Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’
These lines from Bob Dylan’s seminal song capture what I have been learning throughout the Digital Learning and Leading masters program. Change in education, brought on by new technologies, is inevitable. In my coursework, we are encouraged to consider how we will be educational leaders who proactively shape the change we want to see (swim), rather than being overcome by it (sink).
We all know that change is difficult. It forces us to abandon comfortable routines, and it often thrusts us into situations in which we are not sure of the outcome. This discomfort and the understandable aversion to it is what makes implementing change—both on a personal and organizational level so hard.
What if, however, there were tools we could employ that would assist us in confronting the nettlesome human behaviors that thwart our efforts to change? The current course I’m taking, Leading Organization Change, has exposed me to the Influencer Model, which is a road map for exponentially increasing the likelihood that the changes I am striving for will take effect.
In my position as a CTE administrator within my school district I have developed an Innovation Plan that seeks to offer teachers and students the opportunity to experience a real-world job site virtually. For this plan to be successful, various stakeholders within the district will have to embrace the project. Specifically, my plan requires that CTE instructors rethink how they expose their students to work sites and embrace and learn new technology tools.
We know that quick fixes (such as training alone) rarely if ever bring about real change. Therefore, I will be using the Influencer Model to address motivation and ability on a personal, social and structural level, with the expectation that addressing each of these sources of influence will make my change efforts successful.
First, we start with the end in mind.
By January 2020, teachers and instructional technologists will have created an online repository of 10 virtual job sites that represent at least five different career clusters.
Next, we determine the behaviors that are essential to bring about the results.
- Campus Instructional Technologists and Arts A/V and IT instructors will collaborate with instructors from the following career clusters to determine facility features and equipment that should be hi-lighted in the virtual tour of a worksite.
- Health Science
- Agriculture/Food/Natural Resources
- Transportation/Distribution/Logistics (Aviation and Maritime)
- Career cluster instructors will create 360-degree photographs and virtual reality simulations of real-world worksites.
- Instructors in the career clusters identified above will coordinate with a business partner to set up a time to film at the business partner’s facility.
Finally, we recognize there are individuals whose buy-in is critical to the success of this innovation plan.
- Assistant Superintendent of Career Readiness
- CTE Instructors
- Director of Instructional Technology
- Campus Instructional Technologists
- Campus Principals
- Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change: 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
- Grenny, J., Maxfield, D., Shimberg, A. How to 10X you Influence. VitalSmarts.
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