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  • Not My Final Contribution to My Learning

    I am scoring myself a 98. My core collaboration team: Allison Palmer: Colby Clifford: Pedro Beltran: Listen to my team and I reflect on what worked for us during these two courses. We discuss what we learned and how we plan to continue to share this journey with the world. I have said this multiple times in multiple different ways, without my team I would not have been as successful as I was or am in this journey and in my life. We brought out the best in each other and allowed each other to work through our struggles to become better learners and leaders. Aside from our weekly meetings, we meet with each other after to go over the material that we had let digest and pondered upon. As a team, we wanted to become better and have the life-changing conversations that we knew each other understood. Pedro always made it clear that he wanted my projects to be better. With his feedforward, I knew he had my best interest at heart. He was able to tell me, “You didn’t work as hard on this creation…go back and try it again.” Allison showed me how to be brave. I saw how she wasn’t afraid to stir the pot at her school regardless of what her other colleagues may have thought or said. I want to use that same bravery when I begin pushing my fellow educators in my grade level. Colby pushed me to work harder every day, even if she didn’t realize it. She has children with multiple extracurricular activities, and still found a way to be great at her own education. I always tried to work just as hard as she did because it was evident that it could absolutely be done. At this point in the program, I knew how vital it was to complete the course readings, videos, and supporting resources. You have to be willing to dive deeper into the material to see the full benefit of it all. What is discussed in our weekly class meetings is only the surface of what I really need to know. I have had to sharpen my organization skills while in this program and specifically in these last two courses. The end of the semester is always a busy time at work with middle-of-the-year assessments and the huge transition kindergarteners face over the break, so making sure I stayed on top of due days was extremely important. Leadership roles within my group seemed to be established early on. We each knew what we were good at and ran with it and when we ran into a roadblock (because there were many) we never hesitated to ask each other for a different outlook. I also participated in my discussions in my courses. I have completed so many that they all begin to run together, but I know how important collaboration is as a whole so I made sure to interact within the course as well. Ending this journey hasn’t seemed real yet. I believe that is because I know this isn’t an ending. The wealth of knowledge that I have gained from not only these courses, but the people and professors involved is truly indescribable. There would never be enough words to explain the mind blowing information that I have received and plan to share. I cannot wait to make my own changes in the world.

  • ePortfolio - 5305 Wrap Up

    When I think of a wrap up post, I think of an ending. Something coming to a closure. A new beginning is on the horizon. I now have a different take away of that. At this moment, this wrap it up post, is me figuring out how this is going to connect to my future courses and, more importantly, my new learning path. Listed are what I feel helped me “survive” and “thrive” in these courses. If you’re’re doing it right. Read, Read, READ! Use a Kindle. Invest in Audible. Reading is not optional in this program. Do it...or choose another program. When asking Dr. H a question, never ask an “or” question because the answer will always be “yes.” Knowing this has allowed me to answer some of my own questions. Do NOT attempt to “fake it till you make it.” It’s evident. It will make for a long eight weeks and a longer one to two years. My ePortfolio will not be for everyone...but it better be for my audience. I remind myself of this every time I work on my website. “What will my users think?” The education system has failed me. Now, I refuse to fail my students. Getting an A means nothing! Learning means everything! This mindset change is not only critical, but non negotiable. Changing your mindset...can be...hard. This has not come easy for me. I find myself wanting to live with a growth mindset, but it seems the world has conditioned me to have a fixed one. It’s a work in progress. Some days are better than others. I OWN MY ePORTFOLIO. PERIOD. I’m doing better than what I think I am. I’ve learned that my own self-critic is tougher than anyone else. Technology is NOT a game changer. Technology is NOT a new creation. Technology will NOT save the education system. We’re all more than likely doing some form of blended learning...but are we doing it effectively? Find your tribe! Grow your tribe! Make a tribe! Whatever the case may can’t do it alone. Research isn’t my never will be. But it’s important and scholarly. This is a graduate program...did I actually think I was going to get out of writing papers?! Give your professor what he wants….WRONG! Give yourself what you need. Not sure what you need? Find out. Funny how reading keeps making its appearance throughout this reflection. It’s not a coincidence. You can do it. I can do it. We can do it. Aside from how overwhelming this program is, I can do it. These courses have shown me that I can. I am two days away from officially saying, “I have completed my first set of graduate courses.” Never in a million years did I think I would be able to say that. I can’t wait to look back on this when I finish the program and see how much I have grown.

  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

    I’ve had plenty of experience in a college setting. It took me eight years to finally obtain a bachelor’s degree and when I walked that stage I truly believed I was equipped with what I needed to conquer the world. Fast forward to a pandemic and a one-year master’s program and I can firmly say that I was wrong. I was equipped with tools that the education system wanted me to have. I was prepared for exams and tests...not for real-world experiences. This program is requiring me to be both a learner and a leader through authentic teaching styles that I have rarely, if ever, been exposed to. ​ The study group that I have joined has become a third course in this program. I do not view it as something that is optional at this point. The people that are a part of this group reassure me daily (and sometimes more than that) that I am fully capable of succeeding and thriving in this program and in my career. I contributed and helped build my core collaboration group weekly and more often than not, daily. In this set of courses, I felt more comfortable asking questions to my peers and my professors. I enjoyed the feed-forward that was provided to me without even asking. I think in any other situation that type of communication is sometimes looked down upon. It’s viewed as rude and disrespectful to view someone’s work and then find the faults in it. I’ve learned to change the way I feel about that type of commentary. If someone is taking the time to look through my things, that means they care about what I am putting out there. They hold high expectations of me and refuse to let me settle for anything less. Although the workload for these two courses was not as daunting as the first set, I feel as though the work I did for these courses was more meaningful. In saying that, I feel as though I did not reach out to others as much as I had originally planned to when I began in March. I was putting so much time and effort into my own projects that I was unintentionally not putting in as much effort in providing feed-forward to others. I truly believe that last time I was intentionally not giving or offering feed-forward out of fear or uncomfortableness. But this time it isn’t until this reflection that I am seeing I still did the same thing without realizing it. I did, however, provide support and encouragement throughout the two courses. Every Wednesday I showed up to our study and/or support group and regardless if I said a lot or nothing at all, I believe my presence and effort showed my team that I was and am invested in them and their hard work as well. I already knew how vital the readings, videos, and supporting resources were. I made sure to start the reading list even before classes had begun. I was reading books for these courses during the end of the last set because I wanted to come into this set as prepared as I could be. I still feel as though the supporting resources are mandatory for my own personal benefit. It has been made clear that I can’t learn too much. Now, sometimes (all the time) there are not enough hours in the day, but I do try to make a conscious effort to save something I didn’t have time to look at in that moment so I can go back and look when I do have the time. With the help of my collaboration group, I made sure to meet the deadlines that the courses indicated. I also took advantage of the opportunity that Dr. H and Dr. Bedard gave that allowed us to send our projects in and receive feedforward before the assignment’s due dates. I will admit that I was hesitant about this at the beginning. I knew asking for recommendations meant being open to what I did wrong and having my mistakes being pointed out. This is something I had not experienced in the first half of the semester. I knew my result was going too far outweigh that uncomfortable feeling. I still feel my heart race the moment before I open my video of the feed-forward, but I change what is recommended and I’m almost always happier with my final product. Being a part of the accelerated ADL program has taught me that given the opportunity to make the learning my own, I can and will do what needs to get done to be proud of my work. I remember working through the 4DX model and Dr. H telling me something along the lines of, “Stop giving me what I already taught you. Show me what you’re going to do with this information.” I was falling back into the mentality that I lived in for so long. It was almost involuntary what I was doing. I was regurgitating the information and calling it authentic work. I believe the further along in the program I go, the better I will be able to spot that on my own and catch it beforehand. Lastly, I feel it is important to mention that I have appreciated the organization of the program. I was truly worried I would have to drop a course and extend the program longer than I wanted to because of the workload and life combined, but both professors have been extremely accommodating while still providing me with opportunities that are worth every penny I spend. I thought that with a fast-paced program it might lose its authenticity, but it has been the complete opposite. I’ve gained so much in such a short amount of time that I couldn’t imagine taking one course and not the other.

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  • Digital Learning Environments | Mysite

    Podcast Part One Podcast Part Two Podcast Part Three Throughout the Applied Digital Learning (ADL) graduate program, I have collaborated with multiple people, which has allowed me to gain great insight from their perspectives and grow as both a learner and leader. In the following podcast/vodcast series, you will hear or from myself, Allison DeVoll, Colby Clifford and Pedro Beltran, a peer collaboration group that we formed through the ADL program, discuss ePortfolios, Blended Learning, and our future projects. A featured guest, Dr. Dwayne Harapnuik, joins in our discussion and provides us with some of his thoughts on learning, leading, and digital learning environments. Below are my colleagues' ePortfolios, where you can find more research and resources on the different things they are each working on. ​ Allison DeVoll - Colby Clifford - Pedro Beltran - Dr. Dwayne Harapnuik - The following are resources I encourage you to look through to continue your research and thinking over the topics discussed in the vodcast. ​ Positive Outcomes of Blended Learning Blended Learning Universe Empowering Students with Voice and Choice Successful Collaboration ​ Creating this series of podcasts has continued to foster the love and investment I have in my innovation plan . I have taken the knowledge and research from other people who share this same love of learning and continue to build a foundation for my own ideas to build upon. Applying a growth mindset reinforces the need to have an open and willing mind to watch a dream become a reality. Future endeavors include a co-publication with a fellow colleague, Pedro Beltran , where we continue with a few of these ideas and explain how a blended learning classroom can be successfully implemented in any classroom, regardless of grade level or subject. Podcast Part One - ePortfolios 00:00 / 40:55 In this podcast, we discuss ePortfolios and the different ways educators can use them for assessments or as assessments. Podcast Part Two - Blended Learning & COVA 00:00 / 1:04:55 In this podcast, we discuss blended learning in various classrooms and the positive effects of having choice, voice, and ownership to create authentic learning. Podcast Part Three - Wrap Up 00:00 / 48:20 In this podcast, we wrap up our thoughts on ePortfolios, blended learning, and COVA while we consider the new places this will take us. Back to Top References ​ 3 positive outcomes of blended learning. (n.d.). Edutopia. ​ What blended learning is - and isn't - blended learning universe. (2016, March 4). Blended Learning Universe. ​ Spencer, J. (2019, March 29). Empowering students with voice and choice. John Spencer. ​ Deeper learning: A collaborative classroom is key. (n.d.). Edutopia. Back to Top

  • Professional Learning | Mysite

    Call to Action Outline / Timeline Contribution to Learning Additional Resources Reflecting on the last eight weeks, I’ve felt that the amount of learning I have done is the most I have acquired in the entire program itself. I began to wonder why I felt this way and the conclusion I have come to is because this is the first time that I have truly contributed so much with such a close group of individuals that we became invested in each other and one another’s growth. It was so much more than a grade this time around. I initially attributed this to it being summer and “having more time.” I quickly found out that I did not have more time. Rather, I was enjoying the course work much more and the weekly collaboration between Allison , Colby , Pedro and I. Recognizing what I believe is needed for professional development to become professional learning, I sought out like minded individuals, later known as Harapnuik’s Quartet, to create a call to action to help other educators receive the professional development they deserve. My team and I quickly realized the lack of support that we, personally, were not receiving along with so many other educators across the country. We wanted to make sure we were surrounding our professional learning with a never ending amount of support throughout the entire process. We created an outline of what our sessions would look like and how we anticipate the year, or timeline , to go. We believe that great things take time and should not be rushed, so we’ve agreed to be flexible with our learners and allow more time if needed. Although our Professional Learning has thoughtfully been planned out, we still have details to continue putting in place. In the additional resources tab, you will see previews of what our sessions will entail and a variety of links that will be beneficial to have handy as our Professional Learning begins to unfold. Taking both courses at the same time allowed me to connect adult learners to my child learners. Regardless of age, we should all want to do the doing and the learning. The connection that my Professional Learning will provide through a SLE is the replication I am doing in my own classroom with my own learners through my innovation plan . Working with such a phenomenal group of individuals has made me a better person and learner. They see my strengths and let me thrive in them, while recognizing my weaknesses and allowing me to work through them. Every meet with my team was an opportunity for me to broaden my horizon...I am guaranteed to walk away with a new idea. I have no doubt that our relationship will flourish throughout the remaining courses. Back to Top I am working with a small group of educators who believe the culture of professional development can be improved through creating significant learning environments for our teachers just as we do for our students combined with a growth mindset . Professional Learning recognizes that teachers are learning and growing just like their students. While the term “development” indicates a process that has an end point, “learning”recognizes that professional growth is a never-ending, lifelong process. ​ How might we create a culture of inquiry for educators? We can start with a simple shift in rhetoric. As teachers, are we not in fact professional learners? Professional growth is a never-ending, lifelong process in which educators or others are constantly improving through a constructivist perspective that involves application and reflection. ​ According to John Hattie’s extensive research, "The biggest effect in our business is the expertise of teachers. It’s teachers who work together, collectively, collaboratively, to understand their impact.” We believe we can improve the effectiveness of teachers and create a culture of inquiry with improved professional learning. why how what statements for improved professional learning Meet the team behind the dream and the scenes that got us here Now that we’re in our fourth ADL class together, we have learned each other's strengths! Capitalizing on this, and Pedro’s penchant for pulling people together, we have been able to complete this project collaboratively. We started with the four of us question-storming on Zoom, and looking at past work in the ADL program map. We divided, and are currently working on conquering Professional Learning! Colby finally signed up for Canva. Allsion problem-solved in record time, live, on Zoom. Pedro joked and ate pizza in front of us, while simultaneously offering “feed-forward”. Brianna’s wisdom and calm tied us all together. Collective work, collective impact. Allison- Graphic Design Allison enjoys creating and experimenting with graphic design elements, turning blocks of information into visual works of art, and finding new ways to introduce content to viewers. She also really loves to use the color pink! Brianna- Executive Producer Brianna enjoys searching for and exploring new digital platforms that allow her to express her creative visions to share with her audience. She also enjoys having 27 or more tabs open on her browser. Colby- Writer / Copy Editor Colby enjoys researching and reading, making connections, and converting information into understandable content tailored to specific audiences! She also really enjoys spell check. Pedro- Video Editor Pedro enjoys facilitating groups of unique individuals who provide a diverse community that puts engagement, creativity, support and fun in the forefront. He also enjoys ordering pizza for his team. be a part of our future endeavors Participate in our surveys and your experiences may be featured in our upcoming published projects. wait! If you've been following my learning journey, you'll remember that my innovation plan is actually in regards to Blended Learning. What I have found since working with such an intriguing group of individuals is that I cannot limit myself to one innovation. This is why I felt this would be an opportunity I could not pass up, especially when it comes to my own professional learning . I would like to remind each of you that I am a lifelong learner. This means I am always looking for different learning opportunities. I cannot wait to see the progress I make with these brilliant and resourceful team members. I have come to recognize that if I am providing my learners a Blended Learning structure I can create significant learning environments within that structure while allowing them to flourish in multiple forms of active learning such as ePortfolios, STEM and play-based learning. References ​ Goodwin, B. (2015). Research Says/Does Teacher Collaboration Promote Teacher Growth? Educational Leadership, 73(4), 82–83. Retrieved from Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the Teachers Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability. Center for Public Education. Retrieved from TNTP. (2015). The Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth About Our Quest for Teacher Development. Retrieved from Back to Top Together, my team and I created a schedule of how we plan to implement our new professional learning implementation. We have thoughtfully organized a timeline that would allow our learners to have adequate time to have our innovation be modeled by the project facilitator, myself, and other coaches. We plan to create a solid foundation of growth mindset , CSLE and COVA . Our learners will be guided along this phenomenal journey to later be the facilitator in their own classroom to their own learners. Since our learners are creating their own ePortfolio, we have incorporated plenty of time for support and coaching throughout these critical phases. Our learners will learn how to effectively reflect, connect and learn through collaboration, modeling and application. Join our team and be a part of our growing success. Click here or the image for a larger view of the outline. Click here or the image for a larger view. Continue checking back for updates that our team will be sharing. Our BHAG is currently in the works and we'd love to hear what you think is valuable to this team and professional learning. Joining in this new development will continue to build on why my innovation plan will be successful and allow my team and I to change the world one learner at a time. References ​ Harapnuik, D., Thibodeaux, T., & Cummings, C. (2018). COVA: Choice, ownership, and voice through authentic learning. Retrieved from ​ Harapnuik, D. (n.d.). Why Use an Eportfolio. Retrieved June 29, 2021, from ​ ​ Back to Top Additional Resources Agendas Session One Session Two ​ Session Three Session Four ​ Session Five Session Six Resources Modeling/Coaching ​ Guiding Questions/Videos ​ Parents Surveys Professional Learning Stories ​ Professional Learning Feed Forward ​ PL Session Feed Forward References ​ Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House. ​ Fink, L. D., PhD. (n.d.). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. ​ Goodwin, B. (2015). Research says/does teacher collaboration promote teacher growth? Educational Leadership, 73(4), 82–83. Retrieved from ​ Gray, P. [Camp Stomping Ground]. (2015, December 4). Self-directed learning fundamentals [Video file]. Retrieved from ​ Harapnuik, D. (n.d.). Why Use an Eportfolio. Retrieved July 6, 2021, from Back to Top

  • Disruptive Innovation | Mysite

    Disruptive Innovation Innovation Proposal Kindergartener are major geniuses inside tiny bodies. Read my proposal and check out how I plan to continue fostering that in my classroom. Literature Review Read my literature review to see what the experts have to say about blended learning. Implementation Outline To see the progress of blended learning in my classroom, follow my implementation outline. Annotated Bibliography The learning never stops. Take a look at my list of books that I plan to read to continue growing in my blended learning journey.

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