Educational technology coaches are tasked with finding new solutions to meet the needs of teachers and students alike. Because educational technology is still a relatively new field which is constantly shifting as new programs emerge, coaches need dynamic resources. This week I am exploring (free) resources that coaches can utilize in their pursuit of ISTE Coaching standard 6.a. – “Engage in continual learning to deepen content and pedagogical knowledge in technology integration and current and emerging technologies necessary to effectively implement [student and teacher standards]” (Iste.org, 2017)
Tech & Learning Magazine is a monthly magazine available in both print and digital editions. It is free to educators who indicate they have an influence over their school’s technology choices (which ideally includes ALL teachers and coaches!). The timely articles offer a wide range of topics and support. In a given issue you may find advice on implementing ed tech in the classroom, reviews of new software, and a theoretical approach to issues like digital citizenship. In addition to the magazine, the Tech & Learning website offers a plethora of great (and free) resources for ed tech coaches: Site of the week, On-demand webinars, App-of-the-day, and a Blog with frequent guest contributors. The depth of information and the breadth of topics is impressive.
ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) literally wrote the standards that ed tech coaches use when assessing their own effectiveness and that of teachers and students. A list of resources would not be complete without a mention of their expertly curated blog. The blog’s careful use of categories and tags makes it easy to navigate to the resources most applicable to a particular need. The quality of articles posted is exemplary. For instance, this post on media literacy includes practical takeaways for classroom teachers, an infographic guide for student use, and a clear correlation to ISTE student standards.
I’ve previously sung Twitter’s praises for personalized professional development and I’m sure this won’t be the last time! Twitter provides a platform for ed tech coaches and technology-minded teachers and administrators to come together to share ideas and resources. The following hashtags can be saved as a quick search for instant access to a large variety of ideas, resources, tools, and opinions related to educational technology: #edtech, #edtechchat. For teachers and coaches who use Google, #gafe is a treasure trove of ideas. Looking for accounts to follow? This post has a list of top contributors in the ed tech Twitter community.
EdSurge is another website that publishes timely, relevant articles regarding technology in education. A unique feature of EdSurge is its dedicated section to HigherEd. Posts include current ed tech news, research findings, implementation guides, and content-area technology uses. Many resources treat content areas and technology separately, but I have found that EdSurge meshes them in extremely creative ways such as this recent post on Hamlet, Harry Potter, and ‘computational literary analysis.’
In considering a ‘dynamic’ resource for ed tech coaches, I based my search criteria on the following:
- Does this resource allow for choice in learning?
- How frequently is the resource updated?
- Are a variety of diverse voices amplified within this resource?
- Is this resource user-friendly?
- Does this resource go beyond mere reporting and aggregation to deliver content that teachers and coaches can (and want to) implement?
The four resources highlighted here earn a yes vote for each criteria element. I find myself returning to them again and again when I am in need of inspiration. Do you have a suggestion for an educational technology coaching resource? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.