Why FETC attendees are one step closer to obtaining an ed tech micro-credential
At FETC® 2020, nearly 150 instructional technology coach officials and teachers took advantage of a free online training and mentorship program to earn a micro-credential by first participating in select sessions.
This group was followed by roughly 100 more who enrolled at or after the conference, as part of the Future of Education Technology Conference’s first #CoachingCollab partnership with Kennesaw State University iTeach Department.
“Originally, our hope was to enroll 50 people, and we have had about 237,” says Stephanee Stephens, director and part-time instructor of instructional technology at iTeach. “It’s really gone beyond our expectations.”
To earn the micro-credential, educational technology coach experts and other enrollees first attended a minimum of six select collaboration sessions (approximately 10 hours) in the ed tech coach track at FETC. Now, they must complete four labor-intensive modules within a year of attending the conference. “We encourage participants to communicate with all of our other fellows via social media to build relationships within a personal network,” says Summaya Knight, instructional technology specialist.
“There is a high level of rigor to these modules,” adds Stephens. “Administrators and district staff will recognize the time commitment that went into achieving the micro-credential when they see the FETC and university logo.”
Instructional technology coaching action plan
FETC’s ed tech coach track answered questions and clarified common misconceptions about the role of the instructional technology coach so that districts could fully leverage these positions. “Sometimes employees who hold the title of coach act more like administrators, and when they have that punitive authority over teachers, it negates the whole role of the coach,” says Stephens. “Coaches help move a practice or structural innovation forward with consistency to improve student success. They are the go-to agents in school settings.”
“Administrators also don’t really understand how to use or support their coaches,” adds Knight.” They also don’t know that their strategic plan can be aligned with the ed tech vision. But they can.”
To better understand these roles, FETC attendees learned that administrators need to open up the communications with every educational technology coach to truly benefit from them. “When administrators can create a peer relationship with their coaches, that’s when there will be a lot more success in the building,” says Knight.
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