Professional Development and Program Evaluation
Evidence of Mastery for Standard IV Indicators
The fourth ISTE standard for coaches places the technology coach in an fundamental role to improve professional development and overall technology use to maximize impact on instructional practice and learning outcomes.
The role of the technology coach is to:
Conduct needs assessments that positively impacts student learning. Student learning takes on many forms. One of the responsibilities of both educators and institutions alike is to ensure students are future-ready by understanding how to use technology well. Educators teach technology skills so one way to evaluate how well students use technology is to assess what practices are currently used by educators. I conducted a needs assessment informing how well our department teaches and/or practices digital citizenship. The assessment was conducted by interviewing two directors in identifying areas of excellence and improvements in the nine-areas of digital citizenship. The result of this assessment demonstrated that although the entire department perceives themselves as not very “tech-savvy”, current departmental practices align with most digital citizenship areas. One major area of improvement that was identified was digital communication . The interest in improving this area was so great department-wide that it was addressed as a new department goal. More on the development of this department goal is explained in ISTE coaching standard 1C).
Design, develop, and implement programs that model principles of adult learning. Formative assessment has been touted as an education best practice because it can provide real-time information on student comprehension and learning needs. The same can be said for professional development. The Office of Educational Technology encourages the use feedback as a way to better drive reflection, peer feedback, and evaluation of instructional practices. In this blog post, I explore this topic in more detail and learn that when formative feedback is coupled with the adult-learning model, participants are better able to assess their own needs by tracking their learning. I also learn that there are several formative feedback platforms for instructors, however, to be applied in a meaningful manner, feedback modeling should be included.
Another professional development model that can be used to promote the adult learning principles is the use of facilitation. Facilitation allows the learners to be in control and explore professional learning in a manner that is relevant and active. In this blog post, I learn about how this model has been successfully used in real-world application though the model may have some limitations. Despite these limitations, the greatest impact of this model is changing the attitudes of educators through their active involvement in technology by using it to solve an education problem.
Evaluate results of professional learning programs. I had the unique opportunity to engage with this ISTE indicator firsthand through a pilot project I worked on with the university’s educational technology department. The main issue that spurred this project was to understand what technologies faculty were using in classrooms and if those technologies met the needs of faculty. The project would also help gather insight into what other classroom technologies (coupled with professional developing/training) would better meet current faculty needs in conjunction with future needs. My collaboration with the education technology department yield a pilot survey that was conducted in the second to last quarter of this Masters program. The results of that pilot is highlighted in this blog post. Since then, I have continued my collaboration and expanded this project to include the full-scale survey, the results of which began conversations about future classroom models with stakeholders. The summary of the full survey and process is explored in ISTE coaching standard 3F).