Is this the end?

Is this the end? For this program, yes. For my DLL journey, it’s only beginning.  But I need to start this discussion with brutal honesty.  My district motivates their teachers to continue to education, by pay incentives.  Our spot on the pay scale goes up and we receive salary increases, the more credits we receive.  Going into the DLL program this was a huge motivator for me.  While we are being honest, it was actually my main motivator.  But as I’ve gone through the DLL program, there has been a shift in the main motivators.

I’ve learned so much and have been given so many tools to be able to develop an innovation plan that I am going to implement at school.  I was able to expand my knowledge of digital tools and resources.  This program has changed my views on a lot of things and has motivated me to make a change for the better. The awesome thing about this change is that it doesn’t just benefit me, it will also benefit everyone around me (my students, co-workers, administration).  I truly feel that I have learned so much information of the digital/educational world and about myself as an educator and learner.

Reflection on the Innovation Project

In regards to the actual plan, I feel that I’m at a pretty good spot and close to finishing  if not finished.  I originally wanted to implement ePortfolios with all students in the high school.  I was nervous that it would be too big of an idea to tackle, by including all staff and students in  the high school, but I see the benefit for all that are involved.  I will say that although my main idea or goal hasn’t changed the planning most definitely has changed.  In the beginning, I turned in my innovation plan and thought that there wasn’t much more that could go into planning.  I was so wrong! Throughout the Digital Learning and Leading program, I’ve continued to add to the innovation plan .

During a previous class, I was able to develop an online class for students creating ePortfolios.  In addition to creating an online class, I also added the idea of making this a graduation project.  This would enforce the importance of the plan and students would know that it is a requirement.  I also like that I created a course, because students would be able to learn about using ePortfolios and have a resource to refer back to, when creating their own.  The only thing left, is to implement the plan.

I honestly think that it all sounds like it’ll work, but there isn’t a true test until I run my innovation plan. I realized that I needed to be specific and almost plan as if someone, other than me was reading over the plan, and not have to ask any questions for clarity.  While developing my innovation plan, I realized that it’ll never be complete and that if I run it, it’ll always have to be adjusted to meet the needs of all students.

Since the last step is actually going though with the innovation plan, I will need to promote it.  First I would start with administration.  Then I would talk about it at faculty meeting.  I would pilot the plan, with those who are interested.  Then we would share our findings including: results, benefits, things that need to be improved (so others wouldn’t make the same mistakes).  Overall, I learned a lot but think I still have more to learn about developing and implementing innovation plans.

COVA

I feel that I realized that I have COVA, when I was creating my ePortfolio.  All of the assignments that we had to complete were more than that.  I was able to make the choice on how I wanted to complete the assignments.  In turn, I was able to take ownership of my own work or ePortfolio.  Through this I was able to reflect on my learning experiences and make it relevant to me.

In the beginning, I was not to excited about it, it was different and the uncertainty made me uncomfortable.  In the past, I was use to being shown examples and told exactly what was expected.  COVA was the exact opposite.  After giving COVA a try, I realized that I was able to create evidence of my learning in my own way that was meaningful to me.  It wasn’t necessarily love at first sight,  but I learned to love this style of learning.

I think that using a new approach in a classroom, can be uncomfortable, not difficult.  Change is uncomfortable.  I think that there isn’t one right way of doing this.  It can be done on certain assignments, to test how students respond to it.  Or a teacher can just jump into it and use the COVA approach for everything.  In my innovation plan, with the integration of ePortfolios in learning, the COVA approach is a staple throughout.

PLNs

Towards the beginning of my DLL journey, I added a PLN section to my ePortfolio.  I feel that I still frequent the site, but I really just look to get ideas.  I guess I should probably contribute, so it’s not just a taking relationship.  I get a lot of ideas from looking at the normal social media pages. I also, still look at the social media comedy pages.  That hasn’t changed and it’s so nice to see other people that deal with the same things that I do as a teacher and find the humor in it.  So in the future, I hope to have a bigger role in PLNs and want to make it more of a mutual relationship. rather that the “take take take” one that I have now.

The biggest take away from this course is that it’s possible to do something like publish an article, for the everyday regular teacher.  I thought that this was something only for well established writers to be able to do.  I realized that it’s not as impossible as I though it would be, to publish an article.  I also learned that although I do like the spotlight and don’t mind have the attention on me, I don’t feel the desire to publish an article.  I’m my harshest critic and probably would rather read others’ articles, rather than publish my own.

Article Media Pitch

I think the way to engage the audience is to know who they are first.  To engage the audience, a presenter must be speaking about a topic that is relevant to the audience.  Others have engaged me when they speak about something that is relevant to me.  A main example of this is actually happening in two days.  We have an in-service and every year special education teachers are recommended to go to training at the intermediate unit, in our county.  If not, we have to be approved to stay at our school.  I choose to stay at the school, with the math department, because it’s relevant to me.  A lot of the trainings I see, offered for special education teachers, isn’t really relevant to me.  It would be an all day borefest.  So I am a main supporter in relvancy.  I will incorporate this into my video, but touching on important topics for high school teachers. I would influencer reviewers to read my publication, this method has our students needs at heart.

Here is my link to my video: tiannello.wordpress.com/article-media-pitch/

Audio and Visual Tools

Throughout the DLL program, I have used the following audio and visual tools: Adobe Spark, Youtube, Piktochart, Canva, Prezi, and Powtoon.  These tools were pretty easy to use and navigate.  These tools were all new to using and I was able to use them to complete my assignments.  I was familiar with watching Youtube, but not uploading my own video.  They were all free, so I didn’t have to worry about paying for using these tools.  Some of these tools had upgraded versions, but I chose to the use the free version that worked fine,

As far as my high school, there really aren’t a lot of tools being used for presentations.  The tools they have been using have really been their new, individual Chromebooks and Canvas.  Besides that the only audio and visual tool that has been used has probably been Google Slides, for presentations.  I feel that all the tools that I’ve used over the past year and a half are easy to use for my high school students and will help to doing something different for assignments, other than the regular paper or PowerPoint.

Resources

When I am preparing to write I would use Google Drive and the Google applications store information, access data and collaborate with others.  It’s probably the most accessible technological tool to individuals.  It’s pretty easy to learn how to use and navigate through the tools.  Most individuals have probably used Google applications at some point in their lives.  At my school, all students and teachers have Google accounts.  My school stresses the uses of Google applications.  When students have to type a paper or complete a project, they use Google.  If they need to collaborate or contact a student/teacher, they use Google. If teachers or administrators need to share information they use Google.  I believe that it works pretty well.  Since the teacher are well versed in the tool, they are able to assist their students with using it.  It’s also a tool that students and teachers will keep on using.  I use it in both my personal and professional life.

A topic that interests me is that same topic that I have surrounding my innovation plan, the implementation of ePortfolios with all high school students.  I feel this is very important, because students need to be prepared for the future.  By implementing them, in the classroom, teachers are able to expose students to learning new tools, troubleshooting and problem solving.  It will also allow them to stay current with new technology and prepare for colleges and/or employment that require an ePortfolio. It also helps promote becoming a lifelong learner.  Links that I’ve found, related to my area of interest are listed below:

https://www.teachthought.com/technology/5-reasons-to-use-digital-portfolios-in-your-classroom/

https://www.wabisabilearning.com/blog/how-do-digital-portfolios-help-students

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-09-26-not-just-a-number-how-digital-portfolios-help-one-district-measure-what-matters

http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1142753.pdf

https://thejournal.com/articles/2011/06/29/3-keys-for-a-successful-eportfolio-Implementation.aspx

I could transition this area of interest from theory to practice by sharing my ideas, including my research with teachers and administration.  If can show the evidence, I believe that teachers and administrators would be interested in trying out my plan.  Once getting some individuals on my side, I could ask to introduce my ideas a faculty and department meetings,