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.