Engage in continual learning to deepen content and pedagogical knowledge in technology integration and current and emerging technologies necessary to effectively implement the Standards•S and Standards•T
During my first year as an instructional technology coach I’ve experienced more professional development than ever before in my career, except maybe my first year of teaching. This year my professional learning has shifted probably because of the nature of my new position. My professional responsibility now covers many more grade levels and subject areas, and correspondingly, my learning has shifted to reflect my job responsibilities. My role offers tremendous privilege in how I can structure my time in order to remain current on best practices in instruction and integration of technology. In addition, there are certain professional learning benefits inherent to my position. This has allowed me to learn on the job or while leading trainings before or after school. Part of my role involves delivering professional development to staff members which requires me to remain current on technologies that I am sharing with staff members. In order to do that some of my work time is spent investigating new features offered by technology tools that are in use in our district.
Learning through our department has also happened this year. As a staff we participated in a book study related to equity and culturally responsive teaching which is an important topic to consider in all school districts. Focusing on equity is important for teachers in their instructional practice. As a coach, I am focused on equity for our district and want to make sure that technology is used in an equitable way no matter what school students attend.
After I was hired I was explicitly given permission to investigate new technologies and to learn about topics, programs and pedagogies that would improve my work as a coach. Since my manager has set up an environment where we are encouraged to keep learning and group knowledge and discourse is valued, I am also fortunate to benefit from the knowledge of the other 10 coaches that I work with. Often when I am wondering about a certain tool, topic or teaching strategy they are the first place that I turn. Our collaboration is one way that we all remain current on the use of emerging technologies, however, it can’t be the only place that we learn. In addition to learning from other coaches informally, I’m fortunate to be able to attend NorthSound Tech TOSA meetings where instructional technology coaches from across the north Puget Sound region meet to discuss common job related topics including pedagogy and emerging technologies. It is a place where we help each other stay current on our coaching work.
Much of my final year in the DEL program was spent investigating professional development and what works for teachers. This is something I will continue to read about and learn more about as long as I am an instructional technology coach because it is so important for teachers. My last post, Regional Teacher Professional Learning and Technology builds on what I was thinking and learning while writing posts about professional development. I recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of improving professional learning and professional development in my school district. I’m encouraged to be a part of that work because of the learning that has been happening in our department related to adult learning principles and the investigations I have done through the DEL program. In this post and others about professional development, I often talk about the role of administrators as instructional leaders and facilitators of technology use. As an instructional technology coach I am seeing a shift happening in our district and in my schools, because administrators are being asked to become instructional leaders. I’m excited to be a part of the shift in practice and I know that this work will allow teachers to better exemplify the ISTE Standards for Teachers and will lead to students demonstrating the ISTE Standards for Students.
For more information see my complete post on Regional Teacher Professional Learning and Technology