Reflections on my Journey

Everything we have done in this program has moved us to make changes wherever we are. Every course was a little piece of the puzzle, the big picture. Now that we’re at the finish line (for now), I can see how everything fits together and I am so grateful that our amazing teachers (learning facilitators) took the time to guide us using the COVA model and CSLE. When I first started this program, I definitely considered myself a digital immigrant. I had very limited technology skills, but I was determined to learn because I knew that my students needed me to speak their language. I struggled A LOT in the beginning, just trying to navigate the technology I was using for my projects. I cried a few times trying to figure out how to use WordPress, but once I got the hang of it, it became almost second nature.
My struggles in the beginning really helped me to learn how to learn. I became good at looking for videos that would help me, or PLNs with good information. I think if I had been given instructions, I wouldn’t have learned how to find instructions on my own. Self-directed learning is so important because it’s active, not passive. Every course has given us the ability to find information we need to continue growing and learning.
I am so proud of my innovation plan. I love that even though we all took the same courses, our innovation plans and ePortfolios are completely different creations. We learned how to research our plan, design it, and how to persuade leaders to let us implement our plans in our own organizations. That is completely authentic work that is unique to each individual.
As a dental hygienist, I had no background in education, even though I have been teaching for three years. My eyes have been opened to how students learn best, and how to create the environment needed for learning. I learned how to design a class using Fink’s 3 column table and UbD. I created an online Radiology course that I am truly proud of. I plan on using it for my innovation plan on blended learning.
Most of all, I am really proud of my e-Portfolio. It’s a unique creation that I can continue to use and reflect on what I’m working on and how to keep improving. It’s a tool that has given me a voice that I thought I didn’t have- one that I was afraid to use at first!
I’m amazed that I am already here at the end of this program, about to walk the stage on Saturday. There were so many times I wanted to give up because of the craziness of my schedule and life, but I’m so glad I kept going. I can truly say I learned more in the last year and a half than I ever have in such a short period of time. Here is a visual representation of my journey in the Digital Learning and Leading program:

Prezi

I am feeling very courageous right now, not afraid of change at all. Like we were taught in this program, we can ride the wave of change or react to it as it comes. Do I want to lead the change? Absolutely. I feel armed with the knowledge and determination that is needed to move forward with my innovation plan, and confident that I can keep generating new innovation plans as time goes on. My first goal is a blended Radiology course, then more courses will follow. When others see what I’m doing, I can train them to blend their courses too. My next innovation plan will be e-Portfolios for the DH program. I’ll have to keep in mind the importance of COVA and CSLE to ensure the success of my learners.
What worked? I switched my innovation plan early on in the program because my first one was too big. I wanted to initiate collaborative learning among all the medical and dental programs in our college, hoping to create more healthcare provider collaboration in the real world setting. I decided an innovation plan like that needs more time. I wanted smaller successes to pave the way to the bigger ideas. I have learned that I am stronger than I thought, but I had a lot to learn if I wanted my students to really benefit from my courses. I thought I was a pretty good instructor, but I still have lots of work to do. Even though we have learned (and lived) COVA and CSLE, those changes can’t always happen overnight. It takes a team of educators who are willing to make those changes. I can’t do it alone. But if I can change one class at a time, it will lead to big gains in learning in the long run.

Author: cruzconnect

I'm a dental hygiene instructor in San Antonio, TX. I want to share my passion for dental hygiene with other hygienists and create a place where hygiene educators can meet and collaborate. I received my A.S. Dental Hygiene from Southwestern College in San Diego, CA in 2003. After ten years of clinical practice, I returned to school to earn my B.S. Dental Hygiene from Northern Arizona University. I'm currently working on my Master's in Education with an emphasis in Digital Learning and Leading from Lamar University in Texas. I have an amazing husband and three kids: Matt (15), Chloe (10), and Silas (21 months). When I'm not fighting plaque and gingivitis, I like to hang out with friends and family (a little BBQ here and there), garden, play with the kiddos, travel, and remodel our house (a never-ending project!). I ride horses, speak a little French, and I'm a great shot with a bow and arrow (must be the Cherokee in me!). Most of all, I love to learn and share ideas. Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s