Over the course of this Digital Learning and Leading program, I have been focusing on leading change here at Lamar University. I realized early on that leading change is easier said than done. Change can be difficult but it is inevitable. My innovation project is a plan that I hope will bring about change on our campus by using new and existing digital technology to transform our learning environments so that we can provide our learners with an engaging and meaningful educational experience.
My innovation project consists of a plan for a mobile learning initiative aimed at integrating mobile devices into curriculum and learning environments. Early on in the program I had to identify a disruptive innovation that would act as a catalyst for change. In order to do that I had to take some time to research current technology trends in higher education. My research and literature review helped me realize that mobile learning was the best choice because mobile device ownership is high and steadily increasing. In addition, mobile learning would provide us with a lot of opportunities for growth and transformation. After identifying mobile learning for my innovation project, I composed a mobile learning proposal that outlines the tentative mobile learning plan and a brief summary of all its components. Also, I created a video presentation, the Future of Learning at Lamar, to motivate and inspire you to take part in this mobile learning initiative. Furthermore, research and the literature review in my course on global and local technological innovations helped me clarify my vision and develop a revised and more detailed plan outline. However, I think the most vital component of my innovation project is the plan for effective professional learning. I have discovered that it is important for our faculty to have the support and training they need in order to make this mobile learning initiative a success.
Working on this innovation project has taught me a lot about planning, research, and what it takes to be a leader and change agent. First it taught me what disruptive innovation was and how to identify it. My research enabled me to identify IT trends that would point to the disruptive innovation I thought would make the biggest and best impact for my organization while also serving as a basis for my thoughts, ideas and plans relating to my mobile learning initiative. In addition, it helped me identify what others were doing globally so that I might learn from their successes and mistakes in order to formulate a more sound and successful plan. While researching technology innovations world-wide, it was important to focus on these three questions: What worked? What could you do better? and What lessons have you learned? Furthermore, I learned that and that a vision (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), the WHY and feedback are just as important as the other elements of the innovation plan.
Although the plans are all laid out, unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to act on them yet. I have been too busy working on other projects and daily duties as an eLearning Support Specialist in my division, which has taken up most of my time and efforts up to this point. I am disappointed that I have not had the chance to try a new professional learning session about mobile learning (as a LU Online workshop) with our faculty. However, because of my support role in my organization, I think that the professional learning component of my plan will be one of the first pieces I will be able to introduce to faculty. I am looking forward to providing effective professional learning for our faculty and eventually implementing more components of my plan in the near future. Also, I hope to get valuable feedback from the participants, by using my measurement strategy that includes faculty surveys, questionnaires and focus groups, in order to subsequently improve upon my innovation plan.
Even though I am proud of the overall innovation project, there are a few things that I could improve upon and do better. I feel like my research and literature reviews could have been a little more thorough, organized and written better. The sheer amount of literature out there on mobile technology, and digital technology in general, is overwhelming so it made it hard for me to formulate a solid outline and decide what was necessary to include in the reviews. Also, I want more opportunities to practice the backwards design process using Understanding by Design (UbD) and improve upon the professional learning plan and 3-column table that I designed for that component. I think it’s a good start but I feel like I should reexamine the activities and course goals to ensure they are aligned properly. In addition, I need to strive to share my ideas more, not only about this innovation project, but any ideas for improvement. If you don’t share your ideas, you cannot bring about change for yourself or others.
Going forward, I feel like I have a strong foundation of skills and knowledge to apply what I’ve learned to future innovation projects. I now have the confidence to share my ideas and use my voice to lead others. This program has given me insights into every component of the planning process that could be applied to a variety of future projects that I might participate in. I am hoping to one day become an instructional designer in my division, therefore my experience with UbD and Fink’s 3-column table will be invaluable when creating online classes for significant learning. In closing, I hope to use this ePortfolio and blog as a means to promote my innovation plan and share what I’ve learned with everyone, including my colleagues and faculty at Lamar University.