Exploring Coaching for Powerful Technology Use in Education

This paper examines how to best provide teachers with the time, support, and space to learn how to use new technological tools and resources effectively.

Tina Ehsanipour
Florence Gomez Zaccarelli
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Center to Support Excellence in Teaching - Stanford University
Publication Year
Resource Type
Number of Pages

This report examines the role of technology in the 21st century classroom and how to best provide teachers with the time, support, and space to learn how to use technological tools and resources effectively to support deeper learning. Although coaching and mentoring are sometimes used interchangeable, they involve slightly different relationships between the two parties involved. Coaching suggests a partnership-type relationship in which the coach encourages growth by sharing their expertise through a sustained professional dialogue aimed at developing instructional skills. Mentorship implies a hierarchical relationship in which the mentor serves as a role model.

Just as there isn’t one way to teach, there isn’t one way to coach. There is still much to be explored and studied when it comes to creating and implementing impactful coaching programs. Existing literature suggests that:

  • Coaching is most meaningful to teachers when it is content-specific and stimulates collaboration between coaches and teachers in a coaching relationship.
  • Long-term coaching is more impactful than one-shot professional development opportunities because it allows for more responsive coaching and relationship-building between the coach and teacher, in turn having the most impact on the teacher’s practice.
  • Coaching for technology integration should be based in the understanding that technology is in service of specific content and supports developing higher order skills as well as effective teaching practices.
What the experts say

There can be feeling of urgency in determining how to implement technology into classrooms. The authors contend that thoughtfully considering how teachers are trained to roll out, implement, and evolve the use of technology in their classrooms is a much-needed dose of slow and steady deliberateness.

Program administrators and instructors will find the resource is helpful in understanding how adult learners learn and the different ways to assess student learning. It can also be used to foster higher-order thinking skills in teachers and help them model the skill sets and mindset that will positively impact students lives. 

Uses will note that the theoretical framework underlying the narrative is not specifically from the field of adult education, but education more broadly. However, all the techniques and recommendations within the resource can be meaningfully applied in adult education classrooms.


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