Barbara B . Howard, Paul Wallace & Terry McClannon Department of Leadership and Educational Studies Reich College of Education Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina.
Barbara B . Howard, Paul Wallace & Terry McClannon
Department of Leadership and Educational Studies
Reich College of Education
Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina
An Evaluation of Cross-Program Collaboration Among Graduate Students in Educational Leadership in a Virtual Learning Environment
Cohorts of students on satellite campuses within 100-mile radius of main campus
Cohorts attend evening classes 2x weekly in face to face, hybrid or totally online
Interaction among cohorts and programs limited previously by logistics
Expectations for school leaders who can share collaborative leadership
Learning occurs through Community of Practice;
Knowledge is socially constructed;
Learners proceed from Novice to Expert;
A Knowledge Baseemerges from the Community of Practice;
Dispositions reflect attitudes, beliefs, and values common to the Community of Practice.
Conceptual Framework, Reich College of Education, http://www.ced.appstate.edu/about/conceptualframework/
To challenge traditional “ethnocentricity” of most graduate programs
To encourage development of shared leadership skills and collaboration
To engage students in School Administration and Instructional Technology Programs in transformative learning experiences through realistic simulations
10-week summer term in 2011
30 School Administrator students
48 Instructional Technology students
Total 78 students divided among 15 “School Leadership Teams” with assigned roles (principal, AP, tech facilitator, teacher, etc.)
Design a proposal for the District Superintendent and the Central Office Leadership Team to convince them that your school deserves the 200 iPads available through a grant to the district to be distributed among teachers and students
Description of school/department
Professional Development Plan
Specific student outcomes in learning (beyond test scores)
Specific applications of integrating iPad hardware and software in classrooms
Alignment with Core Curriculum in NC
Alignment with National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)
Justification for number of iPads requested
Plan for distribution among teachers & students
Plan for upkeep, management, & support
Plan for telecommunications access & support for connectivity and internet security
Instructions reviewed by each professor with his/her students
Assignments into teams by June 1, 2011
Each student assumes assigned role within team
Teams will meet online as often as necessary outside the regular class meeting time
Platform for communication decided by all members of team
Format of plan decided by team
Most commonly chosen by student groups:
How effective was the project in meeting our stated goals?
To what extent and in what ways were needs of the participants met?
What were the strengths and weaknesses of the project and how can it be improved?
To what extent did the benefits of the project provide sufficient value to justify continuation for future cohorts?
We were able to get different points of view
Sharing responsibility for interdisciplinary project development
Working with members of a school committee that would make decisions about technology
Being able to talk with “admin” who weren’t up on the latest technology. It was good practice!
Developing the ability to communicate and provide constructive criticism and direction to underperforming team members.
Themes that emerged:
Pleas to hold all members accountable for participation as some team members did not fully participate
Help resolve scheduling differences resulting in inconvenience for some students
Holding all students responsible for the same amount and type of coursework (e.g., reflection papers, blogs)
I love what I am getting my masters in, and this project allowed me to get my feet wet
When to listen, and when to take charge
The job of making tech decisions is much more complex and far-reaching than I thought
The necessity of communication skills
Being flexible and understanding of each person’s ideas but not allowing one person to take over the project
Discomfort with new technology
Issues with scheduling around classes and work for synchronous meetings online
Challenges in actually assuming the assigned roles when some resented not being assigned as principal
Challenges in working in online environment rather than face to face
Continue to develop and implement opportunities for students to engage with those from other areas
Continue refining the process through greater collaboration among faculty involving more program areas and faculty
Examine effects of participation in this type of experience on work of graduates
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