#ISTE18 Session: Everyone Needs a Coach: Fostering Instructional Innovation Through the Dynamic Learning Project

Wednesday, June 27 – Everyone Needs a Coach: Fostering Instructional Innovation Through the Dynamic Learning Project

Session resources: here and here.


  • Jennie Magiera (moderator)
  • A.T. McWilliams
  • Heather Dowd
  • Dee Lanier
  • Kelli Coons
  • Christin Edge
  • Danielle Johnson

Resource to check out: Google Slides Q&A

Digital use divide (second level digital divide)

Dynamic Learning Project – an initiative that empowers teachers and students through instructional technology coaching (funded by Google)

Pilot year – 50 schools across the USA got coaches from this program

  • teachers and coaches have improved skills
  • principals are also coached- they improve their leadership skills as well

Instruction and teacher need comes first – technology tools come second. Always think about what you need to do as a teacher first.

Check out slide 21 for the coaching cycle here.

Some forms of support in this program:

  • Coach/mentor meetings; also cohort meetings on a regular basis. (google hangouts, etc.)
  • Summer institute
  • Web site

Yet again, hearing statistics about the impact of coaching, and how coaching leads to more implementation of new practices by teachers.

And again, it’s important to make your role clear. You are not judging or evaluating. People think you are above them, but make it clear that you are side by side. You are on their side, to provide support.

Coaching needs to be personalized. Everyone has their own needs.

What can admin do to support the coaching program? First step is to identify teacher leaders. Who are the first ones to implement, take risks, try new things, etc.? Include teachers as leaders in PLCs. Invite teacher leaders to present and give PD. Build upon their leadership and establish a coaching model even if it’s not a full-time position.

The biggest thing that this program provides is someone else who has some experience with this to give advice. The program provides connections, teams, cohort, etc. Having each other, google hangout chat, etc. People jump in, provide feedback, etc.

Make coach meetings first period on Mondays – it’s usually before the week gets crazy, and then you’ll have time to reschedule them if they get bumped around. Make collaboration a priority.

Yet again they are saying- go to the teachers who are already innovators, the early adopters. Go to them first before the resistant teachers.

When you know something cool is going on, invite other teachers to joining their colleague’s classes. Facilitate cross observations among teachers.

Remember that a lot of the resisters resist out of fear. Teachers are held accountable for teaching standards and content. Sometimes they feel fear that these new tools will send them off track and take time away from content.

If a computer can grade a quiz, let the computer grade it! Show teachers how much time using technology will save them. That will help them get on board really quickly.

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