Synthesis of Digital Learning & Leading

A Knight’s Journey Into Corporate Training

They say that all good things must come to an end. As I look back on it now, I look at all that I have accomplished and where I will be headed to next. I now want to take you on a tour of all that I have done during the last year and a half and what I am hoping to accomplish by using this degree as a guide to my future career. To look at my journey, I now invite you to join me by going back to the Medieval times to look at what the rankings were. To start at the bottom, in England, you were a squire, then a knight, a baron, then the ranking went upward toward higher-ranking members of the nobility. From here, there were bishops of the Church of England, viscounts, earls, marquesses and dukes. As you went higher, there were Lords, the prime minister, and eventually the monarch, which was at the very top of the nobility table. I liken my journey in this program to how a knight is trained to serve in his role in the kingdom. To see more about this story, please view my visual representation, a Knight in Corporate Training, just below this presentation.

As I see it now, my academic journey through the realm of HOBY seems very similar to how a knight was trained or battle to defend his country during war. For now, though, I want to bring you back to where it all began. It was January 2016, and I was starting to chart my course for the next chapter of my career. I really did not know where to go, but I found out that a master’s degree might be the best way to go towards improving my job aspects. The program at Lamar University look very interesting. I had long ties to HOBY, a respected non-profit organization that seeks to create the leaders of tomorrow by changing minds for the better. During EDLD 5302 and 5303, I got the chance to decide what direction I wanted to direct my research in and in what area I wanted to study. In this case, I made the decision to study a problem that has long plagued HOBY, volunteer retention. In particular, they had launched the Active Collab software program and no one really knew where or when it should be used. I set out to change all that. In these first two courses, I got the chance to develop an e-Portfolio that would become my ability to showcase my plan to officials in the HOBY organization. I sketched out particular interests I have, inspiration that others can see, and my learning manifesto that highlights my views on our current education system. In EDLD 5305, I began to get a taste of the comprehensive plan that I would develop. We had to draft an innovation plan that highlights where I could cause disruption in the HOBY organization. They most important fact I learned is that a little “disruption” can cause the greatest change.

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In EDLD 5313, we took our plans a step further to decide how we could go about creating a significant learning environment for them. In my case, I learned that “constructivism” was my learning style and that a three-column table and an Understanding by Design template are the best ways to identify what curricula should be use when teaching. In this class, I found out what a lesson plan truly is. I now knew what my teachers in high school were doing when they designed their lessons for us to know. In EDLD 5304, we got a change to learning about changing people. In the case of HOBY, we now have to begin with “why” to cultivate a growth mindset in our volunteers, use the influencer strategies, identify the influences to change our volunteers, and use the four disciplines of execution to make sure our plans are accomplished. The main point I will remember going forward is that the “head won’t go where the heart has not been.” From here, we went on to EDLD 5388 and EDLD 5314. I felt that these courses are the meat and potatoes of where our plans would go. I got a chance to draft a professional learning plan to decide how I would begin to teach the outer portion of my innovation plan. In this case, I decided that my professional learning sequence would take place over a year and that another chapter needed to be added onto my existing innovation plan.

Another significant course that I enjoyed was EDLD 5315, where we got to design an action research plan so that we could have accurate figures for our comprehensive plan. I felt that HOBY needed a plan by which we could collect surveys and information, and then present that to HOBY’s national board as a means of getting the message of change across. There are four stages: planning, acting, developing, and reflecting, and I felt that statistical analyses could be our best bet to perform this research. With this in mind, we go into EDLD 5318, where we developed an online course. I felt that this curse was the first time I got to mold the framework for which I would teach my course at HOBY. We had to design assignments, grading rubrics, assessments, activities, and with HOBY in mind, I saw the next level of the house being built. The major point that I learned in this course is that a lesson plan and curriculum have to be very clear for the learner to follow. I thought this course was extremely fun!

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The final three courses were EDLD 5316, 5317, and 5320. In EDLD 5316, I got the chance to learn about “digital citizenship” as it pertains to our organizations. Through the lenses of cyberbullying, copyright, and our role as digital citizens, I found out that we are really citizens of two countries: the country where we are born and the online community. This is something for all of us to remember as we become more inter-connected in our daily lives. In 5317, I got the opportunity to draft my capstone paper that will form the backbone of my work done in this program. I decided to focus on how user-based experience design can be used to improve corporate training. My hope is that this paper gets added to and goes into publication in the future.

The final course, EDLD 5320, brings me to where I am now. As I put together these plans, I remember one very important lesson that Lamar University has taught me. It is that “people are assets, not liabilities.” In today’s corporate world, people are trained, but often it is not effective. Hard-working people are am important asset that makes things better, not worse. This is the underlying lesson I want to remember going forward into my career. I believe that this can be my crusade as a knight in corporate training. I started out with a plan for HOBY, but now I can bring this to a much broader audience to change the boundaries of corporate training. So, now, as I go forward, I want to thank you for making this journey with me. I want to give a very big thank you to all my professors, family, friends, and classmates that supported me the entire time. But, before you leave, please take a look at my journey from squire to knight by viewing the visual presentation below. Click the link below to see it.

As I go forward, I know that I am well prepared for whatever may come my way. This is not a goodbye, but rather, a “see you real soon!” This is not the final blog post I will write, and I hope to add more in the future. As I go forward, I will now begin my career as a knight on a crusade to change the boundaries of corporate training. I am glad to have chosen Lamar for my masters’ degree, and I am very glad you came along for the ride. This concludes my synthesis of digital learning and leading. Godspeed and Geaux Cardinals!

** Click the link below to see my video.

https://spark.adobe.com/video/nEsqAl7jwKzzC