Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yes Deanna! I'll take DSEP 7100 totally online!

Deanna had a look on her face that showed worry. "Could one of you teaching this spring be willing to take your course totally online?"

The room was silent. Faculty looked at each other and then eyes looked downward toward agendas. Perhaps they were thinking about the possibility ... or not.

Determined to solve a problem, she continued. "Students in our cohort feel like their spending EVERY Saturday in class. We thought that going hybrid would open up the calendar, but to meet all the contact hours of a three credit course, students are not only working in electronic course- delivery systems, but also are coming to a Denver classroom. Anyone want to try it?"

I felt my courage swell slowly through my armed until I shoved my fist into the air dragging the rest of my arm with it. "Sure - I'd love to go totally online. I don't exactly know how to do that yet, but I'll give it a try."

Now I had done it. I had publicly committed to go totally ONLINE. And I typically do what I say I'm going to do. And, now ... I'd have to do it. What was I thinking?

At one time I vowed never to teach a class totally online. I argued that I had to see the "whites" of their eyes, to be able to see what was going on inside their heads. Now how silly is that? I never could do that in a face-to-face class session, but I guess I thought if I could see the "whites" of their eyes, I'd at least have a chance. In fact, I had been threatening to take my hybrid courses for the principal-licensure program and make them more interactive, but never did. The intermittent campus sessions and a healthy use of email and phone tools seemed to be working just fine (or not). But now, (for better or worse) I was jumping into a totally online experience.

I had no idea if this would be a complete flop, or not, but as of 2-2-10, fourteen fabulous DSEP 7100 students are not only ONLINE in their electronic course delivery system (eCollege), but they have also in two short weeks completed the following logistical start-up activities!

1. Participate in 1 or 2 BlogTalkRadio introduction sessions.

2. Attended (or watched a recording) of a synchronous Adobe Connect Virtual Session.

3. Kept track of their start up activities on a collaborative google document.

4. Indicated book review preferences for an assignment in a google document.

5. Listened to Martina McBride's DO IT ANYWAY music video and added Voice Thread comments to a Voice Thread prepared by ME !! :-))))))

6. Posted You-Tube video links to the threaded discussion section of the DO IT ANYWAY content tab in eCollege.

7. Reviewing other students' music/videos on eCollege and commenting in a threaded discussion as to how those songs/videos speak to them about leaders, leadership, and leading.

8. Took a 3-2-1 Zoomerang Survey about 3 things they learned, 2 things they are doing or thinking about doing differently since that new learning, and 1 take-away idea that will guide future behavior or decision making from the five preceding courses in their program.

9. Participated in a Doodle survey to share preferences for future synchronous class sessions.

10. Created Blog Links in Blogger.com to share significant learning from our Cashman text, Leadership from the Inside Out.

11. And, made it through WK 02 activities focused on Conceptual Frameworks and wrote a response in a threaded-discussion page on their initial thoughts about the usefulness of a conceptual framework to guide future leadership behaviors!

I'd say we're launched! To be sure, we aren't totally CONFIDENT about what we are going yet, but building trust and developing a solid online learning community. During Adobe Connect sessions, students can be seen holding their children, drinking wine, tending to pets and other distractions -- all while participating in a synchronous session that does not require anyone to drive to Denver, to park, to find something in a hurry to eat, and to make your way to the classroom for a scheduled learning experience. Instead, we plan to schedule these sessions as we need them. Learning is happening all over the place.

I'm very excited about the possibilities of this totally online course. I also love the learning I'm doing to acquire facility with these new tech tools. I just hope that these students will be generous with me as I acquire skills at the same time they do! As I listened to the recording of our first class session, I was thrilled to see that students could come in here and watch this recording if that had missed the synchronous session and feel like they had been part of the group. On the other hand, as I listed to what I was saying, at times I sounded completely incomprehensible! Even with a script!

So, in closing this blog entry related to the DESP 7100 Leadership in Education, I'd like to say a special thank you to the students in DSEP 7100 this semester ... for DOING WHAT IT TAKES to get into our course learning environment, for signing up for tech tools that you didn't know how to use, for struggling along with me to learn how to use them, for completing our start up tasks, for checking over book review options, for thinking about the five prior classes and associated new learning, changed behaviors, and the take-aways, for having the courage to put your "mugs" right up there in our Adobe Connect Virtual Class, for doodling your synchronous class preferences, and for getting comfortable with the Monday through Sunday night weekly class rhythm.

"So, Yes Deanna. Absolutely yes! I'm thankful that I volunteered to take DESP 7100 totally online!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

UCEA BlogTalkRadio

Wow ... I just discovered BlogTalkRadio and wanted to add this resource to my eCollege course shell for the EdD students in my Leadership for Urban Schools class that starts this spring. Since I was not able to embed this link inside of eCollege, what I decided to do was to link the Leading with a Coaching Mindset blog to the eCollege course shell. There's more than one way to skin a technological problem, eh?

I also believe that those who sign up for BlogTalkRadio can do live broadcasts or save interviews as PodCasts. Just think of the possibilities here for us as educational leadership professors and for our students. These tech tools have come a long way. I can remember when I marveled at just being able to upload a file to an email rather than to have to mail a printed copy of the file across the country, or faxing it. Today, the tools are much more powerful. Our challenge now is to learn these new tools and figure out how to use them to enhance our own learning and that of our students.

There are multiple broadcasts available on this site. They are part of an interview series that links leadership to learning.

Enjoy this new site!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

10 High Flyers on Twitter in Education Week

I just found this link to this article on 10 High Flyers on Twitter in Education Week. Read this article and weep. Oh, we are so far behind ... as school administrators and as higher education professors. I'm going to do my best to catch up. Or, perhaps you will read this article and celebrate because you are in the forward swing of this social media movement! If so, BRAVO for you. Keep going. I'm scrambling to catch up!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cognitive Coaching Workshop

I just finished the first four days of a fantastic cognitive coaching workshop. I've wanted to attend training for a number of years, but each time I had the opportunity to get the training, my schedule would preclude my participation. So, when this opportunity came up I thought it would be a great help in writing our grant. I can see many many applications of this new learning for my work.

There are four more days of training in the fall semester, and while I'm very much on overload now from these past four days, I sure wish I had that problem-solving map under my belt. If you get the chance to participate in a Cognitive Coaching workshop, DO IT !!!

Thank you Chrysann and Paula for making attending this workshop possible for me. It was such a gift!

Comic Strips

I just finished creating a PIXTON comic strip

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

UCEA Wallace Leveraging Change Initiative

I'm in Austin Texas for a couple of days working with participants from seven other Educational Leadership programs on the UCEA-Wallace Leveraging Change Initiative. Our teams were selected because we have participated in accomplishing change at our own universities. Now we are collaborating on a book project to share with other Deans and Educational Leadership Faculty to assist in future change projects in other leadership programs around the county. So far, the highlight of Monday (beyond working with my colleagues on this team) was an adobe connect presentation by Scott McLeod (and here's a short bio on Scott).

Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University. He also is the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation's only center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at dangerouslyirrelevant.org.

The presentation was inspiring -- a kind of move the earth presentation -- with a kind of wake up call for educational organizations to "get with it." I've checked out Scott's online presence and am very impressed. I'm also following him on Twitter. While I am pleased to be twittering and tweeting, to be working on Pecha Kucha presentations (20 slides, 20 seconds for a 6 minute 40 second presentation), to be blogging, to be working with my faculty on an online principal licensure program, to be learning about voice threads ... I should be doing more. Thanks Scott. You've opened my eyes to a new way of working. So the change leveraging project is already underway -- with me. I'm putting on my seat belt. Want to come along for the ride?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Collecting Threads for Weaving a Grant

Last fall, two colleagues and I were working on an IES grant. Time was short but we were determined. Anything was possible. After all, we had plotted our our professional development model, and we had the content ready for delivery. But when I met with the head of our research center, she asked me about our needs assessment. We hadn't thought of a needs assessment.

After all, we thought we had the answer. We thought we knew what these principals would need. We had a bibliography packed full of helpful literature. We had experience in working with and coaching principals. We knew this was going to work. All we needed was the grant money and we were going to do great things.

A needs assessment. Of course. It made perfect sense. Most of the research on large-scale coaching efforts suffered from not having done an adequate or any needs assessment at all. I had a sinking feeling that we would not meet the grant deadline. Our logic model begged for a needs assessment component and not having that needs assessment would set us back. We didn't have enough days left. And since the goal of writing a grant is to actually get the grant funded (not just write the grant and submit it) we decide to wait until the next submission date. It was a good decision.

I am going to take the lead on writing the 25 pages of this proposal. I'm very excited about this work ... and so are my colleagues. We think that coaching is THE THING. And tomorrow we'll start weaving these loose threads into a fabulous grant proposal.