1c: Advocate for policies, procedures, programs & funding

1c: Advocate for policies, procedures, programs, and funding strategies to support implementation of the shared vision represented in the school and district technology plans and guidelines

In order to advocate for technology plans and guidelines, it is important to narrow down what it means to be an effective advocate. Taking from an article posted in EdCircuit, 8 Characteristics of Effective Advocates – Getting results when you actively support a cause, I have tried to keep in mind the following characteristics to be the best advocate I can be as a educational technology coach:

There are 8 characteristics of an effective advocate.

  • Always listens and learns
  • Deliberate focus on long-term goals
  • Values support from others
  • Openness to different ways to share your message
  • Commitment to partner with different and like-minded individuals
  • Ability to look at and respond to positions and an issue
  • Tenacity to bounce back from negative responses
  • Engages the public and stakeholders

— Barbara R. Blackburn, Robert Blackburn, and Ron Williamson (2018)

Advocating for policies, procedures, programs, and funding strategies to support the implementation of school and district technology plans and guidelines is an important part of continually moving technology forward. As an advocate for advancing technology use and understanding within education, it is essential that the way forward includes input and needs from stakeholders at every level but at the starting point, educators in the classroom need to guide the way. Starting with those educators who interact with students daily and seeking their input on what they need support in, helps to target the areas where growth will be attainable and proactive because there is a motivation of implementing solutions that they are actively seeking. In order to do this within my own school, I conducted a needs assessment based on technology implementation and resources available for use. Below is the report of my project and findings:

From this needs assessment project, I feel better equipped with the skills to truly strategize how to best advocate for and support teachers.  From there, strategies for implementing change are based on realistic expectations and desired outcomes for educators. From this vantage point, the opportunity for continued educational growth means professional growth and next steps will grow from where educators are, not from where technology coaches want, hope or think they should be. 

Resources:

Blackburn, B., Blackburn, R. and Williamson, R. (2018, July 31). EdCircuit. 8 Characteristics of Effective Advocates – Getting results when you actively support a cause.  Retrieved from https://www.edcircuit.com/8-characteristics-of-effective-advocates-education/