Portfolio Assignment: SWOT Analysis (embedded below, too!)
Module Reflection - ISTE Standard #1. Visionary Leadership
Educational Administrators inspire and lead the development and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformation throughout the organization.
Inspire and facilitate among all stakeholders a shared vision of purposeful change that maximizes the use of digital-age resources to meet and exceed learning goals, support effective instructional practice, and maximize performance of district and school leaders.
Engage in an ongoing process to develop, implement, and communicate technology-infused strategic plans aligned with a shared vision.
Advocate on local, state and national levels for policies, programs and funding to support implementation of a technology-infused vision and strategic plan.
I feel like, overall, I have a strong vision for the use and integration of technology to support teaching and learning. Much of that comes from the time that I spent teaching in a 1:1 environment and serving as a “Tech TOSA,” but it also stems from attending a fair amount of professional development through CUE and other organizations. It is, however, a different thing to possess a personal vision and another thing entirely to work toward promoting a shared vision for the use of technology. In the context of my current work, I feel like there’s still a fair amount of work to be done to look at the effective use of educational technology within our team. We’re using our “STEM Tools” as the springboard for that discussion and I feel like I have been pretty proactive in promoting the use of these tools to engage in content learning (as opposed to simply using them for general engagement or enrichment). That much is something that we do all share and has become integral to our work.
Areas of Need:
We’re working on developing sample lessons and resources that can help communicate that vision with the districts and schools with which we work. That advocacy is really important in advancing a shared vision of STEM that is aligned with our definition of STEM and is something that we need to do more effectively. We see so much of technology’s use for its own sake, as opposed to using it to transform the instruction that’s going on. That’s most evident in STEM right now in the area of coding and robotics. Most people see those two domains as recognizably STEM and, with robotics in particular, are willing to invest heavily in them. The challenge, however, is that they’re used primarily as enrichment. I’d much rather see high-interest tools like robots be used to engage students in meaningful content learning. I think most teachers would agree, but some guidance would be needed.
We really need to make progress toward producing our STEM tools series that we outlined earlier this year. It’s a timely opportunity to meet people where they are (wanting the tools) and at the same time, a chance to share and advance our vision for the use of these tools. While much of this work requires our communication work as a prerequisite (ongoing), Omar and I could certainly map out some time to move this along. That includes finalizing our checkout system.
Module Reflection - ISTE Standard #2. Digital Age Learning Culture
Educational Administrators create, promote and sustain a dynamic, digital-age learning culture that provides a rigorous, relevant and engaging, education for all students.
- Ensure instructional innovation focused on continuous improvement of digital-age learning
- Model and promote the frequent and effective use of technology for learning
- Provide learning-centered environments equipped with technology and learning resources to meet the individual, diverse needs of all learners
- Ensure effective practice in the study of technology and its infusion across the curriculum
- Promote and participate in local, national, and global learning communities that stimulate innovation, creativity, and digital-age collaboration
I believe one of my greatest strengths with respect to ISTE Standard #2 is that I had the chance to experience a lot of this in the classroom as a teacher in a 1:1 learning environment. I’ve lived the changes that happen when devices are introduced to a classroom. I also spent a year officially serving as a Teacher on Special Assignment focused on supporting teachers in the effective use of educational technology in their classrooms. While some of the apps used have certainly changed over the past few years, good pedagogy has not. I’ve also presented on numerous occasions on the use of educational technology in a broad sense and in the context of science and STEM education. I’m a member of ISTE, CUE, and OCCUE which are organizations that promote global learning communities in a digital age. To validate my own skillset, I’ve completed the Apple Teacher certification for Mac, iPad, and Swift Playgrounds, as well as Google Educator certification for Level 1 & Level 2.
Areas of Need:
I need to stay involved in my professional learning communities that are connected to educational technology. This includes participating in other local community events such as TADL (Technology Across Digital Lines). While my personal skillset is fairly deep in this particular area, I need to do some serious work in ensuring that our team is well-versed in these areas. I’d like to explore the possibility of having our entire team complete Google Educator Level 1 certification in order to ensure a common foundation and an important skillset. I’ll also scan social media regularly to share examples of the effective use of educational technology with team members.
Keep track of deadlines for conference proposal submissions so that I can present. I did not submit to present for conferences this year because I wasn’t entirely sure where I’d be working (because I was looking to change jobs) and thus wasn’t sure about the feasibility of conference participation. I’d also like to resurrect EdCampNOC for next year. While it’s not specifically focused on educational technology, that is often the focus of the participant-led sessions. We took a break this year, but it should return in the fall of 2018!
Portfolio Assignment: Sharing My PLN (embedded below, too!)
Module IV Reflection - ISTE Standard #3. Excellence in Professional Practice
Educational Administrators promote an environment of professional learning and innovation that empowers educators to enhance student learning through the infusion of contemporary technologies and digital resources.
- Allocate time, resources and access to ensure ongoing professional growth in technology fluency and integration.
- Facilitate and participate in learning communities that stimulate, nurture, and support administrators, faculty and staff in the study and use of technology.
- Promote and model effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders using digital tools.
- Stay abreast of educational research and emerging trends regarding the effective use of technology and encourage evaluation of new technologies for their potential to improve student learning.
Generally speaking, I feel that my personal knowledge and use of contemporary technologies and digital resources is quite strong. I have strong personal and professional learning networks and am well-connected to others, particularly via social media. I model that engagement for members of my team and have seen an uptick in their participation online in the past three months (note: one was already quite active). Two of my team members actually set goals for contributing to and connecting with their PLNs through Twitter for this year. As a whole, our team strongly models using effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders using digital tools. We work primarily within the Google suite and model its use at trainings with teachers. Other Web 2.0 tools are used as needed for our work as a team (e.g. LucidPress, Basecamp, Nureva Span, etc).
Areas of Need
While I am personally fairly well connected to others, I could definitely spend more time engaging and building out a similar network for our actual STEM team at large. This includes building up our social media and web presence (our website is not particularly user-friendly and could use some serious work). It also includes ensuring that each member of our team is responsible for contributing to our web presence. My other area of greatest need is in staying abreast of educational research and emerging trends for the effective use of technology.
It’s also interesting to consider that, as a department, the decision has been made to move away from continuing the specific EdTech coordinator position. The expectation moving forward will be that members of the team will have a broader STEM focus. That said, we do find that some districts are still looking for some specific EdTech resources. Without an EdTech coordinator, it means that we are all responsible for sharing in that knowledge together.
I was previously a member of ISTE and received their publications. It would be wise, perhaps, to add them back into my PLN to ensure access to high-quality information related to the effective use of technology. I believe I can also join their administrator’s network and subscribe to their Journal of Research on Technology in Education. Both would certainly be positive steps toward staying “abreast of educational research and emerging trends regarding the effective use of technology and encourage evaluation of new technologies for their potential to improve student learning.” I would also like to host or co-host with a member of the team a Twitter 101 session to ensure that everyone has basic knowledge of how to contribute to and engage in our PLN online.