Friday, February 12, 2016

Tech coaching for professional learning

This is my fourth blog post where I'm reflecting on our tech integration programme along with the ISTE Standards for Coaches.  This post is going to focus on Standard 4:  Professional Development and Program Evaluation.  At ASB our tech coaches are involved in goal setting, planning conversations, reflecting conversations and helping with the collection of evidence of student learning.  They also run professional learning sessions such as PlayDates and facilitate during some of the weekly staff meetings.  In the book Effective Digital Learning Environments, Jo Williamson writes:
Technology coaches are specialized professional development experts.  Their core mission is to help other educators maximize the use of technology in schools.  To pursue this mission, technology coaches need an advanced understanding of how teachers acquire new knowledge and skills.  They also need to know which types of professional learning activities are most likely to help teachers improve their classroom practices. Technology coaches use their expertise to design, develop and deliver high-quality professional development programs that help their colleagues learn about and learn with technology.
We all know that the best professional learning is on-going and job-embedded.  It is not a one-time workshop or dropping in to trouble-shoot a problem.  Tech coaches are used to teaching children - and they need to understand that adults are already expert learners and want their experiences to be valued.  The best way to work with adults is to ensure they are self-directed and constructing their own knowledge - and actually that's the best way to teach children too!

Photo Credit: Waag Society via Compfight cc

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