If you just finished EDLD 5302 and are wondering what is the best way to approach EDLD 5303 then you will appreciate this post.

In our research into why students either continue to use or stop using an eportfolio after a program of study the number one factor for why students stopped using an eportfolio was the lack of time.
Factors contributing to dis-continued use of the eportfolio

In addition to the survey results one of our focus group participants stated:

“All your time is spent just keeping your head above water there is no time to think about the benefits of an eportfolio or how to build and structure your eportfolio for use for anything more than document storage”

For many of the students in Masters of Digital Learning and Leading program at Lamar University coming out of the first course in the program EDLD 5302 Concepts of Educational Technology this sentiment is true. We have often seen students struggle with getting the weekly assignments completed and simply dropping an evidence of learning into their eportfolio container is what most students have been able to accomplish.

EDLD 5303 is structured to give students the time to focus completely on the eportfolio, to experiment with blogging tools and methods, and to work on their eportfolio without having to do additional course work?

The evidence of learning accumulated in EDLD 5302 can now be shaped and moulded into a well organized and cohesive format to genuinely convey a message beyond basic technology skills competence. In EDLD 5303 students are given the opportunity to move beyond dropping assignments into a digital container and are encouraged to start to consider and show how they plan to use technology to enhance their own learning and their learning environments.

This theory and background is all great but what is the best way to proceed through EDLD 5303?

We recommend that students:

  1. Explore and incorporate the ideas from the following and related links:

  2. Take the time to revise and better organize and preset your EDLD 5302 coursework. Chances are you received significant feedback that you would like to act on and also wished you had more time to do a better job on your assignments. You now have the time to do this.
  3. Review your eportfolio platform and consider if it is robust enough to support you through the remaining 10 courses in the DLL program and for many years to come. For example, in EDLD 5305 you will be required to have students comment on your work. Getting comments working in Google Sites can be challenging so if you were to switch to a different platform this would be a wonderful time. Consider the recommendations in How to Create an Eportfolio. If you are not using WordPress or a similarly robust blogging platform you should consider the switch before you have so much content that the switch becomes much more difficult.
  4. Review and improve your navigation and organizational structure. Even though we all rely heavily on search engines a well organized and comprehensive navigation structure can go a long way to making it easy for your user to access information on your site. Have other people use your site and share how easy or difficult it is to navigate. If you are using WordPress you should start to build a good “Categories” structure which will help you to organize your site was you continue to add more content.
  5. As the bare minimum you should include the following sections on your site:

    • About/Bio
    • Main Interest (on my blog you will see Learning, Courses, CSLE, Eportfolio, Book list etc.)
    • Projects
    • Categories
    • Archives
    • Links
    • Social Media connections
    • Contact
  6. Start using your eportfolio for more than just your course work and start posting about your learning experiences.
  7. Enjoy the learning experience!
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How to Age Gracefully from Andrew Norton on Vimeo.

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Change before you have to
One of the key ideas we deal with in the Masters of Digital Learning and Leading program at Lamar University is change and how to use technology as a catalyst to bring about change in the learning environment. Reluctance to change is one of the most difficult challenges that most of us who promote the use of educational technology have to wrestle with. Ideally we would all like to work with only highly motivated colleagues and students but this is not the world we live in.

In response to a student request to share links to useful articles dealing with reluctance to change I did a quick search on my blog to find a couple really good articles or posts to share and I was surprised to notice that I have over 226 posts that are tagged with the word ”change” and dozens more posts that simply include the word change. I have several hundred notes in Evernote about change, dozens of links to articles on change in my Zotero reference database and I and hundreds more links related to change, reform, and innovation related to technology in education in my Diigo bookmarking tool. Can’t forget to mention the dozens of books about change I have in my hardcopy and digital libraries. This includes at least 6 books by John Kotter the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School, who is widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on leadership and change.

Out of all this how to do I find the just a couple of articles, posts or links that will be most useful. I started to review some my favourite academic articles and posts and after a few hours I was reminded by my wife’s caution

when people ask you for a recommendation they aren’t asking for a literature review and they more than likely don’t want to read all the books and articles that you have read…they are just looking for an answer to a problem.

So what is the problem that my student wants to address?

How do you deal with people who are reluctant to change?

The posts listed below are what I like to refer to as intellectual mash-ups because I take an assortment of ideas and combine them together to address the problem. Each post has many embedded links to the original sources so I am confident that the perspectives presented are supported by sound original insights.

The Head Won’t Go Where the Heart Hasn’t Been
This post points to the fact that while we like to believe that we make decisions based on rational thought the reality is that we are much more emotionally driven and as the title suggest that head won’t go where the heart hasn’t been.

People who like this stuff…like this stuff
In this post I point out the key factors for why people often reluctant to change and outline my 4 step process for organizational change which has become the foundation for the graduate course Leading Organizational Change I teach at Lamar University

The following three posts are also compilations of ideas that deal with the mindset one requires to embrace change. In addition, I address the fact that we often need to model or embrace change by living it.

Sense of Urgency: Create It Now or React to It Later

Pick Two – Innovation, Change or Stability

Practice Change by Living It

It is most important to remember that while change often is a constant part of 21st century living we don’t have to fear it or just react to it and let it adversely impact our lives. If we are proactive we can embrace change and use it as an opportunity for growth and development.

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Summary of the key points of this short clip can viewed at:

http://www.upworthy.com/a-plane-passenger-asked-a-teacher-a-kind-of-rude-question-about-her-job-she-responded-eloquently

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