Coaches inspire educators and leaders to use technology to create equitable and ongoing access to high-quality learning.
I don’t associate myself with the term change agent because when I hear the term, I think of someone who greatly inspires others. Someone like the CEO of a company or some who has changed the course of history. I don’t think of myself this way because for me, I’ve always thought about this aspect as “just doing my job.” It wasn’t until I started the Digital Education Leadership program that I started thinking about what it means to be a change agent and whether I could be considered one too.
My time in the DEL program provide ample opportunities for me to reflect on the concept of being a change agent. Below you will find evidence, spread across five different subsections (indicators) of how I believe I can be and am a change agent where I work.
Create a shared vision and culture for using technology to learn and accelerate transformation through the coaching process.
I have worked at Seattle Pacific University for the past 15 years. At different times and in different roles, I was able to help structure the and bring to life, the vision I had for what the use of technology could be like — whether that be in the classroom or in the workplace.
My general technology philosophy is that it should help and not become a hinderance to people. I know it’s not always possible to view each new technology hardware or software in this manner, but it’s my hope that by providing training, documentation, and access to support and resources, that I can help make a variety of tools more approachable and easier to use. Sometimes, this means making use of technology integration frameworks like SAMR or TPACK, but sometimes it means meeting a person where they’re at in the moment and doing what I can do to make using the tool easier.
I had the opportunity to create a Digital Learning Mission Statement early on in the program and that process allowed me to expand on the three main values that drive how I think about technology. These values are Integrity, Equity and Care. I chose each value because as a system administrator, I need to research, evaluate, adopt, implement, support, and troubleshoot technology systems and hardware on campus. I think to do those things well, I need to have integrity (as a moral virtue, not accuracy of data in a system) at all levels of my work. I also care deeply about issues of accessibility and so equity became a focal point – I am related so someone with a hearing disability and am married to someone who grew up in another country. Their unique perspectives and experiences have opened my eyes and fortunately, I’ve held positions where I can do things to make things a little bit better and a little more inclusive on a regular basis. My third chosen value is care and I wanted to choose this one specifically because I think it’s incredibly difficult to make care a tangible value in spaces where technology is used, I wanted people to be able to look back on the decisions I made and the interactions I had with them, so that they could see and feel care, not just through my relationships, but in the choices I made about technology.
All these values helped drive the professional development I chose to emphasize to campus during the pandemic.
My team focused a lot on care and what that looked like in online spaces. There were sessions about Community & Taking the Pulse of your Course, Inclusivity & Accessibility and Protecting Student Data.
Ultimately, for me, the real place where change happened was when I had one on one interactions with faculty, adjuncts, and staff. This is where I learned about their hopes for their respective roles on campus and how I could help them bring these hopes to life. Sometimes, that meant exploring new and exciting technologies and ways of engaging and sometimes that meant having conversations about why a technology or choice related to the use of a technology could cause issues. It’s these support calls where I felt like I had the biggest opportunity to be a change agent.
Koehler, M. 2012. TPACK Explained. http://matt-koehler.com/tpack2/tpack-explained/?msclkid=ac2fc06bb92a11ecb306929d1e8f96c0. Pulled April 10, 2022.
Terada, Y. 2020. Edutopia. A powerful model for understanding good tech integration. https://www.edutopia.org/article/powerful-model-understanding-good-tech-integration?msclkid=82829af1b92a11ecb73ffe7abf0c5f1d. Pulled April 10, 2022.
msclkid=82829af1b92a11ecb73ffe7abf0c5f1d. Pulled April 10, 2022.
ISTE Standards: Coaches. https://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards-for-coaches. Pulled April, 2022.