Even though I have narrowed down the plan for the essay, it still has possibilities of iteration; as will the mindmap that I am working on.
Whitman Academy

As I set out to study the change through digital technologies in the Whitman Arena, I am pleased to get some focus from Wayne’s blog post on the three dimensional aspects in play; the predictions that models of change provide , the aim or reason for the change and the diffusion of the technological change intended

Abstract: My premise behind the essay is to view the perceived technological changes in the Whitman Arena, by building a purposeful social network, against the back drop of the theories and assumptions of change. The constrains of space are driving the change towards acquiring a new facility; the mode of communications that will be adopted by the wider school community(Social Media), will utilise the existing personal networks and grow them systematically by using the information and skills acquired through the recommendations of the research, on applying Social Media in fundraising for schools.

The Ecology of Whitman: The diffusion of these changes will be tracked throughout the ecology of the Whitman arena and evaluated for the short and long term impact that it will have. It will be interesting to note the reactions and adaptations that begin to take place as the network  grows. It will also be worthwhile to note the financial implications of the introduction of the innovative technology. The most fascinating area to watch will be the classroom and perhaps, like Davis (2012) mentioned that it might just be that the change is driven by the children themselves and moves from the inside out. The aim is to use project based fund-raising efforts in the classrooms and map the links to the networks they create using social media.

Methodology: Tracking and mapping the networks within each class  ( for the scope of this study 1 will use one classroom and work alongside the teacher to identify the networks that each child establishes). As a wider study I will be mapping and identifying the networks through the various levels of the ecological arena and focus on the individual teacher, the educational technology department, the director, the board and the links that they have with parents, the link with partners and finally the wider international links with other organisations.

The final research paper will reflect the change taking placed via vlogging, Facebook groups, class blogs, surveys and feedback from key identified people from within the ecology.

The queries/issues I will be addressing along the way, will be centred on the model/s that I apply for the envisaged change ( I am vacillating between a few at the moment). I am looking forward to using some key steps mentioned by Rogers (2003) on focusing on the innovation and trialling and observing it in the classroom area and the impact it has on the other arenas. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model and a few readings by Fullan are in the process of being reviewed at the moment.

My conjecture is that since there is a perceived need to upgrade the facility, there will be a personal aspect to the ‘communications campaign’ and the shared community goal will be a driving factor. However, as this is an innovative method to build the networks, their will perhaps be misgivings and concerns about using social media at the different levels of the ecological arena. Some of my probings into organisations in similar situations has revealed that it is using social media is a waste of time and effort and doesn’t generate much income. I believe, for the current study, the financial aspect might take a back burner and the primary aim, to build and establish networks will come into the fore (although at a project level I will be focusing on the finances). Eventually, their will be definite  financial spin-offs;  research is beginning to show that as much as 28% is usually raised directly through Facebook links.

Personally, I have used  the classroom arena to reflect the realties of the world we live in and make the learning environments  as authentic as possible. However, I am in a different arena now, and the change that is being incorporated is more multifaceted. I hope my learning through the course will help me to fine tune my thinking process and use the research to move in and out of the arena, with relative ease , inspite of its many complex factors. I think the key learning for me will also be that change takes time and the journey and not a blueprint and must be enjoyed along the way; very aptly put by Fullan.