I’m no tech-nerd. And if you’re anything like me, you probably cringe when you see couples sitting in restaurants blankly staring at their phones instead of talking to one another; or worse yet, toddlers eerily scrolling through an iPad with ease as if it were as natural as sucking on a bottle. Although I’m relatively young, I’ve never been into gadgets—to give you an idea, I was still using a flip phone less than a year ago. Technology was never a passion of mine until I began working at Teachstone and saw the ways it could impact education for the better.
In an age where it seems more and more people are disconnected from one another, technology has given us the power to connect—and when teachers, administrators, schools, and communities are connected by shared goals, there’s nothing they can’t accomplish. Here are four ways we are seeing technology impact education, for the better!
Humans have been collecting data for many years, but technological advancements are helping us use it in more meaningful ways than ever before. Data management systems are emerging that allow users to do so much more than just collect it, they allow administrators to map progress, coaches to identify areas of improvement, and teachers to develop goals based on objective information.
When teachers get the chance to see their own teaching practices on video, they can more objectively analyze and understand their interactions. Teachstone has offered MyTeachingPartner Coaching (a proven, video-based coaching model) for years—but it wasn’t until recently that we moved from mailing SD cards to uploading videos through an app. Sharing classroom videos has all sorts of potential to impact the teaching profession for the better!
Sure, open chat rooms and online forums can create a lot of noise. But what happens when teachers from around the world can come together, online, with a purpose? They can share strategies, challenges, and best of all, feel supported by a network of other people with similar goals and passions.
Online learning options are making it easier and easier to find relevant, meaningful information on your own time. Online content is becoming more readily available every day, from MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) like Coursera, to myTeachstone, a new subscription-based online platform that will house hundreds of videos and courses for teachers and coaches alike.
Not convinced that technology can have a positive impact? Check out my last post in this series that outlines barriers to engaging effectively in online learning—and ways to overcome them.
How do you see technology changing education (for the better or worse)? Let us know in the comments below.
In the wake of the widespread civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd, the national conversation about the inequities in the educational opportunities provided white students and students of color has been amplified. Due to racial and socioeconomic segregation, Black students, and other students of color, are more likely to attend poorly funded schools. EdBuild, a non-profit focused on fair and equitable school funding, reports that high poverty school districts that predominantly enroll children of color receive on average, $1,600 less per student than the national average. By their calculations, there is a $23,000,000,000 gap between funding for schools that primarily serve high poverty Black students and those that predominantly serve white students. Schools that predominantly serve high poverty white students, only receive $1440 less per student (EdBuild, 2019).
When I first learned about CLASS Group Coaching—a training for early childhood professionals about building relationships with children—I was more than a little interested. This, I thought. This is what teaching is all about. It seems to be an obvious concept, but once we dig deeper, we are able to identify the whys and hows of our interactions. CLASS Group Coaching allows us to identify the benefits of our classroom relationships with our students and helps us be intentional in our daily practices. It allows us to utilize each moment we have with our students to deepen our understanding of their perspectives and genuinely connect with them as people. It helps us see the world from their view and guide their learning in a way that is relevant to them.
Since the coronavirus has disrupted many of our in-person plans, you might be trying to figure out how you can transition in-person coaching to online coaching. Online coaching can open a number of doors for coaches and teachers that might not be an option in face-to-face work.
Even top athletes rely on the support of a coach to improve their game. Players need coaches to help identify their unique strengths and grow their talents while increasing their skills in areas of challenge. To do all this, coaches spend lots of time observing athletes while they practice—giving real-time feedback based on current efforts, breaking skills down as needed to cultivate mastery, and encouraging players to keep trying in pursuit of their goals.