A hallmark of the learner educator is constantly striving to find ways to become a leader in our field. Leadership improvement comes from diversity, networking, empowerment, and training.
As learner educators, we can lead by example by offering varied opportunities to expand our cultural knowledge. As online students, we are fortunate to share our courses with fellow students worldwide. Those fellow students introduced us to current ideas and helped us understand different learner populations. As we learned in the systematic change course, we need to find ways to help provide content appropriate for multiple student backgrounds, or we will not be a success.
Our networking opportunities are not only limited to the LMS platform. We must seek opportunities to continue leading in face-to-face positions at an individual school or national level. We must seek mentors, serve as mentors, and find ways to connect.
With connection comes empowerment. As we have learned in several courses, we must create instructional designs that foster success. By providing leveled strategies, we can ensure our course population will be able to find success. Empowerment also includes allowing students input and choices. Be it the choice of paper topics or loosely drafted design parameters, our students can own the process and therefore be more invested in the outcome.
These leadership opportunities are impossible without training and the drive for constant improvement. Training is key to our success. We are uniquely positioned to help advocate for the best technology choices for our peers and students. Our ongoing study as MET students has enabled us to help make appropriate choices. But those choices are moot if we don’t understand how to implement them for the good of all. We also need to know how to best lead and work with our peers as learner educators. The change theory course presented a diffusion simulation game that offered additional training. The game’s objective was to understand how “buy-in” is created and how we can best use the psychology of adoption to further the best choices to meet our goals. It was enlightening and addicting.