My Experience with Apple Coaching Leadership

The Apple Coaching Leadership Experience has helped me evolve as an educational leader. Starting in June of 2022, I began to meet regularly with Christine Klynen, Apple Technology Learning Specialist. Christine was a tremendous listener, as I described my background, beliefs, and the specific situation we are in at Jamestown High School (NY). Through our conversations, themes developed about education and technology. The themes that developed included how information has changed with the access of devices (phones, iPads, computers), the internet (wifi), and how that has changed the way people learn and consume information. In addition, we spoke about the shift from paper copies, to paperless classrooms, and now the next level of technology in education - the fact that teaching and learning can and should be "different" (and better) with the use of devices, apps, and the internet. This theme paralleled another theme, which is that when teachers utilize technology, students become more active and engaged with content, while teachers fill the role of facilitators of knowledge. Furthermore, Christine and I spoke about how the use of technology creates an opportunity for student inquiry, exploration, and student-centered learning. When this happens, targeted standards can be addressed while allowing students to learn about topics that they are genuinely interested in. Our conversations made it clear that our current culture of phones, iPads, and the internet allows us to change and enhance teaching and learning. Our next step is to develop a specific professional development plan for Jamestown High School staff members. The goal of this professional development plan will be for teachers use the resources available to them to promote student inquiry and exploration. This will allow students to be more invested in school and should additionally help with classroom management and student buy-in. Another goal of this plan is for students to become more active in their education, while the teacher role changes to the facilitator of knowledge who sets the expectations and boundaries of a learning activity. This PD plan should be executed through specific targeted training sessions, faculty meetings, department meetings, teacher collaboration/sharing sessions, and dedicated staff professional development conference sessions. My personal vision for the professional development plan is to provide applicable, relevant learning opportunities to teachers and staff (including me), that will help them add strategies and practices that will enhance teaching and learning. Unlike some other trends that come and go, the use of technology in our culture isn't going anywhere. Simply put, people learn through the use of the internet and their preferred devices. Duplicating this situation in schools in a prepared, organized, and efficient way, is the future of learning for students.

Tom Langworthy

Assistant Principal

#Jamestown High School

All Comments

Posted on November 19, 2022

Thanks for sharing this reflection, Tom! It sounds like these coaching sessions have had a powerful impact on your vision for education leadership and faculty and student learning. I'd love to hear more about your next steps. How will you begin to facilitate that vision and share it with faculty in your school?

Excited to hear more about this learning journey at Jamestown High School!

Posted on November 23, 2022

Thanks for sharing. Would love to see a copy of the PD plan you are creating. Did you find the templates in the ALC journals useful?

Posted on December 09, 2022

Tom,

The technology now available to students has the ability to fundamentally transform the education of each and every student. If we trace the history of public education in the US, it was designed to create workers destined for factory work, complete with bells to determine who does what and when. Textbooks provided one point-of-view (usually that of the winner) on topics, without room for debate or alternative thoughts.

The technology we place in the hands of our kids every day can put the students in the driver's seat. They can find differing views on any topic, discuss in a myriad of ways with kids in their classes or around the world, and present their findings through the written word, audio, video, art, music, or a number of other methods. It is up to our fine educators to empower the students to speak up and use their voices to express their thoughts and add to the discussion as invested members of society.

By doing so, not only are we engaging the students in deeper thinking, but preparing them for a world of collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity as active and open-minded citizens.

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