Substandard b states that coaches support educators by planning and modeling the effective use of technology to improve student learning. During my graduate studies, I was really interested in the idea of personalized professional learning for teachers. Just like how we differentiate for students, we should for our teachers as well. A study was done by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2014) found that teachers want professional development (PD) that is:
- Relevant – teachers want PD that is personalized to their needs and classroom
- Interactive – teachers want to be able to participate and do “hands-on” learning activities
- Teacher-Led – teachers want to learn from their peers
- Sustained Over Time – teachers want time to put what they learned into practice over the course of a semester or a school year
- Professional – teachers want to be treated like adults, rather than children
I explored three different models of personalized PD that fit these parameters: inquiry-based, individualized, and edCamps. I love that all three of these options remove the top-down approach to professional development. Teachers are given agency and choice not only in what they study, but also in how they study. Check out the following blog post to learn more about these rigorous, relevant, and interactive forms of PD.
When working as a technology coach I would come alongside teachers and help them achieve their goals by modeling the use of technology. One example was when I partnered with a second-grade class to help with digital storytelling. I modeled how to use green screen technology to bring their narrative stories to life. For several weeks, I helped pull small groups of students during their literature time and guided them in producing their own videos. Another example was modeling iMovie with a fifth-grade class so that they could make their own PSA videos for health class. I enjoyed these opportunities to work with students and help teachers try new technology.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (2014, December). Teachers Know Best: Teachers’ Views on Professional Development. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5W5P9bQJ6q0SUlzb19fX0lpaXM/view