Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tech coaching and professional growth

As we are now just a couple of weeks from the end of the school year, I'm meeting with teachers and our tech integration coaches to discuss their professional learning and growth this year.   The Standard 6 of the ISTE Standards for Coaches is a little different from the rest of the ISTE-Cs, as the focus is on the professional needs of the technology integration coaches.  The model we have chosen to use for tech coaching at ASB is cognitive coaching and so our end of year reflecting meetings go as follows:

We start off with asking our coaches "How did it go?"  Often at this point we ask the coaches to look at the data we have collected over the year through our Tech Audit, which has now been visualized. Over the 4 years of the Tech Audit we have seen a decrease in using technology for lower order thinking, and an increase in using it for higher order thinking, in particular we are seeing lots of applying and creating.  We then ask our coaches to analyze the factors that they think contributed to the patterns we are noticing.  For example we might ask "How might you account for this?" or "How did you make decisions about ...." or "What were some of the things you did to make it go so well?" or "What were some of the options you considered?"   It's good to unpack these ideas so that our coaches can construct new learning and take something away from the experience that they can use in the future.

It's really important for us that our coaches can attend to their own learning as well as supporting the learning of others.  We have given all the coaches an enhanced PD budget which has allowed them to take coaching workshops, and we have brought trainers to ASB to run seminars for us at school. Several of the coaches used their enhanced PD to attend the ISTE Conference last summer, to help them to keep current with technology trends.

Hopefully our end of year reflecting conversation with the tech coaches will help them to evaluate and reflect on their professional practice and their ability to effectively model and facilitate technology-enhanced learning experiences.  I'm really looking forward to having these conversations with our tech coaches over the next couple of weeks before the end of school.

Photo Credit: AJC via Compfight cc

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