Journey of Learning Synthesis
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Applied Digital Learning in Summary
In the above infographic, I have given a link to each of my proudest accomplishments over the last year. Looking over the past year, and reminiscing on my previous work, I can see a very stark contrast between the assignments I turn in now versus when I first began. Initially, I didn’t feel that my old work should be linked in my capstone because the quality of work and the theme of my site doesn’t always match. After thinking about it, I realized that this was not something to be embarrassed of, but indeed something to be added to my proudest works. The contrasts of my work show the growth and learning that I have done and truly show the “Journey of Learning” that I have gone through. I hope that when looking through these links you can see what phase of learning I was in.
I am able to explain my thoughts on the ADL program best in the following podcast that I was lucky enough to do with Lindsey Wallace, Danielle Pyle, Michelle Richey, Lindsay Hoerig-Cavanagh, Maria Rodman and Robin Ballard.
Update on my Innovation Plan
I am happy to report that my innovation plan was much more successful than I initially anticipated. I am blessed with an incredible administrator who is so supportive of all I have done. While sharing my innovation plan with her and expressing concerns about requiring students to bring their own devices to class to begin blended learning. My administrator was able to find the school budget to get our class 11 iPads for classroom use. Since then, I have begun a more intense implementation of blended learning in my classroom. The actual use of technology in class has been much more difficult than I anticipated. I was under the naive assumption that use of technology would make my job and planning easier but in reality, it takes much more planning than a usual lesson.
As a new teacher last year and starting my master’s program at the same time, I had an exponential learning curve. I barely knew how to do anything and at the same time was challenging myself to incorporate blended learning as well. I am most challenged by the high level of planning that it takes to fully take advantage of all that blended learning has to offer. I am not a planner and I do not do well with things that take planning. Try as I might, I am a procrastinator through and through. I am learning if I am serious about the use of technology and the growth of my students, I too need to do some growing and pull it together a little bit. To overcome this weakness, I now have designated planning periods specifically for planning lessons centered around technology.
At this point in my project, my students are using technology about once a week. I am incredibly proud of all their hard work and of mine, but this is not where we plan to stop. Ultimately, my goal is to use technology at minimum three times a week. In order to accomplish this goal, I will need to continue to reinforce routines with my students so that on technology days, set up time is minimal and class engagement is high. I will also need to be dedicated to my planning time and consistently create a significant learning environment that is intentional and effective. One thing that is an undeniable lesson for me is that intentional planning creates effective lessons.
Going forward with my innovation plan, although more behind schedule than originally anticipated, I will keep my teaching team in the loop. I hope to eventually have their classes included with blended learning using my class as a model. During weekly staff meetings, I will communicate my wins and losses so that other teachers can plan their classes accordingly.
I doubt this will be my last big hoorah in terms of trying to implement meaningful change within my environment, but next time I hope that I don’t have to take it on alone. I absolutely loved having my cohort within ADL to support me. I definitely would not have been able to do it without them even though in Disruptive Innovation I was annoyed that I had to work with a group. I now see the value and I would not want it any other way. I was able to make meaningful connections with experienced teachers who always had my back. In future innovation plans, I hope I have this same support potentially in the way of having a partner or team working toward the same goal. As supportive as my team at school was, I would have loved to have had them giving as much to it as I was.
My Learning Community
I could not have done it without my learning community. You can see all of their hard work at the following links