A new kind of Professional Development for TOSA’s (a.k.a: Coaches) Series: Part 1

Dublin Unified has a fair amount of Academic Coaches. They are full time release teachers whose sole mission is to assist classroom teachers in fine tuning their art and science of teaching. There are also EdTech Coaches who receive a stipend to do the same effort on a smaller scale. These individuals have a full classroom that they have to teach and support daily. In addition they will troubleshoot and interact with teachers that want to integrate technology into their instruction.

Through a variety of discussions with Dr. Sarah Breed, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Dublin Unified, we agreed this group of teachers would benefit from some professional development targeted to support them in their effort to support others.

We agreed on a full day of release with a focal point on progressive PD models that we could model and intern expect that they deliver to their teachers in staff meetings, in one on one sessions, and grade level collaboration time. I was very fortunate to have creative discretion over the content for the day. See our theme!

I chose to build a model that was a blend of EdCamp, CUE Rockstar, and ISTE playground environments.  These approaches to professional development are a blend of ISTE (International Society for Technology Education) and CUE (Computer Using Educators). The professional development models deviate from the “stand and deliver” “sage on the stage” that teachers have been complaining about for generations.

We began the morning with an hour long session introducing EDTech coaches to the maker model. The Technology Services Department staff were brought together and assigned stations and for one hour. EdTech Coaches floated between stations every 10 to 15 minutes to have an experience like none other.

One station was the marshmallow challenge, simplified. IMG_1818Another station was the personalization station, a place were teachers were encouraged to decorate their laptops. The stickers I chose for the station focus on anti-bullying, superheroes, and positive role-models that the students will see on their teacher’s laptops in the classrooms. Another station was called the Tech Genius Bar, several of my staff assisted teachers with any support they needed with hardware and software on their work laptops and personal devices.  My personal favorite, was the green screen station with the DoInk. IMG_1817The EdTech Coaches used props and could shoot photos and/or videos with the green screen to show them how simple the tool was to use.

 

 

 

After that, teachers had choice between two sessions that ran one hour long. There was a district focus on certain applications only and included Google Classroom.  IMG_1827

During lunch, and APP Smash was offered and teachers gathered their favorite apps and extensions in one Google sheet and had two minutes to share and present their information to others. By having the APP Smash data gathered on a Google sheet, nothing was missed and an EdTech coach that was attempting to download an extension during that two minutes did not have to worry about also writing down the name of the next APP coming in line because it was a very fast-paced moving experience.

The final session of the day was delivered by two Super Power Coaches (KELLY HILTON  @KELLYIHILTON & SARAH LANDIS  @SARAHLANDIS from Pleasanton Unified School District on the topic of #hyperdocs. Sarah & Kelly were offered a opportunity to try out new material and take risks since they were not with their own district staff.

The value this brought to the afternoon session, I feel, was invaluable. It is a very rare occasion, where teachers are encouraged to take risks and when professional development is often delivered, due to the cost, there is generally a need for certain deliverables as an end result. I found the afternoon session that ran for one and a half hours was the most powerful time of the whole day. I plan on bringing Coaches from other districts in to train our Coaches as a model moving forward. We are still awaiting evaluation feedback from the session, I’ll keep you posted.

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