PROFESSIONAL GROWTH PLAN

  Life is a series of journeys.  These journeys, with their numerous paths, shape who we are and who we become.  My journey began with a love of children and the desire to make a difference in their lives.  Working with children with special needs is the part of my journey that has led me to my current path as an educational technology leadership doctoral student.

     Hall (2008) describes educational technology leaders as decisive and directive supervisors who should be prepared to train, model and mentor.  In my current role as school technology coordinator, I will apply the educational technology leadership skills that I learn to ensure that not only my staff but future special education teachers strive to make technology and content accessible for all students. 

     Through my readings and research, I perceive myself as an Authentic Leader.  Authentic leaders are characterized as individuals who are conscious of their strengths, limitations, and emotions.  We lead with our hearts, not just our minds and we are not afraid to show our feelings and vulnerabilities to connect with our employees (Kruse, 2013).  To become an authentic leader we need to develop the qualities which will allow us to be perceived as dependable and believable by our followers (Northouse, 2013).  It will be my job to learn to develop these qualities and apply them to my future as a leader.

     My educational technology leadership philosophy comes from reading the 2011 and 2012 State Educational Technology Directors Association’s (SETDA) National Technology Trends reports.  Research has shown that in order to improve teacher effectiveness and increase engagement and achievement in students, we need to provide technology-rich environments with high-quality professional development (Jones, Fox, & Levin, 2011).  I believe that supporting educator effectiveness is an essential tool for an educational leader.  Providing support for and access to effective professional development ensures that teachers have the tools to provide innovative teaching approaches that meet the needs of individual students and that impact student achievement. If we are to change our pedagogical practices, understanding the varied uses and implications of technology is imperative (Duffey & Fox, 2012). It will be my responsibility as a technology leader to explore, cultivate, and promote these professional development opportunities.  

As I enter my third year as a doctoral student, I would like to reflect on the past year and set future goals towards the completion of this program.

Year One (2015-2016) Goals Achieved:

  • Infused technology into the Common Core Standards and assisted the faculty and staff of A. Harry Moore in becoming more aware of technological  methods and confident in their ability to integrate technology into their classrooms and lesson plans.

  • Co-presented at TeachMeetNJ 2015

  • Represented NJCU’s Doctoral Program and co-presented at NJEA.

  • Presented at EdCampAccess 2016

  • Represented Cohort 3 at the Girls in Technology Symposium, March 2016.

  • Presented at ISTE 2016

  • Collaborated with Cohort 2 on an iBeacon project and presented an award winning poster at NJEdge


Year Two (2016-2017) Goals Achieved:

  • Implemented Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and Chromebooks at A. Harry Moore School.

  • Published in an online journal.

  • Served on the planning committee for the Girls in Technology Symposium 2017.

  • Continued to present at conferences.


Year Three (2017-2018) Goals:

  • Becoming a Google Certified educator and trainer.

  • Taking a position as an adjunct professor.

  • Completing my doctoral journey.



     The culmination of my journey will hopefully lead me down my final path as a professor at an institution of higher learning. This position would afford me the opportunity to impart my knowledge of assistive technology to future special education teachers and lead to research on the effective implementation of assistive technology in teacher preparation programs.  I would also like to be a pioneer in the area of assistive technology, designing and implementing a new and innovative tool to help students achieve both their academic and personal goals.
    

References

Duffey, D. & Fox, C. (2012). National Educational Technology Trends 2012: State Leadership
     Empowers Educators, Transforms Teaching and Learning. Washington, DC: State
     Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)

Hall, D. (2008). The technology director’s guide to leadership: The power of great questions.
     Eugene, OR: ISTE.

Jones, R., Fox, C., and Levin, D. (2011). State Technology Leadership Essential for 21st Century
     Learning, Annual report SETDA.

Kruse, K. (2013, May 12). What Is Authentic Leadership? Retrieved August 08, 2015, from
     http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/05/12/what-is-authentic-leadership/

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

 

Copyright © 2018 Stephanie Talalai