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4 tools to help coaches personalize communication

By Team ISTE
September 16, 2016
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Technology coaches are called on to help teachers improve their practice and support them as they learn new things. But just like students, teachers have differing learning styles.

What's a coach to do when tasked with communicating to all types of adult learners? Personalize it, says Ruth Okoye, director of K-12 initiatives at The Source for Learning.

"I like to read research, so if you want me to engage, talk to me about models and theories," Okoye explains. "Others may want to learn differently. You have to communicate in the way that people want to receive information."

Okoye tends to look at personality styles before deciding how to share information with educators. She points to the DOPE Bird Personality Test as one way to determine who's on the receiving end of information and how they want to learn. Once you know whether the receiver is a dove, owl, peacock or eagle, you can match your delivery to the receiver's learning style.

No time for a personality quiz? Use these four tools to effectively share information with fellow educators.

Convince with research. For learners who appreciate information backed by research, turn to BridgeURL, a tool that lets you combine multiple links into a single URL and then present the links in a slideshow format.

Communicate with examples. For those who prefer to learn from examples, there's Padlet, an online virtual bulletin board that you can use to display a collection of ideas. You can then talk through each example with fellow educators.

Show samples. Sometimes providing a starting point and then letting the receiver take it from there is the way to go. Want to share sample lesson plans, for example? Office Mix, a free add-in for PowerPoint, let's you turn PowerPoint presentations into interactive online lessons and share them with colleagues in OneNote on the web or in a learning management system.

Share visuals. For visual learners who appreciate pictures and diagrams, try ThingLink. This tool lets you enhance images and videos with notes, photos, audio, video and other multimedia content.

Coaches seeking more tips and tools to improve  their communication skills can watch the archive of the ISTE Professional Learning Series webinar "Add to Your Ed Tech Coaching Toolkit: Tools for Presentations,"  The webinar will help you:

  • Learn how to increase teacher engagement through personalized communication techniques.
  • Find out how to get your message across creatively.
  • Discover tools to help you share multiple types of information.

ISTE members can watch the recording of the ISTE Professional Learning Series, which includes the webinar "Add to Your Ed Tech Coaching Toolkit: Tools for Presentations." Not a member? Join ISTE today.