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Assessing Teacher Training Effectiveness For 1:1 Learning – A Look at AALF Coaching
Author: AALF & California State University, Fresno | January 11th, 2012

A team of doctoral students from California State University, Fresno, recently conducted research on the perceived effectiveness of coaching as a means of professional learning. Specifically, they surveyed teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators who participated in a number of AALF coaching sessions held over one year at a district in Oklahoma. The district goals include providing its students with a rigorous curriculum within a 21st century framework of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity, while achieving a 100% graduation rate. To this end, the district provided all of its grade 8 students with laptops beginning in September, 2010, and has since extended its 1:1 initiative to its high school.

In the earliest coaching sessions, participants learned about:
1.Teaching and learning in a 21st century classroom.
2.The use of laptops as powerful teaching, learning, and thinking tools.
3. Basic frameworks for the integration of laptops as powerful teaching, thinking, and learning tools.
4. The effective characteristics of project-based learning in a 1:1 classroom
5.The integration of Web 2.0 services into project-based learning

As the year progressed, the district began to use AALF's 1:1 Principles and Frameworks as a basis for its ongoing work on rethinking learning and teaching practice once technology is ubiquitous. The research looked at whether or not coaching helped bring about shifts in the frequency and quality of use of technology in classrooms.

In general, the participants noted that AALF coaches:
*Showed how to integrate laptops into teaching
*Regularly checked for understanding
*Connected 1:1 learning with children's literacy
*Provided extra support after class
*Provided contact information for ongoing support

During the coaching process, teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators were encouraged to participate in Professional Learning Communities. The survey showed that not only did participants enjoy planning instructional goals with colleagues, but they felt they were now more willing to examine teaching methods with peers.

Other perceived benefits of the coaching sessions included increased daily use of instructional technology and increased confidence in working with technology to create documents, use email, create digital photos, work with audio devices and other technologies.

As a result of coaching, one administrator stated, "The laptops became a valuable resource for learning. Technology was embedded in teaching and learning. It inspired, motivated, and engaged student learning to a new level. Our staff never wants to go back to rely on traditional instruction with only textbooks, paper, and pencils again."

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