Throughout my time in the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University, I have come to recognize that much of my role in my current work position is to work with others to create shared goals and a vision that leads to an impact on teaching and learning. As I reflect back on these first two indicators for the ISTE Coaching Standard, Change Agent I am reminded of some of my work when I first started this program.
Through my role as a STEM Facilitator I am constantly having conversations with others around what our district’s goals are when it comes to teaching and learning and how we as facilitators or coaches can help achieve these shared goals. One such conversation was with my district’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO). We were able to sit down and talk about our district’s plans for making sure we are preparing our students for a digital world. You can read more about this conversation in my blog post Digital Readiness: One Districts Path for Preparing Students for a Digital World. However what came out of this conversation was that while we are doing many things as a district to prepare students there is still more that needs to happen. One thing specific is that as a district we need to better incorporate digital citizenship into our classrooms. So currently I have been working with my supervisor and a small committee to develop shared goals around how the district might incorporate more digital citizenship into content areas and how to support teachers in doing this.
Another way that I have shown evidence in these two indicators is in my work with other facilitators in my district. As a facilitator I have been working with other facilitators to look at and make recommendations regarding digital learning tools. We have been looking at the tools through the lens of making sure we are supporting teachers and students so that they have the appropriate tools to be successful in class, especially now during remote learning. This has led to us being able to purchase various resources as a district that support learning such as Screencastify, Nearpod, Kami, and Read&Write for Google Chrome just to name a few. I am also part of a committee that is looking at our current resources and determining if some resources still meet our needs and align with our vision and goals as a district. We are also looking at additional resources that might better align with our district goals and making decisions for next year.
I am continually having conversations with other educators, colleagues, and leadership around shared vision and goals and what resources meet those needs. All of my conversations with others when we are talking about a digital tool start with the same question, “What is the purpose or learning goal that we are trying to achieve?” This allows us all to make sure we are on the same page and in agreement with what the goal is and allows us to make sure we are finding the right resource to meet the needs of the learner. Recently I was able to collaborate with a group of math teachers who were looking for a way to engage students virtually. After talking with the teachers we were able to determine that they really wanted a way to be able to share documents with all students at once so that they could interact and receive feedback in real time. As a group we looked at using the resource Kami within our districts learning management system. The teachers were excited to see how they could have students interacting in the same document or their own documents and that teachers could see the student work and provide feedback in real time. This has led to these teachers working together to begin to create shared assessments within Kami for students. They have also used time during their planning to share with others in their school and I have started to see more teachers begin to use the resource.
As I continue to look forward I know that I will continually need to push and ask questions of others to make sure that decisions made are around creating equitable high-impact learning opportunities for others. I also need to continue to foster coaching relationships in order to be able to ask questions and push on thinking. Specifically I am planning to continue to push on educators and leaders to think about how we are providing opportunities for all students to have access to content. Specifically looking at how we recommend students for courses and how we communicate these recommendations to students and families. This way as a district we can make sure we are always aligning our district core values with our work as a department and school. I am committed to working with leadership and educators to make sure we are all working toward a shared vision that provides digital learning opportunities for all students equitably in order to meet the needs of all.
ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches