Habits for Advancement in EdTech
Gone are the days when the completion of a degree means the learning is over. Whether I am enrolled in an official program within an educational system or merely going about my day-to-day activities, I will always be a student of life. The Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program at Michigan State University has brought more to light my ability to analyze my habits, and the habits of others, while inspiring me to intentionally make adjustments for the better. Self-awareness is key to my future success as I strive to design healthy habits around my work. Three areas in which I especially desire to build healthy habits around and expand my skillset include: educational leadership, learning space design and technology integration. The three areas often intertwine. Breaking down the individual details of each piece is crucial, as well as at the same time discovering how one area effects the other.
Educational leadership is an area where habits can be difficult to change. It is essential to understand how the habits of an organization, and individuals within an organization, determine the success of the organization’s goals. Throughout my career I have developed extraordinary skills for bringing people together and I enjoy working to create a shared vision that others can feel connected with. As a current leader in specific areas in the field of education, I aspire to discover the best practices for managing and leveraging resources for the greater good of students, teachers, parents, administrators and our society as a whole. The New Media Consortium (NMC) highlights the areas in which I would like to act as a change agent in their 2016 report on Higher Education. I strive to expand my role in educational leadership and wish to further explore organizational habits to achieve the highest goals of our education system.
Along with growing as an educational leader, I hope to expand my role in learning space design. One area in which I envision steady growth in learning space design is simulation. I enjoy simulation because it utilizes technology and other resources to create a realistic, but safe, environment for practice. These learning environments look very different from traditional classrooms. One resource I plan to rely on heavily as I expand my knowledge specifically in simulation within nursing education is the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Gaining knowledge from experts who have successfully achieved similar goals will save time, money and additional stress on resources. Simulation spaces must be constructed in an extremely thoughtful manner to enhance learning opportunities. Creating individual and organizational habits around staying on the cutting-edge of educational practices surrounding simulation will support my goals pertaining to educational leadership, as well as learning space design.
The final area in which I plan to expand my skillset and continue to create healthy habits around organizational growth is technology integration. Understanding how technology integration can effect various aspects of the learning experience is vital to verifying technology is helping, not hindering, the education process. I enjoy playing the role as translator between the highly technical aspects of an integration project and the practical effects changes will have on students and teachers. I find that language sometimes causes misunderstands between what is truly wanted, what is asked for and how the team delivering the product understands the expectations of the end-user. Edutopia provides some valuable resources which also take into account TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) while integrating technology into education. Along with holding in high regard educational leadership and learning space design, a vast understanding of the reasoning behind Edutopia’s suggestions will enhance my ability to successfully navigate the technology integration process.
Considering educational leadership, learning space design and technology integration, my future growth will be more attached to how I react to disruptions in the norm, compared to my initial knowledge of the disruptions themselves. For example, in the field of educational technology, it is most important that I create healthy habits around the circumstances regarding ever-changing technology. I cannot set an expectation for myself, or others, to know everything there is to know about technology, but I can set expectations in regards to reactions surrounding new and existing technology to create the best possible circumstances for stakeholders. Educational leadership, learning space design and technology integration are key areas where I will always have the opportunity to continue my education, and doing so will keep the main goals of education front and center.