Literacy Coaching in a World of Technology!

Instructional technology techniques for the Literacy Coach.

Reflecting through Blogging October 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — suzanneb429 @ 12:42 pm

Blogs are a great way to reflect on ones thoughts about research, ideas, concepts, etc.  A key component of literacy coaching is providing teachers with feedback and asking them to reflect on their own practices.  I am interested in finding out more about teachers experiences with reflection.  Has anyone ever kept a blog or other tool?  Was it helpful in designing your curriculum and planning lessons?


Thsi blog is essentially a reflective tool for me as a Literacy Specialist/Coach and I am finding it very helpful!


Teachers and Students Learning Together…. October 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — suzanneb429 @ 10:44 pm

I recently read a blog post written by a college faculty advisor:

The author shares his thoughts about how he comes across to his students and reflects on ways that he can help them understand him better.  I found this to be very admirable, because very often, teachers are so focused on students and the outcome of their learning that they neglect to think about themselves and the impression they are giving students.  It’s challenging for all teachers, literacy coaches and administrators in this digital age, but educators that have been in the field for 30 years or more are especially challenged… Over the past few years, many veteran teachers have learned about educational technology for the first time….  Many students are more comfortable with technology use compared to some tenured teachers!  Even “new” teachers have an advantage since they likely encountered the use of instructional technology tools in their teacher education programs.

It’s important for literacy coches, as well as technology specialists or those in a combined role; to keep this in mind when working with teachers.


Guest Post: How is Literacy Coaching carried out in your districts?

Filed under: Uncategorized — suzanneb429 @ 10:03 pm

The Gold Standard of Literacy Coaching….

Filed under: Uncategorized — suzanneb429 @ 7:08 pm

This article summarizes the IRA’s view on Literacy Coaching.  Coaches that are considered to be ” Achieving the Gold Standard” have a masters degree in literacy, many years of teaching experience, experience working with teachers, excellent presenting skills, experience modeling lessons, experience observing and “an additional literacy coaching credential”.  This “additional coaching credential” is interesting because literacy coaches are often right between administrators and teachers.  Without the “additional credential”, coaches with the other requirements are still considered “The Great Choice”, but shouldn’t we go for the Gold if this person is helping to teach the teachers?  Many colleges are now offering advanced graduate certificates in “Literacy Leadership”, which might be the answer to the mysterious ” additional credential”.  I have looked into two programs and they both offer courses at the supervisory levels, as well as… you guessed it, Technology!  One course is even entitled “Supervisor of Instructional Technology”.  I will be starting one of these programs in the spring and share my reflections of coursework. 

It seems to me that a Literacy Coach could essentially carry out the role of both Literacy Coach and Technology Specialist with proper training….


Virtual Coaching? October 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — suzanneb429 @ 6:38 am

In a recent Educational Leadership article entitled, “The Power of Virtual Coaching”, the idea of coaching a teacher while they are actually teaching in a discreet manor is discussed….   Through mobile communication devices, the teacher and coach can connect whiel a teacher is carrying out a lesson.  With an ear piece in place, the teacher listens to feeback from the coach that listens to their teaching methods in a another room. 

I see both pros and cons to this method of coaching…  Instructional / Literacy coaches are often in a difficult position when they have to observe a teacher.  Teachers are often threatened by the whole idea and feel a sense of pressure when being provided with constructive criticism.  If something liek thsi were to take place for me, I would make it priority to praise the teacher on the appropriate language and strategy choices that they make. I would also offer subtle tips while listening in, but avoid overwhelming the teacher with critical remarks whiel the lesson is being carried out.  Doing that could certainly cause a lot of anxiety for a teacher and weaken the overall lesson success. 

I like the idea of being able to listen in, without actually being in the room because I think that teachers will feel less pressure than having a physical observation.  The positive reinforcement that the coach whispers in thei ear could really motivate them!  However,  I think that the coach should still take notes and discuss the majority of problematic strategies after the actual lesson in a face to face setting.  

Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined here, but it’s a great way to combine coaching with technology overall!


Bloom’sTaxonomy and Technology? September 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — suzanneb429 @ 8:00 pm

The idea of Bloom’s taxonomy is that we recall knowledge, grasp meaning, apply learned material, analyse material, synthesize ideas and judge the worth of material.  In thinking about technology, I wonder how this concept ties in? Do we go through the same levels of learning when using new technologies? Because some technology is so advanced, do we skip some of these learning steps?


What about environment?  Bloom beleved that the environments in which we learn greatly influence our ability to learn new information.  How does all of the online learning tie into this theory?  Bloom believed that all learners achieved knowledge at different paces as well, so with the more frequent use of online courses are we increasing our chances of success or decreasing them?


Does all this technology increase teacher anxiety? September 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — suzanneb429 @ 5:27 pm

Teachers are always under a certain amount of pressure, but I wonder if all the ever changing technology increases their anxiety….  Most teacher education programs now require all teachers (reading majors or not) to take at least one literacy based course, but what about technology?  This is my first semester taking a technology courses and I have to tell you, I am feeling the anxiety!  Just trying to figure out how to navigate new websites, including wordpress, can be very stressful.  Especially when you’re trying to keep up with the class.  Teachers are always given trainings for new technologies to some extent, but still feel a tremendous amount of pressure when trying to implement it all!  The literacy coach needs to be aware of these anxieties and prepare themselves and the teachers for all the new technologies that are constantly changing and being introduced.

Technology in classrooms are obviously beneficial to student learning, but not all teachers are willing to embrace it.  Is it fear of the unknown or an unwillingness to step outside traditional and comfortable teaching methods?