Action Research Plan

       It is my responsibility as a Technology Integration Specialist to ensure my teachers are able to enhance student learning and explore in ways that would not have been possible without technology. In order to ensure my effectiveness in this role, I am conducting a study over the technology coach and their impact on technology integration in the classroom. 

Introduction of the Study

        Times have changed and school needs to change with it. Gone are the days of teachers standing in front of a class of students to deliver a lecture and technology has a lot to do with these changes. As an educator of educators, I see a lack of motivation by teachers to embrace technology integration. I proceeded to ask myself why this is happening. I feel it boils down to teachers having a lack of knowledge or skills to use specific apps due to insufficient training or time to explore the apps. Many teachers attend one-time training sessions then return to school and forget what they were shown, therefore fail to integrate technology and fall back on doing what they have always done in the past.

       This is why I am researching and studying the importance of a technology integration specialist (tech coach) and the coaching cycle on an educator’s integration of technology in the learning environment. My job as a tech coach is to support my teachers by helping them to enhance the learning environment with and without technology. Not only do I assist with choosing the best device or software to use, but I also help with the delivery and creation of content while guiding students to use technology responsibly. 


       As I read through the literature on coaching, technology, and professional learning, I discovered many teachers are not satisfied with traditional professional development and struggle to implement strategies without ongoing support (Boston Consulting Group, 2014; Darling-Hammond, Hyler, & Garder, 2017; Wei, Darling-Hammond, Andree, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009). When professional learning is active, relevant, ongoing, modeled, and collaborative, the implementation likelihood greatly increases (Brooks & Gibson, 2012; Gullamhussein, 2013; Plair, 2008; Potter & Rockinson-Szapkiw, 2012). Coaching is a positive contributing factor when implementing the coaching cycle with collaboration (Beglau, Hare, Follos, Gann, James, Jobe,.. & Smith, 2011; Ehsanipour & Gomez Zaccarelli, 2017; Hannover Research, 2014).


 

Purpose of the Study

       The purpose of my study is to see how effective the technology coach and authentic professional learning (coaching cycle) is on the teachers’ usage of technology to enhance the learning experience of their students. I am looking to (hopefully) justify the need for a technology coach in schools and educate others in the role of a tech coach.  In the process of this study, I will learn to be more effective and purposeful in my position as a technology integration specialist. I will also discover teachers’ perceptions of technology integration with and without the support of a technology coach.


       I am looking to find the answer to the question; what are teachers' perceptions of technology integration with and without the support of a technology coach? As this study progresses, I will establish a set of coaching procedures, and documents to aide the position of a tech coach when working with teachers. 
 

Study Description

 

      This will be a qualitative study of teachers’ perception of their integration of technology and how the coaching cycle influenced them in their lesson delivery. The teachers will fill out a survey (Appendix A) before and after working with me over the course of a school year. I will conduct interviews with teachers (Appendix B) and students (Appendix C) about their experience with technology in the classroom. Observations and walkthroughs will be conducted throughout the course of the study as well as utilizing two checklists on technology integration (Appendix D and Appendix E).
    
      Participation will be voluntary and the surveys will be anonymous. When recruiting for volunteers to participate, I will also recruit people to be a control group. These will be educators that allow me to observe and conduct walkthroughs without participating in coaching sessions with me. Student interviews will be conducted in a small group setting within the class while teacher interviews will be conducted outside of class time.  Since I am a full participant in this study, this is an observational study.

 

Data

       During the study, there will be a survey to determine the starting point for educator’s beliefs on technology integration and current practices. There will also be walkthroughs and observations of classrooms to determine technology use before and after the coaching cycle. The pre- and post-study surveys will be administered through Google Forms and analyzed using Google Sheets. The responses will be categorized as a positive impact, a negative impact, or no impact. 
       Data will take the form of indicators, stories, and artifacts. Most indicators will come from checklists and survey results. The interviews and observations will produce stories and examples of integration (artifacts). All the recorded interviews will be stored in a Google Drive along with images of filled out forms used for observations.

 

Implementation Timeline  

 

      This study takes place during the second semester of the 2018/2019 school year. 

  • Mid-January 2019 

    • Select teachers for the study

    • Conduct Pre-Study Surveys and walk-throughs

  • February - May 2019

    • Coach & Co-teacher with volunteers

    • Conduct observations 

  • May - June 2019

    • Conduct Post-Study Survey and walk-throughs

    • Reflect and Share results

Sharing and Reflecting

 

      The results of the study will be shared through my blog and website found at cartersedventures.com. I will also post my thoughts and experiences through my blog as well. Once the study is completed I may publish my findings. Some questions I will ask myself as I am reflecting are: 

 

  • What were the greatest concerns of teachers when it comes to tech integration?

  • What was the hardest part of coaching?

  • Did you feel as if you were making a difference to teacher instruction?

  • Where could the coaching process use improvement?

  • How effective was the tech coach was on tech integration?

  • Did the teachers notice a difference in their classrooms?

  • Was there any change in student engagement or achievement?

Conclusion

 

      The process of completing the planning phase of my Action Research plan has been eye-opening. The literature shows almost half of the educators around the world are not happy with PD opportunities, students are not being prepared for life after school, and districts need to adjust professional learning and instructional strategies to meet these needs. A technology coach can assist in the process of planning to revolutionize technology training for teachers and facilitate learning on a 21st-Century scale.

 

References

 

  • Beglau, M., Craig Hare, J., Foltos, L., Gann, K., James, J., Jobe, H., ... & Smith, B. (2011). Technology, coaching, and community: Power partners for improved professional development in primary and secondary education. [online]. International Society for Technology in Education. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/resources/product?id=2157 

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  • Brooks, C. & Gibson, S. (2012). Professional learning in a digital age. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology,38(2), 1-16. doi: 10.21432/T2HS3Q 

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  • Plair, S. K. (2008). Revamping professional development for technology integration and fluency. The Clearing House, 82(2), 70-74. doi: 10.3200/TCHS.82.2.70-74. 

 

  • Potter, S. L., & Rockinson-Szapkiw, A. J. (2012). Technology integration for instructional improvement: The impact of professional development. Performance Improvement, 51(2), 22–27. doi: 10.1002/pfi.21246. 

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Appendices
To save space, the appendices are located HERE.

 

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