ISTE Standards for
Coaches 1: Visionary
Technology Coaches inspire and participate in the
development and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive
integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformational
change throughout the instructional environment.
Coaches should inspire and lead us down paths that are
manageable, interesting and — as much as I hate to say it — intimidating. They
should help us go places and do things that we may not have considered. Their
role is to use the knowledge of the systems that we live and work in to create a
vision for how to incorporate inspiring and engaging technology tools in the
The ISTE Standards for
Technology Coaches (ISTE Standards•C) address the role that tech coaches play
within a learning environment beginning with Standard 1: Visionary
does a visionary leader look like and do? In his book, An
Integrative Theory of Leadership,
Martin M. Chemers proposes that "theorists and researchers might say that
leadership is a process of social influence in which one person is able to
enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task."
This is what tech coaches do daily. They work in our schools, online and in our
communities to develop relationships and support teachers as they challenge
students to develop higher levels of knowledge.
visionary leaders, coaches have collegial and professional relationships with
all members of the organization. They often bridge the gap between
administrators and practitioners because they have the unique opportunity to
view the academic system from a global perspective, which they connect to the
everyday work of teachers and students. Technology coaches are comfortable
working with district leadership in the planning, development, communication,
implementation and evaluation of technology-infused strategic plans. They help
school leaders refine their personal technology use and develop a broader vision
of learning for our classrooms. And they provide group and individual
professional development while designing engaging lessons with a classroom
teacher. This all helps educators create learning activities in the
technology-rich environment that today's students require.
Tech coaches also advocate for
funding. Often the technology coach is the person teachers or administrators
look to for recommendations when purchasing software and materials to enhance
learning and teaching. Coaches stay current on the trends and educational
strategies that research shows have a positive effect on academic success. They
accomplish this by participating in webinars, blogs and professional learning
communities and by attending and presenting at conferences. Coaches also help
support staff learn how to complete tasks efficiently while showing them how to
use the strategies, tools and equipment in the classroom for their own
Tech coaches are critical to any
school system because they help staff maneuver into the future and prepare
students for an exciting, technology-rich life.
Kara Gann holds a M.Ed. in administration and is the strategic
integration director for Atomic Learning. She was a member of the ISTE Board of
Directors (2008-12) and its Executive Committee. Gann has received a
Presidential Volunteer Service award as well as an ISTE Making IT Happen award.
This article is an updated version of a column that was originally
published in the April/May 2012 issue of Learning & Leading with
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