|1c. Advocate for policies, procedures, programs, and funding strategies to support implementation of the shared vision represented in the school and district technology plans and guidelines.|
As coaches it is important that we are constantly considering ways to advocate for technology in the schools and classrooms we serve. There are a lot of competing initiatives and priorities in a district and it is easy for technology to be perceived as a “nice to have” rather than a vital part of instruction and learning. In my experience, some see the technology itself (hardware, infrastructure and software) as separate from the professional development needed to make the technology a purposeful and powerful addition to teachers learning toolbox of strategies. The new challenge for coaches will be in moving teachers from using technology passively to actively.
I found some interesting research for my blog post, What Does It Mean to Advocate for Technology?, that made me also think about the quality of time we spend with technology. There are only so many hours in a school day and teachers make daily decisions about how to spend that time. As coaches we can help them find ways to make the time they spend with technology valuable time that enhances student engagement and student learning.
We will be able to help teachers make those connections through solid coaching relationships and modeling. My Peer Coaching project, unimaginatively called Reflection on Peer Coaching in my blog post, is about a group of three teachers I have been working with for three years. They were in the first year of my Future Ready Teacher Cohort and have now taken on the role of facilitators for the combined Year 1 and 2 group that we turned into a user’s group. It has been very interesting to coach coaches. I have found that I have to make my thinking about planning and implementing professional development much more transparent and I have had to step back and listen much more than I am used to. It has been rewarding to see them see them take leadership roles with their peers and I am counting on them to continue that work in the coming year.
If I was able to continue in my role next year, one of the things I wanted to focus on was expanding our online community so that we could include more interested teachers in the Future Ready Teacher Cohort community. I did some thinking about Building Community Online in a blog post but I would add to that a more deliberate attempt to create a culture of learning. I would like to create some challenges for teachers that combine micro credentialing with expectations for collaboration and participation in professional learning networks within the district (PLNs: Throwing a Stone in the Water). I think teachers will participate as long as the challenges are relevant, hands on, can be used right away with their students and help them reach other goals such as evidence for TPEP or teaching grade level standards.