dating – Educators shared examples/artifacts of student work from created/redesigned lesson plans. We kicked it off this activity with 1 teacher from each building sharing what they implemented in their classroom to the entire staff. Then, within our groups, we did 3 rounds of sharing (each 8 minutes a piece)
Script to help guide the discussion
My lesson was…
My area of focus from the DLP was…
What I observed/assessed in student learning (ELO) success was…
What I observed in regards to student engagement was…
If I focus on this DLP area again, I would…
Questions or Comments?
Short Video in Speed Date in Action
While this focused heavily on the innovative things our educators did to deepen learning and engage/empower kids it was important to also highlight the learning. After the speed date was done, we had all staff analyze the following artifact with these questions:
What facets of the DLP does this artifact integrate?
Does this artifact show evidence that the student has met the essential learning outcome? (I Can Statement)
This is an example of an 8th-grade artifact (In ELA) who emailed me earlier that week for some support on a digital citizenship project they were working on.
4. Going Deeper into the DLP ( In this activity, we wanted to give educators a blended learning experience with plenty of voice/choice, to study and create a learning artifact regarding a single DLP Facet. We had 15 groups and assigned 3 groups to each facet. (Facets we focused on: Authenticity/Relevancy, Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, Deeper Thinking). Below are the instructions we used for this activity. This will allow you to see the activity looked like (Built on Google Sites)
We allowed educators to choose their learning space. I observed during the reading portion and video watching portion – some educators chose to sit independently (away from group) while others decided to do everything together. (Both AOK!) Only 1 group chose to sit in rows!
Educators were to make a digital learning artifact that represented what they understood about their assigned facet. (We provide NO How to’s here) We also recognized opportunities to build artifacts (not digital) to represent their knowledge. Included was a small maker table if they chose that path!
Our little maker table!
The last portion of this activity was to do a Gallery walk and reflect on the learning experience. Since everyone had access to the padlet, the workgroups began looking at what everyone else had created. (which is a great formative assessment for us) It was fun to see the creative ideas come through! Some created mindmaps, slideshows, videos, screencasts, drew posters and took pics), ect. It would have been fun to do another short speed date – first with each Facet teams to share their creation and then the teams select 1 project to go to be presented to the district group. However, we simply ran out of time. (We may revive this idea, the next time we meet)
We also circled back to the growth mindset conversation we started with, and asked educators to take a silent moment to reflect… did they ever have a fixed mindset moment during this experience? Did they ever observe a team member in a fixed mindset?
5. Work time to recreate/design lesson to be implemented and student artifacts to be collected by the next PD day in January. We gave educators approximately 2 hours to do their own creative lesson planning. Educators then, submit a broad scope of their lesson re-design and include ELOs and DLP Facets they will be using. Coaches will follow up with staff throughout the next several months.
6. Evaluate our Lesson – We wanted teachers to evaluate our lesson. (Google Form) Right now a little over 40% of educators provided feedback. Many reported they liked the groupings and enjoyed the sharing of lessons and ideas. By far the great improvement we need is to give more time to share and create!
We also are sitting at a little over 70% engagement rate. I WISH we had comparison data to sit and get PD! But unfortunately, we don’t. However, we do plan on taking feedback from our educators and improving the professional development day in January!
I am very happy with the result of our efforts and felt we met our goals.
Did we give our educators a different district-wide PD experience? YES! One that has multiple activities that activated multiple senses? YES!
Did we go beyond reading powerpoint slides and give educators an applied experience that made learning visible? Assessable? With their peers? YES. YES. YES.
Did our lesson include opportunities for learner voice/choice? Collaboration? Communication? Deeper Thinking? Creativity? Integrate meaningful technology? Again All YES! However, some were to a greater degree than others.
Do we need to improve for the next time? YES! We are far from done and are already brainstorming for PD # 3 in January!
What are some awesome things you have done on PD days in your district? Share your ideas or provide feedback to this post!
Note: This blog post is in direct correlation and will serve as evidence of my 2016-17 professional goals:
I have been intrigued with design thinking for some time. Several years ago, we visited Shattuck School’s (Faribault MN) We Create center. School leaders shared they had created their learning space (oh my it was wonderful) using the design thinking process. Last year, we took a trip to the Mayo Clinic Center of Innovation and I learned how they were using the concept to create innovative products/processes/systems/spaces to better serve their patients Their motto – Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast.
Think Big, Start Slow, Move Fast! – Mayo Clinic Center of Innovation’s motto!
What I love the most about design thinking, is the human-centered approach. Through empathy interviews and observations, teams define problems (some not clearly visible) and ideate solutions based on those findings. Then, create a prototype of a solution to test with customers. This process is utilized by all types of companies/organizations – from health care to entrepreneurs.
This fall, I am an adjunct prof in a graduate level course called Real World Learning Design. Realizing that companies/organizations were using this methodology to innovate and solve problems (or create new products) – I wondered – could I embed this methodology into my course? I learned that schools were using the approach to redesign learning spaces. Could the same process be used to redesign learning? After all, shouldn’t students be at the center of our instructional design?
So, I did ton of reading over the summer. First with Tim Brown’s book Change by Design, then with John Spencer and A.J. Juliani’s book Launch. I curated a huge bookmark folder of online resources and lurked #DTk12chat. Then I stumbled on Stanford’s d.school’s Crash Course and other materials! Having never participated in a design thinking experience, this provided an excellent roadmap to applying it into my course. (not just as a facilitator – but as a learner with my students!) Did I mention they have a creative commons license on their materials? Thank you d.school!
The past 3 weeks, my students (teachers) completed empathy interviews with their students around learning. The key point to empathy interviews, leave your assumptions and bias at the door. You need to go into the interview with a “beginner’s mindset” and not lead students into answers.
Teachers also observed their students outside of their classroom . It was eye-opening for some of my teachers to go into other classrooms and to watch their students. For some, they might be more engaged in one classroom – for others – maybe there was an obvious disconnect. Led to questions… Why?
Fast forward to tonight. As the stories came out, it was apparent we had quite a few common themes in all of the interviews. (From grade 2 to high school) The first pic below is what we found as common themes.
Some improvements I would like to make the next go around:
First F2F day, my students need collaborative time to create questions. (maybe at least 4 common questions).
Have students send me at least the first interview for feedback. Most of my students either recorded videos or podcasts of their videos. There were times where they would “lead” students to answers and I believe getting feedback would make the experience better for the students
On the second f2f day, I need to create time constraints. We probably spent too much time sharing our empathy maps/findings when we could have spent ideating and creating solutions. I would also like to explore different ideation strategies. We also did not have time to go in and refine, refine, refine.
I am not sure I am happy with the timing. Some of my students have already started the implementation of the lessons. But, I still think there are opportunities to interject what is learned into experiences/activities with tweaks. (I had one student share, how he began to change things already based on what he learned from his students.)
I need to either bring norms to the table OR create norms with the class. Like – No “Ya Buts” when ideating. Have signals for when people do so. When other ideas emerge – let people go off and work out ideas.
I love the new “learning lab” space in our HS. I think we should consider making it even more collaborative and functional.
One of my big aha’s is how design thinking is directly correlated with all of the Innovator’s Mindset characteristics. I feel I have a deeper understanding – especially the traits of empathetic, observant, and problem finders after this teaching/learning experience.
Teachers will be designing and implementing learning experiences based on their definition of real world learning. They also will have an opportunity to take what they learned through their empathy interviews and implement (their learning design prototypes) within their students. They will collect student evidence of learning, get feedback and analyze and present their results. I can’t wait!
Overall, I am very satisfied with the turnout. Could it be better – absolutely! I will definitely be using again in my next course – Innovative Instructional Leadership.
Evidence of Impact:
Here are a few of my student’s blog posts after going through the empathy interview process. What I value the most about these posts – is their thoughts and desires to get to know their students better, to build upon teacher:student relationships and design better learning student-centered experiences.
One last note, since my cohort actually meets in my school – we decided to leave all of our materials up for our other teachers to see and invited them to share their ideas. (with post-its and all!) The more transparent we can be with our learning, the more opportunities there are for everyone to learn!
Why this is important to me: As a technology director, my 21-year career in education is somewhat nontraditional. My path originated from the “technology” side. First with a two-year electronics technology degree (1996) and then followed up with a bachelor’s degree in business information systems (2005). Both degrees helped me become a better “technologist” and gave me a great foundation in implementing information systems within our organization. A foundation that has deepened through numerous applied “on the job” experiences. Then in 2010, my education lightbulb went off. While my master’s major was in information and communication technology – my emphasis area was a 15 credit graduate certificate in eLearning. While the “e” part in e-learning was easy for me (technology) it was the instructional design process in e-learning that was completely transformed my understanding and vision where technology and instruction can coexist to deepen and amplify learning.
Of all the areas of my job, this (instructional innovation) is my passion. I not only want to continue to grow my understanding/skills in this area, but also support the growth of educators across my district/region/globe.
Right now my students are in course 4 – Real World Learning Design. We are off to a great start. I would like to work on creating more engaging f2f sessions while modeling the effective use of technology with instruction/learning.
Timeline – May 2016
Conduct JITT Trainings (small group) – Create/design purposeful PD for educators around district goals while modeling good instructional practices. Collaborate with instructional coaches on design and delivery.
Using the SMARTBoard as a student station (differentiation)
Maybe focus on the competencies – creativity, collaboration communication, critical thinking/problems solving, community service, careers,
Differentiation to personalization
Timeline at least 5-6 times per year starting in Sept.
Deeper/Personalized Learning (district wide) – This year I have been able to collaborate with our curriculum director and instructional coaches on all school PD. We have 3 days in all and kicked off our first day during workshop week around deeper learning. I want to work on modeling engaging learning experiences during these meetings. I also want to find ways for educators to share what they have learned!
So far I have received 1 day of training out of the 8. One of the things that I have observed, in these sessions, is that the trainer uses some great instructional practices I would like to try during JITT’s. I would also like to try coaching at least 5 people. I think this model could also be useful on a larger scale – not just for classrooms – but potentially other leaders.
Implement at least 5 new small group/large group PD strategies that engage learners
Learner-Centered Action Steps
Develop understandings of the early learning environments. Of all the different age levels and groups, I am least familiar with understanding the learning environments in grades PK-2. I would like to gain a better understanding of great pedagogical practices in these grade levels.
As I shared in my previous post – The Transparent Technology Director, I have decided to be completely transparent in my goals for the year. While I am still developing my 360 evaluation tool, in the next few blog posts, I will be sharing my 2016-17 personal professional goals. I dwindled the list down to 5 goals in COSN focus areas of leadership, instructional focus/professional development, stakeholder focus, digital communications, and information technology management.
In each of my goal blog posts, I will share my goal, why it’s important to me, action steps, resources needed, and predicted deliverables/evidence of learning. As always, your feedback is appreciated.
Goal 1 – Increase my leadership presence at Byron Public Schools
Why it’s important to me – Last year was a great learning year for me. I was charged with evaluating our district’s 1:1 initiative, and worked with district instructional coach’s on providing more Just In Training Time sessions for the district. Within both of these items, I was able to re-connect with district teachers. From these connections, I began a journey of learning more about our district’s classroom environments. I LOVED being invited into classrooms and observing learning in action. There were other times, I went in to observe classrooms with principals. In any of these situations, I found it helped me understand where I can be a better support for our classrooms and schools. I would also like to improve my presentation skills. I am, by far, most comfortable in small group, 1 to 1 settings. However, in large group settings – I feel I feel I am not quite as confident as I wish to be. I would like to learn strategies that can captivate large group audiences. I specifically am looking to improve my storytelling skills – as well as facilitation of large group staff development. (NO SIT AND GET – or at least very little of it!)
Increase visibility within Byron Public Schools classrooms. Work with each principal and schedule “walk-abouts” to observe learning in action. While it is a challenge, I would love to be able to see 100% of Byron Classrooms by April/May. Keep a running doc of reflections in each building.
Conduct and record at least 20 interviews classroom/learning stories to share with our community. (4 or 5 per building)
Find opportunities to observe large group presentations/PD. (Good ones) Reflect on strategies used to engage the audience. Mix observations with F2F and online (TedTalks is a great place to observe!).
Design and implement effective in-house PD sessions (JITT and Staff Dev days). Take time to reflect – what worked, what didn’t work. – Revise and retry. Create survey to be shared after each session to improve efforts.
Find opportunities to shadow 5 leaders outside of my district to gain insight on leadership qualities/strategies of presence. Reflect and assess skills/strategies I can improve based on what I see.
Schedule at least 1 #mnlead chat around “Leadership Presence” and possibly a follow-up Google Hangout on Air interview with leaders to discuss these traits/strategies. (by January)
Continue to challenge myself with experiences outside of my comfort zone. (ongoing)
Create a mid-year reflection/evaluation in January – share with superintendent
This fall I will be creating an implementing a 360-degree survey to receive feedback on my performance as a technology director for Byron Public Schools. I originally looked at using Marzano’s District Leadership Evaluation tool. I have to admit, as a technology director, I had a hard time identifying with this tool and found that it would require quite a bit of word-smithing to make it applicable to my job. I also wanted to be completely transparent with my goals and professional growth this year. For me, that meant using my blog as a place to publish my goals, measurements, artifacts, and reflections of work. Instead of putting this behind a locked site, for only me and my Superintendent to see – my ePortfolio would be completely public. (Thanks @gcouros for the inspiration!)
Why? I want to become a better leader in my field. Putting my growth information behind a locked site for only a few to see is not going to give me the feedback I need to grow. Making this decision is not easy… I am putting myself “out there” for criticism. However, having a growth mindset, I am ready to take that criticism and grow from it. (Do I have reservations/fears about this – you better believe it!)
I began looking for an evaluation framework for the tech director role. Two sites immediately surfaced that I felt did a fairly good job to possibly measure what I bring to Byron’s table.
At first glance, the COSN framework is quite comprehensive and has many strands/sub-strands. Essentially, it takes the tech directors position (they call it chief technology officer or CTO) and break it down to bits. My concern in using this as a tool for myself and others – it’s too big. If I were to create a survey tool from this framework – it would take too long for my end users(who are giving me feedback) to complete. I also found that I was more inspired to use ISTE’s standards. It was much shorter and I could really see areas where I could grow and become a better LEADER. I am going to co/mingle some of the frameworks/standards.
My goal is to create 1 survey and seek feedback from staff, district leadership/board, peers, and key vendors. I do not want to create a survey for each audience type. I want the survey to be short and sweet with some open ended areas for feedback/suggestions. I am planning on using the following scale. (click this link to provide feedback on the scale)
Need your advice! I have created a doc to collect overall feedback from you. Note, the ePortfolio section at the top right of this blog. I am just starting to build that out and could use your help. What am I missing? What resources do you have to share? Do you have any comments/advice?
One of my goals for the 2015-16 school year was to research the impact of our 1:1 iPad program on 21st-century instruction. This was year 3 of 1:1 iPads in grades 7-12. It was time to see if we were making an impact. Even though 21st-century instruction is a “dated term”, it is still the term we coined in the report. Maybe technology infused pedagogy could have been a better term – but honestly, what we are really looking for is student-centered learning that is amplified using technology.
The research would include feedback from parents, students, and educators. Because our program is a 1:1 in only grades 7-12, I also needed to look at the differences of our 1:1 classrooms vs. non 1:1 classrooms. This was a change from our 2014 survey.
The first step in this process was to redesign a couple of surveys to ask questions to around these instructional practices. The parent survey had very little revisions, the student survey had a few revisions, and the teacher survey had significant revisions.
I decided to send the newly designed teacher survey to one of my favorite email groups – KIC – a technology integration group based out of the Minneapolis- for feedback. From that email, I received quite a few responses, but it was Dr. Joel VerDuin’s (@jverduin), Chief Technology Officer of Anoka-Hennepin schools, that gave me excellent advice! He suggested that I also include focus group interviews. What a brilliant idea! How to archive these interviews – why not record (with my iPad!) and include them in the report? These powerful video interviews with students, teachers, and samples of student work could further tell a story of how technology was impacting our classrooms. It goes beyond graphs and charts and makes these new learning environments visible! To deliver the report, I needed a tool that would work with text, graphs, and EMBED video – so I chose Google Slides. I altered the page setup (8.5 x 11) and begin to organize my work. If anyone needs a printed copy – a PDF can easily be downloaded and printed.
Below is the results of my research. While we have had some great success, we still have a tremendous amount of work to do. We are by no means “there” yet and will be creating new goals based on the findings of this research. Take a peek at the videos. Some teachers are at the beginning stages of new learning environments, while others have been working at it for a while. This also does not capture all of the great things our teachers are doing – just a small sample! All worthy of celebrating!
I have been reflecting about influence, impact and connected leadership today. How do others influence me? How do I influence others? How far does one’s influence/impact reach? When I think about influence, I think of ripples. The first ring of impact is quite visible and deep but is the smallest in diameter. The rings continue to grow, but may not have as much depth and impact as that first ripple effect. Of course the ripple effect is going to differ based on the kind of impact. The impact of a stone will have a larger ripple effect than a single rain drop. We are constantly being influenced by other sources. What started as one ripple, may be morphed by the influence of another, and another. Even external disruptions like bugs and boats – (technology) – will have also cause a ripple effect on the original impact of the ripple.
Flickr CC – aislinnv – https://www.flickr.com/photos/aislinnv/292440405
Today I presented at the Symposium of Women Educational Leaders conference a session called Learning and Leading with Social Media. This presentation is a compilation of many influencers from my PLN that has had an impact on me for many years. Even last night, as I was finishing my presentation, I sent out a single tweet.
As I presented my thoughts of connected leadership to admin and aspiring administrators in MN today, I began to wonder – what kind of ripple am I creating? Am I making an impact? Or a ripple of influence? My PLN, I have created and interact with, continues to mold who I am professionally, what I believe, and where I will take action. My hopes is to pay it forward with drops, rocks, ripples to support other educator who are willing to make their own ripples with their peers, pln, and most importantly – students!