I did not get in this time around. Stay tuned for Take 2! (and maybe 3... 4...)
make changes in something established,
especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.
This year I joined a new staff and school in Qatar. I embraced this job opportunity for the potential to make a significant impact in a school with no previous instructional technology program.
Yes, this was going to be a challenge of epic proportions.
Yes, I was walking away from a well resourced and funded institution, with established connections and professional opportunities.
Yes, I was taking a pay cut, a cut in benefits, etc. etc.
What I thought I would gain in experience wasn't even the beginning of what this opportunity has already meant.
When the opportunity to apply for the Certified Innovator Program came up, I felt an immediate sense of "This has come up for me at this time for a reason..."
What I hoped to capture in my application was the way that this opportunity would benefit my school community, rather than myself. In trying to accelerate the pace of transformation with little budget and limited resources, a chance to work in a global collaborative group would mean everything for our school.
The application sat in my Drive for some time, almost a month. Looking back on the submission, I don't know that I captured the true spirit of the school. The way that in about 6 months the school has shifted with technology already. How simple innovations in systems and professional development opportunities have allowed me to see and hear real change.
My Vision Project? Create a platform for students to seek knowledge with Google tools
Access to devices is limited
The school day is jam packed
G Suite is new to teachers
There are no technology coaches or facilitators to support myself or teachers
How can I try to reach all students and classrooms in a way, that allows teachers to be able to integrate Google tools for more meaningful learning?
In working with some students in upper primary, I saw how quickly they grasped basics in a brief mini-lesson. These students then helped lead their peers, and the pressure on the teacher was reduced.
What if I could scale this independent learning, gamify it to motivate students, and then utilize these students for peer support? Teachers would not have to commit time to teaching tech skills and would be free to begin utilizing Google's powerful collaboration tools with students faster...
Will I be successful in achieving a spot in the #LON17 group? I don't know.
Will the decision impede my pursuit of this passion? Certainly not.
I hope to have a chance to be able to meet in person the other incredible educators, but if this is not my year - then the work will continue, the drive to maximize my impact only renewed, and the next application phase will be on my to do list!
Based in Doha currently, I am a technology-advocating learning junkie.