6a. Continual learning for content knowledge and technology integration


The first two substandards for ISTE Coaching Standard 6 contain the phrase “engage in continual/continuous learning.” Substandard 6a asks coaches to consider how continual learning can support both teachers and students by deepening knowledge of content and pedagogy as related to technology integration. 

My guiding questions for this substandard both relate to resources that can help coaches and teachers stay current with best practices in educational technology as well as communicate and collaborate with others. When I think about the most inspiring educators I have worked with, they have all had one trait in common–the desire to continuously grow and learn. They demonstrated a growth mindset that positively influenced their students and peers alike. This type of attitude is especially essential when implementing educational technology which is constantly evolving.

The evidence I collected for this substandard provides resources that can be accessed easily and conveniently by coaches and teachers alike. 

Evidence: Dynamic Educational Technology Resources

The wonderful part of educational technology is that it is forever adapting; this can also be a downside for busy educators who want to stay in the loop, but just may not have the time to constantly peruse new resources. As a solution, I spent time exploring the best curated collections for technology coaches and technology-minded educators. The results of my research were posted in my December 2018 blog post entitled, Dynamic EdTech Resources.

Before I began the process of finding resources, I established a criteria to ensure the resource fulfilled ISTE Standard 6a:

  • 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 and accessible for teachers who may need to use assistive tools like text to speech?

  • Does this resource go beyond mere reporting and aggregation to deliver content that teachers and coaches can (and want to) implement?

The four resources I identified and wrote about in my post are still excellent go-to sources. I wrote about Tech & Learning magazine, the ISTE blog, Twitter (more on that source below), and the EdSurge blog. For more on the features of these resources, please click the link in green for my full post.

Evidence: Twitter for Inspiration and Collaboration

Imagine if you could collect all of the most inspiring educators, coaches, and administrators you know in a room to swap ideas, collaborate on curriculum, and share successes/challenges. As a bonus, you can kick anyone out of the room who gets too political or negative. This figurative room is Twitter. 

Teachers have carved out a corner of Twitter and re-purposed the platform into a powerful tool for communication and collaboration. Twitter is an ideal platform for expanding your Personal Learning Network beyond your co-workers. What I like best about Twitter is the ease of access and ability to personalize your experience. Not everyone has time to attend workshops or read professional development books. But we all have a few free moments while in line at the store or while eating lunch and Twitter is perfect bite-sized PD for those times. The experience is customized by who you choose to follow and what hashtags you choose to explore. Personal favorites include #2ndaryELA & #engchat for English teacher inspiration and #edtech & #elearning for all things educational technology.

To remain at the forefront of emerging educational technologies,  I recommend checking out the following industry leaders and innovators on Twitter:

  • ISTE aka the International Society for Technology in Education (whose standards this portfolio is based on)

  • Dr. Couros, Professor at University of Regina in Canada

Social media is particularly well-suited to meeting the ‘continual’ aspect of ISTE Coaching Standard 6a. With a plethora of accounts and posts to explore, Twitter provides a nearly endless stream of ideas on ways to incorporate technology into education. I can be found on Twitter @mrsborrero_ela