#UKSTL Semester 4

I know that my fourth semester of UKSTL finished in December. Except it kind of didn’t. I took an Incomplete in ELS 621 in order to finish my action research.

ELS 621: Leading Action Research II

After the summer with Jayson, I worked with Marti Quintero on the implementation of my action research in the fall. This was my first experience both with action research and working with different professors on the same project. Although frustrating at times, I found it beneficial to have multiple people looking at my project from different perspectives. Our tech integration Critical Friends Group met 7 times during the school year with an 8th meeting tentatively scheduled for May. When I wrote my research proposal in the summer I didn’t realize that I would need to finish my research in the fall semester. Instead of cramming it in or reporting on only part of my research, I chose to take an incomplete to do it right. I’ll write more in depth about my research in an upcoming post ūüôā

EDL 664: Tech Leadership for School Improvement

When I found out that Scott McLeod was teaching this class, I was pretty pumped. Meeting him at NESA SEC in Bangkok in 2013 is what prompted me to join the UKSTL family. And he’s the founding director of CASTLE. What a great opportunity!

It ended up okay. I appreciated the idea behind the class – inquiry based, self driven. The goal was to build the class together¬†around ISTE Admin Standard 4. Except it didn’t turn out quite as mind-blowing as I was hoping for. I started the class with high hopes and lots of questions. The class was set up on a blog where we all contributed what we were learning. And then we split up into investigation groups. I joined the performance assessment group. Our end product was a website about authentic assessment¬†geared towards teachers, admin, professors & policymakers. I chose to focus on assessment in the International Baccalaureate. Another investigation group created a website about¬†technology integration.

authentic assessment

I would have like to be challenged and supported more. I would have liked to feel more a part of something. I would have liked to have multiple investigations. But the class also forced me to find my own motivation. And gave me a chance to connect with a couple new classmates. I did appreciate Scott’s letter to our class at the end and the chance to give him our honest feedback. I also appreciated that he was a risk-taker. It didn’t work this time but maybe it will next time. I hope the experience and reflections will inform future classes.

Mostly this class made me think about the implications for K-12 education. It made me wonder – how effective (and possible) is open inquiry? Would it have been more possible in a face-to-face class? Can an entire course be dedicated to completely open inquiry, based simply on a standard? This is the discussion I’d like to have now and my biggest takeaway from the course.

A summer of #UKSTL

This summer was the first time in a long time that I had classes during the summer. It was tough! But I found a way to stay motivated (even while relaxing on a lake in Northern Michigan with family and enjoying local brews).

ELS 620: Leading Action Research

This was my second class with Jayson Richardson. I’ve found him to be the most challenging professor I’ve had in the UKSTL program so far. And I started this class a month late. Luckily Jayson is also the most responsive¬†and open-minded prof I’ve had. He pushes me to my limit but I always seem to learn the most. Funny how that works.

This class was my introduction to action research. Once I understood that action research is all about coming up with what you can affect, it went pretty smoothly. I had the pleasure of writing my first annotated bibliography, my second lit review, a scholar-practitioner platform and my culminating action research proposal. I also engaged in great discussions with the other members of my class. I really enjoy learning and growing with the people in my program.

Once again the lit review was demanding but completely worth it. I kinda maybe actually sorta like to write lit reviews…I end up learning a ton and being able to process all the research in a way that I applicable to me.

Probably the most difficult piece of the course for me was the scholar-practitioner platform. I lost count of how many times I had to rework and tweek this document.

One of the most difficult aspects of the course for me was deciding on which aspect I could actually change in my position. I don’t have consistent and direct contact with students¬†so I couldn’t focus on anything with student learning. The one thing I do have a relative amount of control over is the technology PD at my school. After participating in a Critical Friends Group last year I thought it would be interesting to facilitate a CFG with a focus on tech integration. My lit review¬†proved helpful in refining my ideas for my proposal. I was quite adamant¬†about having a small group of willing & eager teachers to work with, not just anyone or everyone.¬†Below are my elevator speech and my entire proposal. My research officially starts this week so I’m eager to see how it goes.


EDL 663: Leadership for School Program Improvement

In 663 we focused on ISTE Admin Standard 3 and professional development with Justin Bathon. Justin is extremely passionate about quality professional development so this was the perfect course for him to teach. I really enjoy discussing PD with him. Our two big projects for the semester were a Personal Professional Development Plan and a Staff Professional Development Plan. These forced me to take the time to intentionally plan out how I would develop myself and staff this year.