2a. Coach in technology-enhanced learning experiences to address standards

Reflection

This substandard asks coaches to teach and model technology-enhanced learning experiences in order to meet both content standards and technology standards.

When approaching this substandard, it’s important to think about the enhancement part. Often times technology has been brought into a school system only to be used to replace paper assignments with a digital one. For instance, if you take a paper handout and convert it to a Google Form, you are not substantially changing the nature of the assignment

Thankfully there is a wonderful framework that coaches and teachers can reference throughout the process of shifting to technology-enhanced learning. That would be the SAMR framework which helps quantify and qualify technology-enhanced learning experiences. On the S level, you’re merely substituting digital for paper. On the A (or augment) level, you’re taking what you have been doing and enhancing it with technology in some way. The next level M (for modifies) requires making a substantial change to the assignment utilizing technology in a way that enhances and improves the task. Finally, R (for redesign) is where the experience is completely new and would not be possible without the use of technology. To be clear, starting at the substitution level is perfectly acceptable–especially for teachers who are new to the field or new to using technology. However, once those basics have been mastered, coaches can guide teachers towards using technology to further enhance the learning experience for students.

SAMR

In my first piece of evidence I have taken the ISTE student standards and broken them out into student-friendly “I can” statements for grades 7-12. “I can” statements are essentially learning targets written in student-friendly terms. Many schools require teachers to have these goals posted and accessible to students. These “I can” statements can be used in conjunction with content standards.

My second piece of evidence is a blog post which outlines various evaluation tools and forms that coaches can use when giving teachers feedback as they explore technology-enhanced learning.

My last piece of evidence is an example of a unit plan for the Language Arts classroom that has been re-done in order to reflect elements of the SAMR framework. The plan incorporates technology standards in addition to content standards. Research projects are ubiquitous in the Language Arts classroom. By adding technology using the SMAR framework, teachers can meet additional standards on top of content standards.

Evidence: Standards for Technology-Enhanced Learning

Before you can plan for technology-enhanced learning experiences, it is helpful to have a set of standards to reference. The ISTE student standards are a framework that can guide coaches and teachers in creating rich and innovative 21st Century learning experiences. For each ISTE student standard, I have developed “I can” statements which can be used to guide teachers in incorporating technology into their curriculum. 

If you would like an editable copy of the “I can” statements, please make sure you are logged into your Google Drive account and click the link in green below.

Evidence: Evaluating 21st Century Learning

Once an understanding of standards for technology-enhanced learning has been established, coaches need a framework for which to provide feedback. In my 2018 post on Tools to Evaluate 21st Century Learning, I explain three resources and provide forms that coaches can use in the evaluation process. An overview of those resources can be found below. For more detailed information and additional documents, please see my post.

Evaluation Tool 1: Council for 21st Century Learning

The Council for 21st Century Learning is committed to supporting 21st-century learning by offering consulting and training to districts and schools. Their work begins with a diagnostic to identify areas of need. Support is then provided through coaching, workshops, and presentations.

Evaluation Tool 2: Strengthening Your Reflective Commentary

This tool was created by AJ Castley and is included in various methods on the Warwick Learning and Development Centre for teachers to self-assess. The form provides teachers with 7 open-ended questions to consider their teaching across 3 areas: teaching, assessing, and curriculum design. Within each broad question are more particular questions designed to walk teachers through a deep analysis and reflection of what went well and what could be improved within a given lesson. Some of the guiding questions include “Why did you do it that way? How else might you have done it?”

Evaluation Tool 3: Learning Design Matrix

The Learning Design Matrix was adapted from Eeva Reeder, a frequent Edutopia contributor on Project Based Learning. Within the four-square matrix, teachers and coaches can consider elements of a 1) Standards-Based Task, 2) Engaging Task, 3) Problem-Based Task, and also how technology enables and/or accelerates learning of that given task. Rather than viewing the matrix as a comprehensive to-do list, it is helpful to choose several key elements and consider how a lesson you’ve taught or want to teach fits within those elements.

Evidence: 21st Century Learning Example

In the Winter 2018 quarter of the Digital Education Leadership program, I had the opportunity to rethink a unit plan in terms of the Understanding by Design (UBD) framework. I also considered how to best implement technology in a way that enhanced the project. The focus of my unit is 21st Century research skills which incorporates Language Arts content standards in addition to ISTE student standards. Throughout the unit, students learn to find credible sources, cite sources, evaluate sources, and synthesize information online. The summative task is a curated list published online which is a culmination of research.

Below is a link to my post in which I outline my process. I have also uploaded my final project which includes resources that can be downloaded and used in the classroom for anyone interested in completing a similar project.

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