Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
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Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Practicing What We Preach: Best Practices for Technology Coaches in PK-12

Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 32

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Tuesday, June 26, 1:15–3:15 pm
Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 32

Aishia Daffin   Dr. Miyoshi Juergensen   Alicia Sewell   Cherelle Young  
See how instructional technology coaches in elementary and secondary schools address the following ISTE Standards components: visionary leadership; teaching, learning and assessments; and professional development and program evaluation. We'll also share and discuss research-based best practices as well as artifacts that align with each standard.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Professional learning
Topic: Best practices and models for coaching
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Visionary Leadership
  • Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms.
Teaching, Learning and Assessments
  • Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences.
Professional Development and Program Evaluation
  • Design, develop and implement technology-rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning and assessment.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this poster is to highlight and discuss effective practices for instructional technology coaches in PreK-12 schools. One of the major components of Tuscaloosa City Schools’ (TCS) Digital Transformation was to hire an instructional technology team to work directly with administrators, teachers, and students during the implementation of a one-to-one technology model. While the technical and logistical concerns of the transformation have been important, the Digital Transformation is first and foremost an effort to reimagine the way teachers teach and students learn. As such, this poster focuses on the instructional technology coaches who are responsible for supporting schools’ instructional technology use to enhance and improve teaching and learning.
As instructional technology coaches, the presenters adopted key components of the ISTE Standards for Coaches to assist colleagues in becoming educators in the digital age. Standard 1d, “Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms,” governs much of what TCS technology coaches accomplish. Technology Coaches within the system play an integral part in planning and implementing technology driven initiatives along with school principals and teachers. This is demonstrated by the coaches leading professional learning groups, that include classroom teachers. These groups allow both coaches and teachers the opportunity to discuss school level issues, share ideas, and follow up on previous meetings. Standard 2 of the ISTE Standards for Coaches addresses teaching, learning, and assessments. Standard 2f encourages coaches to “Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences”. Each coach in the district works closely with the teachers in his or her assigned school. Coaches and teachers engage in a coaching cycle that works to examine the progress and next steps on moving forward with TCS digital transformation initiatives. In addition, Standard 4d, Technology Coaches “design, develop, and implement technology-rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment,” by the use of archived courses through the Learning Management System such as Canvas.
While all of the ISTE Coaches Standards speak directly to school level leadership of technology coaches, the standards discussed here have been particularly instructive in building capacity for effective and authentic collaborative relationships with school communities. The goal of instructional technology coaching for teachers is to provide a “powerful means of both modeling and harnessing the potential of technology to improve teaching and learning” (Beglau et al., 2011, p.3). As stated by Connor (2017), “The [student focused model holds] … that teachers’ practice is best addressed by using a truly collaborative process in which both coach and teacher are focused on a jointly-held belief, need or concern” (p. 21). In addition, research suggests that educators should have the opportunity to routinely collaborate with trusted colleagues to solve problems and share ideas (Duffey & Fox, 2012). As a result, teachers may help each other with challenges as part of their common inquiry to enhance and improve teaching and learning processes. As such, the presenters argue that their adherence to these ISTE standards facilitates peer-supported learning that is more sustainable and more likely to lead to improved practice and stronger student outcomes.
Effective digital media combined with powerful teaching, rich content, and engaged students has the potential to take learning in the United States to a much higher level and provide all students with experiences that allow them to graduate prepared for college and a career of their choice. This shared leadership at the initiation of the TCS Digital Transformation has led to a high level of engagement by all members of the school community, has resulted in a smooth transition to new devices and learning experiences, and has put the district on course to a full blossoming of the Digital Transformation. As a result, participants will see that effective coaching is less about logistics and management and more so about collaborating with and empowering teachers and students to be digitally literate members of society.


While this proposal is for a “poster,” it is more of a multimedia collection of artifacts to be shared by the co-authors and includes:

A summary of the standards used by coaches to implement the digital transformation plan.

Examples of the actions taken by coaches, teachers, and students that reflects their sense of ownership of the Digital Transformation in their buildings.

Testimonials from administrators, teachers, and students about how instructional technology coaches have impacted their planning and learning.

Supporting research

Beglau, M., Craig-Hare, J., Foltos, L., Gann, K., James, J., Jobe, H., ... & Smith, B. (2011). Technology, coaching, and community: Power partners for improved professional development in primary and secondary education. Retrieved from International Society for Technology in Education website: https://www. ri-iste.org/Resources/Documents/Coaching_Whitepaper_digital. Pdf.

Connor, C. M. (2017). Commentary on the Special Issue on Instructional Coaching Models: Common Elements of Effective Coaching Models. Theory Into Practice, 56(1), 78-83.

Duffey, D. R., Fox, C., & State Educational Technology Directors Association, (2012). National Educational Technology Trends: 2012. State Leadership Empowers Educators, Transforms Teaching and Learning.

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Aishia Daffin, Tuscaloosa City Schools
Dr. Miyoshi Juergensen, Tuscaloosa City Schools
Alicia Sewell, Tuscaloosa City Schools

Alicia Sewell is an Instructional Technology Coach for Tuscaloosa CIty Schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She has a Bachelor’s and Master's in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the University of West Alabama. Ms. Sewell was a PreK, Kindergarten, and first grade educator prior to accepting her role as an Instructional Technology Coach. In 2014, Ms. Sewell was nominated by her colleagues as Alabama’s Teacher of the Year. She has presented professional development on digital tools, classroom management, and parent involvement to her colleagues within the Tuscaloosa City Schools district.

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