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What Should Tech Coaches Be Doing During Large Professional Development Conferences?

Feb Tech Coach Round Table

In this episode of “Ask the Tech Coach,” Jeff welcomes Tech Coaches Susan Vincentz and Claudio Zavala Jr to discuss the role of the Tech Coach at professional development conferences, the creation and impimention of online learning modules, and our favorite Chrome Extensions.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Reflections from Last Week
  • Tech Coach Mastermind
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Tech Coach Mastermind Mid-Blog Graphic

  • Do You Have a Question For Us?
  • Tech Coaching at a Professional Development Conference
      • What topics do Tech Coaches look for?
        • Claudio – This time around I was looking for AR/VR resources. Looking to delve into creating AR/VR content
        • Claudio – creativity tools
        • Susan – On my recent trip to FETC I focused on ways to curate resources and using visual thinking to encourage student engagement and enhance lesson planning.  In recent years I’ve focused a lot on efficient use of GSuite tools and on Personalized Learning.
      • What topics should Tech Coaches be teaching?
        • Top 10 lists vs School Based Examples
      • RFP’s that get you accepted every time and bring in a crowd
      • Claudio – Time off from work – adds value to the district
      • Susan  – Efficiency, organization, and productivity.  Often teachers get overwhelmed with all the apps available and even just simple clutter in their Google Drive.  Showing them efficient and productive ways to handle this is huge.
  • Keeping Professional Development alive in the district as the summer approaches
      • When should you stop providing PD?
      • Claudio – struggle is getting teachers there. No stipend or incentive makes it difficult to get teachers there
      • Claudio –  relevant & interactive. Keep teacher engaged.
      • Susan – echo Claudios points.  Keeping in alive and engaging. My coworker and I are looking at ways to take our summer PD as well as a lot of our regular PD online via Google Classroom and Canvas modules.
  • How to build effective online professional development?
      • Should we do online learning modules?
        • Claudio – on demand seems to work. I participated in DitchSummit by Matt Miller & feedback I received was they can participate any time, in pajamas
        • Susan – I have had huge success with my own tutorial videos.  Yes, teachers can look up a youtube video for a question they might have, but if we as the coach make an engaging video to have on hand they, like students, appreciate our voice and delivery.
      • Best Applications to use
        • Claudio – Google Classroom, Teachable, YouTube, WordPress plugins
        • Susan – Google Classroom, Canvas, Screencastify, YouTube Channel
      • Keeping track of teacher learning
        • Claudio – many online course tools have automatic tracking. Our district uses Eduphoria which is somewhat clunky. Looking at new resources in future. I believe some LMSs have built-in tracking.
        • Susan – We are definitely exploring resources for tracking.  The most reliable way that’s worked thus far in a former district I’ve worked is the use of Google form and the add-on Autocrat.
      • How do you know if teachers are active or passive
        • Susan – if you are a tech coach and have previous classroom teaching experience it is easy to know if they are active or passive.  Just like any lesson, it takes a hook at the beginning and then you tell it on their face if they are passive learners at that point.  With experience I’ve learned to read the teachers I coach like I would a students and can tell when they are just not getting it or seeing value in our topic.
      • Time over energy
      • Claudio – mix of relevance & necessity (people will only watch what they need)
    • Favorite Chrome Extensions for Tech Coaches
  • On the Next Episode
    • February 25: February Tech Coach Round Table

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About our Guests

Susan Vincentz

Bio (third person) –  Susan Vincentz is a 20 year educator having taught in the classroom at the  elementary level, served as a library media specialist and has served as a tech coach for 11 years.  Her current coaching role is as a K-12 Technology Integration Specialist at Christian Academy School System in Louisville, Kentucky.  Susan is a Google Certified Trainer and finds passion in teaching teachers how use Google to stay organized and work more efficiently.  Susan has also served as a past president of KySTE, the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education where she has helped plan the state conference and professional development opportunities for teachers across the state.

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Claudio Zavala Jr

Claudio Zavala Jr.  has been in education for over 20 years as an educator and edtech trainer. He is an edtech coordinator and consultant based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who passionate about fostering creativity in the classroom and using creation tools to enrich learning experiences in the classroom.  He’s an Adobe Education Leader, Alpha Squirrels, Flipgrid Ambassador, Google Certified Educator and a Participate Community Advisor.

Social Links (bullet points)

Tech Tip of the Week

  • It’s great to be able to get out of the classroom to attend professional development conferences.  Where local conferences are a good place to start, it’s also important to try to attend larger regional conferences such as FETC or ISTE to see what is happening on a national level.

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Jeff Bradbury, creator of TeacherCast, and father of the famous @EduTriplets is the Coordinator of Instructional Technology at Westwood Regional School District. Thanks for checking out TeacherCast today. Please take a moment to find me on all of my Social Media channels!