When rolling out new technology and tools, it’s important to focus on not only how to use the tech but also on how to implement the technology in impactful ways that drive student learning and engagement, build teacher capacity, and/or support instructional challenges educators and leaders are currently facing.
A vital component to this type of roll-out is having tech coaches as partners during adoption. Providing dedicated coaching is a kind of in-school magic: it ensures focus, alignment, and buy-in when pushing out new technology across classrooms, schools, and districts.
Here are 5 key ways tech coaches drive successful implementation of hardware and software technology to ensure districts are maximizing the value of their technology investments:
Tech coaches provide guidance, training, and support to teachers so they can use technology tools effectively and seamlessly. Coaches build relationships that foster teacher confidence and support teachers until they become comfortable using the technology tools on their own.
As former teachers, technology coaches also anticipate the pedagogical needs (and possible roadblocks) for teachers and students when using technology. Their goal is not only to train teachers to use technology, but also to help teachers choose the technology tools that will best engage students while also meeting curriculum goals.
Technology coaches serve as the bridge between teachers, school leadership, the IT department, and vendors. Since coaches collaborate with teachers in their day-to-day teaching, they are able to use that information to help IT departments and vendors configure hardware and software to meet teachers’ instructional needs. Coaches also communicate regularly with school leadership, providing updates on technology integration initiatives, successes, and challenges.
Too often professional development is a one-shot deal, but teachers need timely, flexible, and personalized support if they are going to implement new strategies effectively. Teachers are more willing to take risks with a new tool or strategy when they know a coach is an email or phone call away. Coaches are ready to jump into classrooms on an as-needed basis with a variety of support levels to make sure teachers are comfortable and confident. Having the knowledge that they’re being supported also means teachers will continue to use newly adopted technology tools.
Technology coaches continuously assess educational technology and anticipate future needs and innovations. By staying ahead of the curve, coaches ensure that your district’s instructional practices remain relevant and effective—even in this era of rapid technological change.
Adopting new technology tools in the classroom without proper coaching is like asking musicians to play a challenging symphony without a conductor. Tech coaches bring much-needed knowledge and support to teachers and ensure new tech tool purchases are not only smart investments at the start, but have continued success over time.
About the Authors:
Lisa has been a tech coach for six years. Prior to being a tech coach, she taught middle school French and Spanish for nine years. She found ways to implement technology in her classroom and became the person other teachers reached out to for help, which led her to transition into the tech coach role.
Lori has been a tech coach for seven years. She was previously a social studies teacher and department lead teacher. She transitioned to this role to support her colleagues as her district moved to 1:1 device adoption.
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