Taking the first step toward a successful Edtech coaching
EdTech coaching aims to support teachers in enhancing student learning through technology and accomplishing their professional learning goals. To start a successful EdTech coaching relationship, we must have a shared vision and a common goal on which we can build actionable coaching plans. It is essential to establish a shared vision for coaching that aligns with the overall mission and vision of the school and to create a supportive environment that encourages and inspires educators (Aguilar, 2019). A shared vision ensures that both the coach and the educators are working towards the same outcomes, and a schoolwide vision could possibly open doors for standardized technology integration for the school. Therefore, a shared vision acts as the glue that binds these partnerships to build trust, enabling effective communication, collaboration, and a sense of unity in striving for educational goals(Snelling, 2021).
Question: How can we set a shared vision and specific goal to inspire teachers and start off a successful coaching relationship?
In the book “The Edtech Coaching Primer: Supporting Teachers in the Digital Age Classroom,” McBride stresses the importance of setting a shared vision and taking a structured approach (p. 23). A structured framework can act as a foundation for building a shared vision. A school’s vision must be a shared direction for growth that inspires all staff members to strive for improvement. Furthermore, this vision is a guiding light for parents and students, informing them where the school wants to arrive and why they should join the efforts. While the responsibility for creating the vision may not fall directly on the Edtech coach, it is crucial for the coach to thoroughly understand both the district and the school’s visions (McBride, 2021). This understanding enables the coach to align their planning with the overall vision and break it down into specific goals related to the integration technology. Also, when roles and responsibilities are communicated, aligning them with a shared vision for technology integration and educational improvement becomes easier. The structure fosters planning sessions where educators and coaches can collectively define their objectives, set goals, and articulate a shared vision for how technology will enhance teaching and learning. This collaborative process gives all stakeholders a sense of ownership, accountability, and commitment, making them more likely to work together toward accomplishing the shared vision.
“The educational technology coaching structure takes all of the actions described within the ISTE Standards for Coaches and organizes the work within these standards into four major actionable categories on which the educational technology coach’s role should be focused: Formal Professional Learning, Personalized Teacher Support, Formal Coaching Cycles, and Focused Leadership Responsibilities. These four elements should intertwine to provide structure to the role of the educational technology coach while ensuring they are meeting the goals set in the ISTE Standards for Coaches 2019 (McBride, 2021).”
Formal Professional Learning
EdTech coaches are crucial in tailoring professional development opportunities and making a realistic yearly schedule and plan with the administrator to address the “just-in-time professional development, focused on their needs and best practice,” ensuring that the learning experiences offered are aligned with the shared vision and desired outcomes (McBride, 2021).
Personalized Teacher Support
Educators ‘ individual needs and learning styles are different, and coaches should be able to respond to the current needs of teachers, whether it is co-planning or co-teaching, and plan long-term learning goals to supplement professional development (McBride, 2021).
Formal Coaching Cycles
Determine where and when you intend to hold your coaching sessions, incorporating regular observation, debriefing, and modeling into your coaching sessions. Clearly define how and what will be achieved during each coaching session. Gather all the necessary tools and resources before each session (Zumpano, 2023). Again, a shared vision encourages open and honest discussions about what is working and what needs adjustment. This ongoing reflection ensures that the coaching remains dynamic and responsive to the teacher’s needs.
One of the coaching cycle tools that may come in handy is Sibme. Sibme is a platform that facilitates collaborative learning and professional development through AI-driven data and insights to help reach learning goals (Blumke, 2021). Sibme enables users to capture and share videos for virtual learning and reflection, making collaboration easier with colleagues and coaches. It supports personalized professional development plans and provides AI-driven analytics and data to track and measure progress (Retrieved from Sibme website https://www.sibme.com/).
Focused Leadership Responsibilities
With a structured framework in place for EdTech coaching, it clearly defines roles and responsibilities. This clarity prevents confusion and duplication of efforts, ensuring everyone knows what is expected of them within the coaching relationship. Coaches can show leadership in planning projects about technology learning in schools and districts (McBride, 2021).
Establishing a shared vision for coaching that aligns with the school’s mission and goals and setting clear, attainable goals to make it happen is crucial in taking the first step toward building a successful Edtech coaching relationship. Coaches define coaching roles, communicate and advocate for the coaching vision, foster trusting relationships, and prepare the logistics (Zumpano, 2023). Also, offering personalized PD that meets teachers’ needs and interests, engaging in regular observation, debriefing, co-planning, co-teaching, and modeling with teachers, and helping teachers with research, lesson design, and troubleshooting when needed through coaching cycles. In addition, incorporating the coach’s strengths and areas of specialization will lead to successful Edtech coaching (Snelling, 2021). As it is stated in ISTE STANDARDS FOR COACHES 1A. Create a shared vision and culture for using technology to learn and accelerate transformation through coaching. In conclusion, a shared vision set through a structured approach is a foundation for effective EdTech coaching relationships that can inspire educators to take the first step, as highlighted in the ISTE STANDARDS FOR COACHES 1: Change Agent: Coaches inspire educators and leaders to use technology to create equitable and ongoing access to high-quality learning, driving positive change and enhancing student learning outcomes.
Aguilar, E. (2019, November 1). You Can’t Have a Coaching Culture Without a Structure. ASCD. Retrieved September 23, 2023, from https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/you-cant-have-a-coaching-culture-without-a-structure
Blumke, K. (2021, February 18). Virtual Coaching Takes Off. Edutopia. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from https://www.edutopia.org/article/virtual-coaching-takes
McBride, Ashley. The Edtech Coaching Primer: Supporting Teachers in the Digital Age Classroom, International Society for Technology in Education, 2021. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/spu/detail.action?docID=6683479
OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (September 25 Version) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com
Snelling, J. (2021, July 21). The whys and hows of edtech coaching. ISTE. Retrieved September 23, 2023, from https://www.iste.org/explore/professional-development/whys-and-hows-edtech-coaching
Zumpano, N. (2023, February 10). 6 steps to building a successful edtech coaching program. ISTE. Retrieved September 23, 2023, from https://www.iste.org/explore/education-leadership/6-steps-building-successful-edtech-coaching-program