As an education technology coach, I can definitely relate to the article by Devolder, Vanderlinde, van Braak & Tondeur (2010). On any given day, I am switching the hats that I wear in my role many, many times. I’m constantly moving from a coaching role to a consulting role to a coordinator role to an advocate and back again.
I would say the majoring of my time is split between leading professional development by supporting students and teacher and planning for implementation. Planning allows me to collaborate on curriculum development and changes with our teachers (Devolder, A., Vanderlinde, van Braak & Tondeur, 2010, p. 1652). I meet with year groups each week to support them in the planning process. I also spend a lot of time developing new school initiatives or developing policies related to my role. In terms of implementation, this includes me getting into classes to co-teach and support teachers and students. This role also always me to work toward implementation through formalized professional development sessions or one-on-one coaching.
As per Lai & Pratt (2004, as cited in Devolder, A., Vanderlinde, van Braak & Tondeur, 2010), my role does have a budgetary and resource allocation component but it is also shared with the director of education technology. Therefore I am not the one making the budget but suggesting ideas and reviewing others’ proposed purchases. In addition, I have to ensure that the resources we have are working for what we need them for and advocate for more resources when necessary.
In terms of the ‘nuts and bolts’ that Marcovitz (1998, 2000 as cited in Devolder, A., Vanderlinde, van Braak & Tondeur, 2010), I try to minimize my role in the technical and repair component of it. This is the role of our IT manager who is phenomenal at the technical side of our operations. That being said, teachers still come to me regularly to fix their problem. It is important for me to acknowledge when I am capable of supporting them and when I need to refer them to the experts. When possible, I do try my best to problem solve with teachers as it can be frustrating when things aren’t working and it is also part of my emphasis on building relationships whenever possible.
Devolder, A., Vanderlinde, R., van Braak, J. & Tondeur, J. (2010). Identifying multiple roles of ICT coordinators, Computers & Education, Vol.55(4), pp.1651-1655.
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