The 6 Fundamentals of Technology Coaching
Schools often launch new technology without a plan for supporting and coaching teachers through the process of using the devices and software in their classrooms. Supporting teachers is key to launching and continuing the marriage of educational technology and curriculum. It also helps them raise student achievement.
1. Form Connections with Teachers to Learn About Tech
The foundation of a great coaching cycle starts by forming professional relationships and connections with teachers. Specialists should reach out to teachers who may not always make the first move to integrate. Learning where teachers feel confident or vulnerable is a key piece to the coach-teacher paradigm.
2. Have a Planning Meeting to Discuss IT Integration
Once a teacher requests coaching (or is assigned a coach, depending on the situation), the first meeting in the coaching cycle should start with you and the teacher discussing how you can marry technology to the content and standards he or she is teaching. Before you start downloading exciting apps or talking about the hottest new technology, it’s important that teachers really think about whether bringing that tool into the classroom will enhance or transform the learning.
3. Test Tech Tools in the Classroom
The second step in the coaching cycle is to take the plan and put it into action. Typically, at this stage, the coach will model the lesson live with students to support the teacher and allow him or her to observe the strategies in practice. This takes quite a bit of finesse, because although you are more experienced with the tech tools, the classroom teacher is the curriculum expert. This is where the marriage of curriculum and technology truly shines.
4. Reflect on Lessons Learned from the IT Demo
Following the first integrated lesson, take some time to process how it went, either together, alone or both. Keep notes of what tools were used and how they were implemented to help with reflection and to serve as a reference for the teacher.
5. Work with Teachers to Implement New Solutions
You will feel excited, empowered and proud at this stage because you’ve given a teacher a new set of tools to truly transform his or her teaching. Following the teacher-led lesson, meet to discuss how it went and go over your previous notes. Answer any questions the teacher may have. Reflect together on what went well and what could change for the better.
6. Remember to Check in with Teachers and Students
Speaking of going back, remember to stop back in the classroom to see how things are progressing. Ask the students how they like the new tools.
The formation for this post was taken from an article by Matthew X. Joseph and Erin Fisher in EdTech Focus On K-12, follow this link for the complete article and more details.