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- A recent study commissioned by the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership states that teachers who use technology frequently to support learning in their classrooms report greater benefits to student learning, engagement, and skills from technology than teachers who spend less time using technology to support learning, especially in the area of 21st century learning (Grunwald Associates, 2010).
- The report also stated that, despite this powerful finding, just 34% of the 1000 teachers surveyed use technology 10% of class time or less.
- Just giving a teacher a technology tool and expecting him or her to maximize its learning potential is a strategy destined for failure.
- The most effective PD was:
- Delivered through a coaching model, and
- Enhanced by the power of community and social learning
- A recent survey of professional development trends reported that the average teacher within the United States received 25.4 hours of PD annually (Resnick, 2010)
- Teachers are interacting with students who spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media each day, primarily outside of the classroom (Kaiser Foundation, 2010)
- A recent study argues that effective professional learning is intensive, ongoing, focused on the classroom, and occurs during the teacher’s workday (Darling-Hammond, 2009).
- To achieve systemic improvement in student learning, professional learning is most effective when educators routinely collaborate with trusted colleagues to solve the problems they face in their classroom
- Research has shown that educators are more likely to incorporate technology into their instruction when they have access to coaching and mentoring. (Strudler & Hearrington, 2009)
- Educational leaders believe a key indicator of a successful PD effort is clear evidence that teachers are implementing what they’ve learned (Resnick, 2010).
- The effectiveness of coaching for the classroom was demonstrated by a 2004 study by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, which found instructional coaching significantly increased the implementation rate of newly learned practices that showed promise for improving student performance. This study indicated that without support and follow-up, teacher implementation of new instructional methods is only about 15 percent (Joyce & Shower, 1983), but with the addition of coaching, implementation increased to 85 percent (Knight, 2007).
- Teachers feel more motivated and responsible to act on new skills because coaching makes them personalized and customized on an ongoing basis” (Wong & Wong, 2008)
- The Big Four framework is built around the following aspects of teaching: 1. Classroom management, 2. Content planning, 3. Instruction, and 4. Assessment for learning
- Holding one-to-one or small group meetings during which ICs can identify how to address their most pressing concerns.
- Guiding teachers through instructional manuals, checklists and other materials. Collaboratively planning with teachers to identify when and how to implement effective instruction practices.
- Preparing materials for teachers prior to instruction.
- Modeling instructional practices in teachers’ classrooms and observing teachers when they use interventions.
- Providing feedback to teachers (Knight, 2004)
- Technology Integration Specialists (TIS) have been instrumental in helping Instructional Coaching staff develop capacity to integrate technology into all areas of curriculum and instruction. With the addition of HB 139 and Instructional Coaches being placed at each of the school locations, a decision was made to have the existing Technology Coaches directly support the Instructional Coaches and their use of technology in classroom lesson design. The district held the belief that increasing the technology comfort level of our coaches would have a direct impact on the use of technology within the classrooms. The TIS were required to work with an Instructional Coach a minimum of one half of their work day and spend the additional half of their time working directly with classroom teachers, non-tenured staff, support staff and administrators. Although the district has not collected formal data on the growth of the coaches, it has seen dramatic increases in technology use by the Instructional Coaches and the teachers that they have been supporting
- 5 stage model:
- STAGE 1: Assess. The first stages in helping teachers develop and implement a coaching project is determining the teacher’s technology skills and instructional strategies. This information helps the coach and teacher to define a lesson or project that the teacher can successfully implement, or to identify the kind of coaching, resources or skills the teacher might need to carry out the project.
- STAGE 2: Set Goals. Setting reasonable and realistic goals that are linked to the school’s educational goals and curricular standards is a critical first step toward establishing a solid coaching relationship and helping teachers integrate informa - tion and communication technology into their classroom activities.
- STAGE 3: Prepare. Participants learn to use a learning activity checklist to evaluate the strength of a proposed lesson, project or unit. Working in teams, coaches use the checklist to assess the lesson design of a series of activities that are often implemented by classroom teachers.
- STAGE 4: Implement Activities. Coaches often find that the teachers they work with benefit from seeing their coach model a technology rich lesson or team teach a lesson or project with their coach.
- STAGE 5: Analyze and Debrief. One of the strengths of peer coaching is that it provides for structured opportunities for reflection that help teachers improve their instruction. The peer coaching program provides coaches with a variety of tools to gather input, debrief participants, and analyze results.
- Technology is an essential component of 21st-century PD models regardless of the content and pedagogical practice teachers are trying to implement. Just as leveraging technology can help improve learning and assessment, it also can help shift to a model of connected teaching. All types of coaches benefit from weaving technology into both content and practice.
References with links:
Costa, A. & Garmston, B. (2002). Overview of cognitive coaching. From http://www.cognitivecoaching.com/overview.htm
Knight, J (2007). Instructional coaching: A partnership approach to improving instruction. From http://www.instructionalcoach.org/
Wong, H. & Wong, R. (2008). Coaches are more effective than mentors. From http://teachers.net/wong/FEB08/
Wong, H. & Wong, R. (2010). Teachers: The Next Generation. ASCD Express. From http://www.newteacher.com/pdf/ascd_express_wong_teachers.pdf
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure