Put me in, coach: Coaching the digital educator (part 2)

Case Study: The University of Kansas Coaching Project

The Kansas Coaching Project (Knight’s project) links professional learning to educators to improved academic outcomes for students. For this project, IC coaches were onsite tutoring educators on ways to apply evidence-based teaching practices. In addition, the IC coaches demonstrated ways to apply these practices in a variety of educational settings. This hands-on approach gave educators guidance when they needed it most.

The result of the study was also the Big Four, “a comprehensive framework for instructional excellence made up of practices that are both easy for educators to implement and powerful in terms of effect on teaching and learning.”

Model Three: Peer Coaching

Saving the best for last, of the three model Peer Coaching offers the greatest impact and sustainability. This model zeroes in on training educators to help one another integrate technology. A savvy buddy system, this approach hinges on the coach’s response as an important aspect for the educator to improve their professional development (PD) skill-set. Peer coaching, the ISTE research notes, “focuses on collaboration as a central component to generate the best possible results.”

This model has five stages:

Stage 1: Assess – determine the educator’s technology skills and instructional strategies, then define a lesson or project that the educator can successfully implement.

Stage 2: Set Goals – set reasonable and realistic goals linked to the school’s educational goals and curricular standards.

Stage 3: Prepare – have coachees use a learning activity checklist to evaluate the strength of a proposed lesson, project, or unit.

Stage 4: Implement Activities – demonstrate the coaching benefit through a technology-rich lesson or team teaching.

Stage 5: Analyze and Debrief – evaluate by reflecting on opportunities, instruction, and tools.

(Next page: What does all this mean?)