My Learning Journey
Two years ago I began learning about who I wanted to become. A friend reminded me that time would pass no matter what I chose to do with my life. That conversation prompted me to begin the Digital Learning and Leadership M. Ed. (DLL) program at Lamar University. It has been the perfect compliment to my business undergraduate degree and my work as the Technology Director of a small school. If you’re interested in knowing what I accomplished through the program, take a look at the interactive presentation on the Facebook post below. It has links to everything I created through all of my course work. If you are curious about what I learned, keep reading.
Synthesis of my Learning Journey
During the past 18 months I’ve learned a great deal about myself. The program connected what I believed to the education principles that supported it. For the first time I captured it in words. I began to share bits and pieces of my history and dreams in #5302, the first course. I shared my ideas and creativity with people I didn’t know – my cohorts. As the work load became more intense, so did the freedom. I discovered my tendency to work alone would be challenged. And I began to grow.
Course #5303 was my first introduction to COVA (choice, ownership, voice, and authentic learning environments), which connected my passion (the freedom to learn) with my mission, (to introduce that belief to others).
Several courses to follow became the basis for how I would create a significant learning environment in my school – a CSLE. It was home to my innovation “pet project”, a year long professional learning (PL) initiative. COVA allowed me to help teachers and students love to learn the way I do – without fear of failing.
Courses #5305, #5313, and #5304 were the boot camp for some of the most significant learning I’ve done in 20 years. They were the foundation for building a safe, comfortable home in which to foster technology knowledge and integration into teaching and learning.
COVA was my advantage. My everyday responsibilities became my coursework. Through collaboration with people from around the country and reflecting on my own work and theirs, I learned how to learn through others. I became a better thinker, and a better Technology Director, and a better model of how teaching can be different. From this I disrupted the learning process in my school in a positive way. I began to lead, and people followed.
I was learning to change my own behavior in order to influence others. The story of my innovation project captures most of the courses left in the program. You’ll find everything listed in the “My Work” tab on this site. What you won’t find there is how far I’ve come in my own learning journey. I’ve discovered the value of listening, reflecting, and changing in order to be a digital leader.
I am a digital leader because I am a digital learner. My DLL journey has been full of failures but I adjust, adapt and move on. Many experiences opened my eyes to my own shortcomings. Overall, my perspective about education has changed and my connection to people has improved. As much as I don’t want to rely on others, I recognize it is a necessary part of digital learning and leading. The discomfort has been good for me. I have ventured into the digital wilderness at times. No risk – no return. Taking chances is what I ask of my coworkers so I must be willing to do the same.
Nothing in the DLL program was easy, but the depth and quality of my effort was my choice. I constantly pushed myself out of my comfort zone so I could grow. Armed with new ideas, methods, and tools, I am a better leader than before. I’m proud of that.
It’s impossible to summarize what I’ve learned about human behavior in the past 18 months. I believe it’s the cornerstone of the DLL program. COVA and CSLE are tools I used to change my organization, but the real change was inside of me. I have learned to contribute, not only consume. I’ve grown, not only in knowledge and understanding, but in self awareness.
I’ve learned to judge less and listen more. I’ve learned that focus leads to an end, and what matters more is what I do, not what I say. After all, that’s what leadership really is. Leadership is about being the change you are looking for. It’s what followers depend on.
Credits: Thank you to my classmates and professors. 🙂
Images from pixabay.com CC0
Design elements from emaze.com
Visit http://www.emaze.com/@AORORQFIQ/make-a-change for interactive slides with links to coursework