Hello and welcome to what I hope will become a vehicle that can be used as a resource for those who are also coaches, for teachers to generate ideas and thoughtful discussion, and for any curious administrators on how you might be able to support your Digital Learning Coaches and teachers.
As I began this digital journey my supervisor, Jamie Locklin, responded to a question about what a typical day would look like. He replied, "Every day will different, one day will not look like the other." I could not imagine what that would actually be like, and I am happy to say now that he was not exaggerating. There was really no preparation that I could have made that would have allowed me to be ready for the demands of this new position.
In my mind, I would dream of presentations and ideas that could be implemented into schools that would improve student achievement and teacher productivity. I began to read anything that I could get my hands on and I asked lots of questions. I had to remind myself though that I needed to be patient. I had to make sure that I met the needs of my teachers and my district. These needs took precedence over all my ideas and desires. I was consoled by the inspired vision that my director has. I knew that he had a plan, and that our effectiveness would be tied to the efficient allocation of our time and attention, especially since we are a team of 5 serving a district with 22 schools and over 1300 teachers with almost 20,000 students.
For those just getting started, here is what I would recommend:
1) Get into twitter and build your Professional Learning Network (PLN)
2) Get Feedly or a curator of RSS feeds and begin amassing resources that have the potential to enlighten your teachers or team. Read all you can to learn the new trends and tools that are being developed.
3) Start a blog so you can simultaneously reflect on your growth and practice and also build a portfolio, a central place that you might be able to keep all your inspirations and ideas.
4) Build contacts within your campuses. Talk to teachers and other instructional coaches so you can open the doors to collaborate.
5) Learn basic video editing; making instructional video will help you to help your teachers.