Monday, November 15, 2010

Reflection on Post-observation Conference

A requirement of the Supervision and Professional Development course is to conduct a full clinical observation cycle with a teacher. This included a pre-observation conference, a classroom observation, data analysis and interpretation, and a post-observation conference. We video taped the post-observation conference and then reviewed the video to analyze and critique the process and identify our strengths and areas for improvement as supervisors. The following are my reflections on the full clinical observation process and my skills.

What strengths and/or improvement areas did you notice about the environment and tone of the post-observation? 
Ms. C and I originally planned to have our post-observation conference in the teacher’s lounge/workroom; however, there were two other teachers there and the copier was running so it was not conducive to confidential discussion and reflection. We found another room that was not in use and sat together at one of the tables. I set up the video camera and brought out a folder with my observation notes (scripted narrative and selected verbatim), analysis and the district observation forms. I sat to the left of Ms. C, around the corner of the table rather than across the table as this made it easier to go through the observation notes together. I felt this was a more personal, collaborative seating arrangement compared to sitting across from each other. This was an important consideration since the feedback session we had after I observed Ms. C in Practice Observation #2 had not started smoothly. There had been significant deficiencies that my supervisor and I had observed in the first lesson and these issues had not initially been apparent to Ms. C. It took a lot of delicate maneuvering to build trust and get to the point that Ms. C was able to accept the observations and actively participate in planning improvement. This lesson was a tremendous improvement over that first lesson and I wanted to move forward to a less directive and more collaborative approach.

In reviewing the videotape, I noticed that I made a concerted effort to put Ms. C at ease and be positive and encouraging. A strength was my preparation; I had made two copies of my scripted notes, analysis and evaluation forms and had reviewed everything ahead of time. I was animated and clear in presenting and explaining, but I also “talk with my hands” a lot and use “ummm” a little too frequently.

What strengths and/or improvement areas did you notice in the conference about strategies to improve instruction?

In our pre-observation conference (the first half of which was also a feedback session from Practice Observation #2), we discussed student engagement and addressing the needs of all levels of readiness. In the prior lesson, both of these were areas of concern as was maintaining a tighter focus on the lesson objectives. I offered several suggestions for increasing student engagement and having students work with partners and groups. Ms. C stated that she did use some of those techniques in math but had not done them in ELA. We agreed that I would observe her teaching a math lesson and that she would implement strategies to increase student participation, do frequent checks for understanding and adjust content delivery accordingly. While observing the lesson, I did narrative scripting along with tallying both engagement strategies and off-task behaviors.

During the conference, I showed the scripting & data first and explained my shorthand & use of asterisks. We both made comments & clarifications as we went through the scripting together.
I commented that she put several items into place & gave praise for jumping in with trying new techniques (group work – new protocols to promote engagement, students collaborating & helping each other as a way to support students at all readiness levels.) Ms. C. commented, “You see me applying some of the things you suggested”
We then looked at my analysis of the notes/scripting and tallies. This was where the evidence was really confirmed. She was able to make the connection between the first lesson and the much improved second one– the difference being the greater student engagement.

I made specific comments on positives & improvements & changes in teacher activities and how they affected student engagement, ability to address different levels. Not only was the student engagement much higher and off-task behaviors reduced, Ms. C was also able to easily and quickly check for understanding.

About halfway through – Ms. C was coming up with additional ideas and was displaying confidence that they would be practical and would improve learning.

In the conference, which behavior did you seem to predominantly use? Do you think this was an appropriate approach given the developmental level of the teacher? Briefly explain.

I used a range of behaviors on the continuum but the overall conference was predominantly collaborative. During our previous feedback session, after practice observation # 2, I had taken a more directive informational approach, making several suggestions to Ms. C. I had been very pleased that she had incorporated a number of the engagement techniques we discussed, some which she had previously done and one completely new one. I knew before I left her room that she had realized how much of an improvement these strategies had made in the lesson. This created the right circumstances for moving to a collaborative approach. I was able to present my notes and data and let Ms. C do some clarifying and reflecting. During this post-observation conference, Ms. C was interested and involved in confirming the analysis and took an active role in planning next steps and coming up with further activities. Although I had an objective for further professional growth in mind and was ready to present it to Ms. C, we were actually able to arrive at the same objective together through the discussion and mutual planning. Together we reiterated bringing engagement & group protocols & techniques used in Math into ELA and other subject areas.

One of the biggest positives is that Ms. C is looking forward to my coming back to observe her after winter break and in the early spring and she has a plan for moving forward and incorporating the strategies for student engagement and addressing the needs of all levels of her students. She will gradually incorporate the strategies she is using (and increasing) in math into ELA and other areas of the curriculum.

The full clinical evaluation process was very useful to me as it not only helped me to hone my observation skills, but more importantly helped me to improve on my interpersonal skills I found that I was able to take a situation that started out a little rocky and contentious and turn it around and help to move a teacher forward in her practice. It also helped shed light on areas in which I will need to refine my skills and approach and walk that line between being personable and maintaining professionalism and being a leader.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Classroom Arrangements

As a district Instructional Technologist, I am not assigned to a single school site but instead make visits to various schools throughout the district at the elementary, middle school and high school level. Over the past three weeks, I have been in three middle schools and four elementary schools. Room arrangements vary between schools and within individual school sites. In general there are higher percentages of traditional room arrangements in middle and high school classrooms than in elementary classrooms, but I have seen various types of arrangements at each level.

Although room arrangements are often a clue to the teacher’s primary teaching style, his/her predominant instructional strategies and preferences for students working independently or collaboratively, it not always correct to assume a particular teaching style based upon one walkthrough. In many classrooms, room arrangements are not static and desks, tables, other furniture, and equipment can be rearranged regularly to facilitate whole class direct instruction, collaborative group work, centers, presentations, hands-on science, etc. In smaller or more crowded rooms, teachers and students may push desks together with a partner/buddy or with three or more students to do group work and then separate desks during assessment. In larger rooms, the space may be sufficient to allow a section for whole class instruction, tables for small groups, a reading center, computer center, etc. at the same time.

Some room arrangements are subject specific (especially science) or are designed for specific programs or instructional models. Our district uses Scholastic’s Read 180, a reading intervention program, in quite a few of our secondary schools. The instructional model for this program is a 90 minute time block in which the first 20 minutes are whole class instruction followed by students split into three groups and rotating between small group instruction with the teacher, independent reading on couches or bean bags in the reading/listening center and one third of the students on computers using the interactive, adaptive software. This program requires a large room with the three areas for rotations, plus an area for whole class instruction.

Observations of connections between room arrangement and teaching style:

I did make several visits last week to Parker Elementary school, assisting teachers with their Interactive Whiteboard and software setup in preparation for a training I will be doing at the site next week. Six out of twelve classrooms are now equipped with IWBs. Three of the rooms have had boards for almost two years and the other three were installed around the middle of the last school year. Two of the teachers are returning teachers and have experience with the IWBs. The other teachers are either new to the school and/or have an IWB in their room for the first time. One teacher is a first year teacher. In most of the rooms I looked into, the arrangement of desks were in tables or clusters or were in a horseshoe or semi-horseshoe with one or more openings in the horseshoe to facilitate traffic. All rooms had at least one separate table for small group instruction. The teacher's desk was usually off to the side or in the back. Some rooms had an open center area with a rug.

One of the teachers who had used her IWB extensively last year and had started this year using the board, had the projector bulb burn out and unfortunately, there were no extra bulbs on hand. I assisted the principal in ordering new bulbs and then went to observe the teacher and let her know that bulbs were ordered. I was dismayed to see that the double-desks were rearranged in traditional neat rows, turned to face the regular low-tech whiteboard. Each desk-table consists of two connected desks with one tabletop. The lesson I observed was an Open Court reading lesson with choral reading. It was almost entirely teacher-directed. Students participated but were not deeply engaged in the reading selection. Ms. S moved around the room assisting students, but it was apparent that she was somewhat frustrated and not at ease. She had become reliant on the technology and without it she fell back on a very traditional arrangement and methodology. I am hoping to observe this teacher again to 1) see if the instructional strategy was more a function of the Open Court routine for that day of the week, 2) to see if the room arrangement and the strategies are different when the IWB is back up and running, and 3) to ask if she would like any assistance or suggestions.

In the second IWB classroom I visited on the same day, the teacher had arranged the double desks (two connected desks with one top) in a semi-horseshoe configuration. This teacher had minimal training on the IWB, but she had a flipchart lesson displayed. She used a variety of tools and techniques to engage the students (shoulder buddies, think-pair-share, individual wipe-off whiteboards, questioning techniques, echo and choral answering) in addition to the IWB and she utilized the desk configuration to be in the center of the students, moving freely around them. Students were not particularly still in their seats, but they were engaged and there was a lot of energy in the room. Ms. M enhanced the lesson through technology and she used the room set up to increase her ability to interact with all of the students. More than the room arrangement or the technology, the greatest effect was through the teacher’s strong and solid pedagogy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Second-Order Change

Change: Based on your understanding of the Marzano reading, which of the 21 responsibilities and day-to-day management of a school are most necessary for second-order change?

Administrators must emphasize seven of the 21 responsibilities to lead and manage a second-order change initiative. Applying them to second-order change also differs slightly from first-order change and day-to-day management of a school in that they include how the larger change/innovation will affect these responsibilities. These are, in rank order of their relationship with second-order change:
  1. Knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment- not just having knowledge of research and best practices, but also being knowledgeable about how the innovation will affect curricular, instructional and assessment practices
  2. Optimizer
  3. Intellectual Stimulation
  4. Change Agent
  5. Monitoring/Evaluating
  6. Flexibility
  7. Ideals/Beliefs 
Marzano’s analysis also shows that some of the above responsibilities are negatively affected by second-order change. These are culture, communication, order, and input. A principal (or district level leader) may find that the while leading and managing deep change and dramatic paradigm shifts, they have to endure the perceptions that team spirit and cooperation (culture), communication, order and routine, and the level of input from all members of the staff have deteriorated as a result of the innovation. Marzano quotes Fullan as stating…”creative breakthroughs are always preceded by periods of cloudy thinking, confusion, exploration, trial and stress; followed by periods of excitement, and growing confidence as one pursues purposeful change…”

How does the complexity of second order change demand a very thoughtful and flexible administrator?

Marzano (2005) states, “One of the difficult aspects of identifying the magnitude of change for a given initiative is that one person’s first-order change might be another’s second order change.” (p. 112). He gives an example of a school moving from a traditional report card to one that is standards-based. For a teacher that has already been moving towards recording grades on a more detailed standards-based model, changing the school report card is “an extension of her experiences – the next logical step.” For another teacher who has not been experimenting with new reporting systems, it is a bigger change and a dramatic departure from her existing paradigm. While first-order change is incremental, a series of small steps that fine-tunes the system, second-order change is deep change that “alters the system in fundamental ways, offering a dramatic shift in direction and requiring new ways of thinking and acting.’ (p. 66).
Administrators need to understand that the staff will vary on both the reality and their perceptions of the degree to which a change or innovation is different from their existing practices. Generally, the bigger/more significant the change, the more difficult it will be perceived to be and the more effort it will take.

When leading and managing second-order change, administrators may want to make use of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM)
“…acknowledging these concerns and addressing them are critical to progress in a reform effort …. The strength of the concerns model is in its reminder to pay attention to individuals and their various needs for information, assistance, and moral support.”
Marzano, R. Waters, T., McNulty, B. (2005) School Leadership That Works. From Research to Results. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.
The National Academies (2005). The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): A Model for Change in Individuals. Retrieved from:

The Impact of a Positive School Culture on School Reform

Culture: What impact does the creation of a positive school culture have on school reform?

School reform takes time, hard work and commitment. It is not something that can be done overnight and not something that will show positive results if only implemented by a small percentage of the teachers, staff, students and other stakeholders. If a school reform effort is to be successful, there must be buy-in by a critical mass and it must be implemented with fidelity to the core components, values and beliefs. This takes strong leadership, but it also takes all members of the team pulling together. If the school culture is negative – if there is no shared vision, little to no collaboration and communication, if disorder and unruliness are the norm, if there is a lack of respect between colleagues and between teachers, students and parents, and if there is an overall atmosphere of despair, apathy or hopelessness, the reform effort will fail. The most highly rated reform model will not make a significant difference if a pervasive negative school culture stands in the way of implementation.
Conversely, when the school community has developed a positive culture, they have the foundation upon which to build reform efforts, pull together, and get the hard work accomplished. If you want people to put in 110%, they have to believe in the cause, feel their contributions are acknowledged and that their collaborative efforts make a difference - this gives them ownership. The entire staff should feel that they are a part of the reform not that the reform is just something that has been externally imposed upon them.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Effective Leadership

How has what you have learned so far in this course shaped your concept of an effective leader?
• Based on what you have learned so far, what are the top 3-5 characteristics you believe a successful principal must possess?

Most of us have experienced both effective and ineffective leaders over the course of our lives, beginning with our own years of schooling thorough our entry into the workforce and now within the context of our current careers. We “feel” when someone is a good leader; they inspire us, garner our commitment to shared purpose and goals and motivate us to perform at higher levels than we would without their influence.

Marzano (2005), in School Leadership that Works” states, “…our meta-analysis of 35 years of research indicates that school leadership has a substantial effect on student achievement and provides guidance for experienced and aspiring administrators alike.”  In a more recent report just released in July 2010 from the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI), “Learning from Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning”, the authors state:

In developing a starting point for this six-year study, we claimed, based on a preliminary review of research, that leadership is second only to classroom instruction as an influence on student learning, After six additional years of research, we are even more confident about this claim. To date we have not found a single case of a school improving student achievement in the absence of talented leadership.(p.11)
So what does it take to be an effective leader? What qualities, skills, and practices differentiate effective leaders from ineffective or average leaders?  

Throughout the readings, discussion with classmates and colleagues and personal reflection, what struck me the most is the number and variety of leadership models and styles and the complexity of the role of school leaders. In sifting through the information, opinions and research, a number of common themes, practices and characteristics emerge. The practices identified by the CAREI report referenced above align with and confirm most Marzano’s 21 responsibilities (2005).

I believe the top characteristics of effective leaders are:

  • Ability to develop a shared vision with the school community and a strategic plan for implementation. A vision without an implementation plan is just a string of pretty buzzwords hanging on a plaque or banner.
  • Ability to foster collaboration and communication and build teams. Within this broader category are several crucial talents and practices: a strong belief in others, the ability to bring diverse groups and perspectives together, shared or distributed leadership and building leadership in others.
  • Authenticity and integrity
  • Situational Awareness and Flexibility - Ability to carefully assess situations and adjust style, response and follow-up based on context and needs.

Louis, K.; Leithwood ,K.; Wahlstrom, K.; Anderson, Stephen. (July, 2010). Learning from Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning. Final Report of Research to the Wallace Foundation. Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) University of Minnesota.

Balanced Leadership Profile Inventory - Results and Comments

How do the results of the balanced leadership profile inventory compare with your own self-assessment of the 21 Responsibilities of a School Leader?

Although I agree with the importance of studying the different theories of leadership, including leadership styles and organizational models, and the research on the characteristics and practices of effective leaders, I did not find this activity to be very authentic or useful for me. I have gained a lot of valuable information from the readings, the discussions with classmates and my conversations with my mentor (also my manager), who is a former principal and is currently the Coordinator of Instructional Technology for our large, urban school district. However, since I am working in a district level rather than a school level position, I was not able to give authentic answers to many of the online assessment questions.

Our assignment instructions were to sign up for a subscription as a currently practicing school principal. Doing so resulted in a survey that asked us to list one of our primary school improvement initiatives and then rate ourselves on how well we were performing in the 21 areas as they related to the initiative. I felt a bit fraudulent since I am neither a principal or even in a role directly in an individual school. I found that I had to “fake it” by selecting a school within my district and projecting how I might have done in each category or what the faculty’s responses and actions might be. The school I selected was one that I had assisted with their IWB implementation over the past year. I had conferred and collaborated with the principal and had delivered several professional development sessions and small group assistance to the teachers. Although I worked with and got to know several of the teachers, this is quite different from serving as the leader of the school. Although I tried to put myself into the principal’s role, I believe that I probably projected my perceptions of how successful the actual principal was in a number of the 21 responsibilities rather than assessing my own capabilities.

The scores in the 21 categories were fairly close between the online self-assessment and the Word document self-assessment. Most of the ratings I gave myself were between 3 and 4 as I understand the responsibilities quite well on a conceptual basis, but have not actually experienced the daily work and challenges of being a school principal. Because this was really a fictitious scenario, I can’t place a lot of validity in the results. I do believe this tool would be useful for a practicing principal to use several times over the course of a year, especially if she were trying to implement a new initiative or move toward a more transformative leadership model and wanted to make sure she was reflecting on her progress and making continuous improvement.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Transformational Leadership

Transactional leaders use conventional reward and punishment to gain compliance from their followers. The organizational structure is the typical top-down leadership pyramid and the targeted “motivational needs” are those that are on the lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.
Transformational Leadership, by contrast targets the upper levels of Maslow’s hierarchy and is built upon collaboration, communication, shared vision, distributed leadership and building of leadership within others, and the concepts of servant leadership and stewardship.
The transformational approach to leadership takes us from a constricting model of competition between individuals, teams or nations, to a connection with the whole of a situation, and leadership for the good of all. We move from making a sale at any cost, towards creating lasting relationships and seeking socially responsible outcomes; it takes us from a narrow focus primarily on the bottom line, to realizing a sustainable vision that contributes to the welfare of all involved, not just the ones with the power and control. (The Transformational Leadership Report, 2007)
Transformational school leaders develop a collaborative and participatory school culture that embraces a shared vision with common goals and priorities. This means that instead of solely issuing top-down directives, they foster discussion and shared decision-making; this also means transformational leaders must have the ability to work through divisiveness and among competing factions to build consensus. They value and believe in their team and they work to build relationships and nurture leadership in others. Transformational leaders hold high expectations for themselves, their teachers and their students and they model values and professional practices. (They “walk the walk”.) They believe in and promote continual growth though their own self-reflection and by providing ongoing evaluation, support, and resources for their teachers. Transformational leaders embrace the use of various technologies as tools for learning, and as a means to increase collaboration and communication between teachers, students, outside experts, home and school. They model appropriate and ethical use of technology and they continually investigate and evaluate new technologies.

It is certainly interesting and informative to learn about and discuss the merits of the transformational leadership model and identify its key characteristics, behaviors and strategies. However, it is also somewhat sobering to compare the theories and ideals to actual practice and level of implementation. Complex contextual differences, including the size of schools and districts, grade level or population served, type of organization (public, private, charter), the geographic and socio-economic demographics, and the political climate and policies are all factors. The later, political climate and policies, have had significant impact and influence on educational policies, organizational structures and administration/leadership, especially over the past decade.

Leithwood (2007) writes, “The dilemma is that both theory and evidence have begun to coalesce around “transformational” approaches to their leadership as best suited to the challenges they face, while the policy environment in which they work largely endorses the continuation of “transactional” practices.

There are often significant differences between what a growing body of research is showing to be effective and what is promoted and mandated through policy from the federal down though the state, district and local school level. Some of these are unintended consequences of well-intentioned initiatives and policies. We can say that we want to move more toward a transformational leadership model, but some of the policies, mandates, and laws actually promote more of a transactional and even punitive system. Examples are NCLB accountability with the focus on high-stakes testing and meeting AYP and the increasingly punitive consequences of not meeting targets. “School reform” and school improvement grants are based upon selecting one of four intervention models: the “turn-around”, “restart”, “school closure” or “transformation” model. Each of these intervention models require firing staff –from a minimum of the principal to over 50% of the staff to complete school closure. Even the current “Race to the Top” program has significant “carrot and stick” elements.

So how can administrators work within these disparate and often conflicting elements and become transformational leaders in spite of the myriad obstacles? How can administrators at all levels (school, district, state) go from theory to practical implementation – and in a way that doesn’t lose sight of the vision but also takes a deep look at realities and works within organizational and resource constraints? I believe that it is important to remember that one size does not fit all and that context does matter. Complex situations may call for different approaches or a continuum of strategies.

Following are excerpts from a March 2010 article in NEA Priority Schools Campaign.
Collaboration Results in Transformation at Maryland School
…A formal memorandum of understanding called for a three-year commitment from staff for school stability, staff-wide training….

In the fall of 2000, then-Superintendent of Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools (MCPS) Jerry Weast identified Broad Acres Elementary School for “reconstitution,” which meant removing its new principal and bringing in a new teaching staff. But Montgomery County Education Association opposed that idea. The union maintained that the existing staff needed support, not replacement.
Principal Jody Leleck was key. … She believed in and supported her teachers’ ability to figure out what needed to be done. She was their constant instructional guide and mentor, and did not compromise her expectations for improved student achievement.

MCEA Vice President Bonnie Cullison and Community Superintendent Kimberly Statham met with each teacher to describe to them the new, joint expectations in terms of teaming, planning, and the requirement for teacher leadership. …After three years, Broad Acres Elementary School was a community of teachers and administrators making instructional decisions together. …By the end of 2003…math score improvement was better than any other school in Montgomery County. …After three years, Broad Acres had achieved AYP.

According to Principal Leleck, “The reason Broad Acres succeeded was teacher leadership; and everyone holding themselves accountable for every student.”
I have to refer again to a Solution Tree (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker) PLC conference that I attended a little over a year ago. One of Robert Eaker’s sessions was titled, “The Role of the Central Office: Assisting Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities” (2009). He discussed the concept of a district-wide culture that is simultaneously "loose" and "tight."

Central Office Leaders Must Be Tight

We must be “tight” on the fundamental purpose of the organization (learning) and a few big ideas – insisting that those within the organization act in ways consistent with those concepts and demanding that the district align all of its practices and programs with them.” – Rick DuFour

Central Office Leaders Must Be Loose

We must encourage individual and organizational autonomy in the day-to-day operations… This autonomy is not characterized by random acts of innovation, but rather is guided by the carefully defined parameters that give focus and direction…

I think we can apply this to school leaders as well as central office leaders – tight on the big ideas, essential conditions and objectives, and loose where individual autonomy and innovation (and collaborative efforts) can support and stay within the parameters of the larger construct. It may not completely reflect a transformational leadership model, but combined with continual reflection and refinement to strike the right balance, I think it may be a step in the right direction.


Eaker, R. (2009, July). The Role of the Central Office: Assisting Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities. Presented at Professional Learning Communities at Work 2009 Institute, Palm Springs, CA.

Robertson, S. (March 11, 2010). Collaboration results in transformation at Maryland School. NEA Priority Schools Campaign. Retrieved from (2007). The Transformational Leadership Report. Retrieved from:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Reflecting on the Online Orientation

What are your expectations for this program? What do you hope to accomplish?

I chose the JHU-ISTE program because of the dual emphasis on the traditional Administration and Supervision proficiencies and coursework and the ISTE's National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A). I expect that the program will be intensive, fast-paced and will require a significant commitment of my time and effort over the next thirteen to fourteen months.

I hope to gain the knowledge and proficiencies to be an effective leader in education and instructional technology. I want to be aware of the developments, current research and best practices in pedagogy, school reform, and building and leading teams and I hope to increase my ability to lead and facilitate the implementation of existing and emerging technologies to enhance and support effective instruction.

Now that you have a good sense of the types of online activities and the rhythms of an active participant, what steps will you take to be successful in this program?

I will need to effectively manage my time, stay organized and prioritize tasks and commitments. I know that I will also need to carefully monitor the amount of time I take to complete assignments. I have a work ethic and character trait that can be either a benefit or a liability. I tend to be meticulous and pay attention to details, wanting a finished product or task to be as perfect as possible. This admirable trait often results in high-quality work; however, it becomes a liability when I labor too long over details or get too immersed in getting everything "just so" that I either lose sight of keeping the focus on the big ideas or I run too close to deadlines.

Starting each week's readings and assignments early in the week, keeping an up-to-date calendar and task list and self-monitoring both progress and maintaining focus will help with this. I will also take the advice of another cohort member and over estimate by 50% the length of time needed to complete an assignment. When I took scuba certification courses years ago, a important phrase I learned was "planning the dive and then diving the plan." Although this strategy was designed for safety purposes (ensuring sufficient air supply, maintaining navigation and avoiding no-decompression limits) an adaptation to "planning the work and then working the plan" will serve as a good strategy for this program.

Where do you still need additional support to be successful?

I may need support around keeping up with the newer Web 2.0 and now 3.0 technologies and their applications. Although I have been using some of these tools, such as wikis and Google Docs, there seem to be a greater number and diversity in use each week. Keeping up with what is out there and more importantly evaluating which have real value beyond the novelty is challenging and time consuming.