A Coach’s Perspective

So this is year two for me as an Educational Technology Coach and I felt the need to write this blog from my own success perspective. Let me start by saying “What a difference a year makes”! Last year being new to a new role I was on a steep learning curve and so were the staff and students at my assigned schools. Also, only the grade 10 teachers last year were exposed to life with Chromebooks, roughly 25% of the high school population. We, as a collective whole, achieved a great deal of success in introducing technology and other resources into the daily grind of high school life. I had met with a great deal of staff helping to prep the future of their classes. Some of the resources I supported a lot last year included:

  • Starting up and arranging Google Classrooms
  • Starting up and arranging D2L courses
  • Using D2L for ministry resources, quizzes, marking assignments, discussion forums
  • Using Office 365 and G Suite online to create learning tasks

This year I hit the ground running and could not be happier to see the new dynamics of the year already in full force.

This year I hit the ground running and could not be happier to see the new dynamics of the year already in full force. I have been booked solid for the entire month of Sept and it has been fantastic. I have seen familiar faces as well as new faces and I can sense the shift of the day to day in all my schools. So this year we are now introducing the new Grade 10s for Chromebooks, we have the previous year (now Grade 11s) with Chromebooks putting the high school population up to 50% having devices. This means we have some returning staff that had Grade 10s last year and continue to have either Grade 10 or 11s this year. We also have new staff members who are teaching Grade 10 or 11 who were not part of the exposure of last years Grade 10 Chromebook experience.

What does this all mean? Well for me as a Coach it means that my schools have a spectrum from experienced clientele to novice clientele in terms of teaching with Chromebooks in the classroom. My prediction is that next year the spectrum will broaden as we move into full 1:1 device environments. Starting next year:

  • the new Grade 10s will receive their Chromebooks
  • the 12s (previous 11s) will still have theirs
  • the 11s (previous 10s) will have theirs
  • the 9s (previous 8s) will be bringing theirs with them.

This means that next year we could have staff who have had 2-years of experience having Chromebooks in the class, we could have a group of staff with 1-year experience and we could have a group of staff who will have had no experience with Chromebooks in the classroom. This will inevitably lead to a shift in how you teach in your classroom. It doesn’t mean that you have to go home now and change everything you have to be digital and create an online classroom environment; what it means is that how you approach lessons now has to take into account the resources that you have available. Simple things can change the everyday classroom routine for the better, such as:

  • Having a google calendar that reminds students of due dates and events
  • Having a class website for information sharing (Learning Goals/Success Criteria, Agenda, Calendar)
  • Using forms (online quizzes) for review/studying purposes
  • Creating Video (WeVideo), Audio (Soundtrap) and other media for assignments

It could also get more advanced such as:

  • Grading through D2L/Moodle
  • Course Materials accessible through an online classroom
  • Handing in and marking of assignments online

I couldn’t be happier with my role and providing support to my assigned schools. I have been witness to amazing things being done by staff and student and I look forward to the rest of the year (and many more) working with all of you.

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