For the past few posts I’ve written, I feel they were more about relationships with colleagues or relationships between coaches and their partners. I decided to change it up this week and look at some more “hands-on” work for coaches. I am looking at ISTE Standard 4.2b: “Actively participate in professional learning networks to enhance coaching practice and keep current with emerging technology and innovations in pedagogy and the learning sciences” (ISTE). In looking at this standard, I am asking the question, “What are some practical ways in which I, as a coach, can stay current with ‘emerging technology and innovations in pedagogy?’” We are always students, or we should strive to be–in my opinion. As an educator, I think that with the changing landscape of education, it is vital to continue to be trained and remain up-to-date with the latest through webinars, conferences, or online classes.
I’m not sure, but I believe there must be some unwritten rule that if you choose to create a list to publish on the internet, that list must be a list of five items. Anyway, I thought it was humorous as I was trying to research an answer to my question, just how often I saw sites that started “5 ways to...” or “5 things to...” Yes, I found one which pertains to my particular question, titled, “5 Ways Teachers Can Stay Current With Developments in Pedagogy.” In this article, the author gives some insight into the importance of professional development, but then interestingly is more specific with her “5 ways,” by offering “Ways to Stay Current with Techology in Pedagogy.” I’m not sure as to the reason why the main title changes inside the article--maybe as a broader attention grabber--but the author, Ananya Debroy, gives these five tips: 1. Establishing Goals 2. Discuss with Peers and Experts from Across the World 3. Don’t Panic and Keep Things in High Spirits 4. Utilizing Social Media 5. Proceed to Continued Education
While Debroy doesn’t offer specific technology to use, she does stress the importance of social media, and I agree. There is so much to learn from other schools and their educational practices worldwide, and now more than ever, it is so easy to get connected to teachers anywhere to learn best practices from one another. I do want to point out the importance of Debroy’s first point of goals. She notes, “innovation without direction is the path to a woefully misplaced investment” (Par.6). We all need to know where we want to end up to decide best how to get there as coaches.
In a different article from digitalpromise.org, they provide a wealth of information. One section that I noted, called “Digital Learning Coach as Learner,” listed several important reasons coaches need to be students. They documented that a coach:
- Models continuous learning and improvement—behaviors teachers must emulate to be successful
- Is clear about what they want to learn and their areas for growth
- Identifies and shares what they want to learn publicly
- Proactively takes charge of their own learning
- Reaches out to peers and leaders to create their own learning plan
- Applies learning with the goal of helping teachers perform more effectively in the classroom
- Seeks out regular learning opportunities
In a different article from digitalpromise.org, they provide a wealth of information. One section that I noted, called “Digital Learning Coach as Learner,” listed several important reasons coaches need to be students. They documented that a coach: *Models continuous learning and improvement—behaviors teachers must emulate to be successful *Is clear about what they want to learn and their areas for growth *Identifies and shares what they want to learn publicly *Proactively takes charge of their own learning *Reaches out to peers and leaders to create their own learning plan *Applies learning with the goal of helping teachers perform more effectively in the classroom *Seeks out regular learning opportunities
Okay, so I know I said that I would give some good “hand-on” ways coaches can develop. In this same article, digitalpromise.org provides a wealth of resources too many to list here, so I’ll add the website link to the article again here. Seriously, I will be bookmarking this site. They list all the ISTE links, multiple resources specifically for technology coaches, Twitter hashtags, and podcast links. Awesome!
Lastly, I thought an article entitled “Online Professional Development for Technology Coaches,” was a good reminder that for some people, taking some courses online is an excellent way to be a good learner. Author Tierra Leustig notes that taking some classes online is great because people can move at a pace that works for them; it can be inexpensive or even free. The resources are usually available for more extended periods. As with digitalpromise.org, Leustig does offer several sites as some of her favorites, technology podcasts, yearly conferences, and webinars.
Hopefully, with the articles I’ve mentioned here and their included links, you can find something useful to help you with staying current in technology pedagogy for the 21st-century learner. Good luck, and let me know what sites you enjoy for staying up-to-date!
Debroy, Written by Ananya. “5 Ways Teachers Can Stay Current with Developments in Pedagogy.” EdTechReview, 27 Sept. 2018, https://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/3362-ways-teachers-can-stay-current-with-developments-in-pedagogy.
Digital Promise, https://microcredentials.digitalpromise.org/explore/engaging-in-continuous-learning-about-technology-c.
“ISTE Standards: Coaches.” ISTE, https://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards-for-coaches.
Leustig, Tierra. “Online Professional Development for Technology Coaches.” Dyknow, 19 Mar. 2020, https://www.dyknow.com/blog/online-professional-development-for-technology-coaches/.