Times they are a changing. The new generation of technology coaches no longer focus on the tools first. In fact, I've begun to see many districts replace the title of technology coach with the title instructional coach. Today's instructional coach is no long just an expert on how to use different technologies. We instead focus on technology to enhance good teaching methodologies. Good pedagogy usually comes first, with the tools added in as an enhancement.
We've tried to model pedagogy before tech tools with our staff in several ways:
- First, we focus on the why before the tool. When a teacher is looking to get something done, we first try to focus on essential student skills connected to the task before finding the tool to support the activity.
- Second, we look for tools that can be used for students across content areas. We prefer tools that support students throughout their day. Instead of focusing on tools that only support a science classroom, we instead look first for tools that can support different activities in multiple classrooms.
- Finally, we try to always emphasize that technology alone does not have the power make a bad lesson great. Technology at its best only enhances what is already there. Great teaching must come first or the power of the instructional technology is often reduced.
- Skills Connected to the 4Cs
- Student-Centered Learning
- Formative Assessment
- Coaching Pedagogy
- Educational Leadership
- The ISTE Standards for Teachers
- ISTE Standards for Coaches
- Learning Form Coaching: How Do I Work With An Instructional Coach to Grow as a Teacher?
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers Who Use Technology
- The Partnership for 21st Century Skills
- Recharge Learning - Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, & Creativity
- Connected Educator Networks to Support Personal Learning Networks
- Embrace Mistakes and Grow as a Learner
- If you are a GAFE district I would consider using the Google Training Courses as part of your professional development plan. These are well put together and focus on skills before the tools.