Category Archives: EDET 668 Leadership In Tech

Week 13 668 Reflection

Week 13 668 Reflection

This week we wrote about our philosophy of adaptation. I thought this was an assignment that was due last week, so I finished early. I sat down to write and plunged right into it. I try my best to learn new things because I can see that technology is forever changing the world and the classroom. I can’t teach the same way I learned. I need to find new ways to get information to the students, and technology is one increasingly important way. I think Fullan’s adaptation to change is a great model to follow. By incorporating Fullan’s model, I now can help my coworkers as they experience new changes that are about to happen, whether having to do with technology, budget cuts, or something else. I can be the crutch that they need to get them through and, once they get through, they will be fine.

Reading others’ blogs Ali, feels that same way as I do about technology. She also tries to include it as much as possible. I also liked what she said about the students needing 21st century skills—that many of the jobs these students will have will be with technology that has not been created yet. I think that is why it is important to use as much technology as you can in your classroom. It occurs to me that it’s really not about specific technologies the students know now as much as how well they are prepared to adapt to new technologies that are now perpetually coming on line. Teachers need to develop the same ability to adapt and model it for students. Ali also mentioned Fullan’s components of change, which I think are important as well.

Cindy wrote that it is critical that students contribute to a connected society. I think that is a very good point. She also included Fullan’s five components that are necessary for change. I like how she not only tries to get kids excited for technology but to get other teachers behind it as well.

Sunshine wrote that she teaches her students to use the resources around them. They will use this throughout their lives, so it is a great skill to teach. She also mentioned play and how letting students play is good. Often when students get older they don’t get to play that much anymore in school. Leadership is also important. I like how you she mentioned Goleman’s six leadership styles.

Tyler feels the same as I do way when new change occurs. I try to embrace it and learn it. She mentioned putting a science fair together. I told her a few years ago my team and I would do the science fair together. One would help with the research, one with writing, one with experimenting, another helping kids put it together. It was awesome and the kids also liked it because all of their teachers were helping them.

I did not make Twitter this week but looked at Tweetdeck to see what it is about. Most of the questions were about change. One question that popped out was how did Fullan’s text influence you? I would say that it influenced me a lot because I also included this in my adaptation paper. I would also recommend it to other teachers.

It has been a crazy week. We are down to our last class. I can’t believe it is already here. Time flies by. It has been fun, but I am ready for a break!

Philosophy of Adaptation

Philosophy of Adaptation

How do I model and manage adaptation to change?

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.  Alan Watts

The above quote by Alan Watts captures my philosophy of adaptation to change. I plunge right into it and make the best of it. I try my best to learn new things because I can see that technology is forever changing the world and the classroom. I can’t teach the same way I learned. I need to find new ways to get information to the students, and technology is one increasingly important way. Many of the writers we have studied give suggestions for how to adapt but, for me, Fullan’s (2001) model provides the best guide for how to get out on the change dance floor, while helping to lead peers to join the dance, too.

Students are growing up on technology, and it is now a part of their everyday lives. When they come to school, often it is like going back to the Stone Age for them. They don’t have computers, but find themselves reading textbooks and not getting current information. I try to include as much technology as I can. We watch the news every day so students can relate to current events. I have started using Google classroom and am taking classes on how to integrate it more into my teaching. I try to learn new technology that I can bring into the classroom. I believe that we have to change with the technology because the students need to be ready for the future.

With these new technologies comes cost. Right now our school district is facing an excessive deficit of over $25 million. I am not sure of the exact amount but I know is it around there. They are having community talks right now about the programs and to hear what parents, teachers, and the community want for our schools. The biggest challenge that my coworkers and I am going to face is how to deal with fewer resources and maybe how to deal with more students in our classrooms. Right now we have technology, but that technology is quickly becoming outdated. We have some programs that only certain computers can run. Our computers have to be updated as much as they can be. It’s not hard to see that we are soon going to be asked to deal with big changes, and teachers’ and administrators’ skills in adapting will be put to the test.

These heavy changes are going to hit schools hard, especially poorer schools. Small villages like where my Mom is from in Twin Hills may have their schools shut down for not meeting new minimum enrollment. There’s talk about technology replacing teachers. Arnett (2013) writes, “There are some innovation and technology enthusiasts who claim that computer-based learning will soon replace teachers.” I think they may be doing this in some of the smaller schools soon. But, as Wright (2013) says, “Education is much more complex than that. It is about the trust and bond between a teacher and young person (and parents) that creates the environment where learning can occur and grow. Virtual learning simply cannot do that.” It is my belief that students still need guidance, instruction, and inspiration, and a computer will not be able to do that. Young people need a real teacher to be there with them and walk along with them on their path of learning. If I find myself working in a situation where that value starts to not be shared by the people around me, will I still be able to play a leadership role in change and adaptability? Getting used to a new computer program or other high-tech teaching method is one thing. Accepting big funding cuts and the impacts they might have on classroom pedagogy is another. This is why I think teachers’ ability to deal with change in Alaska in the coming years will be tested. Having a philosophy of adaptation based on the approaches to change we’ve been reading about this semester can help a teacher or administrator move more gracefully into whatever is to come.

Many people go through different emotions when they see change coming. According to Conner (2010), at a personal level, three types of energy are required to make adjustments in expectations:

Mental (to figure out what is happening and how to respond)

Emotional (to deal with various feelings like loss, anxiety, threat, relief, joy, optimism, etc.)

Physical (to accommodate the bodily implications of stress, excitement, etc.)

When people go through change, they often experience some of these types of energy. We all need someone to help us adjust to the change. So I not only try to adapt to change, but I have to be there to help others adapt, too. Recently, my mentee wasn’t comfortable with a new program we were working with. She is used to teaching without technology. I helped her go through that change and showed her how easy it was. My mentee needed my support, while the students didn’t really need help with the program, because they are already good with technology.

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Looking at the chart above, in order to make change happen, you first must have moral purpose. Caring about those you work with, both students and fellow teachers, and wanting to make a positive difference in their lives is a moral purpose. You must understand change and have relationships with others to make change happen. I know I already have this. I get along with all of my coworkers at school and have good relationships with them. Fullan (2008) writes, “It is the interactions and relationships among people, not the people themselves, that makes the difference in an organizational success.” There also must be knowledge sharing and creation. For change to occur in a way that doesn’t set everyone back, it needs to be coherent. Fullan (2008) explains that “sharing of information creates a collaborative culture, which cycles back to more sharing.” In other words, in the process of collaborating with others to implement a change, people begin to make meaning of the change.

Adaptation theory, also known as survival theory or “survival of the fittest,” looks at an organism’s ability to adapt to changes in its environment and adjust accordingly over time (King, 2015). Sometimes I feel like that is how it is in school, especially with technology. If you get it, you will survive; if not, it will overcome you. I have learned to adapt to changing technologies. Staying ahead by constantly trying out new tools is the best way to keep new technology from overtaking you.

By starting Kahoot!, I integrated more technology into my classroom. Wang (2012) points to Malone’s “theory of intrinsically motivating instruction” and lists his three categories of activities that can help make things fun to learn: challenge (goals with uncertain outcomes); fantasy (captivating through intrinsic or extrinsic fantasy); and curiosity (sensor curiosity through graphics and sound, and cognitive curiosity where the player should solve something unsolved) (quoting Malone 1980). The Kahoot! GSRS was designed with these categories in mind: the challenge is to answer unknown questions and try to beat other players, the fantasy is to be part of a game show, and curiosity is provoked both through inviting graphics and audio as well as solving a cognitive puzzle (finding the correct answer and waiting to see if it is correct or not). Kahoot! is designed to be a multiplayer game where students compete to be at the top of the scoreboard (Wang, 2012).

Students are excited when using this program. Some even asked almost every day if we were going to play Kahoot!. I have expanded it and changed it to give different quizzes so students don’t get bored. My mentee also has noticed that the students are asking to play it and are excited about it.

I think my philosophy has made me not only a better teacher but a better learner. I look at change and, instead being afraid of it, I welcome it! I am ready and know the process of change. By incorporating Fullan’s model, I now can help my coworkers as they experience new changes that are about to happen, whether having to do with technology, budget cuts, or something else. I can be the crutch that they need to get them through and, once they get through, they will be fine. My philosophy may change over time, but one thing that won’t change is my determination to learn new things and bring them to my students so they can have a better future.

References

Arnett, T. (2013). Will computers replace teachers? Christensen Institute. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from http://www.christenseninstitute.org/will-computers-replace-teachers/

Conner, D. (2010). How People Learn to Adapt to Change. Retrieved November 22, 2015, from http://www.connerpartners.com/frameworks-and-processes/how-do-people-learn-to-adapt-to-change

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

King, S. (2015). What Is Adaptation Theory? Retrieved November 22, 2015, from http://www.ehow.com/about_5105998_adaptation-theory.html

Wang, A. (2012). The Wear Out Effect of a Game-based Student Response System. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://www.idi.ntnu.no/~alfw/publications

Wearout_effect_of_game_based_student_response_system_DRAFT.pdf

Wright, P. (2013). Why new technologies could never replace great teaching. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jun/20/technology-not-replace-teaching-learning

Week 12 Reflection

Week 12 Reflection 668

This week we wrote about how understanding of controlled disruption and coherence making can impact your leadership of peers at this time, and at this level. We have gone through and read each chapter in Fullan’s book, Leading In A Culture Of Change. I know the process and the steps at this time and level and know I can make a difference at my school. You have to go through the process to make change happen with minimal disruption, and coherence is the last step in the process. My understanding of controlled disruption can make a difference when change is happening at my school and I can help others through it.

In our Twitter session, all the questions were about the reading we had for the week. Many great questions made us (or at least me) go back to the readings, because some of these terms were new—like “productive disturbance.” How can productive disturbance benefit you or your school? How do you reconcile changes of opinion? I said that productive disturbance is when you are trying to make a change. It can benefit your school for the better; by talking through the change, you can reconcile differences of opinion. There were great questions this session that really made me think. It was great!

In responding to others’ blogs, Ali quoted Fullan (1993), “We should not think of vision as something only for leaders. It rises by pushing ourselves what is important to us as educators.” I think this is a good quote because this is what we all are doing now. We are pushing ourselves toward what is important and what we believe will help our students. Cindy said that change is needed, but there is often resistance. That is true! What is good for one generation is not good enough for the next. We need to change with the times, and technology is bringing on change faster.

In this environment, it helps when you already have strong relationships with your coworkers. Sunshine said that if disruption is controlled then fewer people will be likely to pull away and more will buy into the process of change. Sam had a great analogy, “Sometimes life just happens and we have to learn to deal with that.” By understanding how to deal with change, we can help others through the process of change. It was a good week, with a good deal of compelling reading.

Now I need to start thinking about my paper and also my philosophy of adaptation. I need to look at my rubric and see what that is and start planning to write that out. One step at a time, and I will get finished. I need to organize my notes and plan my outline before I start beginning to write my report. I want to make sure that I don’t leave anything out. I see a lot of hard work ahead, but if I outline it and complete it one step at a time, it will be easier, and I can get it done.

Week 12 668

Essential Question: Consider your own context within your school and with your mentee. How can understanding of controlled disruption and coherence making impact your leadership of peers at this time, and at this level?

I thought this was a good model of what we have been learning about. We have gone through and read each chapter in Fullan’s book, Leading In A Culture Of Change. I know the process and the steps at this time and level and know I can make a difference at my school.

Looking at the below chart, in order to make change happen, you first must have moral purpose. It is when you care about those you work with that you can make a positive difference in their lives. You must understand change and have relationships with other to make change happen. I know I already have this. I get along with all of my coworkers and have good relationships with them. According to Fullan (2008), “It is the interactions and relationships among people, not the people themselves, that makes the difference in an organization’s success.” There also must be knowledge sharing and creation. “In turn, sharing of information creates a collaborative culture, which cycles back to more sharing” (Fullan, 2008).

The last part is coherence making—when people start making meaning of the change.

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My knowing this process of change can help me support others at my school as we work through coming changes. When change happens, it is often messy and chaotic. Many times people fear change because they are used to doing things their way. Fullan (2008) states that an organization “is a living system and driving systems must change and grow or they will die.” I think we need to change and adapt to things that are new. We can’t keep teaching the old ways. Times have changed and so has technology. We want our students to be prepared for the future, so we must change to help them. “When change occurs, there will be disturbance, and this means there will be differences of opinions that must be recoiled. Effective leadership guides people through the differences and, indeed, enabling differences to surface.” Here, he is talking about controlled disruption. As DuFour (2004) suggests, teachers who work in teams may engage in an ongoing cycle of questioning that promotes deep learning and leads to higher levels of student achievement. This is what we want as teachers and, if we see that we are helping the students, then we will have reached our goal.

By knowing and applying Fullan’s change model, I know that I can make a difference with my coworkers. By knowing this model I can be that positive leader and guide my team through a culture of change where new measures are instituted in ways that make coherent sense and any disruption to teachers’ work lives and student learning are controlled.

References

DuFour, R. (2004). What is a” professional learning community”?. Educational leadership, 61(8), 6-11.

Fullan, M. (2001). Fullan Change Model. Retrieved November 21, 2015, from http://www.unrwa.org/userfiles/file/leading_4_the_future/module1/Moral purpose and change Fullan.ppt coherence making

Fullan, M. (2008). PowerPoint. Retrieved November 21, 2015, from http://www.slideshare.net/jdellavalle/fullans-power-point

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Update Mentor project

Update 668 Update

I have all my data for this mentorship. There is nothing more that I can show her and she has gotten Kahoot down. I have asked her to write some information about herself like how long she has been teaching, technology experience, and about our collaboration together.

I think I am now ready to make a out line for my paper and start to write it up or gather the information for the certain parts. I am not sure how I will write it up yet. I will look the rubric and probably go off of that for a outline. It has gone fast and has been fun working with someone.

Week 11 Reflection 668

Week 11 Reflection 668

For this week’s blog, we wrote about, “What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?”I said that all stakeholders in a healthy organization should have a large part in knowledge creation and sharing. I think an organization that shares together, grows together. When people share, they are trusting the other people in the organization. This builds trust among the workers and unifies the community of workers.

In responding to others’blogs, Cindy made a point that everyone should be involved and made to feel that their knowledge is respected and valued. I said I think, if they see that, they will more likely share more often. No one wants to share if no one respects or values their knowledge. Sunshine made a point that we often get training but, without sharing of knowledge, we lose that connection and at times the information. I said, “I think if we shared together what we learned then we will more likely to use it.” Sam made a point about working in teams. I said I love working with a team. It is so easy to talk about students and what we see in our classes and then see if it is a pattern in all classes. We then can try to help that student or talk to the parents about what we are seeing. Sally said that our students must learn how to access knowledge and learn how to share what they are learning and allow it to take on a “social life” among them. By doing this the students will find a purpose for the information, grow in sharing, and develop deeper relationships with their peers. This is so true and very important I think.

In our Twitter session, much of the questions were about our school and if we see it as a knowledge sharing and knowledge creation school. I think that my school is knowledge sharing. We often get together for trainings or someone will share something that they learned from a training.  One question that stuck was “do you think the culture of the school affects knowledge sharing?” I really think this one stood out because if you are in a school that does not share, work, and communicate together then you are already lost. Without this, your school will not be helping the students. We want the students to work together and we need to set an example for them. They need to see their teachers sharing, talking, and working together. After all, we want to set good examples for our students and have them be ready for the future and be able to share and work with others.

Week 11 668

Essential Question: What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?

I think all stakeholders in a healthy organization should have a large part in knowledge creation and sharing. If a district or school wants to improve then this should be part of it. People who feel part of an organization will put effort into making it a better place because they will have a sense of ownership of the organization’s success. One way to accomplish this “buy-in” is through knowledge creation and sharing.

Fullan (2014) writes, “Knowledge enabling includes facilitating relationships and conversations as well as sharing local knowledge across an organization. This relies on a sense of emotional knowledge and care in the organization, one that highlights how people treat each other and encourage creativity.”I think an organization that shares together, grows together. When people share, they are trusting the other people in the organization. This builds trust among the workers and unifies the community of workers. “Good relationships purge a knowledge-creation of distrust, fear, and dissatisfaction, and allow members to feel safe enough to explore”(Fullan, 2014).

I believe what Fullan says, that sharing creates a learning culture. Once people begin to share, others will begin to as well. In my school, our staff believes in sharing of knowledge. In addition to knowledge sharing, good leadership is one of the main characteristics of a healthy organization (Johnson, 2015). Our principal is one that we can trust. I believe that he is leading us in the right directions. We meet together as a staff about once a month and also as a team almost daily. Our principal just this last week took us in others’ classrooms so we could focus on Danielson 2B.. This is helping us learn what is 2B and what does it look like. He gave a list of things to look for when we were in the classroom. Once we left we talked about it as a team and agreed that these were some examples of 2B. It gave me more insight of what 2B was to see it in action and talk about it with others.

Nabong (2015) lists some of the many benefits of a cultivated learning culture in an organization. These include, but are not limited to:

•Increased efficiency, productivity and profit

•Increased employee satisfaction and decreased turnover

•An improved mindset among employees

•A developed sense of ownership and accountability

•Ease in succession/transition

•A culture of knowledge inquiry and sharing

•An enhanced ability for workers to adapt to change

In order to have a healthy organization, the staff or the people you work with should be comfortable with knowledge creation and sharing. If your staff is comfortable with each other then the organization will grow, and weather transitions more easily, as all of the knowledge won’t leave when one person leaves.

In our school, I think, as a group of professionals, we are comfortable with knowledge creation and sharing. Many times we teachers have other staff members that share knowledge with us. I think it takes time for an organization to get to this stage but, once you are there, it is beneficial for everyone involved, including the students we are there to serve.

References

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Nabong, T. (2015). Creating a Learning Culture for the Improvement of your Organization. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from https://www.trainingindustry.com/workforce-development/articles/creating-a-learning-culture-for-the-improvement-of-your-organization.aspx

Week 10 Reflection 668

Week 10 Reflection 668

This week we were asked to write about why we think the following statement is true or false: “Get the right people on your team and get the wrong ones off.” I responded that I felt this statement was false. I believe that everyone can improve, so, if there is someone on your team who needs to improve, then help them, don’t kick them off. I think people should forge relationships, build on them, and respect others. You may not have a great team at first but I guarantee that, if you stick it out and build on each others’ strengths and differences and learn from each other, then you eventually will become a great team. This is what I wrote in my blog for the week and what I believe.

In responding to others’ blogs, Ali took from Jones (2013 that “relationships you build with colleagues aren’t just good for your mental well being; they’re also the foundation of collaboration that can result in increased student achievement.” I thought this was an excellent statement and so very true. Sunshine made a good point: “When the place you work at is no longer a positive environment it lowers [morale] and creates [discord] among the workers.” I told her that I agree with this statement because I have seen it first hand with a team that I was with a few years ago. Cindy made a good point when she said “A team full of like-minded people may mean that things run smoothly at first, but opportunities for growth and overall success could be jeopardized.”I agree because I think a team needs a variety of skills and there should be some resistance in the team, as that is when you break through with new ideas. Tyler wrote about someone who didn’t get along with others and eventually was removed. I said I wondered if someone had talked to him about this at first and let him know what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t know how others saw him. I think if the principal had a talk with him maybe he could have changed or gotten help to be a better specialist. I think people deserve a change to change before they are booted. If still then after the talk the person still hasn’t changed then I can see different employment somewhere else.

For our Twitter session Mia and I were the hosts and we had questions that dealt with our reading. I asked the first five questions and then Mia took over. The questions that I asked were about relationships and the power that they can have. I also asked about effective leaders—if how they care for you makes a  difference with people and how good leadership can help teachers and students feel connected to their school. Mia talked about professional development and if she should be doing more of these for their staff and also about our mentoring projects and how that is going. It was a great season and fun night of tweeting.

Week 10 668 Blog

Essential Question: Explain and give examples to argue why the following statement is true or false: “Get the right people on your team and get the wrong ones off.”

I think this statement is false. I know the right people on your team can make the difference but I don’t think that is the way to go. I don’t think people should choose who to be on their team. How would that make the person feel who wasn’t on the team. I believe that everyone can improve, so if there is someone on your team that needs improvement, then help them don’t kick them off.

Every individual has some sort of gift that they are good at. The knowledge, skills, and dispositions of teachers as individuals is important and make a difference in the classroom (Fullan, 2014). Together, that makes a great team. Some people might be stronger than others at some skills. But does that make them better? I think everyone should be treated equally and this statement “Get the right people on your team and get the wrong ones off”is not treating everyone equal. By using the strengths of a diverse team with different approaches and styles, you can differentiate your instruction to meet the needs of a larger group more frequently within the classroom (Marston, 2015).

Professional communities, whether strong or not, positively affect student learning (Fullan, 2014). I think a team should be taking professional development courses together. This will make them a stronger team. Or if one person has taken a professional course and learned something valued, they should share that with their team. This will build the team dynamics and strengthen the relationships between the individuals.  This will also make your team stronger. “Strong teams within schools are essential to retaining and sustaining teachers”(Aguilar, 2012). I think this is so very important, especially in rural areas where the teacher doesn’t have much support. If they have a team and feel supported I think they will more likely stay where they are.

“To be successful beyond the short run, all organizations must incorporate moral purpose; understand complexity science; and respect, build, and draw on new human relationships with hitherto uninvolved constituencies inside and outside the organization”(Fullan, 2014).  This statement says it. I think people should forge relationships, build on them, and respect others. You may not have a great team at first but I guarantee that, if you stick it out with your team and build on each others’ strengths and differences and learn from each other, then you eventually will become a great team.

References

Aguilar, E. (2012). Effective Teams: The Key to Transforming Schools? Retrieved November 7, 2015, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teacher-teams-transform-schools-elena-aguilar

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Marston, N. (2015). 6 Steps to Successful Co-Teaching. Retrieved November 7, 2015, from http://www.nea.org/tools/6-steps-to-successful-co-teaching.html#5