Influence for a Cause

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           Incorporating technology into the classroom and implementing change are both difficult challenges. I have been given the task of combining these two challenges. Implementing a change that incorporates use of technology in the classroom. Not an easy task, to say the least. There are a lot of obstacles that must be conquered and many unknown problems that we have to prepare ourselves for. Working out all the details is tough.

            My Innovation Plan is to have my art students create an e-portfolio to be used as a platform to display their artwork. Before I can make this happen I need some of my colleagues to understand the importance of the digital portfolio and learn how to create and use one for themselves. Technology is here, our students include technology in every aspect of their lives. We have to do the same or we will not be giving our students the opportunities they deserve to succeed. Some of my staff members will see the importance of the e-portfolios. They will understand that this digital tool is an integral and valuable part of the learning process and regularly integrate technology in their lesson planning. Unfortunately some will not see this as important and think it is just more work for them.

           Below I used the Influencer Model found in Joseph Grenny’s book Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change to help derive my desired results, create vital behaviors, describe ways to implement e-portfolios, and point out possible challenges.   

Desired Results:

75% of the teachers in my high school will create and utilize an e-portfolio by September 2018 in order to understand the importance of this digital tool and the urgency to implement e-ports in the classroom.

Vital Behaviors:

Mentor and monitor the use of technology by colleagues

  • See what digital tools the staff is being successful with and find out why
  • Incorporate and share what the staff is having success with other colleagues
  • Support and assist colleagues when they have problems

Use technology to become proficient and comfortable creating an e-portfolio

  • Utilize all available technology to create digital portfolios
  • Create lessons that incorporate the e-portfolios to encourage 21st century learning
  • Be proficient and actively blog to share lessons, ideas, and concepts

Staff will hold each other accountable for integrating technology

  • Staff will share e-portfolios with colleagues for support
  • Staff will share ideas and knowledge to help colleagues move forward with technology integration
  • Staff will share successful experiences and failures with one another to promote positive growth

Success will be measured in four ways:

  • Teachers will model 21st century skills by developing and sharing their own digital portfolio with their students and others.
  • Teachers will create technology rich, hands-on, blended learning projects to be prepared for the students when they create their e-portfolios.
  • Teachers will share their e-portfolios with one another for peer review and suggestions for improvement.
  •  Teachers will share their e-portfolios with the administrators for end of the year teacher appraisal reports.

People Involved:

The principals, my colleagues, and I will be involved in creating this change.

Vital behaviors will be based on the following factors:

Notice the Obvious:

  • All teachers must know how to use available technology and equipment.
  • All teachers must be provided training to be able to build the 21st century skills.
  • All administrators and teachers will have access to training in building portfolio structure, uses, and procedures.
  • All teachers must have collaboration opportunities for projected based learning development.

Look for Crucial Moments:

  • In order for teachers to learn how to build their e-portfolios the professional development meetings just prior to school starting would be the most effective time to meet with them to:
    • Introduce e-portfolios and create an urgency
    • Train teachers how to create portfolios
    • Find out what the teachers need to assist them in creating their e-portfolio
  • Campus technology leaders need to be available for in class tech support during the first weeks of portfolio development to solve equipment or connectivity issues.
  • Technology leaders need to meet with 8th graders in May to create skeleton e-portfolio that will be used during their high school years.

Learn from Positive Deviants:

  • There are many tech savvy teachers throughout our school district who are doing some amazingly creative projects with their students. A page will be added to the school’s website to spotlight these projects and encourage teachers to give their students some much deserved credit.
  • All teachers should learn from their peers who are advancing smoothly with their use and incorporation of technology.

Spot Culture Busters:

  • Some teachers may not have and do not want the technology skills or equipment to confidently implement digital projects.
  • Some teachers think learning how to use digital tools or technology is not worth the time for the results they may gain.
  • Some teachers see integrating technology in their curriculum as unnecessary to have success in their classroom and an extra burden.
  • Some teachers think technology is taking away from the learning process instead of enhancing it.
  • Some teachers see integrating technology as an activity for free time only.
  • Not all teachers are comfortable with other teachers mentoring them.

         In order for this plan to be successful Grenny points out that I will need influencers. One thing about influencers that must be considered is that there will be positive and negative people that can be influential. I used Grenny’s outline to put together six sources of influence that will help me find out who my positive and negative influencers are. These influences will help me keep the positive people assisting me in pushing forward with my plan. They will also possibly sway some of the negative people to consider backing my plan and creating their own e-portfolio. Creating and sharing my personal motivation and ability, social motivation and ability, and structural motivation and ability will help make clear what, why, and how I will implement a positive change for my colleagues.   

                                            Joseph Grenny’s Six Sources of Influence  

Motivation

Ability

           Personal

  • Bring excitement into the classroom using technology
  • Add creativity to curriculum
  • Pride and confidence that comes with skill development
  • Make life easier
    • Instant communications  
    • Automatic grading
    • Paperless assignments
    • Unlimited access to supplemental materials
  • Guided practice in developing technology application skills
  • Provide instruction in the use of content specific applications
  • Provide ideas for content specific project based learning.
  • Provide technical support during project/portfolio implementation

               Social

  • Working with colleagues, administrators, and community members
  • Atmosphere of excitement in the classroom
  • Respect from administration
  • Include interviews about projects on the Cougar News Network (student created news broadcast)
  • Campus technology leaders provide assistance during project planning and implementation
  • Hold each other accountable by sharing e-portfolios
  • Provide time with colleagues to collaborate
  • Discuss project implementation project at weekly department meetings
  • Technology coordinator will attend department meetings to help trouble shoot project implementation.
  • Share portfolio links with administration for review

          Structural

  • Excitement in the learning environment increases
  • Recognition by colleagues at district technology convention
  • Community recognition at a technology open house
  • Permission to attend technology workshops and conventions
  • Teachers must have adequate access to technology to implement project based learning and portfolio development.
  • Provide software resources to implement project based learning and portfolio development.
  • Schedule collaboration periods to allow for coordinating project based learning.
  • Create an central repository for teachers to create and share project outlines and rubrics.

I have witnessed in the video All Washed Up! that more than one influence must be included to create a change or movement. The children did not wash their hands when simply told there were germs on the puzzle pieces.  It took four different influences to persuade the children to wash their hands before eating the cupcake. Grenny (2013) concurs that it takes at least four of the six influences to implement change. We have to be influenced to accept change and moreover utilize change.  

                                                              References:

All Washed Up! (2010). Retrieved July 28, 2016, from https://youtu.be/osUwukXSd0k

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.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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One thought on “Influence for a Cause

  1. Pingback: 4DX and Beyond | Technology in art

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