We interviewed Gillian Gouws, a well-experienced ed-tech coach, to find out what being an EdTech coach means?
What is an Ed Tech coach?
An Educational Technology Coach is someone who assists teachers with technology integration into their lessons. This involves ongoing professional development that is relevant to the classroom and curriculum.
Coaching is also personalized and is not always workshop based. An Ed Tech Coach provides the link between the IT Department and the teachers, so some tech understanding is useful.
The Ed Tech coach needs to reshape the way the teachers think and the way learners learn by guiding, encouraging and supporting the change. This means that the Ed Tech Coach must always research and encourage new ways to use technology.
Where do you presently teach and where are you moving?
I am presently a High School Mathematics teacher and I am moving to a Prep school as an Ed Tech coach. It’s a very big change but I am doing it because I am passionate about the opportunities available to enhance the learning process. I have used tech in my lessons and I have seen the benefits.
What is expected of you as an Ed Tech coach?
As an Ed Tech coach, I will be involved with integrating iPads, 3D printing, coding, and computers into the curriculum. I will work closely with the Media Centre to incorporate their design space into a 21st-century learning environment.
I will help design lessons with the teachers to support technology and develop collaboration and sharing between teachers so that the ideas that worked in the classroom are moving out of the classroom and into general staffroom conversations.
I will research and provide information specific to the teachers needs and keep up to date on new tech tools.
Why do schools need an Ed tech coach?
Teachers are busy; they teach all day and then coach extracurricular activities in the afternoon. It is an overlapping of resources and time if we are all researching the same ideas.
An Ed Tech coach does the research and shows the teachers what works so that the teachers can get on with the process of teaching, facilitating and inspiring the youth.
Kids are natural explorers and schools need to harness this curiosity.
Give us your top Ed Tech tip?
Don’t be afraid to try a tech-based lesson. You do not need to know exactly how an App works. The learners are so keen to use technology that they will collaborate to find solutions to any problems they may come across.
Learners enjoy teaching the teacher; so let them. Share the learning process.
What do you think of School Advisor?
Life is becoming so busy that it is great to have a list of resources for the South African Curriculum that is all in one place. SchoolAdvisor is like an Ed Tech coach. They are collating the research so that the teachers have time to inspire the youth.