The last half of this IICT Specialist course has directed us to looking at being leaders within our schools. We have developed Technology Plans for our schools, considered how we would mentor a colleague one-on-one and decided how we would assess our success with these initiatives. This proved a challenge for me because, while I am very eager to take on this role of a leader in Technology, I hesitate to step on any toes. I was intimidated by the idea of assessing my colleagues’ knowledge and their use of technology but I am cognizant of the fact that it needs to be done if we are to improve as teachers and as a school. As I pondered these new directions in which I was being lead, I realized that I will need to help push the boundaries past where many of my colleagues are comfortable, firmly but carefully. Therefore, as a part of our new Technology Team, I will help lead the team to build resources, establish some training through Lunch and Learns, staff meeting and PD Day presentations and, hopefully, an EdTech PD block. Using surveys, discussions and observations and maybe some mentoring, we will be able to start assessing the impact of our initiatives. I am very excited for this new venture.
For one of our assignments, we were asked to add an assessment piece to our Technology Plans which we had previously written for our school. While the idea made perfect sense, I had not considered this aspect before. The article “ An Introduction to Program Evaluation for Classroom Teachers” by Howard L. Fleischman and Laura Williams detailed how programs and initiatives need to be evaluated in order to assess their effectiveness, to determine if they are working and, if not, how to improve or adjust them. This idea was on a stage that I had never considered being on before so I looked at it first with much trepidation. However, as I contemplated the reading, I realized that it was not really that far removed from the expectations we already have as teachers. It will be a different experience having my colleagues as the “students” that I am assessing to determine the effectiveness of our Technology plans but that strangeness will evolve as we all get used to these new roles.
As always, I enjoy very much the conversations occurring in the discussion forum. We are all very respectful as we share our ideas and ask for clarification. Everyone’s willingness to share thoughts and ideas, resources and knowledge is inspiring and extremely helpful. I have found a myriad of new sources, new ideas and new ways of thinking through these dialogues. I tend to be quite casual and informal in my style of presenting and being exposed to others who are formal, methodical, and detailed challenges me to stray from my comfort zone. I have considered using such methods to reach greater audiences as I present and teach. I enjoy reading my classmates’ assignments. It never fails to amaze me how one assignment can be interpreted in so many different ways and it is a fantastic experience to read and learn from all these different viewpoints and perspectives.
I continually look forward to learning new tools and apps to increase my repertoire. I know that I will need to investigate resources that do not apply to my subject area (Core French) so that I may suggest them to my colleagues and help them integrate these tools into their lesson planning. I know that I will need to keep learning to understand in more detailhow things work at the school administration and Board levels and ensure that the plans I have in mind are in line with them. Personally, I need to learn to research better. It is not my forté and I need to improve this skill so that I may help teach others. I would also like a review of Creative Commons. This is another area I know that I need to understand better. It is too easy to make mistakes with copyright due to lack of knowledge or understanding.
All in all, my path has been filled with wonder and new experiences and I look forward to the last module of my academic journey though my learning will never cease.