COVA Reflection & Application

The Dream Team Podcast

For further information on the Innovation Plans of my teammates, please consult their websites below:

Bianca Charles 
Wayne Wilson 
Von Miller 
Lindsey Wallace 

“My Learners Journey Thus Far…”

Until the latter portion of my second term in the ADL program, I didn’t understand I had a choice, ownership, and voice-over authentic assignments. I didn’t have any large exams, multiple-choice assessments, or regular classroom assignments because this concept was so unfamiliar to me. If that’s the case, it was unusual. I was completely unprepared for the freedom and responsibility that came with taking ownership of my education. I had no idea that I would be planning an innovative project to the extent that I have. It really is impossible to be prepared for anything like this. However, over time, I adapted and learned, and as I began to take more responsibility for my work and my understanding of it, I grew to grasp exactly what the freedom and responsibility that I had assumed met. I had to modify my thinking in order to adapt to this new way of learning. Reading the mindset book was also beneficial in this aspect. It taught me how to be more receptive to what was happening on around me. My learning was unique, yet it was built on notions that were already in place when I began. In that frame of mind, I was able to stay focused on my overarching goal, or “my WHY,” as we call it.

Would I do anything differently if I had the chance? Certainly not! Learning about COVA and CSLE, I believe, was an important step in our development as teacher-learners. Because I wasn’t used to this nature of work, it was difficult for me to take control of my own voice at first. Creating a website based on ideas I had but never put into action. One of the most significant days in which I seized control of my voice and focus was the day I chose to thoroughly revamp and modernize my website, regardless of time or other considerations. Investing that time and effort into developing and creating a presentable website was one of the most rewarding aspects of this program.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” This statement was coined by Barack Obama during his presidency of the United States, and it has stuck with me ever since. If we want to change, we must be willing to do so. Changing an organization, on the other hand, comes with its own set of challenges. Simply because some people are unable to embrace change, and more especially, the repercussions that it entails. We all have some sort of fear. Which one do you think you’d prefer to be terrified of? Fear of stagnation or fear of change? 

My Innovation plan began as a continuation of the Apple initiative I started during the 2020-2021 school year. Since then, it has evolved into an idea that I feel can have a significant impact on students of all beliefs and ideas. I feel that by using project-based learning, computer science students will have more opportunities to study and grow throughout their high school careers.

COVA and CSLE are approaches to learning that I agree with. I want my learners to have an authentic voice as well as the opportunity to learn in a significant environment. When I think back on my students, I realize that I didn’t embody this or many of the learning philosophies for that matter. My students deserve and require far more than what I have previously contributed. My learning perspective, as well as the way I learned, has drastically changed. As a teacher, I am a product of a system that has taught me how to “stand and teach” and then “regurgitate information” teaching methodologies. I understand during the program that this is not the type of teacher or lifelong learner I want to be.

The COVA Approach to Education

Applying the COVA (Choice, Ownership, Voice, and Authentic Learning Opportunities) Approach to CSLE (Creating Significant Learning Environments

Students will have authentic voice in the projects if the COVA approach is implemented through the medium of project-based learning. Creating a significant learning environment through a collaborative approach to learning and project development will result in a self-motivating and inspiring classroom. Or, to be more precise, this is my implementation goal/theory that I will be working towards. The overarching goal is to provide a positive learning environment for my kids. Starting with their learning environment will lead me to a successful implementation of the rest of my plan.

By designing a mobile application to tackle concerns they observe in the world, my students will have choice, ownership, and voice through authentic learning projects. The application can be used to solve anything from a challenge at school to the global challenges. Some of my students will take an entrepreneurial approach and create an app to aid them in achieving their business objectives. Learners will be able to take charge of their learning by managing a succession of micro-projects that will eventually lead to the development of their mobile application using PBL. Using Apple’s development suite, they will be in charge of when and how they learn.

To summarise, my goal is to continue working on my innovation strategy in order to prepare my learners and colleagues for the COVA method and CSLE. Almost all of the documentation, core curriculum standards, Manuels, and instructional materials have been completed. I want my colleagues to view the plan as a whole when I offer it to them. It’s not simply a few bits and pieces that make up marketing. I want them to know what I’ll do, how I’ll do it, when I’ll do it, and most importantly, why I’ll do it. Opposition to this alternative idea will be one of the problems I expect to face. Because some people are not ready for change, implementation may be difficult. They don’t want to be the ones who bear the brunt of the risk. In actuality, the only risk is not taking a chance. If our goal is to have a positive impact on students, then we should all be willing to take chances for the betterment of our students.

I believe I’m still learning how to adopt a learner’s mindset because of the way I learned as a youth. I still consider myself to be a student of learning. We are by-products of the same educational methodology. As a result, this mindset had deeply embedded roots in my identity. My learner’s mindset wants to welcome challenges with open arms, yet there will be times when I simply want the answer. Adopting a learner’s mindset has been tough for me in the past. I wasn’t used to my ideological beliefs about how I educate being challenged. I needed to be open to change and development. I’ve learned to accept new ways of thinking and learning approaches in this way. My ambition has always been to improve as a teacher. Rather than teaching me how to be a better educator, the ADL program has taught me how to be a better learner. And I believe that this is where the true worth of the ADL masters program can be found.


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