MyNotes: The Effects of Technology Integration Coaching
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Source: Making Disciples: The Effects of Technology Integration Coaching by Houston Baptist University researchers: Dawn Wilson, Linda Brupbacher, Cynthia Simpson, Rachel Merren, & Ranelle Woolrich.
- The coaches spent an average of 15 hours per teacher brainstorming, teaching, and facilitating technology integration.
- Information obtained from a variety of data sources (interviews, a post-coaching questionnaire, a focus group, and analyses of journals kept by both coaches and coached teachers) revealed the positive effects of their collegial coaching and suggested ideas for optimizing coaching for technology integration.
- the knowledge and skills of technology coaches multiplied to many.
- patient, determined, confident, and tenacious...These same qualities are essential for technology coaches to possess. In addition to being patient, determined, confident, and tenacious, technology coaches need to have themselves utilized technology in content instruction.
- an effective model that can be simulated in mentoring and teaching others: a model that involves relationship, modeling, explanation, support, and empowerment to go and do likewise.
- the integration of technology can help teachers meet different learning needs, styles, and strengths of students, which may impact the outcome of a student’s success in society.
- Technology use may also help students develop important 21st century skills (i.e. creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking) that they will need in order to compete in future schooling and in life (“Partnership for 21st Century Skills,” 2003).
- The integration of educational technology into the curriculum can help improve student achievement, particularly when the technology is utilized in student-centered ways (Perez-Prado & Thirunarayanan, 2002; Smith, Ferguson, & Caris, 2001)
- Today’s students are what Prensky (2001) termed “digital natives”: 87% of teens engage in online activities (Lenhart, Madden, & Hitlin, 2005), 81% of teens use computers to play games, and 84% use computers to surf websites about movies, TV shows, music, and sports. Thus, instructional use of technology including multimedia seems particularly appropriate and important for them.
- Seat time in technology professional development sessions usually aren’t enough for most digital native teachers (Autry, 2009), but when teachers are paired and asked to focus their activities on tasks directly related to workshop or training content, the coaching approach promotes skill transfer and application (Joyce & Showers, 1980).
- Pam Robbins (1991), in her book titled How to Plan and Implement a Peer Coaching Program, defined peer coaching as “a confidential process through which two or more professional colleagues work together to reflect on current practices; expand, refine, and build new skills; share ideas; teach one another; conduct classroom research; or solve problems in the workplace” (p. 1).
- Using a peer coaching model, teaching professionals can be empowered to explore and perfect technology integration through constant and consistent teaching, modeling, encouraging, and supporting contact with an individual trained to facilitate change in teaching practices: a technology-integration coach.
- The coaching needs to include collaborative task development, as well as joint refinement and sharing of the teaching and learning process—with a focus on collaboration rather than evaluation (Knight, 2009).
- Teachers who are content and pedagogy experts may lack the technological knowledge required for planning and carrying out educational plans that entail educational applications of technology (Koehler & Mishra, 2008).
- Wong and Wong (2008) claimed that the benefits of coaching over professional development include the emphasis of context, relevance, and the fact that the coaching is an ongoing process. This model offers day to support, as needed, scaffolding the support on a “just in time” model.
- while most of the teachers used the computers and the internet for lesson preparation, less than 25 percent of them actually integrated technology into their curriculums and instruction.
- The program was set up to occur over a ten-week period during which the coaches communicated with teachers after school and at lunch, as well as via email or telephone, in order to incorporate new learner-centered instructional techniques.
- In addition to the face-to-face meetings, the educators also established an online community of practice using content management software called Moodle, which gave teachers the opportunity to post questions to a discussion board, reflect on observations and experiences, and then form new opinions about pedagogy. Teachers shared what worked and asked each other how to improve (Small, 2008)
- The very nature of peer coaching takes the implementation well beyond a mere skill; it addresses how technology can be used to support learning initiatives (International Society of Technology Education, 2011).
- the coaching typically occurs during school hours, not necessitating travel on weekends or missed school days in order to attend a professional development conference.
- The training is on site, in the teacher’s own classroom, during regular working hours.
- They stated that with traditional professional development, they heard about and even practiced new skills. However, when they returned to their classrooms, they often had difficulty actually implementing what they had learned, often with no one to help them as they encountered problems. The teachers all reported that this type of one-on-one and on-demand professional experience provided them with the necessary scaffolding they needed to feel more confident in their own abilities with respect to technology integration.
- analysis of the journals kept by participants (both coaches and coached), the individual interviews with the teachers, and the focus group of participants revealed insights which might be used by other schools to increase effective technology integration through peer coaching. These insights suggest implications centered around five topics: characteristics of good coaches, stages in the coaching process, background and support for coaches, changes in beliefs about teaching and learning, and ripple effects.
- teachers clearly and consistently articulated three sets of skills that they believed made their coaches effective: technology skills, pedagogy skills, and relational skills.
- Three distinct but connected stages seemed to characterize each of the coaching experiences involved in this study: (1) Establishment of a positive relationship; (2) Collaboration on setting goals, then exploring and implementing options; and (3) Encouragement of independence and confidence so that the teachers could independently use and then share their newly developed technology skills with others.
- Needed Background and Support for Coaches: The coaches suggested that the course activities preceding the coaching, the structure and pacing provided for the coaching, and the scaffolded support during their coaching made major differences in their coaching success. These activities included assignments that involved learning new Web 2.0 tools and then teaching them to the class, brainstorming ideas for adding technology “poppers” (10 minutes or less technology integration pieces) on a class wiki, and taking a Meyer’s Briggs and Strengths Quest test. They had to analyze their own personality traits and determine how it might affect their work with others. Each week, during the coaching process, the coaches came together to meet, discuss their success and failures, and solicit ideas for integration from their colleagues.
- The technology integration required that teachers learn new pedagogical skills as well as new technology skills. The models provided by the coaches in their own classrooms helped with this process. One teacher wrote, “It was helpful for me to see how the coach used technology in her own classroom, then it gave me ideas on how I could use it.”
- As the coached teachers began to plan for more student-created projects instead of teacher-centered lessons, they reported that student engagement and motivation increased.
- his study clearly indicated the benefits of collegial coaching of technology integration: improved instructional effectiveness through increased student-centered uses of technology as well as newly empowered teachers with heightened confidence and improved technology expertise that in turn influence their colleagues to integrate technology into instruction. The participants consistently expressed a preference for this type of professional development rather than professional development in traditional “sit and get” formats.
- This research further suggested considerations that can strengthen a collegial coaching process. For optimal effectiveness, coaches need pedagogy, technology, and relational skills as well as support in exploring new pedagogies and technologies and in navigating the interpersonal issues and time constraints involved.
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