Beyond the Classroom
What qualifies someone to be called a leader is their ability to influence other behaviors to produce change (Grenny, Patterson, Maxfield, McMillan & Switzer, 2013). To lead others, I used the tools that the Digital Learning and Leading Master’s program has provided to provide teachers with ways to innovate their own classroom. I used components of the 4DX (four disciplines of execution), Influencer, and Crucial Conversations. Putting these resources into action, allowed other teachers to witness how these useful tools were critical in putting an innovation plan into place.
“Change is the end result of all true learning” (Buscaglia, n.d.). To provide an environment where students are not just regurgitating facts, but understanding concepts on a deeper level, we as educators must be constantly changing our After extensive research, I decided the most ideal project to implement would be blended learning with station rotations, combining both online learning with traditional methods (Horn, & Staker, 2015). This access to technology allows students opportunities for differentiation through a wide array of learning activities. Once the plan was developed, I wrote a literature review, and promotional video to further elaborate on my idea. I developed goals to further structure the blended learning model.
Regarding my innovation project of blended learning, I was able to implement the plan the fall of last year. Throughout the year I made several changes and continued to build upon the course modules. Next year we will be using different curriculum, so most likely the lesson videos I created, I will have to start from scratch. I have set goals next year to add more differentiation for students. This will include more flexibility and choice for students when conducting assignments. Creating these menus is quite time-consuming, but I am hopeful that I will accomplish these goals. I will be attending training this summer, to learn how other teachers have provided more opportunities for their students using technology. In addition, I will be using more technology websites, such as flipgrid, and nearpod. I have found that students can get quite bored without constantly revising and using different technology platforms.
If you want to help prepare students for the future, you must teach them to learn how to learn and how to be flexible and adapt to a new learning environment (Harapnuik, Thibodeaux, & Cummings, 2018). If it weren’t for this DLL program through Lamar University and the COVA (Choice, Ownership, and Voice through Authentic learning) model, I don’t believe I would be close to completing a Master’s Degree. It was never something I anticipated on achieving, with a math and science background, I didn’t believe a traditional master’s program with only writing papers would be a possibility for me. The first assignment I remember feeling overwhelmed at first at the overabundance of choice, but then followed by relief. The relief of not being forced to write a paper because I was given the choice to present the information on any platform. I created a PowerPoint which I turned into a video. I had never done a voice-over or written a script, so it was a new endeavor. The thing that I was most fascinated about in making this video was that I learned more through having choices. By not writing a traditional paper, I not only learned about the content of the class but how to use technology to make a video. Looking back this was a very primitive way to make the video, but spending long hours and weekends on this assignment, I felt an accomplishment. To me that is what the COVA model and a significant learning environment are all about, it is not about choosing the easiest path, but combining what you know with what can learn to take ownership of your learning.