A Good Instructional Tech Coach Can Make all the Difference…
Even though technology has been progressing at an accelerating pace for decades, schools have been schools for thousands of years. The flow of education still goes from one to many, from a teacher to a class of students. What has been true at the time of Plato is also true at your local elementary school today.
The methodology, however, is changing. The way we deliver content and how we define the space between a teacher and students. What used to be learnt by heart from the words of skilled orators eventually turned into repeatable lectures tested with No. 2 pencils. But when the internet came along, everything changed once again.
In todayâ€™s world, teachers canâ€™t be relied upon to keep up with the latest trends and technological shifts. More importantly, technologies shouldnâ€™t be implemented simply because they are new â€” they should only act as efficient and effective support for a particular style of teaching.
Thatâ€™s when relying on professional instructional technology coaches really pays off. But how does it work?
The Value Of Instructional Technology Coaches
An instructional technology coach (ITC) is an educational specialist who assists and collaborates with teachers on devising the best ways to enhance their teaching by leveraging the most beneficial (but not necessarily the latest) technology available.
Essentially, all instructional technology coaches act as filters that study and vet all new technologies and their implications, finding out ways they can be used to improve educational processes.
There are four broad benefits of working with ITCs:
- Saving time. Using an instructional technology coach alleviates the whole technological research burden from teachers. At last, they donâ€™t need to keep up with the news and waste time on apps that carry no weight.
- Continuous learning. As educational tools donâ€™t stand still, thereâ€™s always a lot teachers can learn to improve the presentation and absorption of their subject matter by students. Working with an ITC encourages consistent progress in staying on top of new technologies.
- Professional help. Just like their students, teachers would benefit from a knowledgeable professional who can personalize the learning process to the exact level and technology required.
- Outside perspective. Bringing in an ITC also means having someone take a look at all the processes with a fresh set of eyes, and without all the legacy judgement that often keeps teachers stuck in their old ways.
Why is tech education important?
By now, the value of ITCs should be clear: enrich teachersâ€™ agendas with relevant technologies. But whatâ€™s the big deal about tech-infused learning overall?
As technology is ubiquitous nowadays, most well-off students have grown up using it all along, are in fact very tech savvy, and donâ€™t need new tech skills as such.
However, working in low-income communities, for example, is a completely different issue. These students require the most efficient ways to reach computer literacy. And teachers who have designed their courses around this need with the help of ITCs are able to quickly assess and tailor to the situation. As a Kindle-reading experiment in Ghana (facilitated by Worldreader as an ITC) has shown, timely use of technology can have a tremendous impact on the studentsâ€™ learning curve.
Whatâ€™s the tech used by ITCs?
Given that teachersâ€™ and studentsâ€™ needs can vary greatly from city to city, or even school to school, is there a technology that can be frequently used across most situations?
Itâ€™s clear that the best bet for teachers and ITCs is not to rely on any single app, but on platforms that incorporate apps across categories, such as Setapp, which provides more than 130 apps covering all daily tasks, from finance to project management.
Using Setapp and other similar platforms allows ITCs to stay consistent while, at the same time, offering variety and flexibility that fits all â€” because the most important thing to remember is that teachers donâ€™t require new technologies by default. What they strive to do is meet studentsâ€™ needs.