Instructional Coaching with the EdTech Quintet

Instructional Coaching with the EdTech Quintet

photo by Oliver Tacke – CC license

There are many, many approaches to doing instructional coaching to help teachers leverage technology for learning. I often find that teachers have difficulty coming up with tech activities to use in their daily teaching in a way that makes meaningful connections with curriculum. There are many great models to help guide teachers, including SAMR, TPCK, TIM, etc. Lately, I’ve been using the EdTech Quintet and three defining questions from Dr. R. Puentedura’s blog post,  SAMR and TPCK: A Hands On Approach to Classroom Practice.

While it’s clear that these were never meant to be the be-all-and-end-all for tech integration, they provide an amazing place to start a conversation with a teacher who is not sure where to start the whole integration of technology into her lessons. The results have been very positive. It becomes easier for the teacher to articulate what she wants in her lesson and the resulting activity typically involves higher level thinking skills.

The first step is to sit down and review the curriculum and objectives that the teacher has mapped out in her scope and sequence for the next few weeks. That provides a concrete starting point and helps to ensure that curriculum objectives are met. Then I will ask the teacher to pick one of the three options that Dr. Puentedura describes as a starting point.

Your Passion: 
  • If you had to pick one topic from your class that best exemplifies why you became fascinated with the subject you teach, what would it be? 

Barriers to Your Students’ Progress: 
  • Is there a topic in your class that a significant number of students get stuck on, and fail to progress beyond? 

What Students Will Do In the Future: 
  • Which topic from your class would, if deeply understood, best serve the interests of your students in future studies or in their lives outside school? 

These questions are a great way to hone in on an area that the teacher believes in important and finds value in trying something new. It is also non-threatening because it puts the teacher in the driver’s seat, defining the direction based on what he or she feels is important. Once a curriculum objective has been identified, the next step involves selecting elements from the EdTech Quintet to add to the unit or lesson plan.

Puentedura's EdTech Quintet

The teacher picks at least one of the five associated practices from the EdTech Quintet: Social, Mobility, Visualization, Storytelling, and/or Gaming. From there the coach would work with the teacher to more clearly define how the practices would look based on the curriculum objective. Questions like, “How would you use visualization to break down the mathematics word problem?” or “How can we use gaming, feedback loops and/or formative assessment to make studying events leading to World War II more engaging?” This encourages the teacher to use her imagination to develop a task based on curriculum objectives using the associated practices in a way unique to their own classroom style. The really exciting part about all of this is that it seems to result in teaching ideas that are much better than expected.

Puentedura, Ph.d Ruben R. “SAMR and TPCK: A Hands-On Approach to Classroom Practice.” Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D.Phase 1: Building a Basic SAMR Ladder (2014): n. pag. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. <http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/2014/12/11/SAMRandTPCK_HandsOnApproachClassroomPractice.pdf>.