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10 Research-Driven Teaching Strategies, Augmented with Technology, That Leaders Should Use

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Monday, June 24, 4:00–5:00 pm
Location: 112AB

Dr. Reshan Richards  
Explore research-driven teaching strategies that leaders (anyone with direct reports or who oversees a key area or initiative) can use to better serve their organizations and constituents. It offers practical methods for immediate use and novel ways to incorporate technology.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Coaches, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Professional learning
Topic: Best practices and models for coaching
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Digital Age Learning Culture
  • Model and promote the frequent and effective use of technology for learning.
Excellence in Professional Practice
  • Promote and model effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders using digital age tools.
For Coaches:
Teaching, Learning and Assessments
  • Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using differentiation, including adjusting content, process, product and learning environment based on student readiness levels, learning styles, interests and personal goals.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to provide organizational leaders with approachable, research-driven teaching strategies for leading others within an organization. These strategies can often be complemented or augmented by technology, when thought through carefully. Participants will leave having learned (at a surface-level) about 10 strategies, including pre-assessment, active listening, brain breaks, differentiated instruction, and more. For each strategy, there will be an actionable move or suggested next step, and during the session a few of them will be practiced and supported in real-time. For example, how can you quickly use a an online survey (such as a Google Form) to create a pre-assessment questionnaire that meeting participants are expected to fill out prior to the meeting? And then, how can the information gleaned help to have a better meeting once everyone is face-to-face in the same room?

There will not be enough time to go deep on all 10, so in the hour long session three will be deeper dives while the other 7 will be more surface-level explorations.

Near-term success of the session will be measured using a non-EDU tool - Net Promoter Score. This type of instrument asks two simple questions - how likely would you recommend this session to a friend or colleague? and what could have been done to give an even higher rating? If the scores are mostly 9s or 10s, then the audiences attention and time has been served well.

Long-term success is measured by hearing that even one participant has tried (successfully or not) one of the practices explored during the session.


Welcome and Overview (5 minutes)
Pre-Assessment (5 minutes)
Formative Assessment + Activity (10 minutes)
Understanding by Design & Design Experiments (5 minutes)
Active Listening + Activity (10 minutes)
Brain Breaks & Reflection (5 minutes)
Personalized Feedback & Differentiated Instruction (5 minutes)
Storytelling + Activity (10 minutes)

Supporting research

Here are some excerpts from supporting research around the strategies.

“…active listening involves striving for empathy and understanding as well as attentiveness based not just on hearing but on fully comprehending the message being communicated. Active listeners, very importantly, do not pass judgment on the speaker. While remaining relatively quiet, active listeners show respect, yet strive to identify and question assumptions . Overall, they show a deeper connection to speakers and can show genuine empathy.” (Spataro & Bloch, 2017)

“Identify these overload times BEFORE they occur and have a brain break before that point” (Willis, 2005).

“Self-reflection serves the goal of constructing metacognitive knowledge by making formerly unconscious, intangible, or reflexive processes or events explicit. Thus, a robustly self-reflective experience would result in a state commensurate with that evoked by Flavell’s (1971) description of metacognition as an awareness of oneself as “an actor in his environment, that is, a heightened sense of the ego as an active, deliberate storer and retriever of information” (p. 272).” (Desautel, 2009).

“Differentiated instruction allows all students to access the same classroom curriculum by providing entry points, learning tasks, and outcomes tailored to students’ learning needs
(Hall, Strangman, & Meyer, 2003). Differentiated instruction is not a single strategy, but rather an approach to instruction that incorporates a variety of strategies. In other words, differentiation is responsive instruction designed to meet unique individual student needs. As Tomlinson (2001) stated, differentiating instruction can occur by focusing on the process by which students learn, the products or demonstrations of their learning, the environment in which they learn, or the content they are learning.” (Watts-Taffe, Laster, Broach, Marinak, Connor, & Walker-Dalhouse, 2012).

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person photo
Dr. Reshan Richards, New Canaan Country School

Dr. Reshan Richards is adjunct assistant professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and associate at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. He’s also the co-founder of Explain Everything, a software company and co-author of the Make Yourself Clear, a book about the intersection of business and teaching. Reshan has an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College, Columbia University, an Ed.M in Learning and Teaching from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Music from Columbia University.

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