The role of the Technology Coach is one of the most critical parts of having a successful K-12 technology integration program. Technology Coaching is all about one thing: supporting classroom technology integration to maximize student learning and improve teacher efficiency. But what happens to the Tech Coach role when the classroom disappears and Remote Learning discourse takes its place?
On the most recent episode of Tackling Tech, a podcast powered by Dyknow, Sean Coffron, Instructional Technology Training Specialist at Manassas City Public Schools, joined host Brett McGrath to discuss his background in Tech Coaching, the current state of K-12 education, and how remote learning discourse has affected the Tech Coach role and educational technology in general.
Listen to the full episode
Sean Coffron’s role as a Technology Coach
In his role as an Instructional Technology Training Specialist, Sean works closely with teachers at Manassas City Public Schools to ensure that all students (on both sides of the digital divide) are getting the best learning experiences and education as possible. He supports about 75 teachers in the middle school building and on any given day can expect to work with 40 – 50 teachers. Sean explained that his main goal as a Tech Coach is to…
“Promote the efficacy of the teacher and help them feel comfortable about discussing their interests and difficulties to take them to that next step”
Amid the current remote learning discourse, there are inevitable barriers and changes to how he provides coaching and communicates, but he explained that the Tech Coach role and his ultimate goals have not changed.
Changes Amid the Remote Learning discourse
When asked about how the current remote learning discourse has affected his Tech Coaching role, Sean explained that not much has changed. The means by which Tech Coaches, Teachers, Administration, and Students communicate or discuss has changed, but the conversations are still happening and the focus is still centered on conversations about learning, instruction, and students.
What has changed?
The two obvious changes amid the current remote learning discourse are time and space barriers. With these changes, Sean explains that the modes through which he communicates with Teachers, and Teachers communicate with students has changed completely. Technology allows the level of discussion, collaboration and communication to continue. Now, instead of side-by-side teaching or co-teaching, Sean is preparing teachers to be able to do that on their own. He is focused on making sure teachers feel prepared and have options for differentiation for students with special learning needs.
The mode of communication has shifted to accommodate for remote learning discourse, and the content of these conversations are now centered on how to be successful with Remote Learning and e-Learning. However, the coaching structure and roles involved in these conversations have stayed virtually the same.
What has stayed the same?
Sean explains that the his (and most other’s) coaching structure remains the same. This speaks to the strength of a community of educators where technology is no longer a fancy “bell and whistle” to increase student interest, but rather a resource to differentiate instruction and make instruction more effective – in the words of Sean Coffron, “It is the bread and butter of how we do business.”
Sean believes this remote learning discourse has simply opened up a larger conversation for technology’s place and impact on the classroom:
Listen to our full conversation with Sean Coffron on the Tackling Tech Podcast!
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