Over the past two years, I have given my all to earn a master’s degree in classroom technology from Bowling Green State University. The coursework is developed from ISTE’s standards for education technology coaches outlined below. Let me offer some reflection on my work for each standard.
Coaches inspire educators and leaders to use technology to create equitable and ongoing access to high-quality learning
The coursework provides ample opportunities to develop research and presentations for audiences in the field of education. In the last two years I have given three presentations to colleagues in my school: once to instruct staff on new procedures outlined by the Technology Advisory Committee on which I serve, and twice to show teachers the value of becoming Google certified educators. BGSU has taught me to carry myself as a professional role model for my peers.
Coaches model the ISTE standards for students and the ISTE standards for educators and identify ways to improve their coaching practice
I feel very connected to my learning through BGSU’s program, most notably for my final research project. I found that, to my surprise, audio-based feedback did not increase students’ perceived usefulness of writing feedback. This meets the the Connected Learner standard because I used the scientific method to improve my practice while demonstrating technology use for students. I hope this work sets a positive example of inquiry-based action research for my educational peers.
Coaches establish productive relationships with educators in order to improve instructional practices and learning outcomes
My peers have been incredibly helpful to me throughout my time at BGSU. Our discussions have been fruitful and forthright. I learned the value of developing professional learning networks (PLNs) and collaborated with my peers to improve instructional practice. Additionally, I joined my district’s technology advisory committee to improve learning outcomes for all students in my district.
Coaches model and support educators to design learning experiences and environments to meet the needs and interests of all students
For me, the key word in the Learning Designer standard is the word “all,” that learning experiences are for all students. BGSU offered direct instruction on how to recognize inequalities related to education technology and solutions for addressing them. The key is to vigilantly pursue a dynamic vision for education open to all learners.
BGSU’s coursework has created new opportunities for me. I was approached by my school’s principal in April of 2022 about developing a new computer graphics course at our school, in addition to helping install an upgraded computer lab. This will certainly mean fostering experiences and environments to meet the needs and interests of students. I firmly believe my principal is willing to entrust me with this responsibility because he understands the quality of BGSU’s training.
Professional Learning Facilitator
Coaches plan, provide and evaluate the impact of professional learning for educators and leaders to use technology to advocate teaching and learning
I learned several ways to act as a professional learning facilitator. Most notably, I helped create a technology “needs assessment” to determine what technological needs my peers have. Time on my district’s Technology Advisory Committee has also put me in an evaluative role: the bulk of that work is determining the educational impact tech tools teachers request to use may have.
I have sought feedback in many of my assignments from BGSU. All of the courses I completed had a discussion component, a sandbox to give and receive critique. Further, I collected reviews from participants in my Google certified educator presentations. Their feedback inspired changes in that presentation and have made it better as a result. I have shared much of what I have learned with colleagues in my school.
Coaches model and support the use of qualitative and quantitative data to inform their own instruction and professional learning
My research project examined the extent to which students perceived audio-based feedback as more useful that written feedback. The project took extensive planning to accomplish. To my surprise, the data revealed audio-based feedback was not seen as more useful by students. The experience taught me how valuable action research can illuminate unanticipated truths. Data is key. I plan to share my findings with other educators in the future.
Digital Citizen Advocate
Coaches model digital citizenship and support educators and students in recognizing the responsibilities and opportunities inherent in living in a digital world
With privilege comes responsibility. As the privileges and responsibilities of technology permeate education, more must be done to model digital citizenship. I do my part in the classroom by incorporating digital citizenship lesson through Interland and Google’s applied digital skills. In time, I think more schools should offer digital “driver’s licenses” so students earn access to the Internet as they learn safe practices.