I just finished a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) through mooc-ed.org, which hosts courses especially for educators as a form of professional development. I have taken a lot of courses like this one and I love that the format is learn at your own pace, on your own time. I can speed through certain things and go more in-depth on others. I can also skip things when I’m busy and go back to them when I have time. It’s flexible, but there are still requirements that keep me engaged and learning. I wish that more schools offered these types of courses as alternatives for students.
Through this specific course, I studied six key aspects that help teachers become digital coaches in their schools. It’s meant for technology coaches, but since I work a lot with teachers in helping them use technology I figured it would be beneficial and it was. The course was so well-organized and the moderators designed effective activities that modeled digital coaching. The participants had to create things with new tech tools every week, thereby getting exposed to different tools that would help teachers in their schools. There were also forums where teachers and coaches shared their tricks, tips, and resources for each of the topics.
The big over-arching project for the course was to create a coaching technology plan. Essentially, for each of the six topics we discussed (such as digital citizenship or evaluating tech tools) you had to create goals and strategies for implementing these in your school. As a teacher at a school that in 1:1, I think this is exactly what schools should be doing in order to implement effective and meaningful tech programs with their teachers. I feel as though administrators throw technology at teachers and students without any real guidance for enhancing the learning. The coaching plan helped me get a clearer picture of how to help teachers think about adding technology to their lessons and also how to unify the school around technology goals.
The best part of the course is that it’s offered for CEUs (continuing education units) because you get a certificate of completion for 20 hours of professional development. I have to say that this professional development is way more beneficial than anything my school forces me to do. I can easily see the relevance between what I learned and how to apply it in school. In addition, I got to build my PLN of amazing teachers who can give me support if I ever need advice.
I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in becoming a tech coach!