2019… Its a Wrap: Documenting OF, FOR, and AS learning!

On Monday, I will be sharing with the school board my goals and accomplishments for the 2018-19 school year.  I have had a good year.  Actually, may just be one of the best years of my entire 23-year career!  Below is the presentation that I will be sharing that demonstrates some fairly significant milestones for 2019.

Jen Hegna – 2019 Goals <—- Click this to expand presentation With hyperlinked artifacts

At the same time, I am currently reading a book by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano and Janet Hail called A Guide to Documenting Learning: Making thinking visible, meaningful, shareable, and amplified.  With our Profile of a Graduate (PoG) rollout next year,  ePortfolios is one of the core principals to meet our district’s PoG. (see below)  While we have had K-12 ePortfolio’s for several years, the implementation has not been as good as I had hoped.  Next year, we are implementing a new ePortfolio system for grades 6-12 (WordPress).   One of my goals for 2019-20 is to Revisit and refine ePortfolio’s 6-12, provide training,  and make standard practice.   I felt it was time to look for resources that could help improve the system/process and I do believe this book is a keeper!

Core Principals to meet our HS Profile of a Graduate

BHS – Core Principles to meet the District’s Profile of a Graduate


To apply some of what I am reading, I am going to use my Goal Work (evidence of learning) with the process of documenting OF, FOR, and AS learning to better make my thinking and learning visible.

Iceberg pIcture

Simply documenting the evidence of learning is what is seen. However, there is power in the thinking and the process that led to that evidence or what will happen because of that learning evidence. How do we make the invisible visible?

Documenting OF learning:  Focuses on the product and attempts to answer these following questions: (p. 6)

  • What did the learner do?
  • What was the result of learning?

My Goal Work – Document OF Learning:
Within my evidence of learning (preso), I have 8 goals listed.  For each of those goals, I have created a slide that documents the evidence of meeting those goals.  Its been a busy but good year of learning!  As you go through the presentation, you will see the results of my work that includes statistics (data), websites, documents, infographics, presentations, and videos.  While you might assume there was depth in thinking and learning when creating each artifact – without the context of what I did, why I did it, it only scratches the surface of my learning.  The authors share that at this level- it feels like busy work.  <—– Hint this is incredibly important for the rollout of next year.  We have reflection built into our ePortfolio – but this little tidbit might help with buy-in. Will be critical for training!

Taxonomy of Reflection

A Taxonomy of Reflection by Peter Pappas

Documenting FOR Learning: Focuses on the interpretation of learning -(p.8)
“This type of learning asks learners to interpret, reflect on, and connect artifacts along a learning journey this type of documentation makes visible that which the learners are not even aware of and provides time to interact with and examine artifacts to make connections and discover trends.”

  • How is what I am learning now related to something I have previously learned
  • How will this learning influence and inform future learning?
  • Why do I accept this artifact as evidence of my learning process and progress?
  • How could someone else learn from my experience – both failures and my successes?
  • What would I need to do to best capture my learning today and at the end of the year related to ____ for me to see and hear evidence of my growth over time?

My Goal Work – Document FOR Learning:

We have a very exciting vision of education in Byron that is going to provide our students with experiences I wish I would have had, my kids could have had (they all have graduated) but maybe, just maybe, my grandkids WILL  have.  The arrows are aligning to that vision and systemic changes are being formed.  This is big.  Aligning arrows.  Having a strategic plan, and then requiring buildings/departments to create goals to meet those priorities seems simple right? It’s not that simple.  Just having a strategic plan on the wall without creating action plans to meet your vision will most likely leave you with pockets of innovation. Where some students get to have the experiences your strategic plan desires. But what about ALL students?  And having the Technology Plan goals in the District Operation Plan? BINGO.

Over this past year, I have been working to improve my communication skills – specifically around our district’s branding/storytelling.  I have produced a boatload of content this year.  Writing grants, press releases, graphics, videos, marketing materials, websites, presentations all highlighted in my goal presentation.  I can Canva like a boss! But I also have been working with tools like Final Cut Pro, Illustrator, Photoshop, ect.  I’d like to get better at Illustrator and the Adobe Production tools.  I would like to get to advanced levels of Final Cut Pro.    I have some video ideas in the works and will continue to challenge myself!  My final reflection about communication?  Clarity.   Going down the path of implementing our Profile of a Graduate is complex – will need a variety of materials to explain the process.  I tried this with our BHS PoG plan.  However, this still is fairly complex for the general public and will require more materials – like video – to help with the key messages.

For the first time ever, I will be presenting my goals to the board.  Yes, that makes us accountable!  However, I  also intended on publishing my goal work online. I appreciate getting feedback and learning from others and feel I can also contribute to the learning of others.  Well, audience certainly matters – even for tech directors – and I wanted to demonstrate some of the branding skills within my goal presentation.

Document AS Learning: focuses on the learning process and attempts to answer the following questions: (p. 11)

  • What is worthy of being looked for and captured during this learning opportunity?
  • What media platforms and tools will provide the maximum effect for capturing, reflecting on, curating, sharing, and amplifying my personal learning or the evidence of other’s learning?
  • How can my/our thinking be best-conveyed visibly and audibly when considering the audiences who will be experiencing my shared and amplified learning?
The Metacognition Cycle - via John Spencer

The Metacognition Cycle – via John Spencer – http://www.spencerauthor.com/metacognition/


My Goal Work – Document AS Learning:
As I shared, I have a goal next year around ePortfolios.  I want to revamp the rollout/training with our new blog system  Right now, I am learning about documenting learning to meet that goal for NEXT year.   As I was reading the text, I kept on thinking about my current goals, and how I could apply this thinking to my own work.  As I shared earlier – I knew I was going to publicly post my goals, why not knock out 2 birds with one post!  🙂   Because I need feedback on my thinking, I chose my blog to help amplify my learning.  I will be publicly tweeting this out, tagging a few of my friends, tagging the authors of this book, and utilizing the hashtag #document4learning to find others who may be reading this book as well.  Eventually, this thinking is going to be moved into some sort of PD – Target August!.


So there you have it!  Its been a great year but there is still so much work to do.  I believe this post demonstrates my understanding of documenting of, for, and as learning.  If not, please reach out to me! All in all, this has been a great exercise in thinking and I need to pause, think, publish more often. Hmmm. Maybe podcast?

Looking forward to 2020!


Tolisano, Silvia Rosenthal., and Janet A. Hale. A Guide to Documenting Learning: Making Thinking Visible, Meaningful, Shareable, and Amplified. Corwin, 2018.

Results from my 360 Feedback Survey

Praise makes you feel good, critique makes you better.

Image credit – http://www.quotemaster.org/critical+feedback

One of my goals this year was to design a 360 Leadership Feedback Survey and implement it with stakeholders in our district.  This was no easy task as there really isn’t templates out there for school district tech directors!  I first looked at Marzano’s district leader assessment and found I felt very disconnected from it.   I extremely appreciated my superintendent giving me full autonomy to design my own.  In his words, “This survey belongs to you Jen, what is it you want to know so that you can improve and grow?”  I will admit, there are many things I want to know, to become better at what I do – but – I needed the survey to be brief and so I settled in on things that were most important to me.  (Click here to see a copy of the survey)

  • Vision
  • Leading People
  • Leading with Integrity
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Innovation
  • Stakeholder Centeredness
  • Results Driven

It was important to select key stakeholders as I needed a wide group of people to get the best feedback.  I wanted evaluators with varying degree of technology experience.  I also wanted to make sure opinion leaders from each stakeholder group was selected. Some I work with directly on a regular basis, others I work more indirectly.  50 people were selected from the educators, administrators, and support staff groups. I had 49 provide feedback.  32 Teachers, 8 administrators, and 9 support staff from across buildings, grade levels, and disciplines. To put this in perspective…it’s approximately 25% of our staff at Byron Public Schools.

First and foremost, I have to say this can be a little scary…to have multiple people evaluate you and your work.  (vs a single supervisor/superintendent)  But, this evaluation was for me and I had to have the right mindset to accept feedback (both positive and critical) in order to grow professionally.  I also knew that I was going to be completely transparent in this process and that included posting the results here, on my blog.

I was extremely humbled by the positive comments I received from all employee groups.  I truly feel valued by the district.  I also appreciate the concrete ideas I received to become a better leader.  I never once felt blindsided by remarks and I want to personally thank all who provided feedback.


I feel good about these results and the direction I need to go.  While vision and innovation are my strengths, I have some work to do in stakeholder focus/communication.  Below are the results from the survey with key remarks for improvement by each employee group.  If you are reading this post and have some strategies of how you would proceed – feel free to reply to this post, tweet, email, ect!  My plans are to continue to reflect on this and create a personal action plan over the summer.

From  Administrators:

  • “Make sure to clearly define your “city on a hill” that you are trying to get to. Develop a path to get there and help people see how they can get on the path and move the same direction. Also, make sure that you are not overextending yourself in so many different areas. Make sure that the teams you are on feel supported by you since you are the one with many of the solutions they need.”
  • “Keep working in the classrooms to build more support for change and skill development with teachers. How do you get more research-driven practices in the classroom in front of students?”
  • “Your strength is your vision. You know what you want. What may be difficult for you is figuring out how to put that vision into action. My best advice would be to do more PD.”

From Support Staff:  

  • “We have come to realize that professional development is extremely critical and are making every effort to personalize our teachers and students experiences.  Do Not FORGET SUPPORT STAFF.”
  • “Parents and teachers have been wanting education and tools for iPad safety and regulation. Continue making steps toward offering that.”

From Teachers:

  • Jen does have a passion for what she does. However, sometimes her ideas and implementation can be very difficult and or not feasible in the classroom setting. Pushing teachers out of their comfort zone is a good thing…challenge the status quo and continue to push for excellence. Her biggest challenge that she faces is effectively communicating with teachers. Having her get into the classrooms and develop strategies with the teachers would be great to see(Co-teach). I am not sure if she is ever interested in teaching students (k-12), but being in front of a classroom puts a different perspective on ideas and implementation than those that are not.”
  • “The top area of focus for improvement is to make sure that all staff members have an equal opportunity for collaboration.”
  • Stakeholder-centered leadership. Many of things that are brought to us to learn do not apply very much in the younger age groups. Maybe if she sees more of that side, it would help her help the early childhood teachers or K-5.”
  • “Continue to work towards creating a standard when it comes to resources everybody uses. Perhaps define the standard, communicate expectations (Google apps), and implement checkpoints to be sure all are using the products. This would ensure a consistency of medium for student learning and keep the technology integration focused on student learning. – – I think the director has excellent vision and direction!”
  • “Communicating vision and plans with others — sometimes it is hard to keep up. Helping all individuals feel valued, not just key players.”



The Tech Director’s 360 Survey

Back in July, I blogged about the need for me, a tech director of a small school district in MN,  to be more transparent.  Below is an update of my progress.

Earn your leadership every day.

Image Credit – quoteaddicts.com

The other part of my goals this year was to develop a 360 survey.  After much thought – I decided I wanted to focus on leadership traits.  I combined some of the Cosn Framework with statements from Survey Connect’s  – Sample Question Library to create a draft of my 360 tool.

I am looking for YOUR feedback on my DRAFT Tech Director’s 360 Feedback Survey.   I hope to have a mix of district leadership, educators, and support staff provide me with feedback sometime in Feb. So what do you think about the survey?  Is this too much? Too little? What am I missing?

As Real World Learning Design comes to a close…

This semester,  I designed and facilitated a graduate level course called Real World Learning Design.  It is course 4 in a series of 5 in WSU’s Innovative Instructional Leadership Certificate program.

Lets get real.

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)

Picture of presentation

@Mrs_Ausman4 and her students on Digital Citizenship

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!


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 proHouston we have a problemgress 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.
    1. Connect students and core content to organizations, professionals, and community members and provide rigorous authentic learning and career/life oriented experiences
    2. Evaluate roles in education where teachers become activators and co-learners who model “learning to learn”
    3. Explore and unpack 21st-century skills and habits of mind to model and foster with today’s learners
    4. 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!

    Let the shipping begin

    Image Credit Book Delights – WordPress.com

A new approach to the “PD Day”

If I die - Staff Meeting

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:

TableTop Group

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!

2 – High energy starter – We started the day with an epic game of Rock, Paper, Scissors – tied to Growth Mindset  (Thank you George Couros for the idea!)

And the winner is…

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)
Artifact snapshot

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!screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-6-44-30-pm

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!

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?  Growth 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!


Final Reflection

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:

Goal 2 – Deepen my understanding of today’s educational environment

Learning today and Leading tomorrowWhy 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.


Action Steps

Instructional Focus/Professional Development Action Steps

  • Complete the design of the Innovative Instructional Leadership graduate program and publish courses with creative commons licenses so that others may use and/or adapt.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.  
    • Possible topics:
      1. ePortfolios (done)
      2. Making thinking/learning visible
      3. Using the SMARTBoard as a student station (differentiation)
      4. Maybe focus on the competencies – creativity, collaboration communication, critical thinking/problems solving, community service, careers,
      5. Student-centered learning
      6. 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!
    1. My contributions to the Aug PLC day (presentation, website) Deeper Learning  Action plan (I used google forms with Autocrat to generate information from a google form to this google doc)
    2. Timeline: We will have another session in October, and one in March.
  • Improve presentation skills, facilitation skills, and coaching skillsCoach Clipart
    • Cognitive Coaching Certification
      • 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.
    • Attend/participate in an Online Course: Building Rigorous & Robust PreK-3 Learning Environments – this is a FREE 18-week course through MESPA/MDE.  
      • Notes from kick-off day – One thing that I learned from this day – is there are many similarities in what we want in PK-3 classrooms and. HS classrooms.  
    • Observe understandings in PS Walkabouts
    • Potentially design PD around this (Instructional coach and/or principal)
    • Visit innovative early learning schools (Austin? – October?
  • Participate in Renegade Leadership Book Study to learn more about the environments in other schools.


Resources Needed (dollars, people, resources)

  • Training – Cognitive Coaching
  • Training –  Online Course: Building Rigorous & Robust PreK-3 Learning Environments
  • Work with #wsucohort1 teachers to practice Cognitive Coaching Skills
  • Find at least 1 early ed teacher to work with to design/create rigorous/robust PK-3 learning environments.  (I may need to work with Primary principal  and instructional coach to find someone)
  • Seek to find pk-3 innovative schools/classrooms outside of Byron to observe interview.
  • Find opportunities to collaborate on the development of PD with building principals
  • I’d like to try and co-facilitate a district book study (Innovator’s mindset?)
  • Reflection of progress (self and with others)





Notes, Agendas, Presentations, Pictures & Videos, Survey Feedback, Reflection/Blog posts, Voxer discussions

GOAL 1: Improving My Leadership Presence

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!)  
Leadership Presence Traits

Image Amy Cuddy Ted Talk  Your body language shapes who you are

  • Action Steps
    • 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
    • Improve skills from the Leadership Impact Quotient Assessment
      • Results from Sept 18 self-assessment (below)- I would like to work on my communication and emotional agility  based on my self-assessment data. 
Leadership Impact Quotient Assessment

My results from the Leadership Impact Quotient Assessment

  • Resources Needed (dollars, people, resources)
    • I would love coaching and continuous feedback on my speaking skills.
    • Continued opportunity to present within our district.  (with feedback on areas of improvement)
    • Connections of people to observe/shadow outside of district (It doesn’t just have to be in education either)
    • Opportunities to observe great presenters outside of Byron (could be travel
    • Work with principals to schedule walkabouts.
    • Schedule time weekly – to reflect on goal.
  • Research
  • Deliverables (complete by May/June) –  Interviews, Reflections/Blog posts, Survey Data, Meeting Dates, Agendas, presentations. Before/after Self-assessment
Leadership Presence Wheel

Leadership Presence Wheel – via orachoaching.com

The transparent technology director

Transparency Quote

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.

  1. ISTE Admin Tech Standards (I also like some of the coaching standards – especially teaching, learning, assessment)
  2. COSN’s Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO

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)

Tech Director 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?