Educator empowerment is a thread that runs through all of the ISTE Standards for Educators, particularly with the Leader standard.
But Instructional Technology Coach Gregory Gilmore says a prerequisite of the Leader standard is the ability for educators to feel supported in shaping their own professional learning and “being their own lead learner.”
And that’s where edtech coaches come in – modeling what empowered leading looks like for their colleagues so that teachers can then model it for their peers and students.
It’s the best sort of trickle-down learning there is.
“At the root of the Leader standard is the ability for teachers to advocate for their own learning needs and be able to model that,” explains Gilmore, who works at Osage Trail Middle School, Fort Osage R-1, in Independence, Missouri. “If you’re going to do what the standard says, you’re going to have to be empowered to collect some information.”
Giving teachers the flexibility to pursue their own learning morphs into the ability to advocate for students and to contribute to planning and problem-solving at all levels, he adds.
With the new standards available for the first time this school year, coaches could use some tools and resources to share with teachers. Gilmore points to four that back the Leader standard:
This site provides professional development, e-learning and webinars created by teachers, for teachers. In addition to digital toolkits, the site offers instructional strategies, resources for teaching digital age skills and a section devoted to thoughtful leadership.
This tool helps students and teachers evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of a website. By responding to a series of questions, users can make an informed decision about the trustworthiness of the site being evaluated.
This online community offers free professional development along with a rich collection of lessons, learning units and educator-reviewed web resources. Units and lessons posted on the site are developed in consultation with practicing professionals and teachers.
This reputable digital citizenship program includes resources for teachers, students and families, including 65 research based K-12 lessons plans to help teachers embed digital citizenship across the curriculum.
ISTE members seeking additional tools and resources to support implementation of the ISTE Educator Standards can watch the members-only ISTE Professional Learning Series webinar “Add to Your Edtech Coaching Toolkit: Tools to Support the Refreshed ISTE Educator Standards.”