A year and a half ago I was an ambitious but lost educator, but I didn’t realize that I was lost. I thought I knew the best methods of teaching, how to create a strong learning environment, and how to lead others. I didn’t. Even though I was naïve to these truths, my learning philosophy still held true because at the heart of everything I did I just wanted my students to love learning. Throughout the DLL program, I worked closely with Ryan King, Erin Sanchez, and all the other students involved in each course. Without these people, my professors, and the outside resources I discovered I wouldn’t have accomplished what I did.
The highs and lows of this experience were essential for me to be successful. The initial roadblock I experienced was learning to trust the process of COVA. My previous learning techniques were challenged, and I am thankful for this every day! I also struggled from time to time when I forgot to focus on the relevance of every assignment. Since this program was student-centered, there isn’t a single thing I can’t apply to my own classroom. Once I accepted COVA, I was able to develop a fantastic innovation plan with Erin and Ryan while also learning many life lessons. This innovation plan was by far the best part of the program. I am so proud of the final product and loved being able to revisit our ideas so often to tweak and reflect on them.
As each course passed and my plans became more developed, I was able to master all of the course goals. While reflecting on the DLL program I can see how I have grown. Even though I was frustrated often because of the amount of work on top of my everyday whirlwind, that feeling was always quickly followed with pride in the final products. Taking ownership of my learning process began when I decided I wanted learning ePortfolios to be the change at Owen J. Roberts and developed a proposal. I then had to master the use of my own learning ePortfolio by using it to document my own personal and professional growth. I also learned how to prepare for resistance that inevitably occurs when implementing change and how to embrace the technology trends that develop around me on a consistent basis and use them to help me implement change.
I embraced constructivist theories when developing my significant learning environment and researched global educational technology failures and successes so they could be applied to my ePortfolio innovation project. I also assessed the instructional impact of the ePortfolio initiative and used authentic professional learning activities to create our three Schoology courses that prepare OJR teachers to implement ePortoflios. In addition, I am now able to speak intelligently about the variety of digital resources available and the legal challenges facing today’s educators. Through reflecting on all of these course goals, I can now see how I have developed into a digital learner and leader ready to promote change in any learning environments while applying the COVA and CSLE strategies within my own classroom.
The past 18 months have flown by and I can’t believe how much I have improved as a leader and learner. I may have entered simply looking for my final 36 credits and hoping I’d find a few resources along the way, but I am so lucky to have been a part of this program. I can’t wait to share what I have learned so that I can help others become the confident leaders our education system desperately needs!