From the beginning of the Digital Learning and Leading master’s degree program, the instructors stressed the importance of doing work that is relevant my situation and will benefit the populations I serve. That is precisely what I have tried to do with my innovation plan. In conceiving, planning and executing my plan, I was adamant that it have immediate and practical application for the Career and Technical Education teachers and students within my district. Briefly, my innovation plan seeks to address an ever-present obstacle in CTE: providing opportunities for students to experience the work environment they will encounter when they enter the workforce while avoiding the logistical and financial burdens that come with traditional field trips. To gain a better understanding of this plan, please view my Innovation Proposal here: Innovation Proposal
As with any worthwhile endeavor, thoughtful planning is crucial. As I planned this innovation project, I carefully considered my audience and my scope. I then set about identifying the steps I would follow to bring this project to fruition. You can read about my process from planning to implementation to evaluation here: Innovation Plan Outline
Once I was confident in my plan, I conducted extensive research via a Literature Review and Annotated Resource List. I needed to understand what the literature said about the technology that I would be using, and how it impacts learning. As not only a digital learner, but a digital leader as well, I must be able to recognize innovations that have the power to positively impact education. Successfully effecting change in the educational system requires a two-step process. First, I must stay current with the latest information and writings in the fields of education and technology. Only by being aware of the emerging innovations that have the potential to change education, can I be prepared to proactively embrace those innovations. Second, once I have recognized an educational transformation opportunity, I will use that innovation to enhance my organization and all the stakeholders in it.
A plan that is intended to impact an entire program within a district is of no use if one does not get colleagues and stakeholders to share in the vision. For this reason, the next step was to create a Call to Action to explain the purpose of the project and to reassure my audience that professional development would be administered in a purposeful way.
Reflecting on my innovation plan, I consider it a rather simple idea. It is a somewhat niche project that involves teaching district personnel and students to create a library of 360-degree photographs of work sites so that CTE students have a better understanding of a workplace environment they may experience in the field. I think due to the fact that it is such an obvious idea, I am denying the possibility that this innovation plan could in any way produce what Drew Dudley describes as a “lollipop moment.”
While not earth-shatteringly innovative, I do feel as though my proposal addresses a specific need within the CTE community of educators and students. I am comfortable with how the project walks the learner through each phase necessary to bring about a repository of CTE virtual tours—organization, execution, sharing, and reflecting.
So, while I’m happy with where my innovation plan stands on paper, I am still unconvinced of how crucial colleagues will consider it, or if it will be received as having much benefit. Were I starting this project over today, I would probably reach out more deliberately to my CTE colleagues for their input and recommendations to determine if is a worthwhile undertaking.