|6b. ngage in continous learning to deepen professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions in organizational change and leadership, project managment,and adult learning to improve professional practice.|
This standard calls for coaches to deepen professional knowledge and skills as well as theories of adult learning. Those are areas which I have always felt very confident about. If it it new, I want to learn about it and I am very comfortable teaching my peers. This year I have had the opportunity to teach university classes at both Seattle Pacific University (SPU) and Western Washington University (WWU). These classes were for pre-service teachers. In some ways it is a little intimidating to think that their experiences with me in digital learning may influence how they instruct with technology when they reach the classroom. It has certainly made me think about putting into practice the things I have learned over the last few years about adult learning. In Leveraging Technology to Change the Professional Development Landscape I looked at the call for changes to professional development in the National Educational Technology Plan (US Dept of Education, 2017) which suggested that we need to “provide pre-service and in-service educators with professional learning experiences powered by technology to increase their digital literacy and enable them to create compelling learning activities that improve learning and teaching, assessment and instructional practices.” Both courses had strong technology components. The Learning with Technology course at SPU was completely online and we met every other week by Google Hangout for those that could make it. The WWU course was a hybrid course. I met weekly with them in person but there were additional online components. In both cases the courses were built with in the Canvas learning management system platform.
The areas that I am still learning about are organizational change and leadership and project management. I have a lot of informal project management experience. I have spearheaded a number of software adoption processes in my district and brought them from a problem we need to solve with a technology tool through to implementation and training. I have been successful but it is an area that I feel like I am speaking a different dialect of a language when I talk to people in my organization that have more formal project management training. I know I am taking the right steps but I have not labeled them with terms like “opportunity costs” and “deliverables” until just recently. It will be an area I will continue to grow into.
When it comes to organizational change, one of my jobs as a coach is to influence the leaders in my building in order to bring about change. I wrote about one of my coaching experiences in Adding Technology Capacity to Buildings Through Coaching. I have had the privilege of working with a wonderful group of leaders in my district to try to change the thinking about technology’s relationship to teaching and learning. They were a pretty amazing group to start with but I will take some credit for creating the community and the climate to make that growth possible. The work that I did with them also has influenced some of the decisions being made in my district about redistributing technology support into the buildings. Unfortunately, that came at the price of removing any district level support or coordination and I can only hope that my leaders will step up and fill the gaps, at least at their buildings, to keep technology integration and innovation moving forward.