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Authors: William Sugar, Patricia J. Slagter van Tryon

In an effort to develop a virtual technology coach for K-12 educators, this article analyzed survey results from sixty teachers with regards to specific resources that a technology coach could provide within a virtual environment. A virtual technology coach was proposed as a possible solution to provide continual professional development for teachers to support their technology integration efforts. Results indicate that the Collaboration, Discussion, Learning, and Sharing resources of a virtual technology coach are considered valuable. This finding appears to corroborate the importance of developing a professional learning community to promote effective and sustained technology integration strategies among teachers. In addition, these virtual technology coaching attributes are identified in current education coaching (NETS*C) standards pointing to a potential support structure for schools and school districts implementing the NETS*C standards.
  1. Finding corroborates the importance of developing a professional learning community to promote effective and sustained technology integration strategies among teachers.
  2. Continual professional development as opposed to one-time workshops has been deemed more effective in supporting teachers’ ability to learn about new teaching strategies and facilitating a change in their classrooms.
  3. Why a Virtual Technology Coach?
    1. Many school districts are now implementing school-based coaches as a way to provide effective and continual professional development.
    2. Coaches can help teachers incorporate new knowledge and skills into classroom practice both for the short-term and long-term.
    3. With the goal of creating a shared vision among all teachers, an instructional coach facilitates and maintains a supportive environment within a school setting.
    4. A coach creates a non-confrontational environment where teachers can share their thoughts, instructional best practices and learn from each other.
    5. A coach is also an encourager who can help teachers to become more comfortable and motivated to learn about new instructional strategies
    6. Including full-time, on-site technology coaches at a school significantly increased teachers’ confidence in integrating new technologies, as well as enhanced teachers’ new technology skills.
    7. The tech coach essentially establishes and nurtures a professional learning community of teachers.
    8. These learning communities enable their members to share ideas and resources among each other and to create a shared knowledge base of best practices and provide a “sense of collective accountability.”
    9. Virtual communities of practices…learning in an environment where communication is mediated allows building a knowable social context where participants can experience dynamic interpersonal interactions that lead to successful group structure.
    10. Establishment of an online presence is critical among virtual community members.

Be sure to listen to this podcast!

Alternate Link: Download & Listen to Podcast 
(Note: This is a Dropbox link to download MP3 Audio File; Size: 21megs ; Length: 60 mins)

In this podcast, we explore collegial coaching for technology integration with the Drs Dawn Wilson and Katie Alaniz, authors of a just published book available in print and ebook formats, Naturalizing Digital Immigrants.  You can find a link to the book in the show notes.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure