Curious about Connected Coaching?

The school year is back into full swing and we are launching nine fall eCourses here at Powerful Learning Practice. One of our most popular courses – Connected Coaching with Lani Ritter Hall – will begin in a few weeks. In this interview, Lani talks about Connected Coaching and what course participants can expect.

Is connected coaching only for online coaches? Or can the techniques learned in this course be applied to a variety of situations?

Only for online coaches? Absolutely not. Any educator – teacher, administrator, curriculum or professional development leader, face to face instructional coach—who is interested in facilitating change and improving communication through an inquiry, strength-based approach would find this learning experience of value.While many connected coaches work primarily with adult communities, elementary and secondary teachers apply much of what they learn in their classrooms with students. We approach growing trust, listening, paraphrasing and questioning through a unique lens not found in typical education environments today.

This eCourse is as much about communication–facilitating conversations and thinking as specifically coaching; as Brenda Sherry has said:  “I can’t believe I’ve been teaching for 24 years, a job that is so much about communicating, and this time with you is the first time I’ve had a chance to learn deeply about communication.”

Connected coaching uses appreciative inquiry and a strength based approach. Can you tell us more about what that looks like?

Connected coaches mediate thinking- helping others realize and clarify for themselves their own potential. Through coaches’ questions and affirmations,those we coach discover and uncover their own strengths, and realize the potential of those strengths to effect change.

Appreciative inquiry is a refreshing and powerful shift in paradigms. From the current deficit, “fix it” which seems to permeate all we see and do, it is an approach to change that is based on discovering and uncovering strengths as a base for innovation and growth.

Appreciative from the word appreciate is “the act of recognizing  the best in people or the world around us” or “affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials.”  And inquiry is “the act of exploration and discovery” or to ask questions; to be open to seeing new potentials and possibilities.”

Consequently, an appreciative inquiry approach to coaching is about bringing the best of what is to create the best of what can be.  Connected coaches center attention on strengths– on what is working. Not dismissing serious challenges or lessons of previous wrong turns, coaches refocus, reframe thinking to explore what is working well supporting those they coach in forging a different path. They listen deeply, they paraphrase, and they ask appreciative questions. For example, a team might post this in an online space:

“When we got together after our collective wondering, Mark highlighted how important he felt it was that our action research include improving assessment scores for the building while Linda and I really want to look at student engagement. So what we came up with for our question is this: “How can technology change engagement for students and produce higher test scores?” We’re not sure we understand next steps but we know we want to do PD around My Big Campus for our teachers.”

An appreciative inquiry response might look like this:

“It’s great to see that your team has revisited the wonderings we developed in our webinar session and exciting to learn that you worked so hard together to generate a question that embraces all of your ideas! You’re wondering on next steps—those include unpacking your question, thinking more deeply on all that it encompasses and then tweaking it if needed.  I’m hoping you might be willing to unpack it a bit here—sharing what you envision your students doing in a technology infused environment for learning?”

About the Connected Coaching course

The use of coaches to assist educators in becoming more accomplished and subsequently improving student achievement occurs frequently in face to face settings. To meet the needs of today’s connected educators, coaching should also move into online spaces. The Connected Coaching eCourse will prepare you to coach in online spaces, to leverage the affordances of technology for coaching. Through this 11-week eCourse you will explore:

  • Foundations for and elements of the Connected Coaching model
  • An appreciative inquiry strength based approach to coaching
  • Protocols and activities for use by connected coaches
  • Ways to leverage web 2.0 tools for coaching in an online environments
  • Basic tenets of problem based learning, action research and TPACK

This course launches September 30 and is only $475 (with a special discount to PLP alumni). Space is limited, so sign up now!

Enroll now

About the instructor

Lani Ritter HallLani Ritter Hall is Community Leader for Powerful Learning Practice. She also serves as the “Newbie Maven”, helping along and nurturing newbies to the PLP experience, as well as facilitator for the Connected Coaches. Lani brings more than 35 years of teaching experiences in urban, sub urban, and independent schools at the middle/secondary level in the U.S and Canada to this work. A national board certified teacher, she and her students began collaborating globally in the late 1980’s. Lani has created and facilitated professional development around technology infusion into learning for over twenty years and served in a leadership role for the K12Online Conference for 2 years. She is co-author of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age and she blogs at Possibilities Abound.

Graduate Credit Available

After the course begins, graduate credit may be obtained through North Dakota State University. Get complete details here.

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Powerful Learning Practice

During a 25-year education career, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor and digital learning consultant. Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice, where she works with schools and districts from around the world to re-envision their learning cultures and communities through the Connected Learner Experience and other e-learning opportunities. She is the author (with Lani Ritter Hall) of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age (Solution Tree, 2012) and serves on the ISTE Board of Directors.

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