January 27, 2015

EdTech and Educator Effectiveness

January 27, 2015 {27/365} Ideas

Ever since returning from the Google Teacher Academy last summer, the gears have been turning on my GTA Action Plan. As new Google Certified Teachers, my cohort and I were taught about Moonshot Thinking and "Solving for X". The idea is to identify a "huge problem" -- a problem of practice that extends beyond just own our classrooms, buildings, or even districts, to propose a "radical solution," and to use "breakthrough technology" to help solve the problem.

As both EdTech Coach and Educator Effectiveness Coach in the Pewaukee School District where the The Danielson Framework for Teaching is used to evaluate educators, I decided to focus on how technology can help teachers with Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities (the four domains of the Danielson Framework).

Here is my Action Plan/"Moon Shot" thinking: 
  • “The Problem”: Teachers often view technology integration and professional development as “just another thing” that they have to do rather than recognizing how effective use of technology will not only improve student performance and engagement, but also their own teaching practice, i.e. “educator effectiveness.” The State of Wisconsin’s Educator Effectiveness system uses “a performance-based evaluation that leads to improved student learning by supporting the continuous improvement of educator practice.” Districts implement the Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System “to ensure that educators receive quality data to identify and inform individual areas of: 1) strength; 2) needed improvement; and 3) ongoing support for professional growth” (http://ee.dpi.wi.gov/). The challenge is to help teachers recognize that educational technology is not a separate event, but rather an embedded practice that will assist them in becoming more effective educators.
  • “The Solution”: By combining my two roles of EdTech Coach and Educator Effectiveness Coach, I intend to provide tools and examples for teachers to use as they seek to improve their professional practice (as scored by the Danielson Framework For Teachers). I began my project by aligning the components of the Danielson Framework with the ISTE Standards for Teachers to illustrate how incorporating EdTech as is not "just another thing" to do, but rather a means to improving teachers' effectiveness in each of the four domains and their subcomponents.
  • “The Breakthrough Technology”: Google Tools/Apps for Education (Docs, Sheets, Forms, Sites, Presentations, etc.), Social Media (Blogger, Google+, G+ Communities, Google Groups), Google Hangouts and Hangouts-on-Air, other social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.)
  • "The X" Factor - For months, I have been curating tools and artifacts to create a resource (tinyurl.com/EdTechEE) for teachers (in Pewaukee, throughout the state of Wisconsin, and beyond).  I have shared my work locally and at state conferences, and have invited educators to share their ideas so that we call can learn from each other.

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, January 28, 2015) at 8:00 pm CST, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will feature my ideas on their weekly #WIEE Twitter chat. Join us to share your own ideas and to discuss how technology can be used to advance both teacher practice and student achievement.

January 28th Update: