Standard One
Visionary Leadership

Word Vision in blocks

Reflection:

The ISTE Standard 1 specifies that, "Technology Coaches inspire and participate in the development and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformational change throughout the instructional environment." Standard 1 includes four annotations. Collectively, the annotations address communication, strategy, advocacy, and sustainability.

As an emerging technology coach, I had a vision of how Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs across the nation and beyond could share a set of electronic instructional resources to greatly enhance the capacities of individual programs. I imagined that this might be accomplished in various ways. Many professionally accredited MPA programs have few full-time faculty members relative to the variety of core courses and concentrations they offer. Our professional accrediting organization known as NASPAA requires accredited programs to engage in curriculum design and to seek to continually improve quality of educational services by program-level assessment and by addressing identified gaps between learning objectives and learning outcomes. Leadership involves change management and the diffusion of innovations. Technology coaches must take a system view of things and help others adapt to changes that others may view as challenging and disruptive. The first artifact below is a paper I wrote explaining the challenges faced by MPA programs and reporting the results of my primary research based on interviews with five faculty members teaching in MPA programs at different universities in the United States. My qualitative data analysis identified significant statements by each of the five participants across six stages of concern. I categorized my own alternative models of innovation based upon the criteria of length of linkage implementation; human complexity; and technological complexity. My findings caused me to realize that my visions of innovation at the meta-program level did not adequately anticipate the apparent resistance of faculty members to adopt existing instructional resources even if they are easily and freely available. This insight caused me as an aspiring technology coach to realize the need to better understand likely points of resistance when trying to advance innovations. The second artifact for Standard 1 is a slide presentation that highlights selected statements by the five participants; evidence of likely points of resistance and possible points of leverage.

The paper and the slides together are evidence of my learning and professional growth in the context of Standard 1. Visionary leaders and coaches must anticipate how visions can become realities and what the likely points of failure may be. One biblical statement is, "without a vision the people perish." And the practical extension is, "without a grounded strategy a vision is not likely to be successfully implemented." A grounded strategy is one informed by existing public research. But the literature may not be specific enough to provide a technology coach as to challenges to implementation in a specific context. Guided interviews with professionals in a specific context (such as teaching public administration at the graduate level) may shed additional light on how a vision might be effectively implemented. In this instance, the interviews I conducted and analyzed for the innovations paper revealed a key constraint on my initial visions of ways by which instructional resources might be shared among programs at different institutions. I learned that people who teach public administration are not much inclined to use electronic resources even if available without cost. I believe that I am now a better technology coach by having gained that insight. I think both assignments primarily reflect my commitment to Professional Excellence, as per the Conceptual Framework.

Artifacts:

Artifact Title: Diffusion of Innovations in Public Affairs Education
Artifact Description: In this paper I grounded my investigation of how public administration education educators might use technology to share their instructional resources in works by Rogers and others regarding the attributes of successful innovations. I addressed major barriers to and enablers of diffusions of innovation. I explained three visual models of possible strategies by which a repository of electronic instructional artifacts might be assembled, managed, and made available for use in MPA programs throughout the United States and beyond. I provided a MPA of a chain of adoptions of an innovation and made suggestions for future research. The paper includes a summary of major statements made by each of the five research participants and a preliminary analysis of the qualitative data.
Course Number and Title: MEDT 8641 Diffusion of Innovations
Relevant Conceptual Framework Descriptors within Commitment to Professional Excellence:
  Leading
  Reflective
  Knowledgeable
  Decisive
Artifact Link: Artifact 1 paper

 

Artifact Title: Diffusion of Innovations in Public Affairs Education
Artifact Description: This second artifact is a multimedia presentation that communicates the major findings of the study reported in the first artifact in a way that can be communicated to others in an engaging way.
Course Number and Title: MEDT 8641 Diffusion of Innovations
Relevant Conceptual Framework Descriptors within Commitment to Professional Excellence:
Leading
Reflective
Knowledgeable
Decisive
Artifact Link: Artifact 2 slide presentation

 


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