The Future is Knocking

If you've followed the Around the Corner blog, you know how much time I've spent exploring digital coaching, edtech coaching and just plain coaching. I still remember the first time the epiphany hit so many years ago that instructional technologist positions were being transitioned into instructional coaching positions.

While I won't share how that epiphany came about, it was confirmed shortly thereafter at a state convention one year.

This affirmation came shortly after funding for the state technology allotment had been axed, which resulted in the loss of four positions I supervised. It was a bit of a shock at the time for the staff, and I did all I could to prevent the loss of those positions, but it was a done deal. One day, they were there. The next, those folks were being moved into different jobs in the district.

Since then, we've seen instructional coaches pick up additional duties, such as integrating technology into their work. Coaching cycles, meeting protocols, web-based scheduling all describe one of the toughest jobs in schools today. In my own campus efforts, I always found that working with a classroom teacher and her students was a one on one job. All the other razzle dazzle of edtech doesn't matter if the teacher locks you out, and students don't trust you.

I've written several pieces on coaching, but one of the ones I'm most proud of is the Coaching for Results series. It captures my growing understanding of how to combine John Hattie's instructional strategies with technology. A big part of that understanding came about from reading three books:

  • Visible Learning for Literacy: This has an amazing overview in Chapters 1 and 2 that anyone starting down this road must read.
  • Student-Centered Coaching: While a lot of folks like Jim Knight's The Impact Cycle (and well, it IS Jim Knight), I love Diane Sweeney's practical approach. Every page of her book gives you how-to guidance that you will find invaluable.
  • Bold School: Old School Wisdom + New School Innovation = Blended Learning that Works: What a mouthful of a title that does it's best to explain what the book is about. Unfortunately, it's not about blended learning but it IS about putting John Hattie's high-effect size instructional strategies and technology together. The book is well-worth the read.

So, these blog entries capture my journey and growing understanding of how these ideas get put together. I predict that many schools in Texas, as well as the USA, are going to be falling over themselves to put them together. As a colleague pointed out to me, this is the sweet spot for what instructional technologists turned coaches are trying to do.

P.S. I wish I could say I knew all this was coming, but I had no idea about John Hattie's research. I have had to crawl my way through many books, tossing out old ways of looking at teaching and learning, re-evaluating everything I knew and did. I invite you to do the same.

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


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