Connected to Classroom Practice, Pedagogy, and Content

 

Connected to Classroom Practice, Pedagogy, and Content

This seems self evident, but I’ve attended many PD sessions and have heard feedback from colleagues who attended tech trainings that were not explicitly targeted to their classroom practice, pedagogy and content. The TPACK framework is a good visual model of how the areas of technology, pedagogy, and content area knowledge intersect to form tech rich classroom practice. Many effective trainings will fall into intersections of any two of these three elements. It helps teachers to know during and in advance of training which areas are targeted.

Too often technology PD falls into what I classify as a “spray and pray” category where skills are broadly covered in the hopes that teachers will adopt one or more practices they view. Based on my experience, this doesn’t work very well at all. If you truly want to change teacher practice, PD needs to occur in the context of where they work, classroom or in the school, and it has to focus on issues immediately relevant to them.

The following two coaching roles or strategies as defined by ISTE will help to establish relevancy to the teachers’ needs:

  • Providing just-in-time, just enough advice or training on teaching strategies, or integrating technology.
  • Co-planning technology-rich, active, engaging learning activities with collaborating teachers.
There are a variety of other coaching roles or strategies but these seem to be a good starting point for teachers who are newer to technology integration. Focus on student outcomes and achievement works better once a basic level of proficiency has been achieved and the teacher sees positive benefits of adding these methods of instruction.

Sources

Foltos, L. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.isteonline.org/mod/book/view.php?id=5409&chapterid=480
Knight, J. . Instructional coaching, a partnership approach to improving instruction. Corwin Press, print.
Peer Ed. (0). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h679fRuKMc
Walter and Lebowski [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://gutenfilm.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/hall-of-greats-the-big-lebowski/