I have to say that I value my experience as an instructional coach, not just because I get to challenge myself to try new things like organizing and presenting professional development offerings, but because I also get the chance to find out what is happening in the field of education.
This year, I have seen dramatic changes taking place. The innovations in technology are coming so fast and furiously that we simply cannot keep up. In SAMR trainings, presenters often emphasize that you can’t try everything, so just try one thing. The key seems to always be “baby steps.” Technology is overwhelming for us all, and especially so for people whom grew up without computers and the internet. It’s a monumental challenge to process all these changes and visualize the new applications for these changes in the field of education.
I am trying my best to support these changes by learning as much as I can about the new resources available and investigating how other teachers are utilizing the new resources in their classes. I am trying them out in my class to test out the students’ reactions and see what the limitations are when the resource is put to use in a real scenario. I am also attending trainings that inform me how to use the resources. I want to support teachers in the district and help students to learn more effectively, but there is so much to absorb.
I have found that sometimes it is much easier to maintain the status quo and resist change because it is so efficient. I am trying to push my comfort zone, though, because learning today is not what it used to be. Everything is changing in education, and at lightning speed. Even so, it is not even close to the pace at which change is occurring in technology. We must embrace change to provide our students the modern skills they will need to succeed.
Of course I am not saying to abandon the foundations of learning. No tool is more effective than solid reading, writing, math, critical thinking, and other important skills we learn in school. But some time must be dedicated to understanding how to apply these skills in the context of the future. Education and employment will change and demand not only the basic skills but the technological skills and adaptibility to change that all of these advancements are bringing. We are shortchanging our students if we teach them the way we were taught. This is a new world. Forge bravely ahead!