One of the topics I researched while completing my Master’s Degree was technology coaching. I work as the LwICT Teacher Leader (technology coach) in my school division. My role is to support teachers and students in effectively using technology in education. Since I was new to this role, researching this topic as part of my studies was a good way to develop myself as a technology coach and to gain knowledge of the best practices in this field. Although I can’t act as an in-school technology coach for all of the educators I encounter, examining this research has shaped my beliefs about professional learning and influenced the development of our KG Education offerings.
Technology in Education
Technology has become part of our everyday lives and our education systems. Educational technology has evolved into its own field within education. Many school jurisdictions have purchased technology and developed policies around the use of technology. A variety of groups and organizations exist for promoting and supporting technology infusion in classrooms. Workshops and professional development sessions are offered on the many topics included in educational technology. It is evident that both students and teachers need to effectively use technology to succeed in today’s technologically-driven world. However, effective technology infusion in education remains a challenge for many schools. Verock-O’Loughlin (2006) explained,
“Schools have invested heavily in hardware and software, teachers have announced their interest in using computers, but fundamentally teaching practices remain unchanged. Computers get used mostly for drill and practice activities; students use word processing at the publishing but not the composing stage of the writing process, the Internet serves as an encyclopedia of information, but not a place for research and analysis. Digital cameras, scanners and other devices hardly get considered at all.” (p.57)
At KG Education, we know that technology can (and should) be used to enhance teaching and learning. We believe that, when used appropriately, technology is a powerful tool to support meaningful learning experiences. We also recognize that relevant professional learning is needed to support educators with infusing technology. Therefore, when planning workshops and events for educators, we address technology infusion as part of the learning experience for teachers. If you attend one of our events, expect to learn about how you can use technology in your classroom practice.
Supporting Educators with Technology Infusion
Many schools have ample hardware and software, but what may be lacking is an effective way to support teachers with technology infusion. Barnett (2001) pointed out that “technology use is not about the hardware, Internet connections, and so on. What is important is how the technology is integrated with the instructional program” (p.2). In outlining his steps for technology planning, Barnett (2001) identified ongoing teacher training as an important factor in determining the impact which technology has on student learning. Simply giving teachers technology tools does not help them maximize the learning potential of those tools (Beglau et al., 2011). Holliday (2005) stated that “it is imperative for teachers to have appropriate training if they are to meet the needs of this technologically advanced generation of students” (p. 1). This research points out that, in order to integrate technology in meaningful ways, educators need support.
Supporting Technology Infusion at KG Education
At KG Education, we want to offer the support that educators need to feel confident with infusing technology. We strongly believe that technology infusion supports quality teaching and we aim to provide professional learning opportunities that include ideas for effectively infusing technology in education. Whether our workshop topic is numeracy, literacy, project-based learning or coding, we’ll share suggestions for how technology can strengthen and extend learning. To find out more about our learning events, visit our Events page. To book a workshop with us, visit our Learn with Us page.
Barnett, H. (2001). Successful K-12 technology planning:Ten essential elements. ERIC Digest, 1–10.
Beglau, M., Craig Hare, J., Foltos, L., Gann, K., James, J., Jobe, H., & Smith, B. (2011). Technology, coaching and community (White paper). International Society for Technology in Education
Holliday, S. E. (2005). Coaching for technology integration: A strategy in staff development. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations. (AAT 3176440)
Verock-O’Loughlin, R.-E. (2006). Impacts of technology coaching on teacher practices. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations. (AAT 3212757)