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February 1, 2021
Vol. 78
No. 5
Research Alert

Ed-Tech Coaches Gaining Critical PD Role

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    Trends and Ideas on Professional Learning in Schools

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      As schools adapt to the changing context of education brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, instructional technology coaches are poised to play a more integral role in teacher professional learning, according to a recent survey report by Digital Promise.
      The survey of nearly 150 K–12 ed-tech coaches found that, during school closures last spring, these specialists provided "significant" support to their schools or districts in leading professional development on the switch to online learning and the use of tech tools. Most ed-tech coaches (75 percent) also provided essential support to their school or district in implementing platforms to better organize online or blended learning. About half said they played a role in creating a digital learning plan.
      The coaches indicated they were working with more teachers than before and addressing more "diversified areas of need." Sixty-nine percent said they had daily contact with teachers, and 78 percent said they helped teachers outside regular school hours. Most had facilitated more schoolwide or departmental PD sessions than in the past.
      Looking ahead, most of the ed-tech coaches said they felt well-prepared to provide digital PD sessions to groups of teachers, support teacher collaboration online, and help teachers craft lessons tailored to online environments. They indicated a need for greater support, however, in providing regular individual coaching sessions digitally, working with teachers to address students' social-emotional needs, and helping teachers differentiate instruction.

      Read the full report, "The Valuable Role of Edtech Coaches During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey," at https://digitalpromise.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Natl-COVIDCoachingResponseSurveyReport.pdf

      Anthony Rebora is the chief content officer for ISTE+ASCD, overseeing publications and content development across all platforms.

      Previously, he was the editor in chief of Educational Leadership, ASCD's flagship magazine, and led content development for the association's fast-evolving digital outlets.

      Under his leadership, Educational Leadership won numerous awards for editorial excellence, increased the breadth of its coverage and contributors, and greatly expanded its online reach.

      He was formerly a managing editor at Education Week, where he oversaw coverage of teachers and teaching policy, and played a key role in online editorial strategy. He has written and developed impactful content on a wide range of key K-12 education topics, including professional learning, school leadership and equity.

      As a content developer, his foremost goals are to empower diverse educator voices and raise awareness of critical issues and solutions in education.

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