Looking for input from all of YOU!

This has been a really interesting year as a Technology Coach in our school. It’s the first year the school has had a position like this. There are 3 of us in the position (2 a married couple, 1 not a certified teacher). We don’t have a job description. The school is attempting to go 1:1 with iPads…I could go on.

After working with some teachers and approaching in it different ways, things have come to a point where we need to figure some stuff out. That’s where I’d be forever grateful if you’d chime in! In any way you’d like (comment, tweet, email, etc), could you please respond to any or all of these questions? This is a rather hastily written plea so anything else you’d like to contribute would be wonderful. MERCI bien in advance!

Do you have technology coaches (instructional technology specialists, technology integration coaches…whatever you’d like to call it) in your school? (Why?)

What does their job look like? What responsibilities do they have? (Why?)

Are they certified teachers or support staff? (Why?)

Are they considered admin/leaders or teachers? (Why?)

Do they influence teachers or give them what they ask for? (Why?)

Please share any knowledge or resources you have! I’m eager to help mold this position into what is best for the teachers and school. THANK YOU!

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11 comments

  1. Dana Watts · April 23, 2013

    Here’s a little insight from my little nook in the world:
    Do you have technology coaches (instructional technology specialists, technology integration coaches…whatever you’d like to call it) in your school? (Why?)
    Yes, we have one for each school, ES, MS and HS and call the position Tech Coordinators. We also have two Tech Facilitators in the ES. Coaches is a far better way to describe what we all do.

    What does their job look like? What responsibilities do they have? (Why?)
    General integration of the technology into the curriculum, training of students, teachers and parents. This team leads the school in discussions about TPACK, SAMR, Grappling’s and so forth. Anything and everything tech related seems to fall in their laps.

    Are they certified teachers or support staff? (Why?)
    Certified teachers.

    Are they considered admin/leaders or teachers? (Why?)
    They are considered teachers in leadership positions. They do not have any admin authority but lead the school on best practice of integration of technology to enhance learning in the classroom.

    Do they influence teachers or give them what they ask for? (Why?)
    I believe so, the biggest issue is time. This group is incredibly busy. A lot of their time is spent on trivial things that takes them away from classrooms and teachers. Everyone wants some of their time, but it is stretched thin trying to help everyone.

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    • Lissa Layman · April 23, 2013

      Thank you Dana! 🙂

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      • Allison Hart · April 24, 2013

        I would say ditto to pretty much all of Dana’s responses… And for next year at our school, we are trying to remedy that “trivial things” problem (which for us means systems management – our LMS, SIS, etc…) by consolidating all of that into one person’s role (mine) as some sort of Systems Coordinator… still developing the job title (any ideas? Haiku, Google Apps, PowerSchool, etc…)

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  2. Cindy · April 23, 2013

    I am starting to think that the Technology Integration Coach position will merge with librarians because I believe our libraries are going to look very different in another 10 years.
    On another note, I see the whole position being redefined into something much like a “Learning and Teaching Coach” because as you know the best tech integration is not about the technology, but about the learning that take place.

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  3. Carrie Zimmer · April 23, 2013

    Do you have technology coaches (instructional technology specialists, technology integration coaches…whatever you’d like to call it) in your school? (Why?)

    Yes…but just one for the elementary. There is no one in this position in the MS and HS, though we need it. We disbanded our computer lab two years ago to move towards an integrated approach to embedding technology into the classroom. I was hired to help the teachers do this.

    What does their job look like? What responsibilities do they have? (Why?)

    It’s my job to introduce the teachers to new things, share possibilities that would redefine the instruction they’re providing, help the teachers ensure that they are working towards helping students achieve the goals of our elementary technology continuum. I meet with grade levels, individual teachers, present at faculty meetings, etc. We are not one to one in our elementary so I spend a lot of time coordinating the laptop schedule based on requests from teachers and delivering the computers. I also get asked to try and fix a lot of tech problems, which is not my best skill set, since I’m a trained elementary teacher and not a computer science tech person. But, we’re a little short on support staff, so I feel like it’s something I have to do.

    Are they certified teachers or support staff? (Why?)

    Certified teacher.

    Are they considered admin/leaders or teachers? (Why?)

    Teacher.

    Do they influence teachers or give them what they ask for? (Why?)

    I think both. You’ve got to work with teachers where they are on some level or risk them not doing anything. I work with a set of teachers that probably a pretty good distribution of what you’d find in most places. Some that are really eager to move forward and try new things and change what they’ve done in the past and some that are more hesitant and require a lot more hand holding. And, I think that depends on the level of support you’re receiving from the administration too.

    Hope that helps,
    Carrie

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  4. Jason Graham · April 24, 2013

    Lissa
    Great questions. Ill take a crack at answering ..

    Do you have technology coaches (instructional technology specialists, technology integration coaches…whatever you’d like to call it) in your school? (Why?) Yes 1, and hopefully 2 next year that would be 1 in ES (me) and 1 in secondary. We are a small school.

    What does their job look like? What responsibilities do they have? (Why?) I can send you the job description I wrote for myself as Learning Technologies Coordinator 2 years ago. DM me your email and Ill send it along. It also involves some of the role a Technology Director would be responsible for as well, but like I said we are a small school 🙂

    Are they certified teachers or support staff? (Why?)
    Yes. have to have that pedagogical understanding and teaching experience

    Are they considered admin/leaders or teachers? (Why?)
    Pedagogical leadership role. My school admin is great at giving me freedom to try new ideas. Very supportive.

    Do they influence teachers or give them what they ask for? (Why?)
    I hope so. Change takes time. Ive had a ‘sit an wait’ approach instead of being bothersome. That’s worked I think. Slowly more and more teachers Ive seen get excited about enhancing their kids learning through tech. I think its catching on in a big way. Its great to to see these teachers become techno innovators of the school where we all learn from them. You quickly see what a bunch of talented professionals you work with.

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