Contribute to the development, communication, and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive use of technology to support a digital-age education for all students

It might be because I have a desk in the district office that I am mostly thinking about this standard as one that is crafted at the district level and goes out to schools. However, after reading one of my later posts, I think it could be work that happens at a district level or at the school level. I’ll start out talking about district level work and how instructional technology coaches contribute to that work.

In my post Is SAMR Enough? Teacher Practice and Technology Integration, much of my thinking is focused on teachers and their view of SAMR but I also reflect on my work as a coach and how it relates to this standard.

As an instructional technology coach I think looking through the lens of instruction and higher level thinking is helpful. I wish I could help teachers to understand that the work we can do together should lead to higher quality instruction and deeper learning even if my title is instructional technology coach, it’s still all about the learning.

That is why my communication with teachers is so important. I can reinforce what constitutes a digital-age education for all students based on what I say to teachers. In my communication I am also responsible for the vision of our department and the district, and one key role that I can play as a coach is helping teachers to understand and develop that same vision through ongoing discussion in coaching.

As an instructional technology coach in multiple buildings often I play a role in crafting email messages that will go to teachers and staff at a school. Usually after a meeting has taken place communicating a plan for delivering the message is designated to the coaches. Since we are sending messages to teachers we are often the person on the front lines of communication and often we get to take concerns from staff back to the technology department. In that way we are a bridge between two departments. We work with and understand teachers, but also uniquely, hear rationale from the technology department.

At a school level, as a first year coach, I think much of my contributions to this vision come through informal discussions and will be supported because of the relationships I am building. One example is how I saw a tool in use in a classroom and then put that tool through a review process for district approval. After doing that, in a meeting with the principal at that school I was able to share that the tool was approved and could be used by the building or all staff members with their classes. That gave the admin team a reason to continue to highlight the tool with staff, now knowing that it was approved for use. (To read more about my reflections on the technology tool approval process in the two districts I have been a part of you can read my post Collaboration Across Districts in Technology Selection).

One final way I see that would benefit shared implementation and vision across a school and district comes from my post Collaboration Across Districts in Technology Selection.

I think if a district is committed to a tool or resource then professional development should be required for all staff including administrators. Cohesion will be more far reaching if everyone understands key terminology, learning targets, processes for evaluating learning with technology like the SAMR model or knows the ins and outs of technology tools that have been adopted and supported by each district.

I see professional development as a way to emphasize the commitment to digital tools and essential for communicating the vision of the district to classroom teachers. As an instructional technology coach I am in a unique position to provide PD, and afterward support teachers with implementation of any tools or practices that contribute to digital age learning for students.

For more information see my complete posts Is SAMR Enough? Teacher Practice and Technology Integration and Collaboration Across Districts in Technology Selection

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