36. Contributions to my learning community

As a learner, I met the goals set for this course. I was able to go back in my learning journey and reflect upon the skills, beliefs, and values acquired through each one of the experiences I had the opportunity to engage in throughout the program. 

In this course, I had the chance to investigate and evaluate how the COVA approach has helped me learn and then apply the COVA approach’s principles to design meaningful learning environments that give my students choice, ownership, voice, and authentic learning opportunities. By analyzing my learning process, evaluating the lessons learned, and using these insights to guide future innovation project leadership, I was also able to structure and analyze my innovation project.

I am aware that, as a teacher, I must push my students’ ideas. But I must also push myself to consider what lies ahead for my kids. What challenges will the young brains in my class encounter in 5, 10, or 15 years? What kind of talents will they require in ten years? According to Mitra (2013), educators need to concentrate on the changes that are yet to come in the rapidly changing world we currently live in. Humans tend to rely on what is comfortable for them, yet seeing ahead on the road might be difficult. I have never felt more equipped as a teacher to fulfill the needs of my kids. I have been forced to act as a result of the changes in the educational landscape. My students weren’t interested, which was something I was able to realize after reviewing my own work. The literature review gave me the background knowledge I needed to understand more about blended learning. I view myself as a lifelong learner, and the body of literature has given me a new perspective on how to recognize and address the needs of my kids. Action research thus provided me with a method to use my findings right away in my classroom. I contacted other colleagues from my district as I was creating the action research plan. There was a lack of student participation in other foreign language courses, according to the foreign language teachers themselves. Knowing this, I chose to focus on boosting student involvement when developing the research question. To build a network of support, I connected with other teachers who were using blended learning in the classroom. I have started following other educators on Twitter and have joined a few Facebook groups. Additionally, I went to a conference on foreign languages where I spoke about my problem and got feedback on the action research plan I had in place.

“My learning journey” post helped me reflect upon the action steps I took throughout the course to get to this point. It has been a great learning journey. I used the feedforward provided by Dr. Harapnuik to revise and edit my work. The last assignment gave me an opportunity to put all the pieces together. Looking back at how it all started and where I am now gives me goosebumps. I was pushed by each assignment and although I felt a bit uncormfortable with the process, I pushed through it. Change is not easy – yes, it is easier said than done. But the work I put in throughout the program allowed me to be a better educator for my students.

Discussion board participation was needed for the course. I shared a number of my thoughts and actively engaged with my classmates, offering feedback and feed-forward. They provided me with input, which I used to improve my study questions.

Self-assessment grade: 92

35. Contributions to my learning community

Key Contributions

Throughout the Resources Digital Environments course, I engaged in a highly collaborative environment in which I felt out of my comfort zone. The different assignments allowed me to dig deeper into the implementation process of my innovation plan.

The videos and readings of the course allowed me to push my thinking. As an educator, I have learned how to share what I do in my classroom with informal posts via Twitter or comments via Facebook groups and discussion boards in the course. I truly feel that I have grown tremendously in this area (discussion posts). The readings and videos gave me the context to make connections and share my thinking with my peers about the variety of ways technology can enhance learning, how my learning environment is changing and how I can share the changes I am making in my classroom. These discussions gave me the tools and experience to step out of my comfort zone and share what I do with a wider learning community.

Discussion Board – Examples

All the articles, videos, and discussion boards gave me a good foundation to think about writing an article to share my ideas with the learning community. I had read articles in Edutopia and We Are Teachers and admired the educators who were sharing their work. But, it never crossed my mind that I could do something like that. The discussion posts were done in a trusting environment, which is why I felt and still do completely comfortable doing it. But, writing an article pushed my thinking and I struggled with the idea at the beginning. Creating the publication outline helped me put my key ideas together. I went back and reviewed my blog posts and decided what I wanted to focus on. I embarked on the writing process and designed my first draft with lots of stumbling blocks. First, my draft was over a thousand words. But Edutopia’s guidelines only allowed 750 words. Second, I literally forgot my audience. In order to refine my work, I joined a Facebook group where I placed my draft for my colleagues to provide feedforward. Christine Glenn, Angie Ariza, and Jennifer Marlor were amazing at giving me comments that pushed my thinking and let me realize that I had to keep my audience in mind. The assessment rubric was designed in collaboration with other peers. Although I lost the focus of my audience during my first draft, I edited the document four times using the rubric the team created.

Assessment Rubric

As a learner, I have refined my writing skills and taken risks that helped me grow. I watched all the videos, read all the articles, and responded to each discussion board (and three or more peers) in a timely manner supporting my thinking with sound research. Such a collaboration process was key to my growth as a learner.

The reflection process and collaboration I engaged in this course also helped me grow as an educator. My next step is to publish the article. I will submit it in August to We Are Teachers.

Self-Assessment Marking: 92

34. Publication Final Draft & Compilation Post – Resources Digital Environments

The resources digital environments course provided me various opportunities to analyze digital resources and apply new learnings to my learning environment. Such a process was done in various collaborative environments but mainly through a Facebook group of 26 colleagues who craved for learning from each other. I truly believed that the main goals for the Resources Digital Environments course were met.

During the first two weeks, I dove into the ISTE standards and other articles that pushed my thinking. For example, the article Publishing: Can I really do that? provided the guidelines for exploring the idea of publishing what I do in my classroom. As an educator, I feel I undermine the work I do. However, this article really encouraged me to share what I do or implement in my room because it is valuable. This journey sent me to explore and evaluate digital resources through which I could share my teaching and learning experiences. I discovered that my innovation plan – How the station-rotation blended approach can increase engagement – has value and can support other educators that want to learn how to use technology to enhance learning.

The first step I took when I embarked on this journey was to develop a publication outline. This process allowed me to refine my ideas and think about the intended audience. I have to say that I struggled with this step. I believe I am a big idea person who most of the time think about details last. I had not thought about publishing my ideas before so it took me some time to come up with a coherent outline that had a clear direction. I researched some of the agencies that would publish posts from educators, like me, who wanted to share what had been implemented in their classrooms.

I pre-selected three sites where I planned on submitting my publication. This step helped me when writing my draft because I had a clear goal and audience.

  1. Edutopia: ​​In order to submit an article to Edutopia, I need to send them an email with a few sentences describing my proposed post and a high-level outline. I know that the finished outline should be around 750–850 words. In addition to that, I need to have a clear audience. In my case, the intended audience is all educators who want to implement the Blended Learning Approach in their classrooms. 
  2. We Are Teachers: In order to submit an article to We are Teachers, I need to resemble the tone and style of their blogs. Their blog posts run between 500–700 words.
  3. ACTFL Language Connects: I can submit my article to the In the Classroom Department as the article will be on a topic directly related to languages in the classroom.

Another piece that helped a lot was the class discussions regarding digital tools in digital environments and perusing and sharing publications. I realized that I was not the only one who felt vulnerable when sharing their work.

Example of Discussion Board Posts
Feedforward Vs. Feedback

Once the outline was created, I started developing my first draft. In order to refine my publication post, I engaged in a feedforward loop with three more educators – Jennifer Marlor, Angie Ariza, and Christine Glenn. All the communication and collaboration happened through a Facebook group. Each participant posted the rough draft and requested feedback using the assessment rubric. When I received the feedforward, I “listened” to it carefully. Writing is a process that never ends, which means that there is always something that can be changed. My main goal was for my peers to hear my “voice” and for the article to be coherent and meaningful to most educators. I have added an example of the interactions that took place on the Facebook group.

The feedforward allowed me to see different perspectives and adjust my writing piece to the intended audience. In addition to that, the course pushed me to step out of my comfort zone by creating a media pitch for my publication. I have to say that I see myself as an introvert. However, the media project gave me an opportunity to dig deeper into my WHY so that I could share it with others. I tried different tools to create the media pitch such as Doodly, Prezi, and Powtoon but I decided to use Canva and uploaded the video to my YouTube channel. The goal is to present my ideas to influence others in a positive way. The video showcases my “WHY” and “HOW” I want to bring about change in my classroom to increase engagement and student agency in my classroom.

Media Pitch Project

Media Pitch Project

Sharing my ideas in the digital community Publication Article

After the feedforward provided by my peers and the revision and editing process, I can say that I am ready to submit my article to Edutopia and/or We are Teachers. The article will be submitted in August with the main goal to share my ideas with other educators.

Throughout the Resources Digital Environments course, I engaged in a highly collaborative environment in which I felt out of my comfort zone. The different assignments allowed me to dig deeper into the implementation process of my innovation plan.

Reflection: The videos and readings of the course allowed me to push my thinking. As an educator, I have learned how to share what I do in my classroom with informal posts via Twitter or comments via Facebook groups and discussion boards in the course. I truly feel that I have grown tremendously in this area (discussion posts). The readings and videos gave me the context to make connections and share my thinking with my peers about the variety of ways technology can enhance learning, how my learning environment is changing and how I can share the changes I am making in my classroom. These discussions gave me the tools and experience to step out of my comfort zone and share what I do with a wider learning community. I blogged about all the contributions to my learning in one of my most recent posts: Contributions to My Learning Community.

The reflection process and collaboration I engaged in this course also helped me grow as an educator. My next step is to publish the article. I will submit it in August to We Are Teachers.

Self-Assessment Marking: 92

Final Draft

33. Media Project

Sharing what I do in my classroom is new to me. It was only until I started the ADL program that I found it important to create a space like my e-portfolio to share my ideas with others. It was not an easy process though because I truly believe that whatever is out there for the public has to be meaningful and relevant to the intended audience. When I started the ADL program, I created an innovation plan based on the needs of my students. The problem I found was that my students were not engaged during my classes, which was a problem also shared by other teachers in my learning context. I dug deeper into the content and found an extensive number of researchers who had discussed the benefits of blended learning, which was my viable solution to the problem I had identified. The literature review allowed me to select a specific blended learning model I wanted to implement in my classroom: Station-Rotation.

Creating a significant learning environment was of utmost importance. I was able to identify fixed mindsets and prepare to overcome those obstacles before and during the implementation of the station-rotation approach.

It is now time to make my innovation plan known. I feel it is my duty to contribute to the field and support other educators. I took knowledge from lots of educators and it is my time to give back by sharing what I have implemented in my classroom. I created a media pitch project and wrote an article that was reviewed by three educators. Their feedforward was key in refining the writing piece before I submit it to We Are Teachers or Edutopia in August 2022.

Media Pitch Project

Sharing my ideas in the digital community Publication Article

After the feedforward provided by my peers and the revision and editing process, I can say that I am ready to submit my article to Edutopia and/or We are Teachers. The article will be submitted in August with the main goal to share my ideas with other educators.

32. Publication Rough Draft

Peer Assessment – The rough draft linked below was assessed by my core peer group. They used the following guidelines and provided the points listed below:

  1. PURPOSE AND AUDIENCE: 10 points
    • The written text effectively expresses the writer’s purpose and effectively addresses audience concerns.
    • The written text demonstrates a logical arrangement of paragraphs, logical use of transitions between paragraphs, and a logical organization of ideas within paragraphs. The organizational logic enhances a reader’s understanding of the text’s ideas
  3. DEVELOPMENT: 8 points
    •  The written text effectively employs reasons and evidence—i.e., all reasons support the text’s purpose, and specific evidence supports all reasons.
    • The writer’s voice in the text demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the content and a personal engagement with the content (via the writer’s ideas, values, beliefs, and experiences). Readers perceive this textual voice as trustworthy.
    • The written text contains few or no errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, or sentence structure. Style is effective. Documentation is thorough and effective. The article follows all of the publication guidelines.

Total points: 45

The feedforward provided by my colleagues – Jennifer Lynn Marlor, Angie Ariza, and Christine Glenn – allowed me to work on gaps and expand my ideas when necessary. I know I get all into the topic of blended learning and I sometimes forget that others – in this case, my audience – might need additional details to understand where I am at in the process and where I am going to accomplish my goal.

Where do you plan to submit it? I am planning on submitting my article to:
a. Edutopia
b. We Are Teachers
c. ACTFL Language Connects

26. Action Research Outline – Assessing Digital Learning

I. Introduction: 

The educational field has experienced an unexpected and drastic change due to Covid. Such changes led me to reflect upon my teaching practices. I work at a Charter school teaching Spanish at the Middle and High School levels. Since my campus started providing one device per student two years ago, I embraced the opportunity and started integrating components of Blended Learning in my classroom.  Blended learning has the potential to shift traditional instruction to a more sophisticated way of learning that provides students with the opportunity to have more control over their learning (Maxwell, 2016, paras. 1-2). The flexibility the approach provides through the different blended learning models serves as the medium for students to become more self-directed learners. As an educator, I want to challenge my students as I meet their cognitive and socio-emotional needs in my Spanish classes. 

II. What is the topic of your action research?

The topic of my action research is increasing student engagement, agency, and self-efficacy in a 9th-grade Spanish classroom by using the Rotation Blended Learning.

III. What is the purpose of your study?

This research will examine if the use of the Rotation Blended Learning model will increase student engagement, agency, and self-efficacy in a 9th-grade Spanish classroom.

IV. What is your fundamental research question

Does the implementation of the Rotation Blended Learning Model increase student engagement, agency, and self-efficacy in a 9th-grade Spanish class?

V. What is your research design?

I intend to use a Triangular Mixed-Methods approach. This plan will focus on both quantitative and qualitative data, ensuring that I get the best results possible. Through the qualitative data, I expect to collect students’ perceptions regarding how engaged they felt in the blended learning classroom. From the qualitative data, I expect trends to emerge so that I can determine if student engagement and agency increased. The quantitative data will provide a way to determine if the rotation blended approach was the factor that increased student engagement, agency, and self-efficacy, which can be reflected in how much learning happens in the classroom.

VI. What type of data will you collect?

Types of measurement instruments

  1. Unit pre-test & post-test (Quantitative) 
  2. Student interviews (Qualitative)
  3. Student surveys (Qualitative)

VII. What is the focus of your literature review? Literature review from 5305 

The focus of my literature review will be a look into Blended Learning and then diving into the Rotation Blended Learning model. Then I will define student engagement, student agency, and self-efficacy to be able to analyze the quantitative and qualitative data collected. 


Maxwell, C. (2016, February 19). A deeper look at the flex model [web log]. https://www.blendedlearning.org/a-deeper-look-at-the-flex-model. 


ONLINE COURSE – This course is created in Schoology which is the Learning Management System used in my school context. Let me show you the course roadmap so that you get familiarized with the learning environment. 

Once you open the course you will see a START HERE folder. The first document you will see is the goals of the course. This is the WHY I created this course and what participants will be able to achieve when they complete each module. 

The next section has a short description of the instructor. For accessibility purposes, I included a video in addition to the written description. 

The next section has the syllabus. This is a very important document because it has the full course description, what the participants will achieve – or learning outcomes, the materials that will be used (which are included in each module). 

This is a self-paced online course with synchronous zoom meetings held at the end of each module so that participants can reflect upon the content being targeted and problem-solve some of the stumbling blocks teachers encounter along the way.

Some other sections that I include in the syllabus are:

  1. How participants can communicate with me and other participants. For example, they can send me an email and I will respond to them in less than 24 hours. Participants will also have the opportunity to use the discussion boards created in the course to communicate with other teachers. I will also share different apps that participants can use to collaborate in a closed environment with others – for example GroupMe or Slack. An additional way for the participants to communicate with me and others is through the Zoom meetings held in each module. 
  2. Technology requirements: Teachers will need a computer and access to schoology. 
  3. Technical support: If participants need technical assistance they can reach out to the HelpDesk at school. They can solve problems with access to schoology, uploading / downloading documents. If participants need support with the content, they can reach out to me or any other team member via email, or any other collaboration app they may be using.
  4. How discussion boards will be held and the expectations for each assignment. Participants are expected to respond to other participants’ comments so that the discussion stays alive.
  5. Most of the content will be delivered online. 80% will be done asynchronously and 20% synchronously.
  6. The course schedule is included in a PDF file which has links to all resources being used throughout the course.

The content involves small, focused segments of learning that are designed for the participants to meet a specific learning outcome. In other words, the learning is chunked so that the cognitive load keeps the participants engaged in learning, giving them time to absorb, recall and implement what they have learned. 

The learning theory that is behind this course is the Online Collaborative learning theory which derives from social constructivism since students are encouraged to collaboratively solve problems through discourse and where the I, the teacher, play the role of facilitator as well as learning community member. Another role that I play is that of an active facilitator of knowledge building. 

 I truly believe that  instruction is not simply about learning content or a skill but also supports students socially and emotionally, which is how constructivists view teaching and learning as inherently social activities.

This is shown in the course through the various discussions strategically placed in each module as well as the Zoom meetings which will be held at the end of each module to reflect and build upon each other’s ideas. Therefore, I can say that this is a student-centered course. 

Each participant will have access to the information and will work on the implementation of one of the blended learning models in their specific context. Such personalization of content will be accompanied with active collaboration amongst the teachers through discussion boards. I will encourage participants to also collaborate outside the learning environment by using apps such as Slack or GroupMe.

The first module targets what blended learning is and why it should be incorporated. For this module, participants will be provided the background of blended learning by watching a couple of videos and reflecting upon the testimony of a 6th grade teacher. I like to provide choices so another activity that I added was a list of articles that target the same content in different ways. The goal is for the participants to read ONE article and discuss how their initial thinking about blended learning has changed or what hesitations they still have about implementing Blended Learning. Their perspectives will be also shared during the ZOOM meeting scheduled at the end of the module.

The second module explores relevant research literature to help participants construct a new understanding of blended learning. Most of the assignments included in this module ask participants to record themselves (video or/and audio) reflecting upon the content they reviewed. By including video recording, teachers will experience the benefit of some of the tools that can be used when they implement Blended Learning. My goal as the facilitator of learning is to provide feedback to their responses in the same format (via video).

Module 3 addresses the learning blending modules, module 4 targets the planning of the lesson plan or model and module 5 is all about the implementation of the lesson or model. Each module has embedded assessments that provoke discussion, reflection and in which participants need to complete small projects that are essential pieces of the final product in module 5.

22. Instructional Design Overview

Course Schedule/Outline

ModulesTopicAssignment/Activity(Online) Due Date
Start HereCourse Introduction ModuleWeeks of January 10-23Course Introduction  Review“Start Here” section Review Goals for the course and Instructor’s information

Read the syllabus and ISTE Standards
Introduce yourself: Name/Content areas taught/WHY (teaching)

Respond to two more people – discussion board
Weeks of January 10-23
Module 1:Weeks of January 24-February 6Blended Learning Research and ResourcesReview session objectives and key ideas for the module

Read testimonies on what blended learning is to educators.

Read “Introduction to Blended Learning” by Silicon Schools Fund and Clayton Chritensen InstituteCheck for understanding: Blended Learning or Not?

Discussion Board: What hesitations do you have about Blended Learning? What benefits do you think this approach will bring to your context?
Weeks of January 24-February 6
Module 2:Weeks of February 7-20How: Mindsets and Blended LearningIs your Mindselt Ready for Blended? Take this quiz to find out!

Watch the video The Basics of Blended Learning – TED Read the article “What Blended Learning means for teacehrs? by TNTP.

Discussion Board: Analyze the graphic and reflect upon 2 ways in which the four core components of blended learning might impact your students.

Watch the video: 6 Reasons we love Blended Learning.

Discussion Board: Answer the following questions and respond to 2 other participants. How would your students benefit from a blended classroom? Or have had your students already benefited? How can you apply those thoughts or actions to your classroom?
Weeks of February 7-20
Module 3: 
Weeks of February 21-March 6
Blended Learning ModelsView the 5 Biggesst Pitfalls of Blended Learning video.

Watch the video: Blended Learning Models and Choosing the Best One

Read the article: 27 Tips to set up a Blended Learning Classroom

Assignment: Deciding to implement blended learning at your school can feel like a massive undertaking full of many decisions to make and points to consider.
Which model would best meet the needs of your students? What are some of the considerations you will need to take into account when implementing the model you chose?
Weeks of February 21-March 6
Module 4:Weeks of March 7 -20How: Blended Learning in ActionRead about “Blended Learning Recipes” and “Where do I start?”

Read the “Educator’s Guide to Blended Learning Lesson Plan”.

Assignment 1: Submit a draft of a lesson plan to get feedforward.

Assignment 2: Use feedback to make changes to the lesson plan. Create a sandbox in Schoology to share the lesson and resources with the rest of the course participants. 

Assignment 3: Deliver the lesson.

Discussion Board: Reflect upon what worked and what you would like to adjust for a future lesson.
Module 4:Weeks of March 7 -20
Instructional Design Assignment #1

My name is Luis Herrera and I am currently one of the Spanish teachers at a Charter school in the DFW area. I have 5 classes and I see each class 3 times a week. One of the struggles I have had, even before COVID, is engagement. Do my students comply with their tasks? Most of them do. But, to what extent are they completely involved in a learning task? From my perspective. Not much and that is the struggle I face. I decided to design this online course with the purpose of supporting teachers in learning and taking some of the components of Blended Learning into their classrooms. Blended learning has allowed me to take risks in my classroom and I would like to share my experiences with other teachers in my school context through this Professional Development Course.

The course has 5 modules that will take you, teachers, from the WHY of Blended Learning to a creative stage in which you design a lesson or unit integrating components of Blended Learning and implement it in the classroom. The course will be live in January. Each module may be completed in two weeks. The course will be open until March, 2022.

My school uses Schoology as the Learning Management System. This decision was made during the pandemic and teachers and students are comfortable with the system already. Although I have used it for my classes, there is still much to learn on how to make an online course user-friendly and engaging.

I started the course with a START HERE section. In this section, I have listed the Goals for the course, the instructor’s information, and the syllabus. I gave a lot of thought to the course syllabus as it is the roadmap of my course. The syllabus contains valuable information that will help teachers succeed and stay organized throughout the course.

I included the GOALS section because I wanted to describe WHY Blended learning will support teachers in engaging students in their lessons. My main goal is to give teachers the opportunity to explore best practices and essential mindsets to learn the how of blended learning. The final outcome is for teachers to develop a lesson plan or a unit that matches the needs of the students and the teachers by integrating components of the Blended Learning Approach. 

The accreditation standards that influence the design process of the course are ISTE Standards. ISTE standards provide a road map to helping students become empowered learners. These standards will deepen educators’ practice, promote collaboration with other teachers, challenge teachers to rethink traditional approaches with the purpose of preparing students to drive their own learning.

I am using an Outcome-Based Education model for the course. I do not want teachers to sit and get information. I want them to get the information and be able to implement small components in their lessons right away. By focusing on actionable items, I am ensuring teachers turn around and implement them right away. Change is not easy and the expectation is not to implement a complete course using a Blended Learning approach. The course is designed for educators to take small steps and feel successful about their implementation so that they can continue with their learning journey. 

The course has a built-in assessment for learning activities that will push teachers’ thinking. Each module offers a variety of articles that provide different perspectives on Blended Learning. This is due to the different content areas they teach. The course also has videos that will showcase testimonies given by teachers who have been successful but who also have had struggles during the implementation. Module 3 dives deeper into the creation of an artifact (lesson) using different components of the BL approach. Throughout the module, teachers will be working collaboratively providing feedback to each other, and sharing ideas to make their lesson better.  

The goal is to move each one of the participants into deeper learning. As every participant will be at a different level, I created a folder with additional resources for those teachers who are more knowledgeable and are ready to take risks in their classroom right away. 

These are some ways to see if the course is moving participants into deeper learning:

  1. having evidence of implementation of the Blended Learning model in their classrooms. 
  2. Having discussions about successes participants have had
  3. Having discussions about struggles they have had and coming up with an action plan

The ultimate goal is for the participants to have control of their learning. The outcome in module 3 provides the perfect opportunity to take risks in their classrooms by designing and implementing a lesson or lessons in their classroom. 

To begin designing my online course, I used  Finks 3-Column Table. My Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for the course is: Teachers will design a lesson or lessons incorporating components applicable to Blended Learning by using their school LMS to provide students with blended learning opportunities. 

Learning GoalsLearning ActivitiesAssessment Activities
The teacher will explain the benefits of blended learning and why many teachers have shifted their practices
The teacher will identify how blended learning can be used to support college and career readiness
Students will participate in various discussions explaining the benefits of BL
Participants will use a variety of strategies to create effective blended learning stages 
Participants will demonstrate proficiency in a variety of tools to implement BL in their classrooms
Collaborate with at least two other peers for feedback during the creation process.
Learners will use their knowledge of blended learning and Google Classroom to aid their students in implementing a Blended Learning station.
Participants  will plan, design, create a course on their teaching area to apply Blended Learning 
Collaborate with peers and students for feedback during the creation process. 

Participants will launch the course

Post student completed artifacts to Schoology
Human Dimension & Caring:
Learners will reflect on the success of blended learning and how it will benefit their students as well as themselves
Human Dimension & Caring:
Share success/struggles with fellow teachers – what worked; what could have been done better; lessons learned

Discuss the benefits of blended learning for students 
Human Dimension & Caring:

Modeling from other teachers; observations
Learning How to Learn: Teachers will use Schoology and the blended learning plan/s for students continuously.Learning How to Learn: Ongoing blended learning LMS use reflection  Learning How to Learn: Lesson plans with blended learning components submitted feedback/survey

Creating the online course has been a challenging journey that has allowed me to assess some of the courses that I have already created for my students, especially with the usability. For an online course, I need to be very detail-oriented as I, the facilitator, will not be giving any directions orally. Simple things such as greeting the participants and welcoming them to the course and each module make a great difference. 

21. Contributions to my learning & my learning community

This course has provided strategies for me to dig deep into my innovation plan and be strategic at planning its implementation. For the Leading Organization Change class, I rate myself 90/100. The weekly discussions worked for me as it gave me an opportunity to discuss my thinking and hear other perspectives.

I truly believe that the school and the stakeholders are key players in promoting educational success. But the complexity of the socio-educational processes and the current scope of school failure highlight the need to promote the interaction and initiatives of other educational agents in the school environment. These agents can contribute to school and relevant educational actions, adding value to other professionals and volunteers from the local community. In my context, the school has been working hard on creating committees in which teachers share their perspectives and build strong processes so that everyone is on the same page. Last year, teachers met to discuss different ways in which the remote learning environment could be implemented at school. The discussion was long but worth it. Each person had a different perspective on this matter and it felt good to have a streamline view of what was expected of teachers and from students.

But, what is NOT working? This year has brought lots of whirlwinds: changes in administration, new systems, new initiatives, impact on student learning due to COVID amongst others are huge stressors in my context. Yes, change is challenging but I cannot forget about my focus and end goal.

During this course, I was able to collaborate with the following colleagues at school:

Mr. Mejia – Spanish (LOTE)

Miss White – Science Team Leader

Miss Makil – ESL Team Leader

Mr. Thomas – Math Team Leader

My new partner, Mr. Mejia, had a completely different experience in his classroom from mine.  The discussion we had centered on how teachers influence teachers. This was the perfect segway to share with them my post on Influencing Change. One of my roles as an educator is  to inspire and support change so that the school can move from where it is to where it needs to be to ensure the best outcomes for all its students. Change is always challenging but when necessary change takes place, it responds to the needs of students leading to changed practice and improved student outcomes. How am I inspiring others? I usually share new tools I use and strategies that engage my students in learning Spanish. I had a chance to share the goal of my Innovation Plan. My new partner shared the experience he had at his previous school. In our second conversation, I shared the 4DX framework. We came to the conclusion that most of the time teachers have little input into the planning and even implementation stages of initiatives. This allowed me to think about how to approach crucial conversations at school. I have been one of those who try to avoid conversations that are challenging in nature. Learning how to address conversations through which I share my passion for blended learning helps me to grow as a professional. I am not saying that after reading about Crucial Conversations and putting a plan in place I am an expert. What I am really saying is that I am willing to take the risk to be more open to face crucial conversations that will lead to organizational change.

Every course has provided me the opportunity to push myself and share what I have learned with others. I tend to work in isolation but such a fixed mindset has shifted this year. Collaboration needs to be at the center of everything I do at school because it allows me to learn from others and become a better educator. All the contributions to the course were made (assignments, posts, collaborative team) in a timely manner. The videos and readings allowed me to reflect upon my own practice and motivated me to continue shifting towards a growth mindset.

16. Contributions to your learning and your learning community – 5389

A foundational goal of the 5389 Developing Effective Professional Learning is to analyze why examining my thinking and collaborating with others will help me in my learning process. Throughout the course, I was able to analyze and assess some of the challenges that I have had when participating in PD sessions. I became a teacher not so long ago so I have had more experience receiving Professional Development than designing and implementing it. That was my main challenge throughout the course. Unfortunately, I had a fixed mindset after looking at the assignments for the class.

During this course, I met with with a group of amazing teammates (Dwayne, Bianca, Jarred, and myself), who were always willing to be my thinking partner even at the times we hadn’t scheduled one of our regular meetings. During one of the meetings, I asked them what they thought about the PD sessions their school had for all staff las year. The conversation was not short at all. We talked for about 30-40 minutes on how the PD that has been provided was not meaningful to any of them. That was what I needed to hear. This course was giving me an opportunity to create a plan – a CALL TO ACTION – that could make a difference in my context. However, it is easier said than done! After reflecting upon my learning and the conversation I had with my colleagues, I found purpose in what the goals of the course were. During a second meeting, I had the opportunity to share the Innovation Plan I designed in order to implement blended learning as a way to engage learners in the classroom. The conversation started with all the challenges each one of us had faced due to the lack of resources and even PD each teacher had regarding integrating technology to enhance learning. I proceeded to show them some of the highlights from the Professional Learning plan I had designed for the blended learning course. They had lots of questions that helped me shaped the plan and streamlined it. I consider myself a big thinker so it takes me more time to think about the details. However, I was able to use BHAG and UbD as frameworks to organize the big ideas and make them more detail-oriented. Before this course I did not have any idea frameworks to design Professional Learning. Therefore, I have gone through a huge learning process that has allowed me to grow as a professional and have a growth mindset. Therefore, I believe that I have earned a 92 in this class. I want to continue collaborating with other teachers at school and expand such a learning community to other schools within my same school district.


Resources – Blogs from my colleagues:

Bianca – https://tangiblelearner.com

Wayne – https://wil32.com

Jarrett https://sirjlinzosclassroom.com/

Luis – https://luisfherrera.com/home/