Friday, July 29, 2016

The Development Stage of ADDIE

While developing a professional development session for teachers, I believe the development stage of ADDIE maybe the most important for a successful training. In order to create the course materials, schedules and training guides, instructor must have a clear vision of the objectives and where she or he wants to take the trainees. Print materials usually play a vital role in the training. Piskurich (2015) says “trainees will pay attention not to what the trainer says, but to the print overheads” (p. 236). As a result, much time and preparation should go to selecting aides which will support the learning.
As a tech coach, I often try to identify and use new tools in my trainings the teachers can see and take back to their classroom to use. I try to identify tools with an easy-to-use interface that teachers of all learning levels can use. One such tool, Gliffy, might be useful to use extensively in a training. Gliffy is a web-based tool which creates mind maps quickly and easily. Malamed (2010) says “Mind maps are a fluid way to visualize ideas through a diagrammatic structure. They graphically depict the connections between related concepts and ideas.” (N.p.)  I believe I could use this tool to aide in the development of a professional development. As a designer I can use the concept mapping to identify main points I want to address and also the subtopics of a particular subject. While developing PD, I often find it helpful to use paper and pencil to quickly sketch out the concepts; however, by moving to Gliffy, I would be able to efficiently produce the mindmaps digitally and share them with team members and co-presenters.

Gliffy could also be used to create materials for slideshows during professional development sessions. I often ask teachers to consider new innovations. We could use Gliffy to map questions and concepts as we brainstorm as a team. Because it is web based, the graphics can be easily referred to later and developed further. By modeling the new tool, the teachers would then have an idea of how they could use the tool in their classroom. Our elementary students have Chromebooks, and I can easily see Gliffy being a great tool for the students to use when they are planning a group project or planning out a fiction story in writer’s workshop.
Gliffy Online Introduction:


Gliffy Diagram Software Company (2013). Welcome to Gliffy Online. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 29 July 2016, from

Malamed, C. (2010). Designing With Mind Maps. Retrieved 29 July 2016, from

Piskurich, G. (2015). Rapid instructional design: Learning ID fast and right. New Jersey: Wiley.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Training Strategies for Tech Coaches

During my three years as a tech coach I have been able to incorporate many strategies to engage learners. One tool, beginning of the year surveys, I have used for years. The other tool which fosters creative thinking, Design Thinking, I have experienced as a learner and hope to incorporate more into my job as a tech coach this year.
Each year brings about change and many times I am working with a brand new faculty. It is my job to quickly get to know my learners in order to meet their needs throughout the school year. According to Piskurich (2015) my first task is “to figure out generally who your audience is and then to gather all the information you think you may need about them” (p. 92).
One way I do that is to determine teachers’ prior knowledge of technology integration.  At the beginning of the 2016-17 year, I sent out a Google Form which had each teacher from my three different schools rate themselves on their comfort level with certain products, their knowledge level with the ISTE Standards, and an open-ended response so each teacher can let me know about certain goals they have for themselves. I chose these items because we had been in our second year of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) implementation, and I had predicted most teachers felt comfortable with the suite of products and were ready for deeper integration in their classroom. This would also allow me to identify teachers who might still feel uncomfortable, and I could work with them one-on-one to help them gain confidence. Our elementary tech team had identified a main goal for the year was to help teachers become familiar with the SAMR model and ISTE Standards for Students. The survey question was put on the survey to identify knowledge level for each teacher. I had predicted this would be low, and I would use the data to compare knowledge growth at the end of the year after we discussed in monthly team meetings.  

I could also use the information teachers typed in for their individual goals, to create small Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and allowed me to communicate information which might be interesting to them throughout the school year. Using Google Forms allowed me to analyze the data as a whole with all three schools. It also gave me the flexibility to separate the data by school. I referred to this data for the entire year as I was conducting professional development sessions which allowed me to differentiate all of my trainings to just what the teachers needed. This ultimately allowed me to be as efficient as possible with the limited time I was given. Piskurich (2015) reiterates this concept when he says “you want your trainees to learn everything they require to do their jobs, but you don’t want them to waste their time learning things they don’t have to know (p. 63)”.
The second strategy, Design Thinking, is fairly new in the education world. The video below shows a quick synopsis of the process.

Our technology coordinator, Kelli Lane, experienced Design Thinking first hand at Google and brought it back to us this past fall to our small group of tech coaches. The process begins with posing a problem. In this case, Kelli asked us to design a highly effective professional development model. We broke into small groups after Kelli set up the scenario of developing a new PD model. We then brainstormed many different solutions. When we came back together as a large group we decided on one idea, badging for professional development, and then designed a prototype of the badges. We will be testing the idea this school year and will continue the process as we refine the design.
The process was highly engaging and effective. I believe we all felt valued because we were creating a solution to a problem. I believe this process will be highly effective with the teachers I work with for the same reasons. It is also a strategy teachers can take back and use in their own classrooms.


Stanford Graduate School of Business. "Design Thinking in Executive Education”. YouTube. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 July 2016.

Piskurich, G. (2015). Rapid instructional design: Learning ID fast and right. New Jersey: Wiley.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Instructional Design

Instructional Design defined by Piskurich (2015) is a “way to plan your training program from the moment you have the idea for it (or the idea is given to you) until the moment you complete your revisions of your first effort and get ready to run the program again” (p. 4).  Instructional design is critical in order to develop professional development (PD) or courses which are responsive to the trainees’ needs so trainees walk away with knowledge they can easily apply. While reflecting on Instructional Design, I am viewing the subject through the lens of being a tech coach. My job as a coach is to provide appropriate, engaging, and relevant professional development to K-5 teachers.
This short video is a quick synopsis on Instructional Design:

When thinking about a bad design experience, my first thought went to my first experience as a tech coach. I was asked to present to the faculty of a school, and I was given the freedom to design anything I would like to present. This experience was a one and a half hour PD session on the first day back from summer break. This was my first whole-faculty PD session as a tech coach. The experience reflects bad design because I did not know my audience as I should have and the group size was too large to differentiate. I presented up-and-coming technologies in a “sit and get” format. The failure on my part came when I did not take the analysis stage of the Instructional Systems Design to the extent I needed to. Reflecting on the experience I realized many of the teachers in the room knew the new technologies and were already using them in their room. At the same time, many teachers in the room were very tech reluctant and were overwhelmed by the long list of new ideas. I also did not provide hands-on time to try out the new tools. The training did not meet the varying needs of the large crowd.
In comparison, two years later I was presenting PD to a group of teachers who served as our tech facilitators. They were the rockstar tech users on each grade level team at each elementary school in the district. While still varying in ability, the group overall was very tech savvy. Because of the varying needs, we decided to conduct the PD in EdCamp style. The teachers signed up to informally present to whomever came to the session. The teachers rotated through sessions they found interesting. This met the needs of everyone and the response from the end of session survey was glowing. Teachers enjoyed learning from their peers and the ability to choose what they wanted to hear.
Watch a video which quickly explains EdCamp:

From these two experiences and many more in between I have been able to see trends in good and bad instructional design experiences:
Good Design Elements:
  • Differentiated to learners’ needs
  • Pre- and post- surveys conducted
  • Small groups when possible
  • Hands-on activities and interactive
  • Specific to learners’ context (grade level, subject area)
Bad Design Elements:
  • One-size-fits all PD
  • Not fully going through the analyze phase of Instructional Design
  • Large group settings of “sit and get”

By fully implementing Instructional Design there are many advantages including developing professional development which “means creating training that helps your trainees learn the things they need to know” (Piskurich, 2015, p. 9). By spending the time in the beginning to fully develop training before it is delivered can take a lot of time, a big disadvantage. However, by one person spending more time at the beginning, it will allow the training to be highly effective and will save time for the trainees in the long run.


Lee, Su Hun. "Edcamp 101". YouTube. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 July 2016.
Piskurich, G. (2015). Rapid instructional design: Learning ID fast and right. New Jersey: Wiley.
Prometheus Training,. "What Is Instructional Design?". YouTube. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 July 2016.