Chris Faulkner's

COMPLETE Opportunity for Change

Opportunity for Change

Being in Educational Technology, I get a wide variety of questions with different levels of difficulty. One question I always seem to get is: How can I create a podcasts and use them in class? Those are actually two different questions, and while related, have very different answers. What they are really asking is: 1) How can I create a podcast easily? and 2) What would I use them for in-class? It is also important to note the order they are asking these questions. They are asking the technology question first, and then the pedagogy question second. In reality, those should be reversed. Faculty need to think through the process of what and why are they creating a podcast and how they intend to use the podcast, before they learn how create a podcast.

My opportunity for change is creating a process for faculty wishing to learn how to create a podcast. At the very least, providing some resources for faculty to contemplate before starting down the road of how to make a podcast.'

I think this has a huge opportunity for how technology centers and faculty relate with new technology. To often faculty are wondering and getting stuck on the "how" when they haven't even contemplated the "why." At the very least, opening that line-of-thinking before you start learning the technology can shape your perspective.

Evaluate Learning Context of Change

What learning will need to take place and by whom?
- Focus primarily on faculty interesting in podcast creation
- Re-design the way faculty think about podcasting
- Talk about podcasting best practices
- Learn about the software and process of creating a podcast and putting it up in a place that their students can access it
- Talk about how to use in the classroom; what has worked for other faculty and what hasn't

- Find the easiest, most efficient software tool that can achieve the desired results

How will you address the learning needs and challenges?
- Provide training classes for faculty that just need to get an overview and continue on their own
- Provide one-on-one training for faculty that need more assistance
- Provide access to our training lab for faculty to be able to use the computers

Resource List for Change

Equipment (for training lab and for use to check out when training not happening):
Blue Microphones - USB microphones that easily connect to any computer: $100 (x10) = $1000

iLife '09 - Garageband for all mac users: $71 (x10) = $710
Screenflow - Mac screen capture: $100 (x10) = $1000
Camtasia Studio - PC screen capture: $199 (x10) = $2000
Audacity - Free audio editing (if they want to try it on their own computer): FREE

Existing equipment will be sufficient.

Back-end Infrastructure (server, file space):
In preparation for this push, the infrastructure has been upgraded and won't need further upgrades.

Me - $0
Other IT staff: $0

Total cost of project: $4710

Timeline and Project Plan for Change

Training Classes (hands-on):
Podcasting 101 (Mac computers, audio only podcasts): Introduction to what podcasting is and some basic ideas on how to use them in the classroom and Garageband training and publishing, also show attendees how students will retrieve the podcasts so they may teach the students

Podcasting 101 (PC computers, audio only podcasts): Introduction to what podcasting is and some basic ideas on how to use them in the classroom and Camtasia training and publishing, also show attenedees how students will retrieve the podcasts so they may teach the students

Advanced Podcasting (Mac computers, video podcasts): Screenflow software training and publishing

Advanced Podcasting (PC computers, video podcasts): Camtasia software training and publishing

June 2009: Order software and equipment
July 2009: Install software and equipment in training lab.

August 2009 - November 2009: Start training on Podcasting 101 (Mac & PC)
August 28, 2009 - Novemeber 2009: Advanced podcasting classes (must have Podcasting 101 class training or instructor approval as a prerequisite.)
September 2009: Video podcasts of training, using the equipment available to faculty, will be released if faculty want to skip training.
One-on-one training sessions will be available when requested.

January 2010 - April 2010: Podcasting 101 training
January 2010 - April 2010: Advanced podcasting classes (must have Podcasting 101 class training or instructor approval as a prerequisite.)
One-on-one training sessions will be available when requested.

Podcast Agent of Change

Here is my podcast. It's really cool.

Manage the Change

Since this is a new process and a change from the old, many different areas of people will be affected.

Trainer training: Potentially get professional training on the software we are going to use, or spend alot of time learning the new software. Since they are the first line of interaction with faculty, the trainers need to be the most knowledgeable.

Teacher Training: Attend training classes or one-on-one training sessions with faculty. Since this initiative is for them, every resource will be available so they will have every opportunity to learn the software and methodologies.

IT support training: classroom training with the trainers, one-on-one training with trainers as well. They need to be as knowledgeable as trainers, if possible. They will be first line of defense.

Publicity: Since we are changing much of what existed, this is giving us an opportunity to re-brand our podcasting. New logos, advertisements, and emails will be needed to create the feeling of "new"ness. I'm trying to erase the memories of "I can't do this." with "This is new. I wonder if I can do this?"

Administration: They will be important because they will dictate how far this project is able to go. Status reports and usage statistics will be needed to indicate how much need there actually is.

Faculty perception: While this ties into publicity, the attitude from the instructor and IT support staff will truly indicate whether this is "really" new. If support staff mis-handles support calls, their attitude could translate into dissatisfaction with the initiative. They are also likely to inform their colleagues of their experience. The same thing if they have a positive experience with support.

Student perception: Since this initiative is being driven by wanting to support new learning for students, ultimately students will make the call on whether this is successful or not. If they find this useful, they will use it. Everything can be in place on the faculty's end, but if it isn't being used, it is all for not. Therefore, ads targeted for students will be done in the student newspaper, digital signs, and hall ways. If students are aware of the benefits, the only reason this initiative won't succeed is because it isn't needed by the students.

Final Reflection

The most important action for me to take is changing the mentality and the processes that currently exist with faculty. Since we are trying to change how people to teach in order to assist more effective learning, I need to be demonstrating those same processes. The technology gap that exists between our faculty and students can be eliminated, but the burden rests upon the faculty to challenge themselves. Podcasting is one of the ways they are trying to do this, but the problem lies when they try and incorporate their old methods with this new style of teaching. That is why I took on this challenge. Their motives are correct, but their methods aren’t.

Additionally, I think it is also important for me, being the lead change agent, I acknowledge the faculty members who are attempting to change and offer them as much support as I can. If they are taking their time to think of new ways to interact with their students, I need to be their and support them, through software support or colleague assistance.

The most pertinent theme to change management that applies in my situation is leading by example. Though I’m just focusing on podcasting, in all the areas I affect I need to make sure that I employ the same methods I’m suggesting faculty take. In any class I teach or in any interaction with new initiatives I’m involved with, the first question I need to answer is whether it is necessary or not. Leading by example has shown to be an effective leadership style, and, in my past experiences, I’ve realized that faculty don’t like to be told to do anything – especially change.

For me personally, growing more into a change agent and leader is essential for what I want to do with my life. I desire to be a leader in the education, either locally or nationally, and that isn’t going to be given to me. Getting started though, I’m starting small. I’m identifying problems that I see and I want to change and offering strategies to solve the problems. I’ve noticed, as I’ve spoken to my boss and others, that if you offer up a logical solution to problems I’ve identified, they are received much better than just offering up problems I’ve identified. I suppose, that makes sense. Not have I just identified a problem, I took time to actually investigate it and offering to fix the issue.