October 25, 2013

A TechToy Story: Why tech geeks fail and edtech coaches succeed

Filed under: edtech,ISTE Ed Tech Coaches Network,Ok2Ask,teaching — Candace Hackett Shively @ 10:48 am

This is a fable — of sorts.

After sharing the joy of figuring out a new tech toy for online professional development sessions, the tech geek (TG) and the edtech coach (ETC) stopped for a quick chat.

TG: Looks perfectly simple. Shouldn’t be any problems.

ETC: I wonder if the iOS app version looks the same.

TG: I’m sure it’s close enough.

ETC: Did we test to be sure the links in chat were clickable? We do send teachers off to explore things then come back to share a lot during these sessions. That gets them involved as learners.

TG: Who can’t figure out how to use a link?

ETC: IF the links are clickable, that’s great.

TG: They can copy/paste, can’t they?

ETC: I’ll have to test to be sure that the iOS copy handles are available inside the app chat box.

TG: I don’t have time to load an app just to check that.

ETC: I’d rather check now than start a session with people saying things don’t work. Do you know if the Android app looks like the web interface? Or the iOS version?

TG: You’ve gotta be kidding me.

ETC: I know some people have trouble using the little text selection handles to copy in iOS. And that’s if  the copy tool works at all in this app.

TG: Just show them how when they get to the session.

ETC: We aren’t screensharing from a tablet…. Wait, do you know how they enter a session if they are on the app version?

TG: No idea. They’ll figure it out.

ETC: Yeah, except for the ones who need professional development the MOST. This gives them an excuse not to try.

TG: They’ll get some kid to help.

ETC: I hope so. But this is after school.

TG: You’ve gotta be kidding me.

ETC: I’ll check both apps and give the hesitant teachers a few screenshots on our wiki — or email to them.

TG: You’ve gotta be kidding me.

ETC: I can see why they get frustrated when they didn’t even have the tablets to play with until the first week of school. I wish they’d take one home… Maybe I can host an online play session one evening and give them prizes for coming.

TG:  You’ve gotta be kidding me. You coddle them.

ETC: No, I respect them. I expect them to learn, but I know where they’re coming from. And every one of them is different. Like the kids in their classrooms.

TG: Kids aren’t that different. They’ll figure it out.

ETC: Glad you weren’t my teacher.

TG: Be a teacher?  You’ve gotta be kidding me.


Moral: Effective edtech coaching means constantly imagining yourself in someone else’s shoes. 


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