Digital Learning in a Global Context

Be Aware…Plans Can Change

In the past few weeks, I have taken the chance to go from looking at my innovation plan with a single look to how it will look in the future. The framework has been laid, and now the time has come to take everything to the next level. If you recall, I had previously designed my innovation plan to include three parts: gather, move, and get comfortable. The first part, “gather” involved looking at other seminar sites and performing research on what could have been done better. The implementation process could be designed from this research and what steps should be taken in the innovation plan to improve it. The second phase, “move,” involves analyzing information to see where the HOBY organization is going. All setbacks could be solved by taking a look at where the organization currently is in implementation. In this phase, big change will happen by igniting the fire in our staff to make the transformation. New seminars will be held to put everything into action. The third and final stage, called “get comfortable,” involves everyone coming together and deciding what went wrong during implementation and what can be done better in the future.

This piece of “disruptive innovation” lays the footprint for the future and how we will get there. So, in keeping with the theme of last week’s literature review, we shall take a look at what has worked, what has been done right, and what can be done better in the future to steer HOBY on a better track in the future.

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What worked?

HOBY has always had very dedicated and loyal volunteers that play a role in what we do in the organization. In the past few years, HOBY decided to implement a new technology program called ActiveCollab that fully took into consideration whether or not our staff learned their technology effectively in their seminar site. This program was a great addition to the national curriculum to make sure that all people involved are fully engaged in what they are doing. We have also done a good job of “cross-collaboration” between national board members and volunteers in terms of the Training Institute and how we all communicate with others. This was taken into consideration as this serves as the centerpiece of what good collaboration can truly be. In addition to this, HOBY has taken the steps to rethink how their institutions run and redefining learning spaces for all people involved. Tremendous steps, like new seminars for alumni and staff training, have been created to foster new learning spaces for our alumni, volunteers, and new ambassadors. The approach to changing how institutions run has also been very good, allowing a national curriculum and standards to be created that all seminars must abide by. These are things that have benefitted the organization tremendously. Please click the links below to see my literature review and PowerPoint for the future vision.

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Improvements and Future Lessons

In my previous research, I found out there are three areas that could be done better at HOBY. These three areas are “digital literacy,” “personalized learning,” and “overcoming the stigma of technology.” These are three areas that could be elevated to the next level. I first want us to take a look at digital literacy and try to comprehend the direction we want to go in to ensure that our training program is in good shape. Digital literacy is a concept that many people have heard before, but really do not understand. Digital literacy is the concept by which a person knows how to read, understand, follow, and comprehend information as it is given to them. We have done a fairly good job at HOBY with this regarding our Training Institute held once a year. But, the time has come for it to be elevated even further by looking at the past as a guide. My innovation plan takes the necessary steps in which to accomplish that, but it still needs a bit more polishing to make it even better.

The next step that I want us to take at HOBY is to recognize that technology can be an asset, instead of a liability. We have always taken great care in our strategic planning process to ensure that technology is the centerpiece by which we ensure that our innovation plans are always easy for our volunteers to use and understand. The key next would be to make sure that all of the software that is acquired be for the user, with the best ideas in mind. Many seminar sites have had a very difficult time trying to understand what it is that we are seeking to accomplish by looking through the eyes of our staff. We will all have to work together to make sure that our staff understands the innovation plan, and what it entails to ensure a smooth transition process. If we are able to make this process seamless, we have the ability to overcome all resistance during the implementation phase. Collaboration will have to be celebrated to always keep our staff cohesive in what they are doing. Collaboration can go a long way to ensuring that the “stigma” of technology can be overcome.

The third step that I want to take a look at is the ability to achieve “personalized learning” at HOBY. Even with our past programs as a guide, it is still important that we take the time to ensure that our volunteers achieve a personalized learning experience in their training at HOBY. This simply means that we are shifting away from the “factory-built” model and moving into a more individual learning model where each volunteer can work at their own pace. In the past, we have used collaboration as a means of communication by which all of can work together. I want to develop a system by means of which each volunteer can learn online at their own pace, in collaboration with their seminar site. If this goes into action, higher learning standards can be achieved by personal interests and abilities. Hence, a better volunteer would emerge as they feel that they are a part of the learning process. When this learning is assessed, all people would report a higher level of engagement that they did not have before enrolling in the program.

The next logical step that will be taken is to ensure that all learning activities can be assessed and that more attention is given to the above noted concepts. I want to add a fourth chapter into my innovation plan that we will call “be aware.” In this phase, I want to include a more grandiose ending to the plan that I did not have before. We will assess the innovation based on strengths and weaknesses while we are in the implementation phase of the innovation plan. We will attempt to check for how personalized the learners thought the plan was, how much digital literacy was learned, and how much the users of this program thought it assisted them in their duties. The diagram below indicates how the innovation plan has changed to reflect this new phase of implementation.

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As I look back at my literature review, my powerpoint, my plans for the future, my professional learning plan, and my previous assignments, I begin to see how far my ideas have come and where they need to go. A final assessment that HOBY also needs to make is to do a case study in the near future to see where they are attempting to go. This innovation plan will take place over an entire seminar year and will involve many different people with different perspectives on different things. A case study could help with gathering information during the implementation phase that could be used to help other non-profit organizations perform their tasks even better. I hope to be the author of this case study and to present it to others by means of helping them with their duties in the workplace.

The innovation plan previously had three phases, “gather,” “move,” and “get comfortable,” and now we are adding “be aware” to that list of phrases. These revisions to the innovation plan will help us carry on the great legacy that Hugh O’Brian and Dr. Albert Schweitzer started over 50 years ago. This change to the innovation plan takes our goal and moves it a step further to inform, persuade, and inspire the leaders of tomorrow. When this plan is implemented, I also hope to play a key role in the assessment of our volunteers in terms of seeing how engaged they are. I look forward to the future, and especially what my role in the organization will be in the future as this plan goes into effect. When all staff work together, many great things are possible. HOBY has a bright future in store for our people. This is the true context of looking at digital learning in local and global contexts. “Be aware…the future of our leaders of tomorrow rests on us. ” So, here’s one more OUTSTANDING cheer for the HOBY organization.

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