Do You Know Where Ed Tech is Headed?
In this episode, Ricky and Kristy discuss the ed tech news of the week and talk about Ed Tech Coaches and their role in schools and classrooms.
Ed Tech News RunDown
Where is Ed Tech Headed?
The Tech Advocate gives us four thoughts on where ed tech should be going. Sometimes it seems hard enough to know where ed tech is right now let alone where it is headed but here is their attempt. First they mention that ed tech resources need to be heavily vetted before jumping in, even if the resource is free. Second, they suggest some humility for ed tech companies as there simply isn’t enough data to suggest tech is the best way to educate our students yet. Thirdly, ed tech needs to emphasize higher order thinking skills… get your Bloom’s Taxonomy out and look at the top. And Last, ed tech needs to be focusing on the achievement gap and that will require that access is fair across all student populations.
Best PD isn’t about the Tech
An article from eSchool News explains that the best ed tech Professional Development shouldn’t even be about technology. They reference an estimate that only about 35% of ed tech tools are being used. Now, while I’m sure that includes free resources that may get pushed aside, it is still an alarmingly low percentage. It also appears from the article that there is plenty being spent on PD but it clearly isn’t effective. One of the reasons they say is that only 9% of PD involves a format that fosters collaboration. While having technical training on the ed tech platform is certainly a necessity, the pedagogy and ways to effectively use it in the classroom seems to be missing. So by focusing on the ways to teach it and collaborating on those ways may just be the answer to help improve ed tech professional development. I know we’ve been striving to do this in our district by personalizing professional learning, but it’s still a change with limited time and resource.
Monica Burns Q and A
An article in Ed Tech Magazine highlights a former guest and friend of the show Monica Burns in a Q and A session on how to work with digital tool. So excited to see Monica in my news search this week… She was a great guest and she’s a great twitter follow as well. I highly recommend you check out this hole Q and A session but I’ll just give a few highlights. One of my favorite quotes is “Students must learn to become creators, work collaboratively and explore topics they are curious about on the devices”. Yes… if was a millennial, I would spell that yaaaassssssss. This is something that hits home to me so much… we need to be letting them use digital tools to achieve higher order learning. And my other favorite response of hers revolves around how unfortunate it is that devices are too often chosen based on their ability to perform a standardized test. I know that it is a necessary evil in public education based on factors beyond even a districts control but I can’t wait for the day when standardized tests are a thing of the past.
Ed Tech Coaches Need to Prepare for Many Types of Teachers
An article from Ed Surge talks about how an Ed Tech coach has to be prepared for many different types of teachers. There really is no silver bullet or magic template when it comes to being a good ed tech coach. As ed tech coaching, hopefully, becomes a more common thing we definitely need to explore ways to help coaching be more successful. Annie Tremonte, the author, explains that “coaching must be rooted in strong pedagogical practice. It’s not about supporting an increase in technology or pushing certain tech tools, but about considering the classroom culture and instructional models that best support it.” Going into a classroom with an agenda to have a teacher use a specific program more or force them to use technology more is not the answer. She believes listening is one of the most important aspects for an ed tech coach and then helping support the needs of that teacher in a way that makes sense for them, not you.
Check out Episode 76 Where we talk more about balance.
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