6. Content Knowledge & Professional Growth

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6. Technology coaches demonstrate professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions in content, pedagogical, and technological areas as well as adult learning and leadership and are continuously deepening their knowledge and expertise.
6a. Engage in continual learning to deepen content and pedagogical knowledge in technology integration and current and emerging technologies necessary to effectively implement the Standards•S and Standards•T6b. Engage in continous learning to deepen professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions in organizational change and leadership, project managment,and adult learning to improve professional practice.6c. 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.

Being a technology coach is not that much different than being a classroom teacher in that we are always pushing ourselves to be at least one step ahead of our “students”. The nice part about being a coach is that we often have the luxury of time to be able to read the research, explore new tools and dig deeper into the pedagogical strategies that can make technology integration more effective. I have had a number of teachers tell me lately that part of what I do for them as a coach and a Digital Learning Specialist is to constantly be exposing them to new things. They may not be ready to use them right away or see where the tool might fit yet but they know what the possibilities are and they feel more likely to try those things down the road when the need is there.

I love to learn, which is part of the reason I chose to participate in the Digital Education Leadership (DEL) program. I am not sure any coach with a role related to Educational Technology can be the kind of person who does not enjoy the challenge of learning new things, looking for innovative strategies to engage students and trying out new shiny toys! There is something new virtually every day. I could not find any formal studies on this, but I would venture to guess that the majority of tech coaches working in districts or schools would place themselves on the innovator or early adopter end of Rogers Adoption/Innovation Curve (Rogers, 1963). I am not sure they would last long in that position if they did not react with some enthusiasm when a new technology or update to software comes along.

Rogers Innovation Curve
Image credit http://www.jacobcurtis.com/rogers-adoption-curve/

Another way coaches can keep current is to participate in conferences, EdCamps, summits and training both as learners and presenters. Everyone has their own focus or expertise and, in spite of the fairly wide range of things I know about technology, there is always someone with a passion for something I have never seen or heard about. I want to start sharing my own passions and interests outside my smaller district circle so I have been pushing myself to try and present at conferences and I want to continue this blog as a place to share other things I learn about.

Click on the links above to see evidence of my learning about the specific sub standards related to this standard.

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References

Rogers, E. (1995). Diffusion of innovations (4th ed.). New York: Free Press.