These three words were shared during a recent professional development brainstorming session where I was talking to different PLN members about an upcoming PD I would be leading. In my position as an Instructional Coach, I work with teachers on different areas of The Big Four and many times this work includes integrating the available technology into all areas of their curriculum and instruction. Whether I'm planning building level PD or working one-on-one with a teacher during a coaching cycle, the Big Four is always at the forefront of my mind. With technology PD planning, the challenge for me is to adequately balance 1) the requests for more tech resources and 2) analyzing and addressing the BrightBytes Clarity data. I love focusing on data, but I also know not every educator out there likes to dig into data or may take data too personally to tackle in a large group format. Many just want resources, aka tech tools, that they can immediately take back to their classroom. Tools are easy to implement, where as taking time to analyze Clarity data can result in changing how one teaches, which may not be as simple. I do get excited when I run across a new resource, but I don't let my excitement cloud my ultimate goal for students to use technology to be creative, collaborative, and grow as critical thinkers. You see, it's not the number of apps on an iPad or tiles in a Symbaloo webmix that impact a student's learning, it's the teacher. Based on what content is being taught, the teacher chooses how and when they'll use the technology, what strategies they'll use to hook students, and how open ended they'll make the individual and collaborative activities. My job is to support teachers in these decisions as we work together toward the goal of impacting student learning.
I have yet to find the perfect harmony; but as I try to find this balance, I need to keep in mind that it's a process and eventually, we'll all get there.