My time in the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University has been incredibly transformative. I’ve met exceptional people, I’ve learned extraordinary things, but more than anything, I’ve developed confidence through reflection and self-examination. This standard (as well as this program) calls for educators to “regularly evaluate and reflect on their professional practice and dispositions to improve and strengthen their ability to effectively model and facilitate technology-enhanced learning experiences” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2011). All courses have various elements of both self-reflection and seeking feedback from others. Through these experiences, I have grown as a school librarian and a technology integration specialist.
Several courses include final reflection assignments that require students to think back on the course and answer set questions. These questions helped me to think about my experience and provide feedback as to how the course might be enhanced for other students in the future.
This blog has been an amazing platform for sharing my learning and discoveries, as well as a place for transparent reflection. Initially, the idea of sharing my work openly with the world was scary, but as I solicited feedback and had my work commended by others, it became a source of pride.
I went from sharing my work with one professor, to having it viewed by thousands of readers. I am still flabbergasted that my personal mission statement have been read over 2,000 times!
By sharing my blog posts on Twitter, I was able to elicit feedback from people I don’t know. These honest reactions to my work has helped me see my work from another perspective and, thereby, continue to grow.
Early on in the Digital Education Leadership program, I discovered that creating infographics helps me to process my thoughts. Fortunately, my professors were gracious in allowing me to work in a way that best served my learning style and so I often used graphic representations to share my reflections.
Having never used online mind maps prior to my work in the Digital Education Leadership program, I found that Coggle.it (and other mind mapping tools) were helpful after I’ve completed my work. While others use mind maps to create an outline for their thoughts, I used them as a reflection tool to pull all my thoughts together and determine how my ideas intertwined with one another.
As I look back on how important reflection was during this program, I can’t help but to continue to reflect further. It is clear that reflection was an integral aspect to my success, it helped me to make sense of my thought process, determine what worked well and what could be changed in the future, and connect that one topic into my entire understanding of educational technology, mentoring and teaching. As I go forward, I will continue my reflection and create opportunities for my teachers and students to do the same.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2011). ISTE standards: coaches. Retrieved June 29, 2011, from http://www.iste.org/standards/ISTE-standards/standards-for-coaches