PD for EdTech Coaches

In my current coursework for my Digital Education Leadership program we are exploring what additional professional learning we might need to become an effective Educational Technology coach. Using the ISTE Standards for Coaches as a framework, for this module we are looking at these standards (ISTE, 2017):

 

ISTE-C Standard 2: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment

f.Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences

 

ISTE-C Standard 6: Content Knowledge and Professional Growth

b. Engage in continuous learning to deepen professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions in organizational change and leadership, project management, and adult learning to improve professional practice

c. Regularly evaluate and reflect on their professional practice and dispositions to improve and strengthen their ability to effectively model and facilitate technology-enhanced learning experiences

 

During this two year program we have looked at student standards for technology, best practices for teachers of technology, and are now looking at the role of a peer coach in the area of technology.  Through this work, specifically the work this quarter, I am learning the differences between teaching and coaching and the differences between working with students and peers. I have spent 11 of my 14 years as an elementary teacher in the general education classroom.  One of the greatest benefits of being a general education teacher is having a “team”. There are others (both in your school and in your district) that have the same position as you, the same expectations for their job, and the same opportunities to professional development. For three of my years teaching, I held a teaching position that only I had at my school and there were few others (if any) in the district that had the identical position and job description.  For me, the most difficult part of these positions was not having a “team” in my building and not having clear standards, job expectations, and opportunities for professional development. These (standards, expectations, and PD opportunities) were present, but it was most difficult to navigate my position when I didn’t have a clearly-defined and easily accessible team. Being a technology coach puts someone in a similar position I believe. Depending on the size of the district there often are only a couple/few coaches (if that many). When I reflect on the opportunities and potential challenges that come with being a coach, the one thing that I feel that is critical to the position is opportunity for professional development.  A educational technology coach is leading a field that is ever-changing and emerging and it is critical that they are up-to-date on resources and best practices if they are to be an effective coach for their peers. The challenge is that a district might not be able to provide professional development opportunities that would be serve technology coaches. So coaches would need to seek out these resources in a larger community. When researching what options are out there for PD for EdTech coaches, I came across an article, Resources for EdTech Coaches, in Medium.

 

This article listed several different resources that might provide professional learning opportunities and the ability to connect with other EdTech coaches. I liked how the resources provided were varied in both format and accessibility. Below I have listed some of these resources and a brief summary:

 

ISTE Connect EdTech Coaches Network-a place to connect with other Edtech coaches (Medium, 2018)

 

Future Ready Schools (Groups and Events)– “a planning and resources hub for personalized, digital learning” (Medium, 2018)

 

EdTech Podcasts Bam Radio Network, TedTalks Education,  and House of #EdTech– three different places to search for podcast by educators for educators (Medium, 2018)

 

The article also mentioned that a focus on personalized learning for both students and teachers when in a coaching role is important and how seeking how professional development on this style of teaching and learning might be helpful.  It is also mentioned the importance of a technology coach being aware of the process for district digital transformations (Medium, 2018).

 

Professional Development opportunities and the ability to connect with other coaches might not be as accessible and structured as they are for teachers in other roles.  However, being a coach in a field that is constantly evolving and shaping our students’ learning environments, it is key that educational technology coaches seek out resources that will allow them to stay current on digital learning and use online collaboration to connect with other coaches.  There seems to be some great resources out there and I’m sure this list is ever growing and expanding.

 

Resources:

 

Bam Radio Network. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:  https://futureready.org/http://www.bamradionetwork.com/every-classroom-matters/

 

Future Reading Schools. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:  https://futureready.org/

 

ISTE.org. (2017) ISTE Standards for Coaches. (Retrieved on 2018, November 30) from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

 

Iste.org. ISTE Connect. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from: https://connect.iste.org/communities/community-home?communitykey=3144c376-a435-4bad-9080-f25d9d8cb17f&tab=groupdetails

 

Medium.com. Resources for EdTech Coaches.  (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from: https://medium.com/inspired-ideas-prek-12/resources-for-edtech-coaches-e543ef7b1e20

 

Medium.com. The 6 Hallmarks of Personalized Learning.  (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:

https://medium.com/inspired-ideas-prek-12/the-6-hallmarks-of-personalized-learning-1ce4949c7660

 

Bam Radio Network. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:  https://futureready.org/http://www.bamradionetwork.com/every-classroom-matters/

 

Ted Talks Education. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:  https://futureready.org/https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/ted-talks-education

 

The House of #EdTech Podcast. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:  https://futureready.org/https://chrisnesi.com/

 

4 thoughts on “PD for EdTech Coaches

  1. These resources seem valuable. The tweet chats, webinars and book studies that are part of the ISTE Coaches connect have proved to be useful for a number of coaches I have collaborated with.

  2. Susan- thank you for sharing your thoughts! You touched on something really important here that I haven’t heard frequently discussed which is the isolation and lack of resources that can come with a job like coaching that is on the “cutting edge” and that frequently only sees 1-2 positions filled per district. In fact, I’ve never heard of a district having more than one technology coach. Because of this situation, it is so important for coaches to have a list of go-to resources like the one you linked.

    Lauren

  3. Susan,
    Great post! Great minds think alike 😉 I completely agree with you about the accessibility and format for coaches is different from teachers. I do love the variety of resources available for coaches. I love that you connected your experience as both a general education teacher and not a gen ed teacher. I have never thought of the fact that coaches might not have a “team” to work with as general education teachers have. This just shows how important these professional development opportunities are for EdTech Coaches.
    Keep up the great work.

  4. Susan, having been in an institution where I was the only one in my field, I appreciate your comments on the isolation felt by tech coaches. Being able to share anecdotes and ideas, as well as talk openly and honesty about barriers or obstacles in the work is so crucial not only for success but job satisfaction as well. I like the resources that your explore in this article as a way to expand the “team” or “group” to individuals outside of your immediate area. Thank you for sharing!

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