Edtech Coaches Playground: Jazz Up Your Coaching

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: La Nouvelle Ballroom
Experience live: All-Access Package

Participate and share : Playground

Danae Acker  
Heather Brown  
Meri Carnahan  
Alissa DeVito  
Heather Esposito  
Leslie Fagin  
Lisa Fichthorn-Scumpieru  
Alisha Foor  
Ashley Gardner  
Jodi Gellman  
Michelle Hammond  
Maggie Harris  
Stephanie Howell  
Benjamin Hurley  
Lisa Kuhn  
Brenny Kummer  
Martin McGauran  
Dr. Scott McLeod  
Dr. Leah Pongratz  
Annamarie Rinehart  
Dr. Katie Ritter  
Jennifer Seitsinger  
Debbie Tannenbaum  
Bethany Thompson  

Join us as we share tools and strategies that help facilitate the integration of technology and promote transformational change in the instructional environment. This playground will help both veteran and new coaches deepen their professional knowledge and improve professional practice. Come jazz up your coaching practice with us!

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Professional developers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Coaching & mentoring
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Connected Learner
  • Pursue professional learning that deepens expertise in the ISTE Standards in order to serve as a model for educators and leaders.
  • Actively participate in professional learning networks to enhance coaching practice and keep current with emerging technology and innovations in pedagogy and the learning sciences.
  • Establish shared goals with educators, reflect on successes and continually improve coaching and teaching practice.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation
Related exhibitors:

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to provide an opportunity for those who serve as Edtech Coaches to receive professional development on coaching strategies. As the role of a coach changes from school district to school district, many different models for the position exist. Additionally, the amount of support available for those in this role varies greatly. Typically, the one to give PD, the coach rarely has a chance to learn strategies for best practices in their position. Many coaches have come to this session in the past with a desire to better help their teachers, and have come away with strategies to do just that. Our objectives in this session are threefold:
-Provide an opportunity for coaches to learn more about the act of coaching
-Share new and innovative uses of technology
-Create a solution set for various coaching scenarios which coaches will be able to apply to their own settings


The playground will consist of two rounds of 45-minute six poster sessions and two "Main Stage" discussion. Topics will include coaching models, strategies and tools that our mentor coaches have found successful, as well as hands-on modeling of new and innovative practices. Participants will be free to engage in discussion with the mentor coaches throughout the designated presentation times.

Supporting research

ISTE Standards for Coaches. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2017, from
Crompton, H. (2015, May 13). Know the ISTE Standards for Coaches: Support learning with technology [Web log post]. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from the ISTE Standards for Coaches%3a Support learning with technology
Douglas, T., & Snelling, J. (2017, April 1). Understanding the roles of tech, instructional coaches and how they are evolving. Entrsekt. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from the roles of tech%2c instructional coaches and how they are evolving
Orlando, J. (2014). Teachers’ changing practices with information and communication technologies: an up-close, longitudinal analysis. Research In Learning Technology, 22. doi:
Aguilar, Elena, Davina Goldwasser, and Kristina Tank-Crestetto. "Support Principals, Transform Schools." Educational Leadership 69.2 (2011): 70-73.
Knight, J. (2009). Coaching: Approaches and perspectives. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press.
Sheninger, E. (n.d.). Digital leadership: Changing paradigms for changing times.
Aguilar, Elena (2013). The art of coaching: effective strategies for school transformation. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

More [+]


Danae Acker, Anderson School District 5

Danae is an educator, instructional designer, innovator, and business professional. She is a relationship builder, which helps reach learners and clients in a personalized way. She uses a learner-centered teaching style because when the learner is the focus of what you're doing, it creates engaged learning and increased retention. Being an innovator and "no box" thinker, she constantly searches for ways to become a better educator. As a self-starter she works hard to perfect her craft by reading, finding her own professional development opportunities, and seeking assistance from her mentors to guide her educational journey.

Heather Brown, East Coloma-Nelson Elementary School

Heather's ability to design lessons and materials that focus on collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity makes her the go-to teacher at East Coloma-Nelson Elementary School when teachers want to spice up their classrooms. She spent time in first and third grades before she was asked to become the k-5 math interventionist based on engagement and data. She recently started a STEM program for k-8 students and has a template featured in "The Canva Classroom" by Amanda Fox. Her future looks bright with cohosting "The Canva Classroom" Livestream and more adventures on the way!

Meri Carnahan, Indiana Department of Education
Alissa DeVito, Cristo Rey Philadelphia HS
ISTE Certified Educator

Alissa is the Director of Technology and Innovation at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. Alissa and her CR team help students succeed academically while gaining real world work experience. Prior to her role in the CR community, Alissa was an Associate Director of EdTech, Technology Integration Coach, and middle school ELA/SS Teacher. Connect with Alissa on Twitter @alissa_devito

Heather Esposito, Cherry Hill School District

Heather Esposito is the technology coach for all 19 schools in the Cherry Hill School District in Cherry Hill New Jersey. She taught high school English for 20 years in Cherry Hill and is a certified reading specialist. She presented at ISTE 19 on “Screencasting for Improved Fluency with Adolescents," Giving Students Voice and Choice in Technology-Based Literacy Instruction," and Literacy Playground: Innovative Literacy and STEM Learning. She presented at ISTE 20 on "Creating a Community: Screencasting to Support Reading and Social and Emotional Learning" and "From Readers to Leaders: Blending Literacy, Technology and Relationships."

Leslie Fagin, Griffin Spalding County Schools

Leslie is an instructional technology coach for a suburban school district in Georgia. She works with K-12 educators on effective technology integration. Leslie is a Google Certified Educator Level 1 and 2, Google Certified Trainer, and Google Innovator. Her passions include gaming, STEAM, equity, and building relationships.

Lisa Fichthorn-Scumpieru, Washington County Public Schools

I am an EdTech Coach in Hagerstown, Md. for Washington County Public Schools. This is my fourth year in this capacity and taught 24 years as a secondary English teacher at North Hagerstown High School. I am a Flipgrid Ambassador, Google Trainer and Coach, Formative Certified Educator, Kami 1 and 2 certified, MakerBot 1 and 2 Certified, and a Wakelet Ambassador. What I love best about my role is my ability to go to every secondary school in our district to engage teachers with EdTech ideas and uses using the Engineering Design Process and computational thinking skills.

Alisha Foor, Indiana Department of Education
Ashley Gardner, DoDEA- Elliott Elementary

Ashley Gardner attended Mercyhurst University where she earned a B.A. in Music Education and a M.S. in SPED. She has been working for DoDEA's Elliott Elementary since 2018, first as a music teacher and now as an Educational Technologist. She has been recognized as a Tech4Learning Innovative Educator and a Wixie Certified Educator. Her favorite thing about being an Ed Tech is that she gets to work with and empower everyone in the school from the 4-year-olds in Pre-K to the teachers and administrators who are nearing retirement.

Jodi Gellman, Cherry Hill School District

Jodi Gellman is a 4th grade teacher at Thomas Paine Elementary School in Cherry Hill, NJ. She has been teaching for 30 years and has been reinventing her classroom to include meaningful technology integration.

Michelle Hammond, Moore Public Schools

Michelle Hammond has served the past three years as Educational Technology Specialists at Moore Public Schools in Moore, Oklahoma. She provides Edtech support and training to approximately 26,000 students and staff across the district. Michelle was an elementary teacher for fifteen years before joining the EdTech Team. She is passionate about helping teachers and students learn how to effectively integrate and utilize technology in their classrooms.

Maggie Harris, Forward Edge

Maggie taught middle school English Language Arts for five years at an urban school district. During that time she advocated for 1:1 devices. When that proposal was accepted, she piloted Google Classroom and ultimately created a blended classroom. Additionally, she created and taught two computer literacy courses for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Now, she is an Instructional Design Coach serving over 300 teachers PK-12.

Stephanie Howell, Gold EDU

Stephanie is the CEO of Gold EDU, a Google for Education Partner and is also the EdTech Lead for the Pickerington Local Schools District. She is key to the embedding and implementation of Google Workspace tools across her schools and organisations and would be ideally placed to have access to the roadmap to ensure that she can support her colleagues and customers better on their Google Workspace journeys.

Benjamin Hurley, Washington County Public Schools

I began teaching in 2003. I have taught Tech Ed at the middle school level for, 4th grade, 5th grade and elementary PreK through 5th grade Computer Science and STEM. Currently, I am an EdTech Coach with Washington County Public Schools.

Lisa Kuhn, Forward Edge

Ms. Kuhn has 19 years’ of classroom experience, 8 of which were spent in 1:1 classrooms where technology integration played a large role in student learning. She regularly incorporated backward design when planning her own French and Info Tech lessons and now incorporates these same principles as an EdTech Coach to a district of over 300 educators, PK-12.

Brenny Kummer, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp

Brenny Kummer is the Coordinator of Instructional Technology for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation. She connects technology and instruction, serves as the district tech coach, LMS system administrator, coordinates eLearning, and plans professional development. With Universal Design for Learning as the district instructional framework, Brenny has a passion for inclusion and accessibility. She has taught in a full inclusion classroom of children with significant, intensive needs. Having family members with unique needs, she is an advocate for accessible design, everywhere. She is a Google Certified Trainer, has presented at ISTE, IMS Global, UDL-IRN, COSN panels, and EdTech Team.

Martin McGauran, Inform & Empower

Marty is an Australian primary school teacher and online safety educator. In 2018 he founded Inform & Empower which aims to promote healthy school communities, with a special focus on digital citizenship. In 2022 his live streamed student incursions reach 20,000+ students across the country. He is renowned for his energetic and engaging presentation style! Marty also holds a Masters of Education (ICT & Digital Learning), is endorsed by the Australian eSafety Commissioner as a Trusted eSafety provider, as well as being a Google for Education Certified Trainer and Innovator.

Dr. Scott McLeod, University of Colorado Denver

Professor, Educational Leadership; Founding Director, CASTLE CASTLE is the only university center in the USA focused on leadership, technology, innovation, and deeper learning. Scott's bio: CASTLE:

Dr. Leah Pongratz, Washington County Public Schools

Leah Pongratz has been a teacher with Washington County Public Schools, MD for the past 14 years. She has served as a classroom teacher in grades 2, 4, and 5 and as a reading interventionist. She is currently serving as an EdTech Coach, focusing on the implementation of digital tools, robotics, computer science, and computational thinking in elementary classrooms. Leah is a National Board Certified Teacher, Google Certified Trainer, Apple Learning Coach, and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. Leah lives in Maryland wither her two sons, Ben and Joey, her husband, Rob, and her Goldendoodle, Milo.

Annamarie Rinehart, Forward Edge

Annamarie Rinehart is helping shape today’s educators in one of the largest urban districts in the state of Ohio. Annamarie worked with students at various grade levels as an intervention specialist teaching all 4 content areas to a diverse student population. Now, as an Instructional Design Coach with Forward Edge, Annamarie plays an integral role in the PK-8 Verizon Innovative Learning School. She has also worked with other schools in Ohio as a virtual coach. Annamarie is a Google Certified Educator, Trainer, and Coach.

Dr. Katie Ritter

Katie serves as the Chief Learning Officer at Forward Edge, overseeing a team of instructional coaches and working closely with district leaders to help them identify needs of their staff, plan PD and implement the PD. Katie received her Doctorate of Education from Vanderbilt University and a M.A. in Education and Instructional Technology and B.A. in Secondary Education from Northern Kentucky University. She served on the leadership team for the EdTech Coaches Network of ISTE 2015-2020, was a Future Ready Schools Instructional Coaches Thought Leader from 2017-2020, and is a Google Certified Innovator, Coach, and Trainer.

Jennifer Seitsinger, Moore Public Schools

Jennifer is a Curriculum Technology Specialist for Moore Public Schools, serving 13 elementary schools in her district. She has experience teaching K-6th grade and sponsors an Elem Tech Team. Jennifer works with teachers providing resources, coaching, modeling, co-teaching, and supporting them as they provide a blended learning experience for students.

Debbie Tannenbaum, Fairfax County Public Schools

Debbie Tannenbaum works as an Elementary School Technology Specialist in Fairfax County, VA. An educator with over twenty years of experience, Debbie Tannenbaum supports both staff and students to integrate technology tools into instruction through both co teaching sessions and weekly technology classes. Debbie emphasizes working collaboratively with other educators to use technology tools that amplify student learning and empower student voice. She also blogs and shares her thoughts and reflections regularly on her website: In May 2021, her book, TRANSFORM: Techy Notes to Make Learning Sticky was published by Road to Awesome LLC.

Bethany Thompson, Apple Valley High School

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