Technology Coaches assist teachers in using technology effectively for assessing student learning, differentiating instruction, and providing rigorous, relevant, and engaging learning experiences for all students. (ISTE, 2011)
For me, the teaching. learning, and assessments standard in the ISTE set of standards for coaches represents the core of the six standards. This standard is particularly relevant in the push by universities and colleges to remote learning required by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. My computer science department requires all instructors to teach their courses without the use of a physical classroom. There is still a schedule of course days and times that an instructor must follow for any required, virtual meetings. The reason for this requirement is to make sure that students taking multiple courses do not run into overlapping virtual meetings.
I have spoken to many of my faculty about the work needed to move the courses they teach to a remote learning format. This has given me many ideas for my instruction. However, one of the biggest concerns that many of my faculty have is about whether students will take away the same learning experience in the new, remote instruction that students experienced with in-person instruction. At first, this was a curious question to me. I have taken all forms of courses, including in-person, hybrid, and fully online courses in my career. I have had good and bad experiences across the board, and I do not feel that one format is better than another.
I discovered that many of my fellow faculty felt that anything other than in-person instruction is second-class, and that many students would not be successful in remote learning. I drilled into this statement with one faculty member, and discovered that this person has never really experienced remote learning or taken an online course. This presents a fairly large learning curve for my fellow faculty, as they viewed remote learning as just giving their in-person lesson plan in front of a web camera.
My course work in the SPU Digital Education Leadership program have shown me that successful remote learning involves much more than a simple conversion of an in-person lesson plan. There are tools and technologies that enable a much more rigorous, relevant and engaging learning experience with remote learning. By the end of my conversation with the other faculty member, we did agree that the best lesson plan is the one that turns all of our students into empowered learners, and that different formats may require different digital tools and technologies to provide a successful learning experience.
My experiences with the ISTE teaching, learning and assessments standard are further captured by the following performance indicators:
2A. Use best practices in instructional design to meet standards
2B. Address the diverse needs and interests of all students
2C. Engage students in local and global interdisciplinary units
2D. Engage students in critical thinking, metacognition and self-regulation
2E. Adjust content, process, product and learning environment
2F. Coach and model research-based best practices in instructional design
2G. Coach and model effective assessment technology
2H. Collect and analyze student achievement data
- International Society for Technology in Education. (ISTE; 2011). Standards for Coaches. https://id.iste.org/docs/pdfs/20-14_ISTE_Standards-C_PDF.pdf.