Leadership Case TEAC880P School Technology Leadership

VISION

During the Spring of 2014 I was the Title III Grant Director and an Assistant Professor of Education at York College (York, Nebraska). In the final phase of a 5-year, $2,000,000 grant our last project was to renovate one of our older buildings on campus and create three state-of-the-art learning spaces. At the time of this last phase of the grant I was teaching a class titled EDU 373 Instructional Technologies. Being a passionate proponent of experiential learning I decided to have my class, along with my facilitation, design the learning spaces from start to finish.

PLANNING

This was a slightly risky plan, since the renovation project would forever have my name attached to it; however, from the beginning, my student bought in to the concept so I was encouraged by how empowered they felt and the ownership they immediately took with this project.

Our first task was to determine what subcommittees we would break the class up into and then assign roles within each subcommittee based on strengths and weakness. The subcommittees that were established were: C.O.O. (Chief Organizational Officers), Design, and Technology. The C.O.O. group was responsible for all the organization, collaboration space, ultimate budgetary decisions and presentation of the project proposal. The Design group was responsible for research, design and budgeting of the physical space, this included all furnishings, color schemes, design of hardware location/placement, etc. all based on researched best-practices. This group also had to collaborate with campus facilities and maintenance, as well as, the representatives of the furnishings companies, the architects, and construction crews. The Technology group was responsible for collaborating with the college IT department to research, budget and order all hardware, wiring, outlets, ports, etc. for the learning spaces being designed. After all the research and planning was completed the COO group created a presentation of the project proposal that they then presented to the Board of Trustees and the President of the institution for final approval.

ACCESS

The purpose of these learning spaces was to enhance and encourage innovation in teaching and learning. Due to this main focus the class determined that, since there were only three spaces being created, that there would need to be a way to prioritize and organize what professor(s) and/or which departments would predominately be using the space. So, the class created an application form on the google drive that those wanting to teach in these spaces must fill out to get put into the scheduling block. The class also budgeted monies out to cover the registration fees for all faculty members should they choose to attend NETA and/or the YPS (York Public Schools) Technology Professional Development days.

Screen shot of part of the form

INTEGRATION

Since this was at the tail-end of the grant cycle, previous integration of technological tools available at the time had been modeled for the students; they were responsible for deciding what online space to use for collaboration purposes. The final decision at this time came down to Google Drive. With-in this platform students could create shared documents, budget and finances workbooks, online surveys to distribute to current students/faculty and staff as well as alumni, and presentation ideas. The concepts of remote access, tether less control of presentation equipment, accessibility for ADA accommodations, multiple presentation platforms and the need for intentional design of the learning space was all modeled for the students through their course research and deemed necessary for implementation into the renovated design. After researching a number of CAD and online drafting programs the design group actually settled on using The Sims game to create the digital models of the classrooms. It was amazing to see the transition and recreation from The Sims game, to the AutoDesk drawings, to the finished product; as you can see below.

Collective arial view

The following Photo Grids show the progression from student creation through finished project.

ROOM 1
ROOM 2
ROOM 3
Hallway that connects all three learning spaces

ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION

There were three different assessment pieces designed for this project, all of which were co-created in class with the input from the students involved. There was a rubric designed for me, as the teacher-of-record, to assess each student's performance. There was a rubric designed as a peer-assessment form for each student to rate each other based on performance within the subcommittee as well as performance with-in the group as a whole. The third and final rubric was designed for the faculty to assess the learning space, how they are using the space, and what could be done to enhance or improve the learning environment.

SUPPORT

Money was budgeted into the project plan to allow IT personnel and Ed Tech personnel to attend continued professional development under the stipulation that these people would then return to campus and become in-house professional development on a continuing basis.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Since this was an upper level EDU class, at the end of the project, I challenged the class to come together collectively and create a Professional Development curriculum which could be implemented and used during faculty/staff training at the beginning of every year. This included not just technical and logistical information and training of the technology and hardware, but also case studies and examples of best-practice with regards to utilizing the space to accommodate different teaching and learning styles.

COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS

Each subcommittee was responsible for determining what entities and organizations needed to be included in the research, planning, and implementation of the project. They were then responsible for the development of relationship, communication, organization of meetings, submitting and requesting information and other collaborative efforts with these entities. This included funding organizations, businesses, labor force, and other needed resources within both the campus and civic community.

ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES

Concepts of Digital Citizenship and Legal Issues that educators face in the 21st Century were researched, lectured about and included in the Professional Development curriculum mentioned above.

YC Education Department motto

FINAL ANALYSIS

I would deem this project a tremendous success; this in fact is one of the things I have been most proud of in my professional career. Not only do I feel that the project turned out extremely well, but even more importantly was putting so much creative power and ownership in the hands of the students. Too often I feel that we do not give students the opportunities and responsibilities to truly utilize their abilities and strengths. The students in this EDU 373 class were determined to create a truly magnificent product and to create a space where faculty and students together could come together for creative and innovative learning opportunities.

created by Chris Luther

Created By
Chris Luther
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Chris Luther

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