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Using a newsletter as a passive coaching opportunity and to inspire teachers
As a digital coach in a large primary school my role is to work with every year level team each term and step them through a coaching cycle related to using iPads in the classroom. I have felt like due to time constraints it left me with little time to engage with teachers more than once a term and as we all know, there is so much that can be done with an iPad! Reflecting on how iPads were utilised in my school, I wanted teachers to engage more with the Creativity element from the Apple Elements of Learning. I also saw that we were missing the opportunity for teachers to see how others across the school were using iPads in their classrooms.
My solution was to publish a newsletter for teachers, which I named The Creative Byte. I release an edition every three weeks. It consists of three sections:
- a tech tip, which can be related to accessibility or productivity targeted towards teachers or their students.
- a project spotlight, which uses the Everyone Can Create series as the inspiration for projects that teachers can try in their classrooms.
- a sneak peek section, that showcases a student sample of work that aligns to the creativity element so that teachers can see what other classes across the school have been up to. I limit this to a single work sample in each edition and I make sure to showcase a different year level each time.
I keep the entire publication to three pages maximum so as not to over load people. To make my life easier I created a schedule for what tech tip and project spotlight will be included in each edition, with the student work samples being sourced closer to the time of publication. I also created a template in Pages so I just have to insert the information for each edition and it's good to go. Feedback has been positive and it's been very exciting to see teachers having a go at projects in their own time, and hearing the comments about how a tech tip has been useful to them.