Quick Updates - March 2017

At the beginning of this month, I was elected to serve as president of the Culture, Learning and Technology Division of AECT. I have served as VP of Communications for the past few years and am grateful for this new opportunity.  Also, I am happy to be part of the following edited volumes released this year:

I have four more publications in progress and look forward to sharing more about them later this year.


Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA)

A colleague ( C. R. Wright ) recently shared with me the recently published report on the Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership, by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Below are the key leadership qualities identified in the publication:

  1. Advocacy and Leadership within the University: Those charged with leading an enterprise must build internal alliances, and reflect the larger goals, values, and strategies of their institutions.
  2. Entrepreneurial Initiative: Recognizing that online education is inevitably about innovation, experimentation, risk, and imagination, emerging leaders must have the skills and creativity to facilitate responsible change.
  3. Faculty Support: Leaders must envelop their faculty with the tools they need to create education equal to, if not exceeding, that of the traditional classroom.
  4. Student Support: Recognizing that online students demand a learning experience at least comparable to that on-campus, leaders must be ongoing advocates for students earning their degrees remotely from their institutions.
  5. Digital Technology: Leaders must provide an environment that is current, dependable, and rich in the creative use of tools to enhance learning, interaction, and program integrity.
  6. External Advocacy and Leadership beyond the University: Since online enterprises must represent their institutions to an often skeptical public, leaders must be an authoritative voice to regulators, accreditors, alumni, members of the business community, and many others.
  7. Professionalism: Recognizing that emerging entities need policies and practices that demonstrate the integrity of a profession still establishing itself, those leading the growth of online learning must exemplify the highest ideals and contribute to a growing professional community on a national scale.

While all of these ideas are paramount, I have been spending quite a bit of time examining the idea of what the term "Entrepreneurial Initiatives" means not only for institution of higher learning , but the student. While the report focuses in on the online class as part of the brand of a university (the concepts and ideas of which are worthy of its own blog post), considering how authentic assessments can be used by students in a similar type of branding can be valuable in certain educative contexts. I work with educators and help them think through not only how their work in the online environment can be applied in the real world, but how how representations of their work can be used to create their personal brand beyond web portfolios. I am interested in how other disciplines view this idea, as well as more perspectives of what it looks like in the K-12 setting. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.


I have been fortunate to work with this program for the past two years as an instructor and contributor to the curriculum. I have learned so much from the teachers and look forward to see their projects continue to grow, as well as share the ideas with more educators.

The MSU-WIPRO STEM & Leadership Teaching Fellowship program is the culmination of the partnership between global tech giant Wipro, Chicago Public Schools and Michigan State University's College of Education. Fellows participate in an innovative year-long integrated learning experience to build STEM teachers' capacity to lead and inspire innovative practice in urban K-12 schools. This video highlights some of the experiences and takeaways of the 49 members of the second cohort. For more information on this project, please visit http://www.msurbanstem.org/.



Last week I was honored to present at my second SITE conference. This year it was in Savannah, Georgia. SITE is always a wonderful opportunity to share work and to connect with colleagues. I was involved in a symposium with the amazing MSU Urban STEM team.  Our symposium was titled: Reinventing TPACK, STEM Teaching and Leadership in an Urban Context

This symposium discusses the pedagogical make up and impact of the MSU-Wipro UrbanSTEM & Leadership Fellowship program on teacher practices, efficacy, and competence. We will describe our instructional approach, which uses the educative experience (Dewey, 1938) involving real world, hands-on engagement with technological devices, pedagogies, and teachers’ relationships to STEM content. Our fellowship program is driven by TPACK (Technology Pedagogical Content Knowledge) (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) framework. We will discuss curriculum and practices highlighting several teachers from program. Specifically, we will focus on their teaching experiences showcasing how they creatively integrate technology into their pedagogical practices, with an emphasis on creativity and aesthetics. Among the presenters in this symposium are the leaders of the project, members of the instructional and research teams from the university, and participants from Chicago Public schools.

I have included my section below:

It was also great to catchup with several MSU College of Education alumni

AACE SITE 2016 - Savannah, GA

Grant Writing Resources

After writing a couple of small grants successfully, I decided to take a few grant writing courses to learn more about the types of grants available and the resources related to grant writing for a wider variety of contexts. I recently worked with Candace Marcotte and Kyle Shack to develop content for a mini workshop aimed at helping K-12 STEM educators locate funding for classroom tools and projects. The workshop was presented to fellows in the WIPRO MSU Urban STEM program. Below are a few tips and resources we shared with the teachers. Feel free to comment below with feedback on how this list can be expanded: 

  1. Find out the protocol for soliciting funding via your school/district.
  2. Locate Sources: Visit your regional funding library to get a first list of potential foundation, corporate, and government funders.
  3. Network with Potential Partners: 
    1. community members
    2. community groups
    3. service organizations
    4. local businesses
    5. corporations
    6. individuals with resources
    7. VIPs
    8. local politicians
    9. government officials
    10. foundation program directors and program officers
    11. corporate contributions representatives
  4. Language: Read application guidelines carefully, you will learn the language, or buzzwords, that they use to express their mission and programs. The way that you tell a funder that you share the same goals and objectives is to include their key language or buzzwords in your proposal.
  5. Needs Statement: Develop a set of  goals and measurable objectives you wish to achieve with the funding. If you can, construct an elevator pitch that can convey the essence of your needs in 90 seconds or less.
  6. Contact: Make introductory phone calls to verify and clarify the funders' application guidelines (some funders will expect e-mail communications).
  7. What to say:  When speaking with a representative of a funding agency, share:
    1. Your name and your position within the organization.
    2. Your organization's name and mission.
    3. A one-sentence statement about the problem that your organization is working to solve, with one or two relevant statistics.
    4. One or two recent major accomplishments that relate to this problem.
    5. A one-sentence statement about the programs that need support.
    6. At the end of the conversation,  thank you for your time
  8. What to ask:
    1. Is the funder interested in supporting your organization or program?
    2. What programs are they specifically interested in supporting?
    3. Which areas of the proposed program are they most interested in funding?
    4. What is the appropriate amount to request?
    5. What are the next steps to take in requesting support?
  9. Follow Funders Guidelines EXACTLY.
  10. Remember to tell a story when writing the proposed program paragraphs.