2. Teaching, Learning & Assessments

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2. Technology Coaches assist teachers in using technology effectively for assessing student learning, differentiating instruction, and providing rigorous, relevant, and engaging learning experiences for all students.
2a. Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences addressing content standards and student technology standards2b. Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using a variety of research- based, learner-centered instructional strategies and assessment tools to address the diverse needs and interests of all students2c. Coach teachers in and model engagement of students in local and global interdisciplinary units in which technology helps students assume professional roles, research real-world problems, collaborate with others, and produce products that are meaningful and useful to a wide audience2d. Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences emphasizing creativity, higher-order thinking skills and processes, and mental habits of mind (e.g., critical thinking, metacognition, and self-regulation)
2e. Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using differentiation, including adjusting content, process, product, and learning environment based upon student readiness levels, learning styles, interests, and personal goals2f. Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences2g. Coach teachers in and model effective use of technology tools and resources to continuously assess student learning and technology literacy by applying a rich variety of formative and summative assessments aligned with content and student technology standards2h. Coach teachers in and model effective use of technology tools and resources to systematically collect and analyze student achievement data, interpret results, and communicate findings to improve instructional practice and maximize student learning

Standard 2 is really the heart of a technology coach’s job. Providing staff with the tools, resources, training and support to integrate technology into high quality instruction and helping to create engaging learning experiences for students are tangible outcomes that coaches can achieve and measure. It also allows us the opportunity to teach others, which is what gets most of us out of bed in the morning!

Coaches are in the enviable position of having more time to read, research and plan than the average classroom teacher. It allows us to step back and view a lesson or a classroom with a fresh perspective and with the bigger picture goals of the district or department in mind. Yet at the same time, we have been teachers in a classroom and can understand the time, resource and skill restraints teachers are facing. It allows us to model best practices in ways teachers can relate to without the fear of being “evaluated” like they might with an administrator.  We can also communicate back to administrators the messages we are hearing from staff and students about changes or needs and advocate for tools, resources and time needed to make technology integration successful in the classroom.

I believe this standard is one of the biggest leverage points we have as coaches to be change agents in education. In looking at some research on change agents, I came across a study of Information Technology projects in the business world which suggests that failures are often caused by “lack of attention to social factors” and noted that “the cultural problems [in an organization] are much bigger than the technical ones (Gyampoh-Widogah and Moreton, 2006). I think this is equally as true for implementation of anything new in education, including technology. We have to pay attention to the human and cultural elements of our staff in order to approach change in a way that will honor the knowledge and expertise that is present while at the same time moving people forward.

I liked this reminder of one of the challenging parts of being a change agent. “Change agents bring new thinking, mindsets, expertise, and experience in digital to their organizations. They’re also catalysts to driving the bold initiatives that eventually fuel their success. Their path is not straightforward, however. Their passion and determination can challenge, panic or upset those who don’t see the need to challenge the status quo. (Solis, 2018)” In business or education we will have those that actively challenge the need to change. Only good relationships with those people will eventually bring them around and we often need to focus on those that are ready for change first. Teaching the “technologically willing” first builds both human capacity for leading and training around the initiative and it creates a pocket of influential teachers who can model and advocate for the change from within. With support, they will eventually start to influence others until the culture shifts and those that have not changed feel the pressure to catch up or move on.

Click on the links above to view my evidence of learning around Standard 2.

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References

Gyampoh-Vidogah R., Moreton R. (2006) The Role of Change Agents in Technology Adoption Process. In: Nilsson A.G., Gustas R., Wojtkowski W., Wojtkowski W.G., Wrycza S., Zupančič J. (eds) Advances in Information Systems Development. Springer, Boston, MA.

Solis, B. (2018). Change agents: The unsung heroes of digital transformation. Retrieved from https://www.clickz.com/digital-transformation-change-agents/207071/

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