This week Brett talks to Jake Miller an EdTech enthusiast, host of the #EduDuctTape Podcast, Tech Integration Coach, former STEM teacher, influencer, speaker, and presenter from Ohio. Jake shares his observations during remote learning and the lessons he’s learned while instructing educators on how to use technology in their classrooms.

Listen to Episode 17:

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Don’t have time to listen to the episode? Here’s a peek at what’s inside…

The need for technology coaches

Jake Miller started off his career as an educator and has always been passionate about helping, entertaining, and educating students and fellow faculty members. Through his time as a teacher, Jake realized that there was a need for what he currently does – Technology Coaching.

One of Jake’s guiding mottos is to let teachers feel like their voice and how they do things in the classroom matter. Not only is this important, but the pace at which teachers try new things out should be up to them too – there’s no one right way or speed to implement new things in the classroom and teachers need to feel that.

As a teacher, he saw this first in his students. Some needed to move slower and some were able to move faster. He also noticed that some students wanted to work with video, others wanted to work with audio, and some wanted to work with kinesthetic activities. Through his understanding that kids learn at different speeds and in different ways, he began to realize that this is the same for adults, and teachers should be instructed accordingly – especially when it comes to technology.

Jake explained that teachers don’t need to be moving at the same speed as the teacher next to them or using the same tools as the teacher down the hall from them to be effective. Teachers should react to what they feel is best for their students and their content area in the classroom.

Prioritizing professional growth

Since then, Jake Miller transitioned into his role as a technology coach and has prioritized his own professional growth as well as supporting his teachers with their own professional growth along the way.

When asked how to identify opportunities for professional growth, Jake explained that it’s about identifying two things. 

1) The needs and goals that you have

2) The voices around these topics and the ways that you can learn from them

In his role as a technology coach, Jake Miller is consistently engaging with new professional learning platforms and providing platforms and resources for his teachers to do the same. Using those two rules, he has identified the areas that he needs to grow in or work on, and he consumes content centered around these topics

Some of his favorite resources are podcasts, books, and Twitter.

Jake Miller’s favorite professional learning resources

  • Seth Goden – Jake explained that Seth’s expertise in learning how to market your ideas and convincing people to make a positive change has been crucial to getting teacher buy-in for technology in his district.
  • Google Teacher Podcast (Matt Miller & Kasey Bell) – this podcast has helped Jake stay up to date with Google and using their tools in the classroom.

The relationship between teachers & technology

The relationship between teachers and technology is a complex and complicated one but might have become a bit more clear with the onset of remote learning. Jake’s take is that this relationship hasn’t changed with remote learning, what has changed is how easy it is to recognize the challenges of educational technology. Identifying these challenges enables technology coaches to better guise their teachers to foster that relationship.

Jake shared that the best thing teachers can do in regard to technology is to think about what is going to be best for their students, what is going to be best for them, and what they are going to improve in their practice to fill gaps that they have noticed.

Identify those needs first, and then figure out where technology can fit in as a support and solution to answer those questions.


For more insight into tech coaching, educational technology, and professional learning, listen to the full episode with Jake Miller:

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