From education to employment

What we learned from the first year of the Dynamic Learning Project

Latest FE Choices Data is released

While research shows that technology can be effective in the classroom, it’s not being used effectively in every classroom. We call this the “second-level digital divide,” and it disproportionately impacts low-income students. We envision a world where all teachers and students have equal access to and can benefit from technology, but to get there, we need to better support and empower teachers in the schools that need it the most. Research has shown that coaching is an effective way to improve teacher practice, but specific research on the effectiveness of technology coaching is limited, and there is little guidance on how to build a successful program. Last year, we launched the Dynamic Learning Project with Google to help fill in those gaps.

We began by working with 50 schools in 20 school districts across five states—Alabama, California, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. We provided each school with the resources to employ an onsite, full-time instructional technology coach for one year along with mentorship, professional development, communities, tools and resources for both principals and coaches.

The results are promising. 44 of these original 50 schools have decided to self-fund their coaches in year two, which tells us that this program is already making a significant impact in these schools. And our first year research report showed us that the program was achieving its other objectives.

The goal of the Dynamic Learning Project is to encourage impactful use of technology in the classroom that drives student skill development, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and agency. By the end of the first year, 60% of teachers who were coached reported that they had made considerable or extreme progress in how they use technology in their teaching practice. What’s more, coaches were significantly more confident in their own coaching skills by the end of the pilot year, and the vast majority of all participants were convinced that educator coaching could ultimately improve student learning and engagement;

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