Last week, I began the orientation for a one-year graduate certificate program in Administration and Supervision through a partnership between Johns Hopkins and ISTE (International Society for Technology and Education). Our face-to-face kick-off is at ISTE 2010 in Denver at the end of the month, and then my cohort will work together all year until our capstone experience at ISTE 2011.
I joined the program for a few reasons. I've become very interested in moving into a technology position, such as a school technology coordinator, or perhaps a district trainer. I checked into a few Ph.D and Ed.D programs. However, the more I have integrated technology into my classroom, and the more trainings I've done, the more I realize I have to learn.
I'm most hoping to improve in the area of leadership/professional development. As a grade level team leader this year, I've realized that leading teachers is like herding the proverbial cats. Cats with strong opinions and nice loud voices. I hope to gain skills that I can put into practice at my small team leader/occasional trainer role for now, then expand later as I take on new responsibilities.
Although I'm an online course veteran (my Master's degree from the University of South Florida was almost completely online) I can already tell that the JHU/ISTE program will be in a far different league. It's going to take more attention and more collaboration than any online experience I have had so far.
I've blocked out my 60-90 minutes a day for class time (at least for now-- may need to bump that up) and prepared myself to feel like a small fish in a big pond! I'm also gearing up for more chat-based teamwork than I've done in the past, and will be setting up a Skype account to work with teammates.
As a writer, I've got my work cut out for me. My classmates are very articulate, both on discussion boards and chat, and the level of discourse is going to be higher than I'm used to. Even though this makes me nervous, it is also exhilarating to be working with teachers of this caliber.
So... Denver, here we come.