Disruptive Innovation in Education, or EDLD 5305 in Lamar University’s Digital Learning and Leading course, was my first of two courses that started this journey. The end goal was to start to see technology as a tool for learning that when used correctly can change our education system. Dr. Harapnuik set forth the challenge to leave this program feeling like and knowing we could make waves. Waves of changes. The start of this program was to determine a challenge in our district, building, or classroom that could be addressed with the implementation of technology. My proposal was to introduce my fellow teachers to ePortfolios and have them implemented into all academic areas in August 2021. This would mean that my students would have the opportunity to take ownership of their learning, make connections to real world issues and prepare for higher education. With my proposal submitted and accepted, the real work would begin with having this plan backed by research. Research is not my strong suit. I struggled with not finding the research that I wanted to read. Not that it wasn’t interesting, but more so it wasn’t saying what I wanted it to say. I wanted this to be easier than it was turning out to be. This was the turning point for me in this course. This moment is when I realized that this journey was not going to be like undergrad school. I had to do some changing, start to finish in less than 8 weeks.
Change would be possible in this course without the ladies in my learning community that were there to constantly encourage the hard transitions and cheer on the small successes. Michelle Richey, Maria Rodman, Lindsay Hoerig, Avery Nihill, Lindsey Wallace, Aliscia Drummond and Robin Ballard are the foundation I needed to set off on the right track. The eight of us met at least once a week via zoom and chatted on Group Me all hours of the day. Our Zoom conferences were full of tweaking ideas and offering assistance. With this being our first course at Lamar, we took this time to make sure the expectations and assignments were clear for all of us. We all learn at such a different pace, so it was crucial that the eight of us remained helpful. It was during this time that grace was offered during the hard times, and critiques were met with justification. Our Google Slide Deck was a landing spot for everything we were working on. This was probably the best part of our relationship thus far. Our work was just clicks away and it made it so easy accessible for each of us to reach out to one another and offer help or ideas. Building these relationships helped hold me accountable during a time when I thought I had hit my limit. There’s always something a classroom with an educator cannot teach you…and for this course that was building relationships with a group of strong willed and very determined women.
I know there are changes to be made in our education system. I now know I am capable of starting those changes and setting examples for my district. However small those changes may be to start, I know they are needed and I know they are coming and it starts with my Innovation Project.