My learning and my work as a literacy coach is significantly enhanced by the people of the web. Here are some of my favorite tools that allow me to connect with them. Where did I learn about them? Online, of course!
My blog is a vehicle for communicating with those that I coach. Posts are often developed in response to their needs. For instance, this year we’ve begun building internal capacity for coaching in several places where I work. Throughout September, I began developing content here that will drive some of those future conversations and planning. Publishing this on a blog allows others to access it, engage in conversation around it, and provide me helpful feedback. This way, I can keep getting better at what I do too. I get a lot of mail in response to things that I write–most of it from other coaches who are happy to share their own thinking and work. That’s a beautiful thing.
I house resources, links, and coaching schedules inside of a wiki. This allows those that I work with in one school for one purpose to have access to the work I’ve created for other schools and purposes.
Ning enables me to create a semi-asynchronous environment for those I typically coach face-to-face. It provides greater opportunity for teachers to begin connecting and supporting one another anytime they need to–even if they work in different schools. The nings I’ve established for these purposes are protected, but you can get a great idea of the possibilities that ning provides by checking out the English Companion Ning, The Literacy Coach’s Ning, or Working Together 2 Make a Difference.
Diigo allows me to bookmark my favorite resources for teachers. Housing a digital file-cabinet that links up to my bookmarks right on my wiki provides cleaner access to teachers who are less tech-comfy.
I’m loving EtherPad for co-planning purposes. I’ve used this to coordinate schedules between buildings, and I’ve also used it to co-plan demo lessons, workshops, and presentations. It is a great collaborative writing tool!
I subscribe to SurveyMonkey and use it to capture all kinds of data. Theresa has me thinking about using Google Forms instead, though. Apparently, exporting that data into Excel is much easier this way.
My RSS Feed allows me to subscribe to the blogs I want to keep up with.
I know I’d be wise to podcast my lessons, but I haven’t yet (I’m kinda camera shy)! If I did this, what tool would you recommend and why? And what would you add to my list above? I’m still relatively new at all of this. Would love to know which tools other coaches are using!