Creating a culture that embraces technology use but also supports others in fostering positive and respectful online interactions as well as balancing our time with and without technology is something that I strive for everyday. As a coach and facilitator I continually work with educators and leaders to think about the way we are using technology. Having conversations with educators, leaders, and students about how they present themselves online is something that happens often. It is important to remember that good behavior and positive relationships should happen whether or not we are using technology. So how am I helping others think about that when designing learning experiences. One of the projects that I got to do while completing my Masters program in Digital Education Leadership at Seattle Pacific University, was an interview of the Chief Technology Officer in my district. This interview helped solidify the fact that it is everyone’s job when it comes to supporting digital citizenship and promoting healthy relationships and interactions online. Something I am consistently thinking about is how to continue to support and push educators and students to think about their behaviors and values in their technology use. You can read more about my interview and project in my blog post, Digital Readiness: One Districts Path for Preparing Students for a Digital World.
My mission statement is also reflective of my belief in the importance of this work. One of the principles of my mission is to collaborate with educators, leaders and students around healthy online collaboration and what that means and looks like. As I state in my mission it is important to model for others what acceptable online interactions look like and help educators anticipate when and where they may need to explicitly model these behaviors. One way that I often find myself modeling this behavior is when I am working with educators in their classroom, either co-teaching or just observing. For example there have been a few times where I have been in a classroom and we were having students work together in a shared document. One student decided to use that as a opportunity to delete other students work. Instead of getting upset and calling the student out, the teacher and I used it as an opportunity to have a whole class discussion. So we stopped the lesson and talk as a class about how it made them feel when their work was deleted. We also talked about how the students should have been working with in the document and what norms they wanted to set as a class. This was great because the ideas came from the students and they had more ownership over them which meant they were more likely to follow them. Balancing online and offline time can sometimes seem hard especially when working in a district that is one-to-one. Therefore when I plan with other educators we often talk about what the learning objective is and whether it requires students to be online or not. Instead of just doing everything online we try to make sure that the interactions students are having online are meaningful and that they add to the learning. During remote instruction this has been harder and so I have tried to encourage teachers to continue to think strategically about what they are having students do during synchronous online instruction. Is it providing time for students to collaborate and have discussions in order to connect with each other or are they just listening to the teacher talk? How can we maximize our time together and then provide opportunities for students to get away from the computer like reading a book, looking for quadratic functions or energy and matter outside. If we want others to balance their use of technology and have respectful online interactions as the standard says then we need to model this behavior and intentionally plan for this in professional learning and the classroom. You can read the entirety of my mission statement on my website.
As I continue to engage in the ISTE Standards for Coaches I am continually struck by how interconnected they all are. However when specifically thinking about standard 7 and specifically indicator b, I am left thinking about the importance of modeling this for ALL. This means not just modeling respectful interactions and a healthy balance for educators, leaders and students but also for my own kids and family and friends. How can I walk the talk in one setting but not in all settings of my life. So I am committed to continually modeling this in all of my daily interactions so that I can lead by example.
ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches