Category Archives: EDTC6105

Essential Questions

Essential questions provide context for individual understandings or skills. They connect the small to the large, the known to what still must be explored. If designed well and integrated into instruction, they help students think bigger, communicate better, analyze and synthesize what they learn and transfer that knowledge to other subject areas both inside and … Continue reading "Essential Questions"

ISTE for Coaches – Co-planning 21st century learning activities

ISTE-C Standard 1: Visionary Leadership
d. Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms

ISTE-C Standard 2: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
f. Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences

Inquiry Question:
How can we use SAMR model to help teachers to improve lessons?

What is SAMR?

When we piloted the 1:1 laptop program and BYOD initiate in our international school, the school administrators chose the SAMR model to evaluate the effect of technology integration. SAMR model is designed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura (Figure 1) to guide teachers towards effectively infusing technology into their classes to transform learning to higher-order creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. SAMR includes four categories: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. Each category has an impact on learning from different angles and raise teacher awareness and the capacity to select the appropriate technology tools for specific goals. SAMR model help to build and develop the teacher’s mindset of using technology meaningfully in classes rather than in favor of rich-tech solutions with no reference to learning objectives and context.

Image the creation of Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D. Figure 1

SAMR is not Like Climbing A Mountain

Have you ever been striving for reaching the Redefinition level in your classes? SAMR is not like climbing a mountain but a constant ongoing journey. Each category has its own effect within equal weight. Redefinition is not a summit to climb and conquer. Also, the technology you used always has invented ways to accelerate student learning without max-out. Teachers should choose technology skillfully and mindfully to impact the nature of teaching from the four categories and result in promoting student learning outcomes rather than pushing to Redefinition blindly.  

Retrieved from

Work with Bloom’s Taxonomy to Meet Specific Goals

We crawl before we walk. Learning always being a sustained process on cognition development from lower level to high-order level. Many teachers and tech coaches keep staying at Substitution for a long time before they move on to the next stage. It doesn’t matter which level you are at and how long you have been there, but it matters that if you embed technology for pedagogical sake to reach specific learning goals and keep moving on in the four categories. The image (Figure 2) shows the correlation between the SAMR model and Bloom’s Taxonomy. Teachers should make a decision on what, how and why to use technology in classes depending on which cognitive level they are developing for students.

Figure 2

Substitution-the door to the technology integration

Substitution is the simplest level in the SAMR model, but it is the essential level to shift learning to be digital and visible. Technology tools selected in the S level should reinforce students’ memories of new knowledge and stimulate their understanding.

Augmentation-Discover new features of technology tools

Augmentation is the level that technology has functional improvement. Students and teachers will initiate to involve digital tools in old learning activities to achieve more engagement and motivation. The tools should provide more opportunities to share new knowledge and perspectives and get feedback in time from teachers to deepen understanding.  

Modification and Redefinition – Create new ways to solve problems

In the transformation stage, teachers redesign learning tasks and encourage students to leverage appropriate technology to lead student-centered learning and demonstrate learning outcomes through creative ways. 

A New Structure of the SAMR Model

Hamlin Tech Team created an infinity symbol (Figure 3) to explain the SAMR model in a new way. This is a non-hierarchy structure in which each category has the same value. The right and appropriate technology tool matching the specific task will have the maximum positive effect on learning.

Figure 3 Created by Hamlin Tech Team

In this image, Redefinition level is not the summit of technology integration, but it is a start sign for the next round of innovative integration. SAMR is described as a loop in which four categories have an interdepend relationship and impact increasingly on student learning. Teachers as the innovator in education should integrate technology wisely and mindfully with the SAMR model as the self-assessment tool to improve learning and teaching to meet the 21st century’s needs.


Integrating Technology into Your Classroom with the SAMR Model. Retrieved from:

Portnoy, L. (2018). How SAMR and Tech Can Help Teachers Truly Transform Assessment. Retrieved from:

Swanso, P. (2014). Rethinking SAMR. Retrieved from:

The Hamlin School. (2014). SAMR Model: Excellence in Teaching with Technology. Retrieved from:   

Just in Time: Formative Assessments

Formative assessments are a key component of grounding students in 21st century skills. By providing feedback while students are learning instead of waiting until the end of a lesson or term, learners can recognize what they are and aren’t understanding. Similarly, educators can adjust their teaching methods to better meet their students’ needs. Building Skills … Continue reading "Just in Time: Formative Assessments"

A Pinch, a Dash and a Smidgen ~ Blending 21st Century Skills with Proven Practices

I tend to be a simple cook.  Generally, I make what I am familiar with, either from what I grew up eating or what I figured out how to make when I first lived on my own.  I attempt to branch out but it takes extra time, focus and effort and life can feel too busy to try and find new ingredients at the store or to figure out if a cooking gadget I have will work instead of the fancy gadget the recipe says to use but I don’t own. I do try to mix it up though because it is boring to eat the same things over and over.  Last week, I tried a new recipe. It always feels a bit overwhelming at first yet the anticipation of having something new is exciting – for me and my family.  Once the meal is on the table, the dinner conversation tends to revolve around me giving disclaimers to my family (If it’s terrible, we can pop that frozen pizza in!).  We all eat the first few bites thoughtfully and talk about what we are tasting.  I reflect throughout the meal about what I will do differently next time while my husband and kids reassure me that it is good and that they really do like it.  Then, if it was actually good, I fine tune the recipe the next time I make it and as I make it more often, it becomes easier each time.  Eventually, the recipe is not in front of me but instead, a part of what I know.   

In reality, I already know how to do the most important parts of every new recipe, the basic cooking steps, it is just getting comfortable with the new ingredients, sequence or cooking style. I have also realized that each time I ventured out of my cooking comfort zone, I become more comfortable. This process and awareness of learning applies to how 21st Century skills can enrich prior teaching practices. The basic skills educators have gained throughout their careers do not become null and void just because there are new skills to fine tune and try out with. As a coach, I hope to inspire who I am working with to add a pinch of this, a dash of that and a smidgen of something new until they are using these skills more naturally in how they approach teaching.  Shifting one’s educational philosophy and pedagogy is not about changing everything at once but to instead mix new ways of thinking in to find the right teaching recipe that works for the them and the learners they are working with, which remains a tried and true pedagogical practice just with a 21st Century perspective thoughtfully added. This leads me to my question, how do 21st century skills influence the changing criteria for effective learning and technology integration? 

(Let’s look more closely with the idea of a recipe in mind)

21st Century Skills and 21st Century Learning 

(These are the basic cooking steps that we don’t have to relearn with every new recipe but are reimagined in a new way when new ingredients are added!) 

Educators have always had to keep up with the changing landscape of the world that they and their students interact with and live in. When thinking about how 21st Century Skills influence effective learning environments and pedagogical approach, there seems to be the theme of focusing on an updated process of learning rather than just the outcome of facts, data and what students know or do not know through summative assessments.  The National Education Association (NEA) goes beyond just the skills and talks about the elements of 21st Century Learning as: 

  • Emphasize core subjects 
  • Emphasize learning skills 
  • Use 21st century tools to develop learning skills 
  • Teach and learn in a 21st century context 
  • Teach and learn new 21st century content 
  • Use 21st century assessments that measure core subjects and 21st century skills 

I appreciate the distinction NEA has made between 21st Century Skills (often talked about as the 4 C’s: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) and 21st Century Learning which encompasses the 4 C’s but also includes the elements listed above to reflect the technology, learning environment and content/context changes that connect past and present approaches. 

Learning Progressions 

(This is the time where you learn a new sequence of steps to blend with your prior knowledge of cooking that is required for your new recipe!)

In the article, Learning Progressions: Road Maps for 21st-Century Students—and Teachers, we are reminded that the pedagogical shift of 21st Century is about the progression of learning.  “…The focus should be on Learning progressions—the journeys that students take as they move toward mastering skills in specific areas or disciplines—rather than on outcomes in the form of scores on standardized tests “(Kim, H. & Scoular C., 2017).  Kim and Scoular focus on the idea of moving learners from novices to experts and that learning progressions emphasize how students move through the learning of the core subjects. 

“Tried-and-true progressions exist for those subjects [literacy, science numeracy], and we know they work. We can thus use this established approach to benefit our understanding of more complex skills—not just of the skills themselves, but also of how students demonstrate them at various levels.”  

(Kim, H. & Scoular C., 2017)

Building a Bridge Together 

(This is the part of the recipe where you are taking a risk and trying out the new and some unfamiliar ingredients, steps and/or cooking style to see how this influences the meal in a new and exciting way!) 

In the book, Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration, Foltos reminds us that, “Educators and the Peer Coaches that work with them find it easy to talk about 21st-century skills but much more difficult to turn abstract ideas like critical thinking, analyzing and synthesizing information, transference, information literacy, and creativity into practical classroom learning activities.”  This is where coaches and educators benefit from strong collaboration and take the learning activities they are already familiar with and reimagine them by tweaking the process and end result to be more student centered and fine tune what they already have instead of reinventing the wheel.  Using a process such as the Learning Design Matrix (Peer Coaching, 2018) below can help to inspire rethinking and focus on the teaching, learning environment and desired outcome. 

21st Century Pedagogy  

(This is the part of the recipe that once everything is mixed in and cooked, you must finalize the meal with the last critical step – putting it on the plate.) 

While thinking about bridging the old with the new, it is important to realize how intertwined the new and old ideas, philosophies and approaches already are. It benefits all stakeholders to remember that focusing on teaching styles, learner centered instruction and 21st Century ways to showcase deeper learning is key to not becoming overwhelmed with thinking everything around education is new. Like always, each aspect relies on the other. Much like how basic salt and pepper, turning on the stove and trying out new recipes and tools enhances our basic ability to cook and better feed ourselves and each other.  

Below is an example of a new pedagogical approach: 

Context matters, and the diagram from edorigami captures this, though not from the perspective of the student and content knowledge, but the teacher and various pedagogical components themselves, including Higher-Order Thinking SkillsPeer Collaboration, and Media Fluency. (TeachThought Staff, 2018)

And finally… 

I thought this was an interesting way of thinking about past versus present – this was not how every classroom always was in the past or how it currently is for every classroom  in the present but elements of each ring true and what an exciting time this is for education and the changing landscape within and outside of the classroom. The powerful connection between school and real life…considering school is real life and learning forever embedded in the lives of the generations we are teaching today – 21st Century and beyond.  

Follow this link to see page 2 of the document:


21st Century Schools. 20th Century Classroom vs. the 21st Century Classroom. Retrieved from

Foltos, L. (2013). Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin. 

Kim, H. & Scoular C. (April 24,2017). Learning Progressions: Road Maps for 21st-Century Students—and Teachers. Retrieved from 

McAlpin, Renee. (2017) Brookings Institute. Skills for a changing world: The global movement to prepare students for the 21st century. Retrieved from 

National Education Association. Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Retrieved from 

Peer Coaching. (2018). Learning Design Matrix.  

ISTE For Coaches – Defining and Implementing 21st Century Learning

ISTE-C Standard 1: Visionary Leadership
d. Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms
ISTE-C Standard 2: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
f. Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences
ISTE-C-Standard 6: Content Knowledge and Professional Growth
1. Engage in continual learning to deepen content and pedagogical knowledge in technology integration and current and emerging technologies necessary to effectively implement the ISTE Student and Educator standard

Inquiry Question:
What are the traits of 21stcentury learning, and how can the tech coach model teachers to use and assess technology to lead effective learning meet the 21stcentury needs?

Rethinking Learning, How Can We Prepare Our Students for 21st Century

As the educator in the digital world, we are facing the questions that how we can prepare our students with capabilities and skills who will work in the jobs are not currently exist and how we can make our children succeed in the 21st century. As we teaching traditional skills like reading, writing, arithmetic, we also have to consider to equip students with skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity, which are indispensable in the thriving digital world. As the 21st century digital natives, our students embrace change, they desire to learn new things and getting fun from learning. Instead of becoming consuming digital natives, we need to foster our children to be productive creators and producers who can leverage technology to support and deepen their effective learning in their future lives. As the teachers in the 21st century, we need to embed technology purposefully to improve student motivation to dive into collaborative and creative learning and foster their digital skills.

Integrate Technology in Smart Way

The secret ingredient to learning with technology is found not in the tools themselves, but in the instructional methods, the teachers employ with the tools (Bebell & Kay, 2010; Kay & Lauricella, 2011). Tech coach is taking the key role to help teachers to transform and adapt the new ways of teaching.  A successful coaching is not just to introduce teachers a fancy digital tool but should model and empower teachers to utilize technology smartly and meaningfully to accelerate student effective learning. The strong conceptual framework and assessment tools can be modeled as the good guidance in the coaching to provide a clear direction that how technology should be integrated smartly. 

Triple E Framework

Triple E Framework is used as a research-informed guide to support teachers in choosing technology tools that add value to learning goals. The three elements- engagement, enhancement, and extension- should be considered when integrating technology into a learning activity. The nine simple guiding questions (Figure 1) can help teachers to assess the technology integration in the class. 

Figure 1


In the 21st century, students learning not restricted by the school, they can capture skills and knowledge from interaction with peers inside and outside of the classroom. Educators need to ensure the technology tools can increase opportunities for students to engage in meaningful conversations and reflect with others on what they are working on (Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015). Teachers should create social learning activities supported by interactive technology tools instead of using the digital tools isolated from interaction.  


In the 21st century, children’s brains and cognition can be developed by innovative technology intervened. When students are using technology to create, analyze, evaluate, gather, and synthesize knowledge, there can be long-term and positive cognitive growth. Teachers should embed technology tools purposefully and design strategies to help connect the content learning to the creative digital tools to reach the objectives of learning.


In the 21st century, students are required to have abilities to solve problems in the real world. Effective learning happens when it is situated in authentic contexts (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). Teachers need to integrate technology into learning activities to help bridge real-world learning with the classroom curriculum. 

Using the Tripe E Framework, teachers can easily identify and assess the effect and purpose of technology used in their classes and which elements of effective learning the technology can improve.

Pedagogy Wheel

The Pedagogy Wheel is not a tool, but it is all about mindsets that can deepen teachers’ thinking and help them to make a decision on how to make the pedagogy drive the technology to plan effective learning. The Pedagogy Wheel associates Educational Apps with Graduate Attributes and Capabilities, Motivation, Blooms Taxonomy, and the SAMR Model which can help teachers identify how the technology tools they used in their class improve and support the educational purpose and how the digital technology references to the wider developmental needs of their students.

The five gears are interconnected affected each other to determine the direction of the Wheel. Teachers need to consider each gear in the teaching from planning to implementation through which they will know what they are doing and where they will go.

Use Technology to Target Learning Objectives: Blooms Taxonomy 

Blooms Taxonomy is a way of helping teachers design learning objectives starting from remembering to creating (Figure2).  The Wheel is like a compass providing apps for each category serving your pedagogy. Teachers will have a clear image in their minds on what digital tools they can use and which learning objective the technology support to improve. 

Use the SAMR Model to assess the Digital Technology Impacts

The SAMR model- “Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition”- is a framework that assists teachers to assess the degree of the digitally empowered learning and teaching. SAMR model can help teachers to think over how the technologies they have integrated serve the student learning.

The Pedagogy Wheel can direct teachers to use technology intentionally to support pedagogy and enhance student learning in achieving expected outcomes. It will avoid teachers to integrate technology just for its own sake. 

In the 21st century, digital technology is changing teaching and learning rapidly and constantly. It will always have pitfalls when educators are trying to adopt a new teaching method using technology. The above frameworks can build a solid mindset on technology integration which can guide teachers to leverage technology purposely to improve student effective learning and have technology serve their pedagogy rather than driven by technology.  


  1. Kolb, L. (2019). Smart Classroom-Tech Integration. Retrieve from:
  2. Carrington, A. (2016). The Padagogy Wheel – It’s Not About The Apps, It’s About The Pedagogy. Retrieve from:
  3. Rethinking Learning: The 21st century Learner|MacArthur Foundation . Retrieved from:
  4. Bloom’s Taxonomy: Why, How, & Top Examples . Retrieved from:

ISTE For Coaches -Developing Coaching Skills

ISTE-C Standard 1: Visionary Leadership
d. Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms

Standard 2: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
f. Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences

Inquiry Question:
How can you build positive and comfortable relationship with the teachers who are not good at technology even resistant to technology in the coaching?

Subtle and substantial challenges to coach veteran teachers

Veteran teachers are highly experienced with highly structured teaching methods for years. They understand students and know how to create engaging and motivating lessons. Building rapport and comfort is the key to the success of coaching. 

Admire and respect their teaching

Don’t give the impression that your coaching goal is to change or uproot the years of work they have done. Observe the classes to gain valuable insights to offer explicit direction for future coaching.  

Ask for the expectation

After observing the classes, engage in conversation about one specific lesson to learn how the teacher came up with the ideas for it and ask them what they hope students will remember about the lesson 10 years later to deepen the conversation to understand their expectations. 


Put the heart into the veteran teacher’s sharing without interrupt. Paraphing what the teacher said to clarify your understanding correctly and show your full respect. Look for the points to make suggestions and ideas to improve learning activities using appropriate technology which can meet the teacher’s expectations and discuss the planning with the teacher. 

Provide a specific strategy to improve student learning

Teach a small group of students with technology embedded for a specific lesson and show the veteran teacher the improvement the technology made. Get feedback from the teacher in time to know what he is willing to do for the further step. 

Break barriers for coaching reluctant teachers

Reason for reluctant

The group of teachers who are reluctant to accept piloting technology in classes are not good at technology and too vulnerable and negative to take any risks. A positive and supportive relationship is the key to successful coaching.

SAMR framework: focus on S

For the tech coach, the SAMR framework is the clear guidance for technology integration. For coaching the reluctant teachers, the coach needs to focus on Substitution more to build capacity to use digital tools, solve problems, and get through challenges to raise teachers’ confidence and empower them on leveraging technology into classes to enhance student learning.  

Be transparent and honest

Be open and honest to the coached teachers about the potential risks they will meet. Have the teachers understand the lesson plan might need to be re-designed and re-implemented because of some unexpected factors. Share with the teachers the stories of the failures and success of coaching to build trust between each other. 

Coaching is the activity of collaboration and communication in which the relationship is the key factor can catalyze the success and also the failure. Coaching with the veteran and reluctant teachers is significantly different from the technology euthanasic teachers. The coach needs to consider the teachers’ preferences and characteristics to determine the deliverance and set coaching norms. And assessment based on data of improvement will be another catalyst to provoke the willing for long-term coaching.


  1. Grafwallner, P. (2017). Coaching the Veteran Teacher. Retrieve from:
  2. Collet, V. (2018). Breaking Down the Coaching Barriers. Retrieve from:
  3. Paschal, A. (2018). 5 Ways to Build a Trusting Coaching Relationship. Retrieve from:

EDTC 6105 Module 1-Coach as Leader: Foundations

ISTE Coaching Standard

ISTE-C Standard 1: Visionary Leadership

b. Contribute to the planning, development, communication, implementation, and evaluation of technology-infused strategic plans at the district and school levels

d. Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms

Inquiry Question:
How can tech coach provide meaningful and effective coaching to engage and empower teachers to integrate technology into classrooms? Especially for those who are behind using technology in teaching.


Step into the digital world, we are facing many changes in education from constantly developing technologies. To foster productive digital citizens, more and more schools invest educational equipment which is supposed to support teaching and learning, and some piloted 1:1 laptop program or initiated BYOD program cross the entire school. While we are having intelligent hardware, we need to use them intelligently to meet the original purpose and reach the big ideas. Technology can be a powerful tool for transforming learning. It can help affirm and advance relationships between educators and students, reinvent our approaches to learning and collaboration, shrink long-standing equity and accessibility gaps, and adapt learning experiences to meet the needs of all learners. However, to be transformative, educators need to have the knowledge and skills to take full advantage of technology-rich learning environments.

Definition of Effective Coaching and The Role of Tech Coach

In order to increase teachers’ willing and passion to utilize technology into classes, professional development on how to integrate technology is going to take an important role. Since most teachers realize that one-shot PD sessions are too simple not meaningful or impactful to satisfy them, the tech coach who can provide consistent, long-term, and content-specific coaching is expected.

Sometimes tech coach is a facilitator who helps support teachers, give them ideas and let them run with it themselves; Sometimes, tech coach is a co-teachers, who collaborates with teachers to co-plan goals, map out a lesson and engage in cycle of classroom; Sometimes, tech coach is a peer-observer, who provides positive feedback via constant conversation to discuss the future lessons without the feeling of evaluation. In a meaningful and effective coaching, the tech coach works with teachers in a partnership-type and collaborative relationship in which the tech coach engages into a sustained professional dialogue aimed to improve teaching by developing teacher’s knowledge and skills. The effective coaching process is content-related and practical which associates teachers and the tech coach with rapport, respect, and trust in a long-term collaboration.

Successful Cases Catalyze Momentum On Technology Integration

Many teachers either do not have time or might even be resistant to bringing technology into their classroom; others may think it’s just about doing the same thing with new tools. These ingrained opinions bring difficulties in implementing technology coaching from the beginning, and it won’t be effective and impactful without an affirmative attitude. A good way is to start tech coaching with those teachers who are excited to work with technology and willing to experimenting with new opportunities and collaborating. As teachers learned about the tech coach’s role, witnessed what improvements the coaching brought and hear the praise others were getting for collaboration, school-wide momentum begins building up. The meaningful and effective coaching which has been accomplished will act as a conduit of best practices to catalyze passions to others on technology integration.

Identify Teacher’s Needs and Have Teachers See the Improvement

In order to provide effective tech coaching, the coach needs to have deep conversations with the teacher to understand his/her needs, situation and instructional goals. Discussing the following key questions will give the tech coach and the teacher the best direction to effective technology integration and also empower teachers.

•    Why do you want to use this technology here?

•    Why hasn’t the approach that you’ve been doing in the past worked?

•    How do you hope the technology will change it?

•    Can the technology make this idea more relevant to students?

•    Can it push the lesson up a notch, or can it enhance things for students by allowing them to do something that they couldn’t do without the technology? For example, does the technology allow students to collaborate beyond the classroom walls?

•    Is the technology making possible a certain level of transparency for the teacher to assess where students are individually?

•    Does the technology provide a platform for students to be creative without overbearing them with gadgets and apps?

The tech coach needs to collect and analyze the implementation and impact data to present the values and influences of coaching to have the teacher see the improvement from technology integration to grow confidence to take more risks on a new teaching approach.

The Coaching Cycle

According to Andrew’s experiences on providing effective coaching, he suggests using BDA coaching cycle with teachers. BDA coach cycle works better especially for those who are behind using technology.

Before meeting with a teacher, the coach needs to touch base with them informally to get a sense of how he/she might be able to help. The tech coach needs to start generating ideas around the teacher’s particular classroom needs and prepare resources for specific lessons or units before formally meeting with the teacher. In the formal meeting, the tech coach will share ideas or useful things that other teachers have done with technology in their classrooms and a plan of redesigning the specific lessons with meaningful technology integration.

During the course of working together, the tech coach will be there as classroom support while the teacher implements a new lesson utilizing technology. The coach needs to lead the class and model for the teacher how to work with a specific technology.

After implementation, follow-up with the coached teacher is important to find out how things went. The coach and the teacher should meet together to evaluate the implementation and discuss the plan for each individual lesson. Following are the assessment questions need to be considered:

•    Do they need to troubleshoot something, so that it’s easier next time around?

•    Did the implementation bring up new questions or needs for the teacher?

•    What was successful and what still could be tweaked for a more refined delivery?

•    What does the teacher still need help with?

A Flexible Schedule to Best Meet Teacher Diverse Needs  

The flexible schedule will allow the tech coach and teachers to have more opportunities for conversations which will help to grow understanding and build trust and rapport relationships between each other to lead meaningful co-planning for the future. The coach will know any barrier the teacher encounters and provide support in time to inspire the coached teacher moving forward. 

Professional Development to Create A Vision For Teachers–Better for The Future Effective Coaching

The tech coaches have the responsibility to provide follow-up PD after coaching. The PDs as the showcase of successful technology integration are aimed to take the burden of technology off the teachers and create a vision that what and how technology can support them to meet different types of needs for diverse learners. 

The effective and meaningful coaching needs the coach and the teacher collaborate closely with trust and understanding in which the coach and the teacher will use their specific expertise to have a purposeful technology integration to meet the goals they set together and ultimately server the students who have grown up with technology.


Ehsanipour, T., Zaccarelli, F . G., & Center to Support Excellence in Teaching – Stanford University. (2017). Exploring Coaching for Powerful Technology Use in Education. Retrieved from

Davis, E. L., Currie, B. (2019). Tech Integration Comes Alive Through Coaching. Retrieved from

Instructional Coaching: Driving Meaningful Tech Integration. (2015). Retrieved from

Making Technology Work. (2015). Retrieved from

Building Trust in Professional Coaching Relationships

In my current coursework for my Digital Education Leadership program we are looking at what is needed to be a successful Educational Technology coach. Using the ISTE Standards for Coaches as a framework, for this module we are looking at these standards (ISTE, 2017):

ISTE-C Standard 1: Visionary Leadership

b. Contribute to the planning, development, communication, implementation, and evaluation of technology-infused strategic plans at the district and school levels

d. Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms

Although there are many factors and qualities of a successful coach, one that I wanted to explore this week is trust. Establishing a culture of trust is key in all relationships, and professional coaching relationships are no different. But how do you build trust professionally? Especially if the relationship is short-term or in group environment (versus 1-1 coaching). I think one of the biggest hurdles to successful coaching relationships in school is that the term “coach” is so broad. Both coaches and those being coached aren’t clear about what specific coaching role is needed in their situation. So expectations aren’t defined and often one (or both) parties feel misunderstood and that their goals aren’t being met. This is a tremendous missed opportunity and loss of valuable resources. I want to focus on exploring trust and building positive and effective coaching relationships and I believe the first step to making this happen is for coaching roles and expectations of all parties (administration, coach, teacher) to be clearly defined.

Developing a relationship based on respect and trust between coach and learning partner is nonnegotiable for successful coaching.(Foltos, 2013)

When doing my research on this I came across I read Les Foltos’ book, Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration. In this book “The Building Blocks of Trust” were discussed. I found this graphic and idea to be very easy to understand and it has helped me grasp both the importance of trust in coaching relationships as well as how to build this trust.

The Building Blocks of Trust are composed of 3 levels. Compassion, communication, and commitment make up the base of the pyramid. Without one of these trust cannot exist and the coaching relationship will not be as successful as it has the potential to be. Collaboration and Ability make up the middle level and integrity is at the top of the pyramid.

“Trust must be present in order to have meaningful conversations about practice. Trusting relationships among professional colleagues are often the missing ingredient needed to sustain Peer Coaching success” (Robbins, 2015). Robbins, in her book, Peer Coaching to Enrich Professional Practice,

School Culture, and Student Learning, goes on to say that many literacy and math coaches haven’t been successful in recent years because, although coaches might have a content area knowledge, without focusing on building relationships and trust coaching efforts fail.

From the reading I have done on this topic and using my own experiences of coaching and being coached I have come up with 4 “must- haves” for building trust in a professional coaching relationship.

Must-Haves for Building Trust:

1. Clarify that you are not an evaluator.

2. From the first meeting be transparent and honest about setting up expectations and norms for your meetings and work together.

3. As the coach, it is important that you have instruction and practice with communication skills and strategies. Use these.

4. Be reliable and follow through on your coaching responsibilities.


Foltos, L. (2013). Peer Coaching : Unlocking the Power of Collaboration. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin. (2017) ISTE Standards for Coaches. (Retrieved on 2018, November 30) from:

Robbins, P. (2015). Peer Coaching to Enrich Professional Practice, School Culture, and Student Learning. Chapter 1: Establishing the Need for Peer Coaching. Found online at:

PD for EdTech Coaches

In my current coursework for my Digital Education Leadership program we are exploring what additional professional learning we might need to become an effective Educational Technology coach. Using the ISTE Standards for Coaches as a framework, for this module we are looking at these standards (ISTE, 2017):


ISTE-C Standard 2: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment

f.Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences


ISTE-C Standard 6: Content Knowledge and Professional Growth

b. Engage in continuous learning to deepen professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions in organizational change and leadership, project management, and adult learning to improve professional practice

c. Regularly evaluate and reflect on their professional practice and dispositions to improve and strengthen their ability to effectively model and facilitate technology-enhanced learning experiences


During this two year program we have looked at student standards for technology, best practices for teachers of technology, and are now looking at the role of a peer coach in the area of technology.  Through this work, specifically the work this quarter, I am learning the differences between teaching and coaching and the differences between working with students and peers. I have spent 11 of my 14 years as an elementary teacher in the general education classroom.  One of the greatest benefits of being a general education teacher is having a “team”. There are others (both in your school and in your district) that have the same position as you, the same expectations for their job, and the same opportunities to professional development. For three of my years teaching, I held a teaching position that only I had at my school and there were few others (if any) in the district that had the identical position and job description.  For me, the most difficult part of these positions was not having a “team” in my building and not having clear standards, job expectations, and opportunities for professional development. These (standards, expectations, and PD opportunities) were present, but it was most difficult to navigate my position when I didn’t have a clearly-defined and easily accessible team. Being a technology coach puts someone in a similar position I believe. Depending on the size of the district there often are only a couple/few coaches (if that many). When I reflect on the opportunities and potential challenges that come with being a coach, the one thing that I feel that is critical to the position is opportunity for professional development.  A educational technology coach is leading a field that is ever-changing and emerging and it is critical that they are up-to-date on resources and best practices if they are to be an effective coach for their peers. The challenge is that a district might not be able to provide professional development opportunities that would be serve technology coaches. So coaches would need to seek out these resources in a larger community. When researching what options are out there for PD for EdTech coaches, I came across an article, Resources for EdTech Coaches, in Medium.


This article listed several different resources that might provide professional learning opportunities and the ability to connect with other EdTech coaches. I liked how the resources provided were varied in both format and accessibility. Below I have listed some of these resources and a brief summary:


ISTE Connect EdTech Coaches Network-a place to connect with other Edtech coaches (Medium, 2018)


Future Ready Schools (Groups and Events)– “a planning and resources hub for personalized, digital learning” (Medium, 2018)


EdTech Podcasts Bam Radio Network, TedTalks Education,  and House of #EdTech– three different places to search for podcast by educators for educators (Medium, 2018)


The article also mentioned that a focus on personalized learning for both students and teachers when in a coaching role is important and how seeking how professional development on this style of teaching and learning might be helpful.  It is also mentioned the importance of a technology coach being aware of the process for district digital transformations (Medium, 2018).


Professional Development opportunities and the ability to connect with other coaches might not be as accessible and structured as they are for teachers in other roles.  However, being a coach in a field that is constantly evolving and shaping our students’ learning environments, it is key that educational technology coaches seek out resources that will allow them to stay current on digital learning and use online collaboration to connect with other coaches.  There seems to be some great resources out there and I’m sure this list is ever growing and expanding.




Bam Radio Network. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:


Future Reading Schools. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from: (2017) ISTE Standards for Coaches. (Retrieved on 2018, November 30) from: ISTE Connect. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from: Resources for EdTech Coaches.  (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from: The 6 Hallmarks of Personalized Learning.  (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:


Bam Radio Network. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:


Ted Talks Education. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:


The House of #EdTech Podcast. (Retrieved on 2018, December 2) from:


“How’m I Doing?”: How to Tell if Peer Coaching is Working and if You’re Doing it Right

A Seemingly Simple Question I’m the kind of person who likes feedback. I like to know if I’m headed in the right direction and if I’m doing the right things to get there. The late Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York, used to ask people, “How’m I doing?” and it quickly became a sort-of … Continue reading "“How’m I Doing?”: How to Tell if Peer Coaching is Working and if You’re Doing it Right"