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In this episode, Assistive Technology Director, Dr. Kirsten Kohlmeyer, joins to discuss the power of accessibility and text-to-speech tools in classroom environments. You’ll also hear plenty of digital resources to check out for text-to-speech options, audiobooks, and more!

Listen to the podcast episode on your favorite platform:

Tips for using text-to-speech tools

  • Focus on the task.
  • Examine “return on time” investment.
  • Look at what your favorite tools already do.
  • Figure out if a tool works for your goals

Sponsored by Hāpara

Hāpara is a suite of instructional management tools for K12 that is exactly like nothing else. It is the only tool on the market that provides ethical monitoring features, helping educators give timely formative feedback to students – and a reason to close distracting tabs on their web browser. What is ethical monitoring? It’s a way to provide visibility into what your students are doing when they’re learning online. Instead of closing browser tabs or punishing students, ethical monitoring helps learners build digital citizenship. Visit https://hapara.com/monicaburns/  to learn more about supporting digital citizenship skill building for students through ethical monitoring.

Follow & Review on Apple Podcasts

Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? I don’t want you to miss an episode and hope you’ll keep following along with me on this podcast journey. When you follow along on Apple Podcasts the new episodes will appear in the app so you don’t have to remember to go looking for them… Click here to follow on Apple Podcasts! And if you have a minute for a BIG favor, add a rating and review to the podcast, too — I would certainly appreciate it!

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This fall, Apple Education launched a brand new community for educators. It’s completely free to join, and it’s open to educators at all levels and subject areas. You can also join the Apple Education Community even if you’re not currently using Apple technology in your classroom. The community is full of ready-to-explore resources to help you make the most of classroom technology this school year!

If you’ve followed along for a while now, you might know a bit about my story. In 2013, I became an Apple Distinguished Educator. And it’s probably not an exaggeration to say that my life changed forever. I was introduced to educators from around the world who were also passionate about classroom technology, full of great ideas, and excited to chat about all things EdTech. Here’s a bit more about my journey.

Let’s dive into what you’ll find in the Apple Education Community and six reasons why you’ll want to check it out today!

The Apple Education Community

What is the Apple Education Community? This new community is a hub for professional learning resources from Apple. Educators can access a collaborative space where they can connect with educators from around the world and share ideas. 

The Apple Education Community takes all the fantastic resources from the Apple Teacher program to the next level. You’ll find a new Learning Center that gives community members access to hundreds of free, Apple‑created resources. This is where you’ll find tutorials that take you through favorite Apple tools, alongside lesson ideas and hands-on teaching materials. The Apple Teacher program is now inside of this community, with plenty of self-paced learning opportunities to explore.

Within the Apple Education Community, you’ll also find the new Forum, currently in beta. This space is where you’ll find all of the collaboration within the Community. There are dedicated areas for educators to connect and share ideas with one another. I’ve even posted a story in the Forum area where I share a few of my favorite formative assessment strategies and iPad-friendly activities.

Apple Education Community - Infographic

6 Reasons to Check Out the Apple Education Community

Ready to dive into the new Apple Education Community? The Apple Education Community is totally free to join. All you need to do is set up an account, and you’re good to go. If you are part of the Apple Teacher Program, you can use the same username and login details to access the community; otherwise, click here to set up your free account. Here are six reasons to check it out today!

Gather new ideas

Educators inside the Apple Education Community can gather new ideas on lots of different topics, including over 100 tutorials showing off how to leverage features on iPad and Mac for new lessons. In addition to the tutorials, you can also find great stories educators share in the Forum.

Find educators to follow

The stories shared within this platform provide a great place to find educators to follow. Sharing and posting stories in the community is totally optional, so if you’re not ready to share yet, you can still check out everything other educators post. You might want to check out this history lesson idea from Cheryl Davis or this podcasting lesson from Heather Dowd.

Share techy stories

But if you are ready to share…the Apple Education Community is the perfect place to share your ideas with educators around the world. As soon as the community opened up in late August, I was excited to jump in and share a techy story. I posted a few of my favorite formative assessment activities, and there are already a few comments on this post. If you’ve thought about blogging but are unsure if you want to start a blog from scratch, this is a great way to try it out.

Fantastic for Apple users

As a classroom teacher, I used iPads with my fifth-grade students and became an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2013. So you can imagine that one of the reasons I was excited to check out the Apple Education Community was because of all of the Apple content. This space is fantastic for Apple users, especially if you want to grow in a particular area, such as learning more about Garageband or Numbers.

Apple Education Community

Not just for Apple users

But it’s totally fine if you’re not using their products…the Apple Education community is full of ideas for best practices in classroom technology integration. So if you’re using something else or planning to use iPad or Mac devices in the future, you’ll gather many ideas from the community.

Ask (and answer) questions

The Discussion area of the community is a space to post questions, find frequently asked questions, and explore answers. You can use the search bar to look for questions that have already been posted and answered or to sort by most recent activity. This is an excellent option for moments when you need support, clarification, or educator connections.

As someone in the business of “making EdTech easier,” I love how this community is full of helpful ideas and inspiration for educators at all levels. You can join the Apple Education Community today. Use this link to grab your spot and start exploring!



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In this episode, Shannon Buerk, Founder and CEO of engage2learn, joins to unpack the idea of competency-based learning and how we can leverage technology to make professional learning the most effective it can be. You’ll also hear about her new book titled Connect the Dots: Utilize Education Intelligence to Accelerate Growth, Retain Talent, and Optimize Outcomes.

Listen to the podcast episode on your favorite platform:

Elevate Teachers - Infographic

Tips to Elevate Teachers

  • Take stock of what PD looks like now.
  • Decide on the competencies or focus areas for your school or district.
  • Examine ways to personalize professional learning.
  • Use an online platform to individualize the experience.

Sponsored by the STEM Careers Coalition

This episode is sponsored by engage2learn, a leading provider of Education Intelligence through smart professional learning, job-embedded coaching, and related technology solutions since 2011. They’re on a mission to scale smart professional learning systems to optimize outcomes in public education. To learn more about engage2learn, visit engage2learn.org.

Follow & Review on Apple Podcasts

Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? I don’t want you to miss an episode and hope you’ll keep following along with me on this podcast journey. When you follow along on Apple Podcasts the new episodes will appear in the app so you don’t have to remember to go looking for them… Click here to follow on Apple Podcasts! And if you have a minute for a BIG favor, add a rating and review to the podcast, too — I would certainly appreciate it!

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Do you have any spooky reading plans for October? With Halloween around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share some tips for Halloween reading activities today. Whether you celebrate in a big way each year or simply look for a few moments to make a Halloween connection, I have some tips to share with you. These six tips aren’t all spooky, but I couldn’t help including an alliterative spin on the title!

Halloween Reading - Infographic

In today’s blog post, we’ll take a look at the awesome resources from Capstone and how you can use them alongside your Halloween plans. If you’re looking to get students excited about reading this October, these tips have you covered. I’ve included a few specific articles and resources for your consideration, too, but you can customize these tips for any Halloween reading experience.

6 Halloween Reading Activities

There are lots of reasons why you may want to try out these activities alongside the fantastic resources from Capstone. But, before we jump into the list with Halloween reading, here’s a little background on Capstone. With Capstone Connect, you can quickly and easily locate articles and ebooks for K-5 students. You might remember my blog posts from earlier this year, where I featured their awesome resources, including 5 Tips for Differentiating Instruction with Technology and 5 Ways to Introduce Informational Text Features.

On this platform, you can access a robust collection of Capstone resources, including PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next. This is also where you’ll find Capstone Interactive. Students can also access interactive ebooks by searching through a digital collection through Connect.

Let’s jump into the list of Halloween reading activities!

Point Out Halloween Topics

There are lots of resources in PebbleGo related to Halloween. You might introduce students to an article on a related topic like Pumpkin Harvest, or head straight to a Halloween reading experience. The search bar at the top of the page is very helpful when looking for content related to a theme or topic. For example, you might want to pull up the article on Spiders if you’re talking about creepy creatures during the Halloween season. 

Practice a Keyword Search

As you might have noticed in the screenshots in this blog post, you can perform a keyword search in PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next, as well as the ebook library. This is a great opportunity to have students brainstorm vocabulary words related to a topic, in this case, Halloween. You might prepare by creating a list related to passages you want students to explore as a backup and then have them brainstorm what other words to add to the list.

Halloween Reading PebbleGo

Make a Fall Connection

If Halloween isn’t a favorite topic for your students, you might make a fall connection instead. There are plenty to choose from in PebbleGo. This includes autumnal articles like Apple Harvest and Animals in Fall. This seasonal connection could be instead of or in addition to a Halloween reading activity you set up for your students.

Try a Biography 

In addition to pumpkins and apples, you might take a spin on a Halloween reading topic by including a few biographies, too. In PebbleGo Next, you’ll find articles in categories such as “Composers, Musicians, and Singers” as well as “Explorers and Pioneers.” So if you want to make a Social studies connection, or you know that students in your class are choosing historical figures for a Halloween costume, you can definitely make a particular connection. If your students are dressing up as a historical figure for Halloween they can learn more about that person by reading an article in PebbleGo. For example, they might dress up like Amelia Earhart and read an article all about her, too.

Read About Careers

During Halloween, children often dress up in costumes connected to a career they’d like to have one day. A great Halloween reading connection is to ask students to think about a dream career or a profession that they’d like to dress up as for the holiday. Then you can share a selection of reading passages, like the ones in the “Jobs in Life Science” article. Students can read about Botanists, Zoologists, Marine Biologists, and more. It might even inspire a future Halloween costume!

Encourage a Spooky Response

In PebbleGo Create, students have the option to create a reading response right from within the platform. Although there are lots of ways they can respond in this space, voice recording is a great option for a “spooky response.” Students can record their voices with a spooky tone for a quick Halloween connection — no matter what topic they’ve read about.

Ready to get started with these Halloween reading tips? Head over to Capstone’s website to learn more about PebbleGo, PebbleGo Next, PebbleGo Create, and all of the ebooks you can access on their platform. And if you’re already using Capstone’s resources, I’d love to hear about your favorite ways to make a Halloween connection! Snap a picture or share your story by tagging @ClassTechTips on Instagram or Twitter.





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If you want to support teachers when there is no one to help or when it feels like nobody has time, you’re in the right place. We know that teachers, not programs or platforms, are what make the difference in students’ progress. But how can schools and districts make sure that teachers are strengthening their skills related to instructional best practices? What does on-demand teacher support look like in action?

Today on the blog, we’ll take a look at how you can accelerate student growth through on-demand teacher support. mySmartCoach from engage2learn is an on-demand, personalized coaching system. It’s not a course, but a platform for educators that provides a streamlined, personalized experience for professional learning. mySmartCoach can increase coaching capacity and supports teacher development throughout the school year.

Let’s take a look at how you can personalize teacher support and create a culture of growth at the same time!

On-Demand Teacher Support 

I love this quote from Founder & CEO of engage2learn, Shannon Buerk. It sums up the power of coaching: “Everyone deserves a coach, no one deserves a critic.” So what exactly does mySmartCoach do? mySmartCoach is self-driven and job-embedded professional learning for educators. It is an adaptive learning solution that personalizes the experience for each participating teacher. 

mySmartCoach Laptop

mySmartCoach offers teacher support at every level. New and blossoming teachers, as well as veteran educators, can benefit from using this platform. It’s designed for any educator looking to accelerate learning in their classroom and reach every student.

teacher support - Infographic

The professional learning resources built into this platform are based on extensive expert research. With the goal of boosting educator and student growth, mySmartCoach uses research on best practices in education to help teachers implement new strategies. The educators who use the platform can choose which resources and lessons are the best fit for the way they like to learn. This lets them create a unique professional learning pathway.

At a school and district level, you’ll have access to information that can help you connect your goals for student growth with professional learning. Data and analytics are available through mySmartCoach so that districts can celebrate the advancement and achievements of participating educators.

Support for Busy Educators

If you’ve listened to my Easy EdTech Podcast this year, you know that I’ve shared lots of time-saving tips. As a classroom teacher, I often felt swamped at the end of the day. Sometimes it felt like my to-do list couldn’t get any longer. So you can imagine that my ears perked up when the team behind mySmartCoach shared some of the ways that their dynamic platform can offer support for busy educators.

mySmartCoach provides coaching and learning resources personalized for each educator. You can ensure that every teacher’s time is well spent as they interact with a platform that adapts to their learning styles and growth goals. The on-demand teacher support works with a busy educator’s schedule. Teachers can fit in professional learning at a time that works for them. This could happen during an extra prep period added to their schedule or a day when everyone in the school is dedicating time to their professional learning.

With mySmartCoach you can also save time looking for new teaching strategies and resources. It provides personalized tips for educators based on their professional goals. So you don’t have to spend hours searching online for tips to strengthen a focus skill.

mySmartCoach iPad

Getting Started with mySmartCoach

With the individualized, hands-on professional learning from mySmartCoach, districts can expand their coaching capacity and further the reach of their instructional coaches. This way, you can focus on high-value-add efforts connecting to big and small initiatives this school year. In addition, mySmartCoach can help you offer more intentional teacher support and increase retention rates, all while improving student outcomes!

If you’re committed to a more personalized professional learning experience for your educators, you’ll certainly want to take a look at mySmartCoach. To get a closer look and explore how eSuite with mySmartCoach can deliver on-demand adaptive coaching support to educators in your district, get in touch with their team. Use this link to request more information and see if mySmartCoach is the right fit for your school.





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If you haven’t used the term “screencast” before, you’ve probably seen one in action. Screencasts are essentially recordings of what is happening on someone’s screen and they are useful for numerous reasons. With lots of screencasting tools to choose from, you might want to create videos for students or colleagues this school year.

For example, you might record your screen to show someone how to complete a task, such as posting materials in Google Classroom. Or you might record a screencast for a flipped learning environment and record your screen as you move through a series of slides in a presentation deck and explain a new concept.

In my book EdTech Essentials, I share some of the reasons you might consider making a screencast. Here’s a quick passage from page 68 in the Assessment chapter:

“After collecting formative assessment data, your action items might also include interventions for individual students or for small groups to address common needs. For an individual student, you might share a screencast you made with a tool like Loom or Screencastify to help them explore an idea or spotlight a particular helpful resource.”

Screencasting Tools for Teachers

In today’s blog post, I want to share a few tools you can use for creating screencasts, and I’ll share some tips for creating screencasts, too. This post takes a spin on a question I was asked in a recent Q&A column for ASCD’s Educational Leadership Magazine. I was asked about tips for creating screencasts which I’ll share with you here today, and I’ve included a breakdown of some favorite tools to make screencasting happen in your classroom.

So let’s get to the list of tools, the focus, and title of today’s blog post.

Screencasting Tools - Infographic

iOS 14 or later

Many tools let you record your screen, and you might already have one in your tool belt. iPad and iPhone users may have already tried this with iOS 14 or later. You can record your screen with or without audio. This type of screencast is especially useful if you want to show someone how to do something on an iPad or iPhone. For example, you might want to show students how to navigate a new app or how to submit work on their iPad. This feature can help you create a quick video. 

Loom

Loom is the next on the list and is a popular choice among screencasting tools with a Chrome browser extension. You can record your full screen or just on the tab you’re using and decide whether or not to jump on camera during the recording. This tool gives you a link to share and automatically generates transcripts for each video. I use Loom all of the time to create short videos that answer a question. For example, if you’re a member of my Easy EdTech Club, you might have noticed that in the videos I make to answer questions for our monthly video Q&A, I often use Loom.

Screencastify

Screencastify is another popular tool that has a Chrome browser extension. Like many of the tools on the list, it has an education version with lots of special features for teachers. With Screencastify, you can organize your videos, easily edit your videos, and record a video with a simple tap of your screen time.

Quicktime

Quicktime is a Mac-friendly tool that allows users to record just audio or create video recordings. When I do a solo episode of my Easy EdTech Podcast, I almost always use Quicktime on my Mac. QuickTime lets you record your full screen or just a portion of your screen for screen recording. I really like how it lets you drag the window, so it captures just one area of your screen before pressing record.

Screencast-O-Matic

I’m pretty sure that Screencast-O-Matic is the first type of screen recording technology that I ever used. It’s a software you can download to your computer and create recordings of your screen. There is a paid and free version of SOM, which will also generate captions for you.

Microsoft Flip

Some popular tools have a screencasting feature built into the platform, even if it’s just one of the many things it does. Flip (formerly Flipgrid) is an excellent example of a robust tool with a screencasting option built into its platform. When you open up Flip, you’ll find that you can jump on camera, of course, but here is also the option to record your screen to create a video.

Explain Everything

Explain Everything is a fantastic video creation tool that essentially records your screen as you draw. There is so much you can do with this powerful tool, and creating short videos that explain a concept, or share an idea, is really where it comes to life. Explain Everything was one of the very first iPad apps I ever used and definitely a favorite.

Zoom

The video conferencing tool Zoom is also a great screencasting tool. Although it might seem a bit lonely to jump on a Zoom call by yourself, you can set up an appointment or simply use your personal Zoom room to create a screencast. You can get on video (or keep your camera off) and use the screen share option to show your screen—press record before you start talking and save the video to your computer or your Zoom account.

On this list of “top ten” episodes you’ll find the ten most downloaded episodes of the Easy EdTech Podcast.

Google Meet

Google Meet is a tool you can use in a similar way. Start a Google Meet call on your own, press record, and create your short video. Depending on how you and/or your district have Google permissions set up, all of the recordings from your solo calls should go straight into a Google Drive folder.

If you’re looking for a tool to use, I encourage you to reach out to the technology specialist in your school or district to see if they have already purchased a tool that will help you accomplish this goal. In today’s post, we focused a bit more on the idea of teachers creating screencasts for their students, but many of the tools we’ve talked about are student-friendly, too. So if you want to get started with screencasting this year, there are many options to explore!



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Do you listen to podcasts? In this episode, I share eight of my favorite tips for anyone listening to podcasts. These tips are perfect for teaching with podcasts, too. You’ll also hear how to apply these tips to your personal podcast listening practice, your classroom routine, or to share out with students and families.

Tips for Teaching with Podcasts

Podcast Tips - Infographic

Listen to the podcast episode on your favorite platform:

Sponsored by my Quick Reference Guide

This episode is sponsored by my Quick Reference Guide on Classroom Technology Tips. Have you seen this yet? Although I love books, a Quick Reference Guide or QRG is a perfect way to get lots of information and have a handy resource to refer to. It’s laminated, just six panels and even three-hole punched in case you’re rocking a Trapper Keeper or have a favorite binder full of professional learning ideas. Learn more at ClassTechTips.com/Books, or go to Amazon and type in my name Monica Burns. You’ll have to scroll past the romance novels written by someone with the same name, but I promise you’ll find the QRGs there, too.

Follow & Review on Apple Podcasts

Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? I don’t want you to miss an episode and hope you’ll keep following along with me on this podcast journey. When you follow along on Apple Podcasts the new episodes will appear in the app so you don’t have to remember to go looking for them… Click here to follow on Apple Podcasts! And if you have a minute for a BIG favor, add a rating and review to the podcast, too — I would certainly appreciate it!

Episode Resources



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Have you tried out one of the creativity challenges from Adobe for Education yet? With these free Adobe Express templates for you and your students, the creative challenge is perfect for the first part of the school year. The final part of the back-to-school challenge is now ready for you and your students to explore.

Regular readers of the blog might remember how I’ve featured a handful of these special creativity challenges this year. I love how Adobe for Education makes it easy for you to introduce students to creative experiences throughout the school year. In addition, the free Adobe Express templates make it easier than ever to bring new experiences to your students. This August, they launched a “New You in ‘22” Challenge

Today on the blog, I’m excited to take you through Parts 2 and 3 of the challenge!

Free Adobe Express Templates

Students will create a digital portfolio to follow them across the school year in this three-part challenge. This blog post shares all the steps for Part 1 of the challenge, but here is a quick recap.

In Part 1, teachers and students create a multi-page post to introduce themselves. This part of the challenge uses the new multi-page feature in Adobe Express. You’ll have a space to set new goals and establish important milestones for the school year. Just like the creativity challenges from earlier this year, the challenge includes free Adobe Express templates for you and your class. Thousands of educators and students have already completed Part 1; here is a link to the template (scroll down the page).

In Part 2, you can create a reflection and goal-setting video. Teachers and students can take graphics they made in Part 1 and add them to the slides of a video. Once you add your picture to the video slide, add your voice. The recording button at the bottom lets you record your voice to discuss what you included in your graphic. Students can choose the music to accompany their movie and add extra slides, too.

“New You in ‘22” Challenge

The final part of the “New You in ‘22” challenge is here! In Part 3, you and your students can use Adobe Express Page to pull all of your work together in one place. This step asks you to build a page. The page will include the graphics from Part 1 and the video from Part 2 to help make a digital portfolio. The video below shows you what this looks like in action.

Students recap everything they have worked on in Part 1 and Part 2 by creating a webpage during this step. The webpage includes the graphics from the multi-page posts and the video they make. I love how Part 3 of the challenge brings everything all together. It helps you take the free Adobe Express templates from the first part of the challenge into a fully customized experience.

For this part of the project, you might find it easier for students to use Adobe Express on the web instead of the mobile app.

As you might remember from my August post, there are prizes from Adobe for Education. Teachers can win a Joy of Creativity backpack full of swag and techy surprises to help support their creative journey this school year! To enter to win, you must complete all three phases with your students. And you must post to social media showing evidence of use with your students using the #AdobeEduCreative. I can’t wait to see what you and your students create!



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How can teachers, schools, and districts impact STEM careers in the future? Careers of the future are greatly impacted by experiences students have in schools. Students build skills at an early age that influence the areas they want to study further. In order to make sure the STEM fields have diverse, qualified candidates, we can help build a more equitable STEM careers pipeline, starting in elementary school.

Today on the blog, I’m very excited to share the STEM Careers Coalition. This organization prepares millions of students for the future of work. They do this by providing equitable access to digital content and experiences that engage and inspire students. Let’s take a look at everything The STEM Careers Coalition offers students and teachers!

STEM Careers Through STEM Education

The STEM Careers Coalition helps students build foundational STEM knowledge. Their resources support teachers as they work with students to develop critical skills for college and career success in STEM. These free educational resources help you integrate STEM activities into any learning environment.

STEM Career

If you haven’t heard of the STEM Careers Coalition, they launched in 2019 and have reached millions of students. They work with both K-12 schools and afterschool centers across the country to help educators teach STEM effectively. The coalition is committed to fostering and promoting quality education. They want to strengthen the STEM pipeline and build the next generation of STEM solution-seekers. In addition, they have an intentional focus on racial and gender equity. 

A few days ago, I had the chance to chat with Jackie Smalls, Social Impact Executive at  Discovery Education, for a bonus episode of the Easy EdTech Podcast. You can hear our full conversation on this page. Or on your favorite podcast app, or by clicking below to press play and listen right away.

Help Every Student Access STEM Careers

When we hear about particular fields that have trouble filling positions and lack diversity, the pipeline starts early. Introducing students to STEM concepts early in their educational journey, both inside the classroom and through afterschool programs can have a huge impact on their future.

STEM Careers Coalition

The STEM Careers Coalition gives educators access to resources, including completely free classroom activities. You’ll find activities on a wide variety of topics, including brand-new resources featuring energy sources. This includes activities on renewable vs. non-renewable energy, solar energy, and protecting energy in natural disasters.

To help students imagine the possibilities for a future in STEM, they can also learn about STEM leaders and explore career profiles. There are many for them to take a look at, including new ones like these roles at Procter & Gamble: FemCare Research and Development Director and Digital Forensics. This link will take students to a page where they can use different search filters as they explore various STEM careers.

After students explore different activities and learn about different careers, they can map out their careers and gather ideas for the future in the Career Readiness section of the site. This is where students can take the Career Finder quiz or participate in activities that help them identify their passions and interests.

Equity in STEM

The resources shared by the STEM Careers Coalition can help build a more equitable STEM career pipeline. These no-cost activities and online supports provide educators at all levels with activities they can bring into their classrooms and afterschool programs. If you’re interested in helping students see what is possible for them in the future, and introduce them to a variety of careers in STEM, then you’ll certainly want to explore everything the STEM Careers Coalition has to offer.



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Can virtual coaching increase teacher collaboration in your school? A virtual coaching cycle guided by artificial intelligence can help enhance teacher self-reflection and collaboration. In today’s blog post, we’ll look at Edthena and their AI Coach platform designed to support teachers throughout the school year.

AI Coach by Edthena uses AI (artificial intelligence) to guide teachers through self-observation of their lessons. It helps them action plan for their classrooms based on the coaching support built into the platform. Let’s dive into AI Coach by Edthena, how virtual coaching works, and what it can do to support teacher collaboration.

Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Coaching

You might use the term “artificial intelligence” in your life outside the classroom to talk about smart home devices that follow instructions to play a favorite song or turn on or off the lights. Or you might use AI in your classroom for adaptive learning software or to help review student work submissions. Artificial intelligence can also play a role in virtual coaching to support professional goals.

teacher collaboration

Artificial intelligence can create a more personalized experience for educators. Inside the AI Coach platform, this personalized experience begins the minute teachers sign up. They get to identify their personal learning goals right from the start. The goals they establish help customize the entire experience for them. I love how personalization is such a core component of AI Coach.

How does AI Coach by Edthena work? Teachers using AI Coach interact with a virtual coach named Edie. They share their learning priorities and what they want to do to enact change in their classroom. The action items teachers take are chosen based on what needs to happen to make progress on their goals for student outcomes. Edie guides teachers in a self-paced reflection process that follows four distinct phases. 

Sign up for a free trial to experience an AI-guided coaching cycle >> 

Virtual Coaching Cycle

With the AI Coach platform, teachers work through four phases of the coaching cycle. The first phase is Analyze. The virtual coach provides observation tips that are personalized for each teacher. As an educator, you know how meaningful it can be to have one-on-one time with students and offer a feedback and support that is tailored to each student. The same principles apply here, too. Teachers then review and analyze videos of their own teaching with comments that are time stamped throughout the video.

After teachers go through the Analyze phase, they reach phase 2 — Reflect. At this phase, the virtual coach prompts teachers to reflect on their self-observations. During this phase, teachers develop a near-term goal in their professional growth priority area. One thing I appreciate about this phase is the emphasis on a short-term goal. You can decide what the best next step is while connecting back to the areas you’d like to grow in during the school year.

Once they set their goal, the third phase of the virtual coaching cycle is to take action. Phase 3 is called Enact, where teachers develop an action plan to enact in the classroom. To help make the plan a reality, they can use curated resources suggested by the virtual coach. These suggestions can help teachers put ideas into action, making feedback actionable for participants.

The final phase of the virtual coaching cycle is Impact. During this phase, the virtual coach helps teachers identify the impact of their action plan. It also helps determine areas for future professional growth. Throughout the cycle, teachers can earn clock hour certificates, too.

Teacher Collaboration in Action

When teachers engage in the AI coaching cycle, it can prepare them for stronger peer and coach collaboration. AI Coach by Edthena pairs with existing coaching work already taking place with a principal, mentor, or professional learning community. For example, suppose a teacher is working on a professional growth area like checking for student understanding, providing feedback to students, or building classroom routines and procedures. In that case, they might start with an in-person coaching cycle.

With the AI Coach platform from Edthena, teachers can keep working on their professional growth goals between observations with their in-person coach. They can watch videos of their progress and come to meetings with their principal, mentor, or PLC with experiences to speak about and the next steps for their professional goals. This blog post from Edthena unpacks the idea of teacher collaboration in more detail.

Want to try it out? Teachers can sign up for trial access with a special Class Tech Tips code for readers you can find on this page for a limited time. And if you’re leading a school building and want it for your whole school, use the discount code “Class Tech Tips” for a special discount. If you are looking for a new way to boost collaboration among colleagues, you’ll certainly want to try out AI Coach!



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