Digital Learning and Leading Synthesis

DLL Synthesis Prezi
Click the image to interact with the Prezi

Here is the culmination of learning from my 26 years as an educator and from the masters in education program I have been working toward for the past 18 months. As you peruse the Prezi above and the syntheses of my coursework below, please also take some time to view my brief Biography, my Learning Manifesto, and the Innovation Plan upon which much of the work in the master’s program was rooted. Thank you for your interest.

Concepts of Educational Technology

My road to becoming a better learner and a more passionate instigator of change in education began with an understanding of two crucial concepts: the Growth Mindset and COVA.

Briefly, The Growth Mindset is important to all learners because it advocates the notion that we are capable of grasping new concepts through perseverance and adopting new strategies. Our intelligence and capabilities are not fixed; rather, with effort, they can grow.

COVA gives educators and learners tools to make learning meaningful. By giving learners choice, ownership, and voice through authentic learning experiences, learners demonstrate attained knowledge through means that allow them to make connections and construct new understanding.

Resources and Artifacts of Interest

The Growth Mindset

More About the Growth Mindset

The Power of COVA

COVA Reflection

Carol Dweck, Developing a Growth Mindset (9:37)
Published by: Stanford Alumni  Date: 10.09.2014
YouTube URL:
Technology: The New Pedagogy and Flipped Teaching (7:41)
Published by: How Technology is Changing the Conversation    Added: 01.20.2014
YouTube URL:
Stop Stealing Dreams – Seth Godin @ TEDx Youth at BFS (16:57)
Published by: TEDx Youth   Date: 10.16.2012
YouTube URL:

Applying Educational Technology: Portfolio

I am convinced ePortfolios are an ideal way to document and build upon my own learning. First of all, eportfolios are living reflections of learning. If we accept the constructivist notion that learning is connecting and building upon already-established knowledge, the eportfolio is the perfect tool/venue for documenting one’s learning then coming back time and again to refine or add to the ideas one has put forward. The electronic nature of an eportfolio allows one to make these revisions and expansions with ease and flexibility.

Another benefit to the eportfolio is the fact that technology allows the creator to reach a vast audience. Through tools like RSS feeds, the audience can always stay up-to-date about how the eportfolio author is revising and expanding the reflections of his/her learning.

The ePortfolio you are reading now is my example of the learning and reflecting I have done throughout my master’s program.

Resources and Artifacts of Interest

Why ePortfolios?

Dwayne Harapnuik, Creating Significant Learning Environments (CSLE)
YouTube URL:

Leading Organization Change

We are familiar with the adage “change is inevitable,” but it is resisted within organizations because it is unpredictable and uncomfortable. If we want to enact change within our organizations, how do we know that the change we are envisioning is appropriate and meaningful? Furthermore, how do we go about implementing the change we seek? Fortunately, there are practical tools for leading change in an organization.

Real change starts with knowing your “WHY.” “Why do we do what we do?” What is our purpose? These questions set the context for launching a change initiative. If, when we seek to bring about change, we start with the question of why we exist–what our big mission is –we focus on the reason for our actions. According to Simon Sinek, people are less concerned with what an organization does as why they do it.

Resources and Artifacts of Interest

The “Why” is Key

Four Disciplines of Execution

Influencer Strategy

Sinek TED Talk Start with Why — how great leaders inspire action.
YouTube Link:
How to Change People Who Don’t Want to Change | The Behavioral Science Guys
YouTube Link:

Disruptive Innovation in Education

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 have to 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.

Resources and Artifacts of Interest

Embracing Transformational Innovation in Education

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!
YouTube Link:

Developing Effective Professional Learning

Effective professional learning does not just happen with a good idea and good intentions. If this were the case, I believe most educators would be successful. Constructive professional learning requires careful planning and attention to the researched methods that have been shown to move the needle when implementing new initiatives.

The Five Principles of Professional Development involve: professional learning of a significant duration, ample support during implementation, active participation, modeling, and being audience-specific. By staying mindful of these principles, I am able to deliver professional learning to my stakeholders that will prove effective.

Resources and Artifacts of Interest

Professional Learning Call to Action

Professional Learning Strategy

Professional Learning Outline

Professional Learning Resources

Nancy Duarte uncovers common structure of greatest communicators
YouTube Link:
How To Begin Your Presentation with Simon Sinek
YouTube Link:

Creating Significant Learning Environments

I don’t think I’m espousing a revolutionary thought when I say the focus of a learning environment should be on the learner, but, astoundingly, it is the curriculum that is traditionally the starting starting focal point within a classroom.

Appropriately, CSLE begins with the learner. The first consideration when establishing a learning environment is the needs of the student. If the learner is responsible for owning his or her leaning, what, you might ask, is the instructor’s role in the CSLE approach? The instructor’s role transitions to that of “presenter, facilitator, coach, and mentor (Haraphuik 2018). With learning in a classroom potentially veering off in multiple directions in pursuit of the different answers students are seeking, the instructor has no hope of being the sole gatekeeper of information.

Another important component of CSLE is the instructional design wherein the end is the starting point; the instructor designs the learning with this end in mind. If we backward design our lessons with the outcome being the primary objective that frees us up to pursue that outcome in a way that makes the most sense to the learner. to demonstrate their learning. By creating significant learning environments that put the learner first, allow the instructor to act as facilitator and mentor, embrace the collective through social networking, introduce learning that puts the end result at the forefront, and allow students to demonstrate their learning in multiple ways, we have the power to embody the most important characteristic of a great teacher.

Resources and Artifacts of Interest

Creating Significant Learning Environments (CSLE)

CSLE Elements

Daniel Pink’s Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
YouTube Link:
What 60 Schools Can Tell Us About Teaching 21st Century Skills
YouTube Link:

Assessing Digital Learning and Instruction

Action Research is a methodical process that requires planning, acting, developing and reflecting. When done thoughtfully and with attention to detail, it greatly increases the likelihood of successfully implementing an innovation plan.

My Innovation Proposal seeks to employ new, affordable technology to create virtual job site experiences in the Career and Technical Education classroom, but how do I know that this is a plan worth pursuing? I had to research, more specifically, I had to do action research. Action research forces the practitioner to be clear about his/her focus, the purpose of the research, and the specific research question one is trying to answer. It mandates that thought be given to research design, the data to be collected, the measurement instrument used to assess the data, and what the focus of the literature one seeks out should be. You can review the process I engaged in to plan the implementation of my innovation proposal and how I intend to examine my results by viewing the following three documents:

Resources and Artifacts of Interest

Action Research

Action Research Outline

Innovation Plan Literature Review

7 Skills students need for their future – Tony Wagner
YouTube Link:

Digital Citizenship

With new knowledge, comes a responsibility to change our thinking and assess what we teach the new generation so that they can be safe and productive and further advance knowledge for humankind. Technology aids in the ever-accelerating development of many fields of human inquiry—from astronomy to transportation to medicine. astronomers, logicians, and doctors all must be willing and inclined to embrace change and adapt to it.

We in education are not immune to the changes brought on by new technology. And like the aforementioned professions, we must be willing to change, too. This need to carefully examine how we prepare students to become good digital citizens is perhaps one of the most pressing changes educators face.

Few would argue that technological advancements have changed the world profoundly over the last 25 years (since I began my career in education). What you might get some disagreement about is the need for educators to teach digital citizenship so that the new generation is equipped to operate effectively and honorably in this relatively new environment.

Resources and Artifacts of Interest

Digital Citizenship Reflection

Nine Areas of Digital Citizenship

Ending Cyberbullying


Digital Citizen Infographic


Instructional Design in Online Learning

Course 5318 of Lamar University’s Digital Learning and Leading program provided me with an opportunity to create an online course. This course augmented the innovation plan I devised early in the program. My innovation plan involves leveraging new technology tools and software to create virtual work-place environments and 360-degree tours for students in Career and Technical Education courses.

In designing this course, I relied on the Constructivist learning theory, which is to say learners construct meaning from their experiences. The activities built into my course required the learner to perform tasks and then reflect on what they had done. I tried to inject an element of social accountability through discussion boards and gave learners leeway with regard to the subject of their virtual tours.

I have thought about and designed lessons—primarily for professional development—with a UbD mindset for so long now, it is second nature to me to begin with the end in mind. From the first unit of this course, I laid out what the end goal is: create a library of virtual work site tours. The lessons that follow are designed backward to take the learner to that eventual outcome.

It is clear that online learning will only grow exponentially. The freedom it offers in terms of scheduling make it a much more flexible format for delivering instruction. As teachers at heart, we wonder will the lack of face-to-face interaction with learners detract substantially from the course? After taking this course, and building my own online course, I can honestly say that with the technology available to conduct courses on line, little is lost by not being in an in-person environment. From web-conferencing software to conduct synchronous meetings with learners, to web 2.0 tools learners can use to demonstrate their learning, I am astounded by the benefits to online learning. The Bates text and the OSCQR standards have been invaluable resources.

Resources and Artifacts of Interest

Online Course Development

Online Course Reflection

Blended Learning in Plain English (4:03)
Published by: LearningHood  Added: 01.23.2012
YouTube URL:

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