Tech Coaching is about Relationships not Tech

Tech Coaching is about Relationships not Tech

Most tech coaches end up in the role of tech coach or Tech TOSA (Teacher On Special Assignment) because they are good at using tech and integrating it into their classroom. That’s how I got into the role and pretty much everyone else I know as well. However, once you are in the role of a coach things change. Your job isn’t to use tech with students, rather it’s to support teachers in using technology with students and supporting teachers is a whole new ball game. I was lucky enough when I worked at the International School Bangkok to work with 6 other coaches and the school gave us time together to work on and learn coaching strategies. Ways to support teachers in their own journey of integrating technology. Do you work with the willing or do you work with all? It’s a question that, as coaches, we need to continually ask ourselves. It’s easy to work with the teacher that wants to integrate technology, that sees the power in it. It’s a whole different ball game when trying to work with a “closed door” teacher. How do you get into that classroom? What approach strategy can you use to get in that door and support those students as well? Related Eduro Blog Posts 3 Pathways to Coaching Conversations Everybody Needs a Coach Co-Constructing a Coaching Protocol Top 5 Strategies for Your Coaching Toolkit Starting the Year Off Right: 5 Tips for New Tech Coaches When administrators are hiring coaching positions all to ofter they focus on whether or not the educator has the “tech skills” or the “math knowledge” to be in a coaching role. I would argue that is only half the formula to being a good coach. Being an effective coach has more to do with building relationships and interpersonal skills then it does tech knowledge. You can have all the technology knowledge in the world. You can be an Apple Distinguished Educator or a Google Certified Trainer….that’s all great! But if you cannot relate to people, if you cannot form relationships all that know-how is worthless. Tracy Brown from Enumclaw School District recently wrote a blog post on the power of specific coaching PD that Kim Cofino gave on behalf of Eduro Learning a few months back. As coaches, many of us never get the opportunity to learn coaching strategies. Many of us are the...

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Upload: A documentary

Upload: A documentary

I wanted to share this documentary that I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a part of. Nate Becker, a high school student in Marysville, WA, asked me to sit down one day while I was there doing work as part of our Eduro Learning contract with the district, to talk about technology and education. I had no idea what the questions were going to be or where he was going with his line of questioning. Below is the documentary he created based on his own knowledge and research and how he views the use of technology in his own school system and life. When we talk about creating meaningful stuff to share with the world. This is the type of stuff we are talking about. This isn’t an assignment that can be done in a class period or even a week. This type of learning and creative works takes time and a lot of energy.  Kudo’s Nate….I hope this is the first of many documentaries in your...

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Planning for the last mile not the first

Planning for the last mile not the first

In November I learned a valuealbe lesson. My wife and I were getting ready to run a 12K race in Vancouver, WA. The weather forecast called for high 30s to low 40s and rain the day of the race. It’s the Pacific Northwest so rain is always likely. I packed running clothes that I thought would be right for the race and the weather. The day of the race we woke up to cloudy…but not rainy skies and tempatures in the mid to upper 40s. I decided that I would stick to my plan and wear what I brought. As you can see from the picture that included a rain proof jacket plus a cold weather long sleeve shirt and a running shirt.  My wife warned me I would be to warm, but of course I didn’t listen to her advice (why should I, she runs faster and farther than I do). When we stepped outside the hotel I felt comfortable not to hot, not to cold. My wife on the other hand was a bit cold…huh….who’s laughing now? The race started and not 3K in I started getting a good sweat going. My muscles loosened up and I found my stride. By the 6th Kilometer I was hurting. I was tired, soaking wet from sweat, as the rain jacket did what it was suppose to do and keep my heat in. I was dying to keep up with my wife (which is always my goal…I’ve yet to beat her in a race…2014 is my year though!) My wife on the other hand was feeling great..she went from a bit cold to nice and warm and perfectly dressed for the race. Needless to say by the 8th Kilometer I was pealing off layers trying to cool down and get my energy back (with my wife running backwards a few steps ahead of me egging me on…..wish I was making that up). I did finish…in a t-shirt and plenty warm. Planning for the end not the beginning As I was running this blog post starting rolling around in my head (I write a lot of blog posts while running….I need to get better at actually writing them down). I made a common mistake. I planned for the beginning of the run not the end of the run. It’s the same thing I see happen with technology plans or with laptop/tablet roll...

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Do We Build For The Now Or For the Future?

Do We Build For The Now Or For the Future?

The Baseball Winter Meetings just ended in Nashville. Which means absolutely nothing….unless you are a baseball diehard like myself…then it means everything. Today while listening to Eric Wedge, the Mariners manager, give a press conference, he spoke about building a team. He basically says there are two ways to build a baseball team…you either build for the short-term or the long-term. Building for the short-term you focus on this year, you make a run for the World Series and hope you reach the playoffs. If you build for the long term, you develop your players in the minors. In the long term, you stick with your players, you develop your young talent, you stay the course and you improve. Now in baseball we know this approach works. The Texas Rangers changed to a long-term approach after they found out buying expensive players for the short-term just doesn’t work in the long term. (See: Alex Rodriguez). Since they changed their approach here are their win – loss stats: They steadily improved as they rebuilt their minor leagues and focused on good draft picks. Five years later they make the playoffs including a World Series appearance….and they are picked to be the top of their division again this year. Since new management and Eric Wedge took over, the Seattle Mariners have been rebuilding the club for the long term. Here are their stats over the past few rebuidling years. Eric Wedge took over as manager in 2011 and we have seen steady improvement. So his comments today that the team is building for the long term makes me happy. Makes me really happy. We are going to be good again someday soon…but we need to be patient, develop our players, watch them grow, learn, and blossom into some awesome baseball players. Would I love to see a winning season this year? Absolutely! But I would take 5 winning seasons in a row over 1 any day.   So what does this have to do with Education?   I started thinking about this today and then started thinking about where we are with technology in education: Do we build for the short-term or long-term results? Here’s what I have heard from teachers: “I would love them to create movies, but iMoive takes too long to learn.” “I would love for them to create a game using Scratch, but it takes too long to learn.”...

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Tanzania, Kilimanjaro and Obama?

Tanzania, Kilimanjaro and Obama?

Just over 24 hours off the plane from the most amazing trip to Tanzania. As my wife and I prepare to transition back to life in America in June, we figured one last fantastic trip to Africa was in the cards….so off to Tanzania we went.  Climbing Kilimanjaro Jumping at the Summit I’m proud to say that all four of us in our group made it to the summit some 5,895 meters (19,340 feet) above mean sea level. It was one of the most mentally challenging things I have ever done. Physically it wasn’t that hard of a 5 day hike to the summit, but the mental aspect on summit day of walking for 6 1/2 hours in the dark (leave at midnight to summit at sunrise at 6:30ish) covering some 1200 meters (3,937 feet) was by far the hardest part. As the oxygen thins out you need to stop and rest more frequently….but it is windy and freezing temperatures mean you don’t want to stop as you instantly get cold. You learn a lot about yourself on a journey like this and at some stage or another on the trip, all four of us had to push through mental or physical pain.  cell signal on Kilimanjaro On a technology note….I was looking forward to being disconnected for most of this trip and that happened…but I wasn’t expecting our guides and porters to be totally connected the whole time. Each time we would make camp the guides and porters would go on a high rock or a specific ledge, whip out their cell phones and call home. Yes…..even at the summit of Kilimanjaro in the middle of Africa there is a cell signal. Both my wife and I took out our phones and had them connect just to verify. We talk about how connected of a world we live in that we need to get away from technology at times….but can you really? It’s always there, it’s just a part of our world……we better get use to it.  Safari in the Serengeti cheetahs Next up was five days in the Southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The animal migration for the wet season had all the animals in the south where the land was green and rich with food. Over 1 million Wildebeest and 200,000 Zebras had migrated south bringing with them lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes and a host...

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