Appy Hour – Innovation Project

Disruptive Innovation In Our Schools

Christenson defines disruptive innovation as “the phenomenon by which an innovation transforms an existing market or sector by introducing simplicity, convenience, accessibility, and affordability where complication and high cost are the status quo.” (Christensen, 2015).   Related to our education system, disruptive innovation is changing our school systems from the outside by introducing technology not to disrupt but to serve those who are not being served at all. This in turn will create a more student centric environment where students are able to learn in the best way for them. By using the idea of disruptive innovation, educators will be able to teach students in more diverse ways to address their learning styles. Teachers will also be able to access more interests that our students have that we may not have at our current disposal. We will be able to create more personalized learning situations for our students and they will become the pilots of their own learning. Educators will become more like coaches or a support system to help the students find what they need to be successful and grow into real world learners.

Too often, our children in the elementary level are taught as one big group, the same skills in the same way. We test them and move them on to the next concept without any regard to whether they mastered the previous one because our state mandates that we cover a certain amount of material every year. Teachers often feel frustrated because they feel like they are on a moving train that can’t be stopped. State assessments and district timelines guide how fast we move and what we teach, instead of the students guiding us. Now don’t get me wrong. We need some guidelines in life, and state standards are good for that reason. But sometimes as professionals we feel that we are limited to what our school districts give us in terms of timelines, benchmarks, and so forth. It can make it hard to step out and try new things because of the lack of time to both learn the new things and figuring out how to make it fit into what is guided by our system.

Wouldn’t it be easier to contact parents via cellphone with upcoming events for the week? How about a discipline system that is kept online and requires little upkeep from the teacher and instant access for the parents. What I would like to see for the teachers at Moore Elementary is to offer a once a month “Appy Hour”, a time for teachers to come together and talk about apps and technology tools that they are using in their classrooms.  How awesome would that be to get together in a very informal environment and play around with technology. Not just classroom technology, but apps that we use in our everyday lives.   Let’s get around to the good, bad, and ugly of the technology we are using and what it is doing in the classroom.

We are going to talk our way through the grant process as to take advantage of our current Education Foundation and put in grant proposals to get mobile technology in our classrooms or pods. We are fortunate to have many choices, but getting your hands on them when you need them can be quite a challenge. So, by going through the grant process together, but putting them in separately, hopefully we can get a number of devices that are just for our grade levels so the excuse of “there aren’t any available” will be one less reason not to try. Imagine what we can do with all that technology at our fingertips instead of in the library waiting to be checked out.

Even being as camera shy as I am, I plan on using Blab or maybe even Periscope to share the fun with the rest of the faculty who are not able to attend. I think that will address our more hesitant learners, or those with scheduling conflicts. I feel like we are each other’s best resource for what is out there. I will take on the role of facilitating the get together the first time, along with my co-teacher who is much more a digital “native” than I am, but I know the teachers in my building will run with the idea and I won’t have to do much to keep them going. We are also playing with the idea of videotaping some of the apps and programs “in action” to add to our list of resources for teachers who are a little more hesitant.

Christensen Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2015, from http://www.christenseninstitute.org/key-concepts/disruptive-innovation-2/


Research, Research, Research

Looking through the abundance of literature that is available on technology and our schools is overwhelming.  It is interesting to see the same topics crop up over and over in the reports.  I found many instances of where they talked about BYOD and app usage to support my idea for “Appy Hour” at my school.

The Meeker Report specifically mentions the use of apps by everyday people and educators.  The Horizon Report put BYOD on its list several different years.  I can’t imagine running my classroom without Class Dojo and Bloomz and I am excited to show others in my school how using mobile technology and “apps” in particular can cut down on time wasted and start to involve parents more.

Now I want to share some of the highlights for each report, to show the threads that run through all three, along with some innovations that I have never even heard about, including Makerspaces.  I can see how useful this data could be in choosing a path for Disruptive Innovation.

Key Trends in 2013 – Horizon Report

Looking at the key trends in 2013, the list contained online learning, social media, data and open resources, BYOD (bring your own device), and the change in roles of the teachers due to the internet and its resources.  There was no timeline included in this part of the report, they were just listed in this order.

Key Trends in 2014 – Horizon Report

In the next 1-2 years, the key trends are rethinking the roles of teachers (a repeat of 2013) and a shift to deeper learning.  In the next 3-5 years, the key trends are open education resources (such as TPT) and hybrid learning designs (a repeat of 2013 and used interchangeably with blended learning).  In 5 plus years, the key trends are rapid acceleration of intuitive technology and rethinking how schools work.

Key Trends in 2015 – Horizon Report

In 1-2 years, the key trends are the use of blended learning and the rise of STEAM education (adding the arts and humanities to the STEM education model).  In 3-5 years, the key trends are collaborative learning (a repeat from 2013) and the change of students from consumers to creators.  In five years plus, the key trends are rethinking how schools work (a similar issue to 2013 and 2014) and a shift to deeper learning (a repeat of 2014).

What I learned from the key trends is that a shift from deeper learning jumped from a 1-2 year trend in 2014 to a five plus trend in 2015.  We are still a long way from figuring out how to implement deeper learning for our students.  I also learned for the last 3 years, that teachers and schools are being questioned in what their roles will be in the future of education.  Blended learning made several appearances on the trends list, moving along at a pace a bit faster than what they predicted.  I see many potential disruptors on this list, such as blended learning and changing the roles of teachers and schools.

Does the literature agree with the view of the report?  YES IT DOES!  Collins and Halverson say “Schools will not disappear anytime soon. Schools were prevalent in the era of apprenticeship, and they will be prevalent in whatever system of education that comes into being. But as the seeds of a new system begin to emerge, education will occur in many different, more adaptive, venues and schools will have a narrower role in learning.”  Some examples are computer based learning environments, distance education, and workplace learning environments.

Challenges in 2013 – Horizon Report

The challenges in the 2013 report again are listed in a format that doesn’t separate them by difficulty as the other years do.  The challenges are that professional development needs to be integrated into the school culture, that education is limiting new technologies through its own practices, the competition to traditional models of schools, personalized learning and the demand for it, and not using technology for formative assessments.

Challenges in 2014 – Horizon Report

Challenges that are deemed easy to fix are authentic learning opportunities and personalized learning integration.  Challenges considered difficult to fix are complex thinking and communication and the safety of student data.  Challenges which are considered “wicked” to solve are competition from new models of education and keeping formal education relevant.

Challenges in 2015 – Horizon Report

Challenges considered easy to fix are authentic learning opportunities and incorporating technology in teacher education programs  Challenges considered difficult to fix are personalized learning and rethinking teacher roles in education.  The “wicked” to fix challenges are scaling teacher innovations and teaching complex thinking.

What I learned from the challenges of the Horizon Report is that personalized learning seems to jump all over from easy to difficult depending on the year.  As we look at the vast complexity of creating and maintaining personalized learning for every child, I can see why it keeps moving around.  I also find it interesting, just in the key trends, how teacher and school roles are questioned as to what they will be in the future.  There are many disruptors such as using tech for formative assessments and changing the teacher education programs.

Cavanaugh says “In the diverse and ever-changing world of educational technology, the term “personalized learning” seems to be everywhere, though there is not yet a shared understanding of what it means.”  Workshops and presentations for school districts and administrators are focused on figuring out just what personalized learning should look like.  I think that this will be a difficult task to achieve since all the different entities have a different definition of what personalized learning should be.

Developments 2013 

This is the one portion of the Horizon Report that is formatted the same in all three years. In less than 1 year, they anticipate developments in cloud computing and mobile learning.  In 2 to 3 years, they anticipate learning analytics (or looking at data about student learning) and open content to develop.  In 4 to 5 years, 3 D printing and virtual and remote labs will develop.

  

Developments 2014

In less than 1 year expect BYOD (bring your own device) and cloud computing to be developed.  In 2 to 3 years, games, gamification, and learning analytics should be developed.  In 4 to 5 years, the internet of things (or anything that can be connected will be connected) and wearable technology should be developed.

Developments 2015 

In less than 1 year, BYOD and makerspaces should be developed.  In 2 to 3 years, 3D printing and adaptive learning technologies should be developed.  In 4 to 5 years, digital badges and wearable technologies should be developed.

To me, this was the most interesting section to look at.  I find it fascinating that developments that were never even mentioned in previous years (such as makerspaces) are less than one year from being prevalent.  I also find it interesting how some concepts just drop from the list, such as learning analytics and I have never read or heard of this topic before.  I wonder if it just became irrelevant or it became a reality.  Some disruptors include BYOD, makerspaces, and wearable technologies.

What is a makerspace?  Kurti, Kurti, and Levin define makerspaces as “Educational makerspaces (EM) and maker education (ME) have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach teaching and learning. The maker movement in education is built upon the foundation of constructionism, which is the philosophy of hands-on learning through building things.”  While participating in a chat on play in the classroom on Twitter, I kept hearing mention of makerspaces and quite frankly I had no idea what they were.  Sometimes I feel like if you are not current on the lingo, you can get lost in the reports and what they are saying.  I really think it could be a full time job just to stay current in the research.

Meeker Report 

The Meeker Report was definitely not my “cup of tea”.  If you are someone who likes numbers and graphs and a lot of data, this is the report for you.  This report looks at more the worldwide effect of technology, in stocks, healthcare, education, and so forth.  For this presentation, I will only look at the usage of technology and the educational implications.

General information

-Internet adoption is slowing down.

-Smartphone growth is slowing down.

-Tablets show 52% growth.

-81% of mobile data usage is strongly video driven.

-Cyber threats are an issue with 95% of networks being compromised and the number of active threats at 4 times what it was in 2011.

Education

-The cost of college loans now surpasses car and credit card loans.

-1/3 of 4 year degree graduates do not feel prepared for the workplace.

-Large amounts of people are using apps like Duolingo to learn a new language.

-12 million people use Remind 101 in the classroom setting.

-35 million classrooms use Class Dojo app.

-430 million view on Khan Academy’s You Tube channel

What I learned from this report is that countries like India, and China are increasing their technology use and are becoming the leaders in the tech revolution.  I also learned that internet TV is replacing regular TV with apps replacing channels.  The traditional remote is disappearing and the smartphone app remote is becoming more common, and screens are everywhere.  4 out of the 5 leaders in the market are US companies, such as Amazon, Google, and Apple.  This report is a very good way to look at current trends in technology and how they affect our lives but not at specific classroom or educational ideas.  Some disruptors could include more 1:1 technology and the dependence on smartphones for entertainment and basic living needs.

Is this helping society….all this tech?  As technology gets better, is society getting worse?  The report did not address this fact. Wu (2014) states that technology has drastically  changed the life of the Oji-Cree people, leading to an increase in type 2 diabetes, childhood obesity, and about 1/2 the adult population’s dependence on Oxy-contin.  So, we do have to be aware of the dangers of innovation, even what is considered the most simple, such as the introduction of a combustion engine and what we consider basic necessities.

ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology

I enjoyed reading this research, although like the Meeker Report, it did not address issues in the classroom.  This study looked at undergraduate use of technology in their college careers and the key findings in these areas.  I can see this information being more for a professor and less for a k-12 educator.

Key Findings in 2012 Report

-Students felt that blended learning was the way they learned best, and it is becoming the norm.

-Students want more access to course data and progress via mobile devices.

-New tech training is not as valuable to students as training and skill development for existing tech.

-Social networking is used for interactions with friends more than collaboration for academic reasons.

Key Findings in 2013 Report 

-Students know the value of tech but need more help.

-Students prefer a blended learning approach and are beginning to experiment with MOOC’s.

– Students are ready to use their mobile devices for more academic reasons.

-Students understand using tech to connect has its limits and value their privacy.

Key Findings in 2014 Report

-Technology is embedded in student’s lives and they are more likely to use it for active involvement.

-Students want more lecture capture, early alert systems, and freely available course content.

-Students use family or friends for tech help, not help desks.

-Using tech is still uncommon in classroom because few instructors encourage it.

-Students do not use LMS (learning management systems such as Blackboard) to full extent partially because the lack of training.

What I learned from the ECAR reports is that although many k-12 teachers are encouraging device use in their classrooms that is not carrying over to the college campuses.  I also have learned that just because students have a device, they may not use it.  This challenges my thinking of how my son’s Career and Technical School campus runs.  At first glance, they are a 1:1 campus, but there are many more days in the second year of its existence that my son comes home and didn’t even power up his tablet.  Part of the reason is his preference for his cellphone and its lack of glitches, but part of it is the drift away from the tech as he gets further along in his schooling.

Mobile technology

The push to allow more tech in the k-12 classrooms is an ongoing debate.  Kiema (2015) states that some teacher feel like phones are a distraction while others feel the need to embrace them because they are not going away.  I have a feeling this debate will go on for many years but I find it interesting that in colleges, where they are not policed, students still aren’t using mobile technology on their own to enhance their learning.  It still takes an educator who is not afraid to push the boundaries of what is considered “normal” to really get students to step outside of their comfort zone.  My idea of “Appy Hour”, a time to get teachers comfortable with apps and BYOD devices will hopefully help ease the transition that some schools are having.

Going through all the research can be a daunting task. I have recently found an app called Declara that will help me when I run across good articles that I don’t have time to read right then.   By dropping them in the app, it allows me the ability to go back and read them without the time consuming task of “finding” them.  I will be encouraging the teachers who join “Appy Hour” to follow my account, so they will have access to articles about technology that I have found without having to go out and find them.  I will also continue to read the Horizon report, as I feel that it gives me the most information that is applicable to my situation.

Bichsel, Jacqueline & Dahlstrom, Eden. (2014, October). ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2014. Retrieved fromhttp://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ss14/ERS1406.pdf

Cavanaugh, S. (2014, October 20). What Is ‘Personalized Learning’? Educators Seek Clarity. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/10/22/09pl-overview.h34.html

Collins, A., & Halverson, R. (n.d.). Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from https://llk.media.mit.edu/courses/readings/Collins-Rethinking-Education.pdf

Dahlstrom, Eden. (2012, September). ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012. Retrieved fromhttp://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERS1208/ERS1208.pdf

Dahlstrom, E., Dziuban, C., & Walker, J.D. (2013, September). ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013. Retrieved fromhttps://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERS1302/ERS1302.pdf

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada V., Freeman, A., & Ludgate, H. (2013). NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-horizon-report-k12.pdf

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Retrieved fromhttp://cdn.nmc.org/media/2014-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Retrieved fromhttp://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

Kiema, K. (2015, February 23). As Schools Lift Bans on Cell Phones, Educators Weigh Pros and Cons – NEA Today. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from http://neatoday.org/2015/02/23/school-cell-phone-bans-end-educators-weigh-pros-cons/

Kurti, S., Kurti, D., & Fleming, L. (2015, November 27). EDUCATIONAL MAKERSPACES. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from http://www.teacherlibrarian.com/2014/06/18/educational-makerspaces/

Lunden, Ingrid. (2014, May 28). Here’s Mary Meeker’s Big Deck On Key Internet Trends. Retrieved fromhttp://techcrunch.com/2014/05/28/heres-mary-meekers-big-deck-on-key-internet-trends/

Wu, T. (2014, February 6). As Technology Gets Better, Will Society Get Worse? – The New Yorker. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/as-technology-gets-better-will-society-get-worse


Appy Hour Proposal

This week, I am going to share an outline for my disruptive innovation idea that I have been creating.  Although my idea seems simple, I am addressing a challenge at my building level which is teacher buy-in to using apps and technology in the classroom.  There is a core of staff who use technology often, but there are also many who use it as little as possible.  I suspect it is because they are uncomfortable using it with the students because they aren’t as experienced using it outside of school.  I’ve always liked the saying, “you can’t break the internet”.  I am hoping by encouraging staff to get in and play with the apps at our meetings, they will get more comfortable with using technology.

What: Have a once a month meeting, that is optional, for the certified staff at Moore to get together and share apps or programs that we are using both in and out of the classroom to guide student achievement and personal organization. This meeting will be held in a very informal fashion with food and drinks. All teachers who attend are encouraged to share apps or programs that we use in our classroom or personal life but it is not a requirement for attendance.

Why: The research says that teachers who are not comfortable using technology in their everyday life, will be less likely to use it in their classrooms to increase student engagement(Renwick 2014). One model to guide helping us get more comfortable with using technology in the classroom is the TPACK model. Koehler states that TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) is using and combining our knowledge of content, pedagogy, and technology to help the learning of our students. By combining the three areas of TPACK, we can evaluate the technology that we share and can find examples that we can use in our classrooms.

How: I will put myself in charge of organizing the date and time for the events and by providing snacks to the faculty that attends. I will also play with apps such as Periscope and Blab to livestream these meetings out to anyone who is unable to attend or interested in what we are doing at Moore.  The apps that will be discussed will be from a variety of sources, such as current research, suggestions from the previous meeting, and apps that are on the devices that they bring to the meeting.  The conversation “like” atmosphere will encourage the faculty to discuss apps that are relevant to the “here and now” of their lives and their classrooms.  I will put out an email asking for any suggestions a week before each meeting.

Incentives: Faculty will get one hour of professional development credit for attending. We will also be collaborating on writing grants for our Education Foundation to award us devices in the specific grade levels.

**We have already had our first meeting and it was fun!  Here are the notes from the first meeting that I shared with our entire facutly.

images

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Moore Elementary Mighty Hawks

Kohler, M. (n.d.). TPACK Explained. Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://www.matt-koehler.com/tpack/tpack-explained/

Rewick, M. (2014, August 13). How Teachers Can Become Fluent in Classroom Technology. Retrieved December 18, 2015, from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2014/08/how-teachers-can-become-fluent-classroom-technology


Appy Hour – Video

This week we put our proposal in a short, video format.  I hope you enjoy this and are inspired to start an Appy Hour in your organization.


Thoughts on Disruptive Education and My Future

With the Christmas season and report cards weighing down on me, I’ve been playing around with the idea of an “Appy Hour” for the last few weeks too.  I cannot take credit for the name as someone on Twitter mentioned it to me in one of my chats but I really like how it sounds.  Throughout the rest of the year and next,  I want to use “Appy Hour” as a catalyst to change the practices and views that the teachers in my school, and eventually maybe my school district, have about using apps and programs in the classroom.


How did I get to the “Appy Hour” idea?  It was a multi-step approach.  You can click on the following links to go through my journey.

What is Disruptive Innovation?

Research, Research, Research

My Plan for “Appy Hour” 

Video Presentation of “Appy Hour”


I have already begun to implement my “Appy Hour” in my building and I can see some strengths and weaknesses in my idea.  I think I need to add more incentives to get teachers more excited to attend.  Being that I have no real funds available, I am going to offer a teacher “break” to a door prize winner and take their class for 30 minutes during my planning time to have an IPad party.  I also think that I am really going to have to go out there and sell this idea to my more resistant staff.  I have been trying to work my magic on a few people and hopefully the word will spread how non-threatening these meetings really are.   I plan on continuing “Appy Hour” through the rest of the school year. 

I also plan on taking a similar proposal to my school district to see if something similar could be offered at the district level.  I would love to see it not be all ages together, but more broken down by Elementary, Middle School/Junior High, and then High School.  While I feel we have much to learn from each other, I know when an idea seems irrelevant to my age level, I tune it out.  I don’t want to see this happening. 

I still intend to coach the participants of “Appy Hour” through the grant writing process in our district, and also would like to encourage them to write grants through Donors Choose.  I feel like having the technology all the way across the building where it is not accessible may be part of the lack of buy-in I am getting from teachers. 

I would also like to start a twitter chat about “Appy Hours” around the country where collaboration of ideas and strategies can be shared.  I will more than likely go through my ISTE  board “Mobile Learning” to get advice how to start such a task. 

Finally, I am going to keep pushing this idea, 100%, no matter what the outcome. I want to show the sense of “urgency” that I feel in getting the teachers on board with using mobile technology and apps in their classrooms to make the learning more student-centric. 

Some books that I am interested in reading to elevate my knowledge in educational technology in general are Mastering Mobile Learning by Chad Udell and Leading From Below the Surface by Theodore B. Creighton.  I have also started to read How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Technology Age by Dale Carnegie and Associates by the recommendation of my professor. I hope these books will make me a better communicator but also deepen my knowledge both of the struggles in the classroom and also give me a strong background in mobile learning.  For teachers who may be reading my blog and hearing about disruptive innovation for the first time, I highly recommend going on You Tube and looking up the video presentations that are there. 

Carnegie, D., & City, N. (2012). How to win friends and influence people in the digital age (Paperback ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster.

Creighton, T. (2005). Leading from below the surface: A non-traditional approach to school leadership. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press.

Udell, C. (1). Mastering mobile learning. Pfeiffer.


Appy Hour – Why Should We Attend?

Why – We need to prepare our students for jobs that might not even exist yet.

How – By exposing our students to a wide variety of apps and programs, we are teaching them, and ourselves along side of them, skills that they will need to function in the future.

What – By attending an optional “Appy Hour”, we will be exposed to exciting new apps and programs that we  can use in the classroom to let our students collaborate, communicate, and create.

So often, educators get caught up with what happens on their campus and become entrenched in this sort of bubble around their school. By reminding teachers that we have to prepare our students for life after Moore, both in middle school where 1:1 is becoming the norm, and for their future careers, they will be more open to new ideas and new ways to teach in their classroom using technology.

By making “Appy Hour” optional and not mandated by the school, the teachers who are choosing to attend will hopefully become a core group who are out there trying new things. This group will directly influence others in their pods as we are in the unique position of not having walls in our classrooms.

During “Appy Hour” we are spreading the message and starting the hard conversations that we cannot be satisfied with the “status quo”. One teacher at our last meeting, who is retiring in the next few years, even exclaimed, “I am here because I refuse to phone it in these last few years. I easily could, but that is not what I want to do.”

By showing the teachers what we have already used just this year, in our Kindergarten classrooms, the idea of it is too hard or I don’t have time is addressed in a positive way. One of the largest obstacles is addressed by Davis (n.d.) as “if employees do not see a crisis that requires change, they will not be motivated to engage in the change effort.” By sharing stories of my own children, who are in the district and did go to Moore, and some of the technology challenges that they have faced, the teachers will see that we are not doing everything that we can do to prepare our kids for the future.

Davis, B. (n.d.). Establishing a Sense of Urgency in Kotter’s Model: Definition & Explanation. Retrieved January 24, 2016, from http://study.com/academy/lesson/establishing-a-sense-of-urgency-in-kotters-model-definition-lesson-quiz.html

APPY HOUR

And finally, here is my 11 year old and her view on using technology in the classroom.  It’s funny that she had to write out what she wanted to say on her phone (technology) and then her phone turned off and she couldn’t finish (technology).  I always use my children as the experts when I am looking at technology in the classroom!


Vital Behaviors and Six Sources of Influence

The goal of “Appy Hour” is to get the attendees to share and use apps and programs in their classroom. To address this goal, we must first look at one reason why teachers are resistant to using technology in their classrooms. Carey says “the reality is that modern education is now a high-stakes, test driven environment. State tests and AP exams determine job security, funding, and professional perception. Experimenting with new tools and pedagogy requires not only a learning curve but some risk-taking” (2013).

There are two vital behaviors that I feel need to be addressed to move us towards our goal. The first is having the teachers demonstrate one app or tool with two other members of the faculty. Those who do share with two members will get two extra tickets into the drawing for a free ipad party for their class, and 30 minutes of uninterrupted free time for the teacher. The way that we will be able to measure the results is the person who is being shared with has to email me and tell me who shared with them and what they got out of it. We have found that sharing information with others is beneficial to both the person sharing and to the person who is being shared with. Hearing from someone who is in the classroom and teaching just like they are is a great tool to get teachers to buy in to what we are suggesting (Carey 2013). By tying the sharing to the incentives, I feel that it will encourage teachers to share with others.

The second vital behavior to be addressed is the teachers will use one app or tool by the next “Appy Hour” meeting, which is usually about 30 days later, with a group of children. The way that we will measure the results of this behavior is by requiring them to share a picture of or the actual lesson that they used. Again, by tying this to the incentive of a “Jeans Pass” from the administration, I feel many more teachers will go back and try a program. I’ve noticed when our administration has offered a “jeans pass” to get the faculty to sign up for a job that might otherwise be undesirable, there has been an overwhelming number of people who volunteered. Wearing jeans on any day but Friday in our district is considered the best reward ever.   There is really nothing that teachers in our building will not do for a jeans pass.

 

Carey, J. (2013, March 27). How to Get Hesitant Teachers to Use Technology. Retrieved January 31, 2016, from http://plpnetwork.com/2013/03/27/hesitant-teachers-technology/

 

Six Sources of Influence

  Motivation Ability
Personal By making the Appy Hour meetings optional, we are targeting the people who are more motivated to change first.A powerpoint is sent to the entire faculty to address those who are curious. There is time built in to Appy Hour for deliberate practice and sharing of what the teachers already use inside and outside of the classroom.Workshops will be offered if needed for technical skills.
Social There is a deliberate frequent contact with social leaders to have them encourage others to attend an Appy Hour.During the discussion, we are asking questions and encouraging other attendees to explore if there is an app or program that can help. Set up a peer support system provided by myself and our technology teacher.Set up a buddy system for them to support each other.
Structural Principal provides jeans passes for teachers who use an app with children.I provide tickets to a drawing for free time for those who come and for those who demonstrate an app or program to colleagues.

At the beginning of next year, I hope to have a showcase of what the attendees have learned and what they have used in their classrooms on one of our Staff Development Days.

My co-presenter and I have t-shirts with the “why” of Appy Hour that we will wear to meetings.We will give out clipboards with our Appy Hour logo on them.

We will discuss and address ways to add to our technology and also the procedure for purchasing apps with principal permission.

The six sources of influence will be very important to the success or failure of “Appy Hour”. When looking at the influencer worksheet, the answers to the questions were very interesting to me when considering my six sources.

First, in terms of personal motivation, teachers always seem to have the student’s best interests at heart. The motivation comes from being able to extend ourselves past all of the district mandates and testing requirements to do what is right for children. By making “Appy Hour” optional, we are first addressing those people who are in the place of being able to look past all the extra work and find ways to replace some of the work with these apps and programs. The people who choose to attend an “optional” meeting usually already have somewhat of an interest in what is being said.  I also send a powerpoint to the entire staff for those who may be curious but did not attend.

Personal ability is a big hurdle when it comes to the “Appy Hour” concept. Again, the personal motivation strategy lends itself to this when it makes the meeting optional. Also, by having built in time to practice what we have heard about and to share with others, we are addressing ability levels in a safe, non-threatening environment.  I will offer workshops for technical skills if needed.

Social motivation is probably one of the hardest influences for us in regards to “Appy Hour”. Most of the social leaders in my school, because there is a population of teachers who are very near retirement, are some of the people who are content with things staying the same. By making frequent contact with as many social leaders as I can and asking them to encourage teammates to attend an “Appy Hour”, we are addressing this the best that we can.  We will also be asking during the meetings if there are apps or programs that the attendees know of that can address some key areas of interest.

Social ability is a bit more easily addressed at Moore. We have offered a great deal of peer support for anyone who wants to try a new app or program. Built in to our daily schedules is a computer time where our technology teacher will come out and do anything that we want with our classes. By encouraging teachers to have her participate with them in trying these new things, it provides support for them. We are also looking at making buddies in our next meeting to give everyone a person that they can go to for help.

Our structural motivations are what seem like extrinsic motivators, but are a necessary part of getting the teachers out to the meetings. Spending an hour after school doing anything is a great feat in our building, as we are all being pulled in 1000 different directions by our families, training, and so forth. By offering “Jeans Passes” to those who actually try an app or program with children, they are motivated by the idea of comfort or convenience on a day when they need it most. By offering tickets for a drawing for an Ipad party and free time for the teacher both for attending and demonstrating an app to two others, teachers will be excited to attend.

Finally, when addressing structural ability, we are going for a more subtle approach. My co-presenter and I have t-shirts that have our “why” statement on the front. This subtle reminder of why we are motivated to help children will remind the staff of why they decided to become teachers and remind them of what their abilities are as a classroom leader. We will also be handing out clipboards with Appy Hour to remind them after they leave the meeting of what they are capable of doing.  We will also discuss how to add to our technology and the procedure for purchasing apps through Mrs. Lacamu.

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4DX – Appy Hour


Self-Differentiated Leadership

Being a good leader is something that I have not really struggled with most of my life. Or at least I thought that until I read Friedman’s work. I can now see how often I have fallen into the traps of being a leader who has good intentions but not always good follow through.

The first attribute that I am going to work on is being clear about my vision in relation to my idea of “Appy Hour”. I think that by focusing on my “why” at the beginning and end of every meeting, it will help me keep my vision in line. So often, it seems to be about getting people to follow along with ideas, irrespective if they are learning why they are doing something. By making sure our attendees understand why “Appy Hour” is important for the students at Moore, especially after they leave Moore, the vision should stay in the forefront of our minds. We are trying to prepare students for jobs that might not even exist yet. And we cannot achieve that goal if we are still using the same old teaching techniques that I had as a young girl. We need to be engaging with the students in every way imaginable to prepare them for the future.

I am also going to continue to develop my willingness to be exposed and vulnerable. I am sometimes a brutally honest person so this should be an easier idea for me. I have always tried to share experiences with my own two children during “Appy Hour” to drive home the ideas that students these days need an entire set of skills that we can’t even fathom in the elementary school setting. Both of my children attended Moore Elementary and while their technology education was well above par for much of the district, I still feel like there is so much more that they can be exposed to. I am also the first one to admit when something is hard or I am struggling with using a new tool.   I feel like being exposed and vulnerable like that will help the other attendees feel more comfortable in their struggles.

Having the capacity to separate myself from the anxiety of my school will be quite the challenge. I try to be calm, cool, and collected during our “Appy Hour” meetings but sometimes I can see people check out through their expressions and it does rattle me. I need to remember that to calm anxiety around me, I have to be strong and firm with what I am doing and saying and not get drawn in to their worries. This could also be true of emotional triangles and empathy. I need to remember that telling them that I know it is hard to fit technology into their busy days is not helping them or pushing them to do something that is a bit more uncomfortable. It is giving them an out that they will use every time. I haven’t seen too many triangles present themselves where I am in danger of being pulled in. But I have seen every attendee struggle with the triangle of themselves/the technology/and time. I need to remember to point the triangles out to the attendees and show them that these could be problems when they are trying to implement the technology.

Having concern about fitting in has never really been an issue for me as a leader. I have never really fit into one box my entire life. I have always been the one out on the edges doing things that seem odd or scary in terms of my education and career. But, I do need to be self-aware that the potential is there for me to want to be like the others and have the same thoughts and feelings as they do. I will focus on my “why” again for this strength, using it to keep myself in check if I feel like I am slipping into that “herding” mentality.

A very big struggle for me will be the self-regulation of emotions in the face of sabotage. I have already begun to see some signs of sabotage to my “Appy Hour” so I know what I am doing is a good thing. But I do have a very reactive personality. I am the first one to get emotionally drawn into a situation, especially in times of stress or exhaustion. I am going to have to be very aware of what is going on inside of me in terms of my emotions and make sure that I take the time to process them internally before I let them come to the surface. I will remember Friedman’s example of how he didn’t take the nitro pill when he experienced pain until he did some deep breathing to see if the pain passed. By keeping my own anxiety at bay, I will be better able to manage the anxiety around me about “Appy Hour”.

Finally, Friedman suggests a certain level of persistence. I am a very persistent person but I can get very distracted by my day to day life with my children and husband, in addition to the increased level of work that our district has put down to our Kindergarten classrooms. I have to remain focused on what my end goal is, which is to get more teachers at Moore using technology and apps in their classrooms. By remembering my personal “why” of “Appy Hour”, I hope to be able to maintain my laser like focus on my end results.

Friedman, E. H., Treadwell, M. M., & Beal, E. W. (2007). A failure of nerve: Leadership in the age of the quick fix. New York: Seabury Books.


Appy Hour Has Changed for the Better

I have been doing a lot of reading in my last class about what is going on nationally and globally in Educational Technology. I have come up with a few additions to my original Appy Hour idea and have put them in this document in red, so they would stand out. The changes or additions I have made are directly related to the amount of reading that I have been doing about Professional Development in general, all around the world.

Many things have been working with our Appy Hour idea.  I feel like the laid back atmosphere and the built in time to interact with the apps has been a positive for us.  We have had 5-7 teachers show up for each meeting, with about 4 of them being the same.  We have been very flexible about using different days of the week to address everyone’s schedules.  I have gotten many comments from people who are reading our powerpoints that we put out after the fact.  I would like to see us expand Appy Hour into other schools in the district, and my co-teacher and I plan to present at our District Technology Conference about Appy Hour and we will hopefully create some cohorts at other campuses.

We’ve had some issues with the technology not always working, so that is no surprise.  We have also had a few issues with getting teacher buy in.  We feel like showing them how we use it in our classroom is the best way to address the problem of teachers not always seeing the possibilities.

Again, the following is my original Appy Hour plan and 4DX plan.  Changes or additions are in red for ease of comparison.


The goal of “Appy Hour” is to get the attendees to share and use apps and programs in their classroom. To address this goal, we must first look at one reason why teachers are resistant to using technology in their classrooms. Carey says “the reality is that modern education is now a high-stakes, test driven environment. State tests and AP exams determine job security, funding, and professional perception. Experimenting with new tools and pedagogy requires not only a learning curve but some risk-taking” (2013).

There are two vital behaviors that I feel need to be addressed to move us towards our goal. The first is having the teachers demonstrate one app or tool with two other members of the faculty. Those who do share with two members will get two extra tickets into the drawing for a free ipad party for their class, and 30 minutes of uninterrupted free time for the teacher. The way that we will be able to measure the results is the person who is being shared with has to email me and tell me who shared with them and what they got out of it. We have found that sharing information with others is beneficial to both the person sharing and to the person who is being shared with. Hearing from someone who is in the classroom and teaching just like they are is a great tool to get teachers to buy in to what we are suggesting (Carey 2013). By tying the sharing to the incentives, I feel that it will encourage teachers to share with others.

The second vital behavior to be addressed is the teachers will use one app or tool by the next “Appy Hour” meeting, which is usually about 30 days later, with a group of children. The way that we will measure the results of this behavior is by requiring them to share a picture of or the actual lesson that they used. Again, by tying this to the incentive of a “Jeans Pass” from the administration, I feel many more teachers will go back and try a program. I’ve noticed when our administration has offered a “jeans pass” to get the faculty to sign up for a job that might otherwise be undesirable, there has been an overwhelming number of people who volunteered. Wearing jeans on any day but Friday in our district is considered the best reward ever.   There is really nothing that teachers in our building will not do for a jeans pass.

 

Carey, J. (2013, March 27). How to Get Hesitant Teachers to Use Technology. Retrieved January 31, 2016, from http://plpnetwork.com/2013/03/27/hesitant-teachers-technology/

 

Six Sources of Influence

  Motivation Ability
Personal By making the Appy Hour meetings optional, we are targeting the people who are more motivated to change first. We would like to see one administrator at each meeting. There is time built in to Appy Hour for deliberate practice and sharing of what the teachers already use inside and outside of the classroom.
Social There is a deliberate frequent contact with social leaders to have them encourage others to attend an Appy Hour. . Set up a peer support system provided by myself and our technology teacher.Set up a peer mentoring program for them to support each other.
Structural Principal provides jeans passes for teachers who use an app with children.I provide tickets to a drawing for free time for those who come and for those who demonstrate an app or program to colleagues. My co-presenter and I have t-shirts with the “why” of Appy Hour that we will wear to meetings.We will give out clipboards with our Appy Hour logo on them. We will institute a badge system for completing courses on certain apps.

The six sources of influence will be very important to the success or failure of “Appy Hour”. When looking at the influencer worksheet, the answers to the questions were very interesting to me when considering my six sources.

First, in terms of personal motivation, teachers always seem to have the student’s best interests at heart. The motivation comes from being able to extend ourselves past all of the district mandates and testing requirements to do what is right for children. By making “Appy Hour” optional, we are first addressing those people who are in the place of being able to look past all the extra work and find ways to replace some of the work with these apps and programs. The people who choose to attend an “optional” meeting usually already have somewhat of an interest in what is being said. We would like to see the addition of one or the other of our administration team at each meeting. “Research shows that educators need to attend PD together and reflect collectively on what they are learning (Powerful Learning Practice, 2015). As with any school change effort, the role of the school administrator throughout implementation is necessary. When “administrators can help ensure that the use of technology is prioritized…the teachers feel comfortable in trying new things.”(Billing et al., 2005; Staples et al., 2005; Zoofrassm 2001)

Personal ability is a big hurdle when it comes to the “Appy Hour” concept. Again, the personal motivation strategy lends itself to this when it makes the meeting optional. Also, by having built in time to practice what we have heard about and to share with others, we are addressing ability levels in a safe, non-threatening environment.

Social motivation is probably one of the hardest influences for us in regards to “Appy Hour”. Most of the social leaders in my school, because there is a population of teachers who are very near retirement, are some of the people who are content with things staying the same. By making frequent contact with as many social leaders as I can and asking them to encourage teammates to attend an “Appy Hour”, we are addressing this the best that we can.

Social ability is a bit more easily addressed at Moore. We have offered a great deal of peer support for anyone who wants to try a new app or program. Built in to our daily schedules is a computer time where our technology teacher will come out and do anything that we want with our classes. By encouraging teachers to have her participate with them in trying these new things, it provides support for them. We would also like to look at taking some of our current attendees and making them into mentors for some of our other teachers. In a Jordan study, the demand for on time, relevant professional development is a high priority. But if given the tools and no support, it only impacts “5-10% of participant’ practice (TOJET, 2011). It should be pointed out that “mentoring as one of the most important elements in successful TPD, or in-service trainings (Hooker, n.d.) Mentoring can help “reduce the anxiety and sense of isolation that can keep teachers from trying new approaches in their classrooms (Hooker, n.d.)

Our structural motivations are what seem like extrinsic motivators, but are a necessary part of getting the teachers out to the meetings. Spending an hour after school doing anything is a great feat in our building, as we are all being pulled in 1000 different directions by our families, training, and so forth. By offering “Jeans Passes” to those who actually try an app or program with children, they are motivated by the idea of comfort or convenience on a day when they need it most. By offering tickets for a drawing for an Ipad party and free time for the teacher both for attending and demonstrating an app to two others, teachers will be excited to attend.

Finally, when addressing structural ability, we are going for a more subtle approach. My co-presenter and I have t-shirts that have our “why” statement on the front. This subtle reminder of why we are motivated to help children will remind the staff of why they decided to become teachers and remind them of what their abilities are as a classroom leader. We will also be handing out clipboards with Appy Hour to remind them after they leave the meeting of what they are capable of doing. We would also like to add the idea of badges and gamification, to increase participation and also for recognition purposes. I was reading about what is going on in Denton, Texas and how “the Instructional Technology Team in Denton ISD, (Dwight GoodwinRoss GarisonLeslie Taylor and the other amazing team members), created a Google Site of self-directed PD for teachers. Through this program, teachers are rewarded for stepping outside their comfort zones with fun badges to display outside their classroom door” (Bell, 2015). We would love to try to create something similar for our Appy Hour that addresses the apps that we discussed and seeing if the teachers go back and use them in their classrooms. My co teacher and I plan on doing a lot of research this summer to see if we can come up for something similar for Moore Elementary teachers.

References

Abuhmaid, A. (n.d.). ICT Training Courses for Teacher Professional Development in Jordan. Retrieved May 1, 2016, from http://www.tojet.net/articles/v10i4/10420.pdfBell, K. (2015, September 01).

Take PD to the Next Level with Badges – Gamify Professional Learning. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from http://www.shakeuplearning.com/blog/take-pd-to-the-next-level-with-badges/

Hooker, M. (n.d.). Models and Best Practices in Teacher Professional Development. Retrieved May 1, 2016, from https://www.infodev.org/infodev-files/resource/InfodevDocuments_294.pdf

Technology Implementation in Schools: Key Factors to Consider. (n.d.). Retrieved May 15, 2016, from http://www.cited.org/index.aspx?page_id=187


Thinking Big

This has been a time for me that I really needed.  A time to dive into the literature and really see what is going on out in the world.  It has made many of my ideas have some substance and has really addressed some of my biggest concernes about Appy Hour.

First, I presented a video about what I had learned during all my reading.  You can view it below.

Then, I took to the literature and tried to give a concise but thorough literature review of what I read and how it affected professional development, and Appy Hour more specifically.  You can read that here.

Finally, I took all of what I have learned this time around and made some changes to my Appy Hour idea, both in the influencer model and in the 4dx model.  You can see those changes at Appy Hour has changed for the better.

I hope you enjoy the changes I’ve made.  I think that the more information and reading that I am putting in, the more solid and sustainable my ideas are becoming.

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