1. Jeffrey Choppin
  2. https://www.warner.rochester.edu/facultystaff/who/choppin
  3. Professor of Mathematics Education
  4. Synchronous Online Professional Learning Experiences for Middle Grades Mathematics Teachers in Rural Contexts
  5. https://www.warner.rochester.edu/centersandresearch/go/SyncOn
  6. University of Rochester
  1. Julie Amador
  2. https://www.uidaho.edu/ed/ci/faculty/julie-amador
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Synchronous Online Professional Learning Experiences for Middle Grades Mathematics Teachers in Rural Contexts
  5. https://www.warner.rochester.edu/centersandresearch/go/SyncOn
  6. University of Idaho
  1. Cynthia Carson
  2. Project Coordinator
  3. Synchronous Online Professional Learning Experiences for Middle Grades Mathematics Teachers in Rural Contexts
  4. https://www.warner.rochester.edu/centersandresearch/go/SyncOn
  5. Warner School of Education, Univ of Rochester, Center for Professional Dev and Ed Reform
  1. Ryan Gillespie
  2. Project Coach
  3. Synchronous Online Professional Learning Experiences for Middle Grades Mathematics Teachers in Rural Contexts
  4. https://www.warner.rochester.edu/centersandresearch/go/SyncOn
  5. University of Idaho
  1. Stephanie Martin
  2. https://www.warner.rochester.edu/facultystaff/who/martin
  3. Director of Mathematics Education Outreach
  4. Synchronous Online Professional Learning Experiences for Middle Grades Mathematics Teachers in Rural Contexts
  5. https://www.warner.rochester.edu/centersandresearch/go/SyncOn
  6. Warner School of Education, Univ of Rochester, University of Rochester
  1. Kristana Textor
  2. Research Assistant
  3. Synchronous Online Professional Learning Experiences for Middle Grades Mathematics Teachers in Rural Contexts
  4. https://www.warner.rochester.edu/centersandresearch/go/SyncOn
  5. Warner School of Education, Univ of Rochester
Presenters’
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Jeffrey Choppin

    Jeffrey Choppin

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 05:11 p.m.

    Greetings from the SyncOn team. We hope you enjoyed the video.

    SyncOn is an online professional development model aimed at supporting rural middle school mathematics teachers to take up ambitious and responsive instruction. We have three components that have been transformed into fully online experiences, most of it done synchronously. Our most innovative component is online video coaching, which requires the use of a Swivl robot to video-record lessons and that is associated with software that allows us to annotate videos.

    We look forward to your questions!

  • Icon for: Kristana Textor

    Kristana Textor

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 05:20 p.m.

    Hello viewers! I'm Kristana, research assistant with the SyncOn project and Warner School PhD student. I'm here to answer any questions you might have about our online coaching work with rural math teachers. I'm also happy to share "behind the scenes" insights on the production of our video. Can't wait to see what else is out there on the NSF Video Showcase. :)

  • Icon for: Amanda Adams

    Amanda Adams

    Director of Public Affairs
    May 13, 2019 | 01:17 p.m.

    Our organization, Virginia Advanced Study Strategies, has a similar model. Our teachers create lesson plans, record the delivery of the lesson plan in classroom, and then share this with their small virtual cohort who provide feedback through an online platform (TORSH).  Can you speak to some challenges you've faced working with rural teachers virtually? How many teachers and schools are engaged with SyncOn?

  • Icon for: Julie Amador

    Julie Amador

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 04:20 p.m.


    Hi Amanda, We are delighted to hear about a similar model! How has the TORSH platform worked for you?


    As far as working with rural teachers virtually, we have found the experience to be beneficial for the teachers. Many of the teachers we work with would not have access to professional development if it were not for our project because of geographical challenges. These teachers often face issues with isolation, as they are commonly the only teacher of a certain grade level in a given school or district. Some challenges with this model have been keeping the teachers engaged in the work, specifically the coaching aspect. We have found that the more the teachers are connected to other teachers in the project, the more likely they are to continue their work with us. For example, in our original version, we had coaching cycles after they had completed the online course and there were no opportunities for them to discuss their coaching experience in the course, or with others that were being coached. Now, with our revised model, we are integrating the coaching and online course so there is increased accountability and increased opportunities for them to connect with other teachers about their experiences.


    We have had approximately 25 teachers engage in the project, mostly all at different schools and different districts--both in Idaho and New York. As an example, in Idaho, we have teachers that are several hours away working in the same cohort. For our next cohort, we are considering recruiting from even greater distances. We have worked to overcome differences in timezone (offering 4:00pm PST; 7:00pm EST to teachers) and have found this to work well!


    I'd love to hear more about your similar model. Are the teachers in rural areas? Are they in the same school?


     


    Julie


     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Amanda Adams
  • Icon for: Amy Hackenberg

    Amy Hackenberg

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 04:18 p.m.

    Thanks for your video--this is very interesting work. I'm not working with large groups of teachers right now, but I know who to contact when I do start to do that.

    Amy

  • Icon for: Julie Amador

    Julie Amador

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 04:20 p.m.

    Great to hear from you, Amy! Thanks for watching the video and please feel free to reach out with questions at any point!

    Julie

  • Icon for: Amanda Adams

    Amanda Adams

    Director of Public Affairs
    May 13, 2019 | 04:32 p.m.

    Hi Julie, thanks for the insight!  Are your coaches current teachers/educators? Do you anticipate expanding your model into other subject areas?

    Our virtual networked improvement community brings together 30 rural math teachers from 16 school divisions in Southside and Southwest Virginia to collaboratively solve their own problems of practice. These teachers are improving student motivation and achievement in mathematics by integrating strategies into their classroom instruction that promote growth mindset and self-efficacy in addition to helping students see the value of math as preparation for high-demand STEM careers.

    We really like the TORSH platform because it allows teachers to comment at specific moments in the video, directing their comments to particular points in the lesson. The platform also allows for formal lesson feedback from team members as well as discussion forums that can be initiated by our staff or by individual teachers. Our teachers utilize iPads for lesson recording. 

    At most, teachers are about six hours apart. We haven't had to contend with timezone differences, but we have found internet connectivity for video viewing and uploading is a persistent barrier. Being from smaller schools, our teachers also wear a lot of hats, which limits the time they have available for participating in and contributing to the network. 

    Our teachers are divided into smaller groups that meet virtually once a week and similar to you, we've found this connection helps to minimize feelings of isolation and allow for more overall project engagement. However, some of these groups are stronger in their engagement than others and we've discussed redistributing our most engaged teachers into different groups in order to increase overall teacher engagement. 

  • Icon for: Julie Amador

    Julie Amador

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 04:42 p.m.

    Amanda,

    It sounds like we have a quite a few similarities to you. We have had issues with bandwith/connectivity. Some teachers purposely stay at school late so they can connect because the internet is better there than at home. We also have experiences with the teachers wearing multiple hats. They are often pulled in many directions because there are so few people in the school. So, very similar situations with the rural context.

    Thanks for the input about the TORSH platform. I will have to look at that. You mentioned the teachers are using iPads to record the lessons. We are using iPads too, but coupled with Swivl technology. Are you using anything in addition to the iPads? What are you using to capture audio?

    Our coaches are all experienced professional development providers. We have not discussed expanding into other content areas, but have discussed how we could involve a larger quantity of teachers and from other areas (i.e. other states). We have found that the coaching cycle aspect of our project is the most time intensive because of the one-on-one interactions. So, we are open to ideas about scaling up, if you have any!

    Thanks for the clarification around the smaller group size you are using. It sounds like our projects have so many similarities. Do you have plans to present at any future in-person conferences? It would be wonderful to meet you and learn more about what you are doing!

    Julie

     
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    Amanda Adams
  • Icon for: Amanda Adams

    Amanda Adams

    Director of Public Affairs
    May 13, 2019 | 05:12 p.m.

    Julie, 

    I definitely see some overlap in the work our teams are doing. We don't have the coaching aspect included in ours like you do, though we do have professors from some state universities do sessions at our in-person summer institutes each year. Have your teachers ever met in person or have all introductions and interactions been online? I'm definitely interested in learning more about how your coaching cycle!

    At the moment, we are solely utilizing the iPads and we have been fortunate to have minimal issues with audio. Your use of Swivl technology is just phenomenal! Our teachers are often utilizing lesson plans that require movement within their classroom, but we are only able to capture what is directly in front of the iPad camera unless the teacher moves it on their own. 

    I will definitely talk to my team about scaling up options. We face similar questions in that regard, especially when considering technology training for teachers wishing to participate in the network. 

    Our last presentation was at the Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education in April, but unfortunately we don't have any presentations lined up in the near future. How about you? 

  • Icon for: Julie Amador

    Julie Amador

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 05:45 p.m.

    Amanda,

    Our teachers have never met in person. I know of some projects where they meet in person once and then the remainder of the project is online in an attempt to build community. We have worked to build community virtually. We have found that using small breakout rooms for discussions supports the development of community because the teachers have the opportunity to talk more freely, frequently, and openly. The community aspect of learning has been something we have considered because the teachers are in rural locations and often don't have access to other teachers. Consequently, we have worked to provide those opportunities for them, but are always welcoming new ideas and thoughts about this.

    Thanks for the update on the presentations. We are presenting this summer at the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Conference in Lyon, France. We will be presenting at PMENA in St. Louis and have submitted proposals to AMTE for 2020. We will watch for presentations on your work or opportunities to learn more!

  • Icon for: Cynthia Carson

    Cynthia Carson

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 02:18 p.m.

    Hello Amanda,

    I wanted to add on to Julie's comments about our use of Swivl in our project.  One, of several, reasons we chose Swivl was because of the ease of recording, uploading, and sharing of the teacher-created videos.  The Swivl system automatically uploads the videos to a shared library with their coach within a few minutes of the recording.  Both the teacher and the coach are then able to view the videos and leave time-stamped comments at their own convenience.  

    It sounds like both of our projects incorporate the use of a commenting/annotating feature with the videos.  I am curious as to what you have found related to these comments such as; what are teachers commenting on; how frequently do they comment, are your staff leaving comments as well; how do the comments from staff and teachers differ; how have these comments driven discussions in the weekly meetings?  Currently, we are working on analysis of the comments that our coaches and teachers use and would love to hear more about your insights on this feature of you program.

  • Icon for: Jen Richards

    Jen Richards

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 03:09 p.m.

    Hi all,

    So interesting to learn about Swivl!  And we are also working on a project that is exploring and comparing teachers' responses when they annotate a video directly vs. reflect on the video and lesson more broadly.  It would be interesting to compare notes and schemes for characterizing teachers' responses!

  • Icon for: Julie Amador

    Julie Amador

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:47 p.m.

    Jen, Your project sounds interesting! What software are you using for the annotations?

    Julie

  • Icon for: Jen Richards

    Jen Richards

    Researcher
    May 16, 2019 | 01:55 p.m.

    Currently we are working in the Teaching Channel Teams platform!  What are different dimensions you're considering in characterizing comments?

    Thanks, Jen

  • Icon for: Kristana Textor

    Kristana Textor

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2019 | 10:30 a.m.

    Hi Jen-

    Do you mean our coding schema for the data? I might call in our PI JEff Choppin to talk about how we created and used a conjecture map to drive our inquiry. Right now, we are coding the teacher and coach interactions during the OMD online courses for social presence, cognitive presence, teaching presence, and learning environment. This is applied to the video data we recorded via Zoom over the past two years. Is that what you were looking for?

    -Kristana

  • Icon for: Jeffrey Choppin

    Jeffrey Choppin

    Lead Presenter
    May 19, 2019 | 09:08 p.m.

    Jen,

    We have different coding schemes depending on the data source. For the online coaching cycles we have a codebook that categorizes the discursive moves of the coach and the teacher as well as goals and content of the interactions. For the discursive moves of the coaches, we look at whether the coach invited or elicited information from the teacher or whether the coach explained or suggested something to the teacher. For the online course sessions, we use a different coding scheme based on the Community of Inquiry framework. Is there more information you would like about these coding schemes?

     

    Jeff

  • Icon for: Jen Richards

    Jen Richards

    Researcher
    May 20, 2019 | 12:41 p.m.

    Thanks Jeff and Kristana!  It's interesting to hear about the different lenses you're bringing to different datasets.  I was mostly thinking about the online written data (rather than video), as we're also in a space of seeking to characterize teachers' written comments to each other in an online learning space.  That feels different from the nature of coach-teacher interactions though — I'll think more as we explore our datasets and reach out for possible intersections in the future!

    Thanks, Jen

  • Icon for: Dave Miller

    Dave Miller

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 06:01 p.m.

    Terrific project, team SyncOn, and thanks for sharing it with all of us in the video showcase! I’m curious about the additional directions you might be discussing for future research and investigation, given the vast data set that you have obviously collected. I’m also curious about any conversations and insights you can share about how to scale this. Interesting project. Thanks! - Dav

  • Icon for: Kristana Textor

    Kristana Textor

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:25 p.m.

    Hi Dave-

    Great questions, and thanks for taking a look! You're right; we have a massive data set. We've recorded all OMD online course sessions via the video conferencing software Zoom, as well the small group breakout room sessions and artifacts from each class. It's hours (and hours) of video, taken over two years. We also have interviews with participants and coaches. We've transcribed much of this, and are applying our coding schema to look more deeply at social presence, teaching presence, cognitive presence, and learning environment. The PD team has ideas for iteration based on observations from our two cohorts, but we are waiting to make claims directly from the data. As for scaling, I'll let PI's Jeff Choppin and Julie Amador talk more about this. 

    -Kristana

  • Icon for: Cynthia Carson

    Cynthia Carson

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 02:32 p.m.

    Hello Dave and thank you for watching our video! 

    Scaling this project has been a large part of our conversation of late.  Currently, we are preparing for a third cohort of teachers with some modifications to our model.  These modifications are based on what we have learned so far as well as our goal of providing the same high-quality PD experiences for more teachers.

    Another effort to scale this project has been bringing on more coaches/facilitators to shadow more experienced coaches/facilitators as they engage in this work. We have established mentoring relationships as well as provided time for all (novice and experienced) coaches/facilitators to gather and discussions their work.

    Thanks again for your interest!

  • May 13, 2019 | 07:36 p.m.

    This seems like a great project. Thanks for sharing, interesting video.

    What are some key design features of your professional development? How long did you meet? How were coaches selected, were they site based or in a central location? What issues with technology did you have? 

     

     

     

  • Icon for: Kristana Textor

    Kristana Textor

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:09 p.m.

    Hi Teruni -

    Thanks for watching the video! We've got a team member coming on shortly with more details for you. I took a look at your video as well, and really enjoyed all the photographs you included. It looks like you documented your project extensively!

    -Kristana

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Teruni Lamberg
  • Icon for: Cynthia Carson

    Cynthia Carson

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 03:04 p.m.

    Hello Teruni and thank you for watching our video!

    The teachers in our model participate in our project for two years.  During this time they participate in a two-part online course, each part involves synchronous weekly sessions for six weeks. The first part of the course occurs during Year 1 and the second part in Year 2 for a total of 12 weeks.  In addition, we have 5 teaching labs, and 4-5 coaching cycles spread across two years.  The order of these experiences has been different for each cohort as we are exploring the best design. 

    The individual online course sessions and teaching labs each last for two hours.  As we are working with teachers located on both coasts, we had to be very thoughtful about timing of these events.  We found that the 4-6pm (PST) and 7-9pm (EST) timeframe worked best for our teachers.  

    Our coaches are located in different locations, Idaho, Georgia, and New York.  A critical aspect of our project is that all features are fully online, therefore there is no need for any of us to be in the same location.  Initially, we started the project with four coaches that had extensive experience with face-to-face coaching in the area of mathematics.  Several of those coaches also had experience coaching online.  As we prepared for our second cohort of teachers, we brought in five other coaches, also all experienced in face-to-face mathematics coaching, but new to online.  These new coaches were assigned to a mentor coach to shadow our current coaches.  This mentoring relationship continued as the new coaches took on teachers of their own in our second cohort of teachers.

    To minimize our technology challenges, we established a support member of the project staff to work with all teachers, coaches, and facilitators with any challenges.  We scheduled training and practice sessions for teachers, coaches, and facilitators for all of the technology used.  All of these sessions were held using Zoom, a video conferencing platform.  During the online course and teaching lab sessions, our support member was present to help with any challenges that arose.  Additionally, all teachers and coaches were encouraged to call, text, or email this support member, anytime they needed help.

    I hope this answers some of your questions!

     
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    Teruni Lamberg
  • May 14, 2019 | 11:48 p.m.

    How many teachers were assigned to a coach? 

  • Icon for: Cynthia Carson

    Cynthia Carson

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:28 a.m.

    Coaches were assigned 1-3 teachers.  This varied based on the coaches workload.  We have a total of 9 nine coaches that have supported teachers in this project.

  • Icon for: Kristen Reed

    Kristen Reed

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 08:04 p.m.

    What a great project! I'm really curious in hearing more about how you build community and engagement among online participants. You mentioned that having smaller break out rooms helps, but do you have any other tips and strategies? Are there protocols for online discussions that you have found particularly successful? Some of the projects I'm familiar with require that participants have at least one colleague at their local site who they can work with, have you found that that makes a difference?

    I was also wondering how you are measuring impact on your participants? What sort of data are you collecting? Thanks! Kristen

  • Icon for: Cynthia Carson

    Cynthia Carson

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 03:24 p.m.

    Hello Kristen and thank you for your interest in our project!

    Building a community in a project that is fully online was concern for us at the beginning of this project.  Therefore, we specifically designed several features of the project to address this topic.  For example, at the start of each cohort and each school year, we start with a "Kickoff" meeting.  During this kickoff meeting we have all project coaches, facilitators, and teachers attend and engage in ice breaker activities and talking circles.  These activities are held in a Zoom video conference, which enables us to utilize large group and small group discussions and activities to help foster relationships amongst the group. We also encourage the coaches to begin communicating via emails and video conferences before their coaching begins to build these relationships.  In the online course and teaching labs, we strategically designed small group learning activities to help the teachers interact and build relationships with each other.  

    We have not specified that participants have a colleague, locally, to work with.  While I think this is a great idea, this was not feasible for some of our teachers, given that our PD is specific to mathematics and some of our participating teachers are the only mathematics teacher in their building.  Despite this, we do have two co-teaching pairs of teachers that participating in our project.  I can see that this would be an interesting aspect of their experience to explore.

     

  • Icon for: Hannah Lakin

    Hannah Lakin

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2019 | 09:47 a.m.

     Hi SyncOn Team,

    We also are working on a similar project at the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, and look forward to learning from you! The ACRES Project is a virtual coaching project, where we work with afterschool, library and other informal educators in small peer-coaching groups on STEM facilitation skills. The cohorts consist of folks from all over the country (primarily rural). Here is one of our recent publications in Afterschool Matters. Similar to you, we use Zoom and video annotation software (we use Vimeo). I love the idea of recording breakout rooms. We never thought to have a non-participant go in and use screen recording since the recording follows the host. We'll have to look into that.

    A few questions for you:

    How do you help those who are uneasy about being recorded (either for coaching purposes or in Zoom sessions)? Have you found this turns people away from participating?

    Can you share more about your online course, and how it connects with the other components of the project?

    I read above that you had some issues with engagement when people were doing the online course first. I'd love to hear more about any other lessons you've learned around recruitment and engagement, as that is something we're working on as well!

    Thanks! -Hannah

  • Icon for: Kristana Textor

    Kristana Textor

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:45 a.m.

    Hi Hannah-

    So glad you posted! It seems like there is a lot of crossover between our projects. I especially liked your links to publications on the ACRES project, and I'll be sure our SyncOn team gets a better look at them.

    Yes, the breakout room feature of Zoom is where we see a lot of collegial discussions occuring. That data has been pivotal to understanding how teachers talk about and understand mathematics. Our researcher (Cyndi Carson) that coordinates the recordings is key to gathering that data and keeping logistics smooth for participants.

    Since we're coordinating this NSF funded research project between institutions (The Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, and University of Idaho) we are bound by RSRB and IRB (review board) requirements for human subjects. We take the privacy of our participants seriously, and I think that helps the comfort level for recording our Zoom sessions. All data is dis-identified, and we use pseudonyms in our transcription and publication. If you look close, we even blurred out participant names on screen for the Zoom session recordings that we used to make this video. Everyone going into it is aware of the research aspect of the project, knows that we are using the video recordings as data, and has signed off on participating in SyncOn.

    I'm going to pull in one (or two!) of our teammates who knows a bit more about the recruitment aspects of the course and connections to components. Stay tuned!

    And a question for you: Can you tell us more about the Vimeo annotation feature? We use the Vimeo review links for sharing rough cuts and edits of video between Warner School collegues, but I hadn't thought about that as a possibility for communication between coaches and participants. I'll post this to your page as well.

    -Kristana

  • Icon for: Hannah Lakin

    Hannah Lakin

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2019 | 12:52 p.m.

     Hi Kristana,

    We didn't share a video this year, so you won't find our page, but all of this is really helpful! 

    I can certainly elaborate on the Vimeo tools we use. We use a pro account on Vimeo to set up review pages for the videos that participants submit of them working with youth. Participants do not need an account on Vimeo to access the review pages. All they need is the link and password, which has been set up by the coach. Participants then use the comment feature to leave feedback, questions and insights for others in their cohort (usually 4-6 people). We love the timestamps for the ability to pinpoint comments. We started the project without this tool, and people were writing notes and sharing their feedback live. We still conduct coaching conversations live, but since people are able to analyze the video ahead of time, it gives cohorts the opportunity to go deeper into the conversation. One other thing we've found helpful with Vimeo is the minimal bandwidth needed to use it. You can move videos directly from other cloud storage platforms (dropbox, box, etc.) without needing to download and upload.

    Thank you for the insights around privacy. We follow similar requirements for research, however educators often express their fear of sharing with others in their cohort. Once they get to know and build trust with those in their cohort, they usually are sold, but getting them to participate in the first place can be challenging. I'm thinking you might not experience this as much, because your coaching is done one-to-one. Is this true?

    Looking forward to hearing about recruitment strategies. Thanks for all your insights!

    Hannah

  • Icon for: Cynthia Carson

    Cynthia Carson

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 04:00 p.m.

    Hello Hannah!  Thank you for sharing about your work!  I am very interested in learning more about your peer-coaching groups.  How did you develop these groups?  What does a typical group meeting look like?  Or is this work all asynchronous?

    For recruitment we have created flyers with the project details and distributed them through our own professional connections and district/schools/teachers we have done previous work with.  As we have presented on our project at several large national conferences, we have shared information with those attendees and this has opened our project up to a larger audience of teachers as well.

    You are correct, that our coaching is a one-to-one model, but some teachers do initially express concern about recording their own instruction.  One way we address this challenge is through the teaching labs.  Our teaching labs are based on lessons, taught by one of our coaches in a participants classroom.  The recording of this lesson is used for the teaching lab with all the teachers.  We highlight that this experience is a critical piece of the model for us to make our own practice public.  We see the teaching labs as a place to model putting our own practice out there for people to see, to analyze, and discuss.  This goes a long way for building a safe and trusting space in our project as we model how to use classroom video, not to judge instructional practices, but to use them for discussing evidence of student thinking and pedagogical decisions.

  • Icon for: Cathy Carroll

    Cathy Carroll

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 12:52 p.m.

    Hi Sync On team! Thanks for sharing your video. It's great to see how things are developing--in particular, it's great to see how you've included the coaching component. This is a really important contribution to the field.

  • Icon for: Julie Amador

    Julie Amador

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:41 p.m.

    Thanks, Cathy! We appreciate you watching the video. Please let us know if you have any further thoughts or questions about the project!
    Julie

  • May 14, 2019 | 03:13 p.m.

    This is fascinating work! It's so important to find ways to serve teachers for whom it's much harder to attend face-to-face PD activities. I'm impressed by how you've managed all the different technology elements, and yes -- it is neat to see how face-to-face doesn't just need to be translated, it needs to be re-imagined, and that online has certain affordances that face-to-face doesn't.

  • Icon for: Julie Amador

    Julie Amador

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:53 p.m.

    Thanks, Angela! We appreciate the positive feedback.

  • Icon for: Rachel Garrett

    Rachel Garrett

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 06:05 p.m.

    Very cool project! This project is a good example of using technology to support professional development and create learning opportunities, but not to replace human interactions. Since this is content based PD, I am curious if you've had to make accommodations to support teachers working with different curricula (and if across multiple states, with different standards?) Also, how are you assessing the impact of the PD on teachers and on their students? 

  • Icon for: Ryan Gillespie

    Ryan Gillespie

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 01:34 p.m.

    Thank you Rachel for the feedback and questions.

    Pertaining to your questions about accommodating teachers working with different curricula, all of our teachers are from either New York or Idaho and are using Common Core State Standards.  As such, we have not had to do much differentiation around differences in curricula.  However, what has been interesting is supporting teachers with this type of professional learning who are using very different types of curriculum materials.  We have teachers using more task-based curriculum materials and those using much more procedural practice driven materials.  Because coaching is one-on-one and highly-differentiated based on the needs and interests of the teachers, accommodating differences around curriculum materials is a natural focus.  For example, for a teacher using task-based materials, the coaching cycles might focus on implementing a lesson or task as provided or with small modifications.  For teachers who do not have such materials, the coaching cycles might focus on locating or developing high cognitive demand tasks.  

    For assessing impact, we do not have measures in place to examine changes in student learning.  To assess the impact of the PD on teaching practices, we are analyzing the lesson videos from the coaching cycles using the TRU framework (https://www.map.mathshell.org/trumath.php).  Additionally, we are combining the lesson video analysis with the qualitative analysis of coaching cycle conversation transcripts for evidence of teaching learning and changes to practice.

    Hopefully this provides the information you are looking for but feel free to respond with any additional questions.

    Thank you again for your interest in our project! 

  • Icon for: Rachel Garrett

    Rachel Garrett

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 03:47 p.m.

    Thanks for the extra detail to understand your work better. That makes good sense that coaches working with teachers individually can differentiate based on a given teacher's instructional materials. And I can imagine that the defining feature is often being task/conceptually based vs. procedurally based!

    This actually connects with another question that I think many of us grapple with, which is about the benefits or need to provide content-specific PD that is tied to the curriculum a teacher uses. What are your thoughts on whether grounding PD in a teacher's curriculum is useful or perhaps even required to effectively support teachers in developing content specific instruction?

  • Icon for: Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 02:44 p.m.

    Thank you for your question about content-specific PD, this is a question that we grapple with as PD providers across different contexts and experiences. For this project, we engaged teachers in three connected components (an online course, teaching labs, and personalized coaching).  All of the experiences across these components utilized high cognitive demand tasks that provided opportunities to develop images and engage in mathematical discourse.  The tasks chosen for each of these experiences differed based on the purpose of each component.  In the course, tasks were primarily chosen and designed to engage in experiences as learners,  analysis, and reflection.  For the teaching labs, we chose tasks based on grade-level standards after consulting with the teacher who volunteered their classroom for video recording. These tasks often related to the topic being taught, however they were typically not the next lesson in their current unit of study.  During the coaching experiences, tasks were curriculum-specific. Here the coach and teacher discussed the goals of the lesson, analyzed the task, re-designed the task as needed, and planned the lesson in order to provide opportunities for discourse. Across these three components we were able to engage teachers in content that was both directly connected and broadly related to their curriculum resources.

  • Icon for: Kathy Perkins

    Kathy Perkins

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 11:20 p.m.

    Great project! It's so valuable to be able to support rural teachers and create community! I would love to bring an opportunity like this to rural teachers interested in PD around PhET simulations. You mentioned the coaching is quite time intensive for the team - about how much time does it take to do well in FTE and how many teachers are you supporting? You also mentioned in one of the comments that the participants were also in an online course alongside this coaching - can you share more about that course? And do you have any lessons-learned papers on the work? Thanks! 

  • Icon for: Ryan Gillespie

    Ryan Gillespie

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 04:42 p.m.

    Thank Kathy for the interest in our project.  

    For your first question, we have two cohorts that each contain 10 teachers.  We have 9 coaches on the project who have worked with varying numbers of teachers based on their availability.  For the coach, each coaching cycle takes about 2-4 hours for the planning discussion, debrief discussion, lesson video viewing and annotation, plus some extra time to review notes, shared documents, etc.  This would be similar on the teachers end but they also are planning the lesson initially.  The goal is over a teacher's two years in the program, they would complete 5 coaching cycles.  I'm not sure how this would convert into FTE but hopefully it provides a sense of the time commitment for coaching.

    For your second question, there is a course teachers take prior to any coaching cycles.  The course focuses on orchestrating mathematical discourse and implementing high cognitive demand tasks.  It utilizes the Smith and Stein (2011) book 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions. Briefly, the course engages teachers in mathematical tasks with the facilitators using/modeling the 5 practices.  The course occurs synchronously using Zoom video-conferencing technology but teachers also are asked to complete a few tasks outside of the synchronous time.  When you mention "lesson-learned", we do not have any papers specifically on the topic but certainly have many!  Is there a specific part or aspect of the course you'd like to hear more about in terms of our lesson learned?  We certainly would be happy to share.

    Thank you again for the questions.

     
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    Kathy Perkins
  • Icon for: Heather Howell

    Heather Howell

    Researcher
    May 15, 2019 | 09:31 a.m.

    Hi Team,

    What fascinating work. I'm curious what the focus is of the feedback/coaching that the teachers receive and to what degree it is uniform across coaches, or what kind of training the coaches receive. Are they working on self-identified goals for each teacher, or is there a particular competency of interest that is developed over time, or...

     

     

  • Icon for: Ryan Gillespie

    Ryan Gillespie

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 01:10 p.m.

    Thanks Heather for the feedback and questions.  

    Since the coaching cycles are intended to support the implementation of the learning generated during the Orchestrating Mathematical Discussion online course, all coaches and teachers are working towards the broad goals of implementing high cognitive demand tasks and generating rich mathematical discourse.  However, during each coaching cycle, teachers select a specific personal goal for their practice from a list generated by the professional development team.  This personal goal then becomes a major focus of both the planning and debriefing conversations.  Each of the personal goals in our list connect back to the overarching goals of the online course.  For some teachers, they have kept the same personal goal for multiple coaching cycles.  Others have selected new ones during each cycle.  This has ensured a certain level of consistency or uniformity across coaches and coaching cycles but part of our research work is to examine the potential variability within the coaching cycles and its impact on teacher learning.

    As far as training for coaches, the project has four mentor coaches and five apprentice coaches.  Apprentice coaches have prior experience with in-person coaching but are new to online coaching.  The apprentice coaches partnered with a mentor coach during their work with Cohort 1 teachers.  This involved the apprentice coach watching the videos of a mentor coach during the planning conversation, the debriefing conversations, and the lesson implementation video and then debriefing the cycle with the mentor coach.  Apprentice coaches then began coaching teachers in Cohort 2.

    Hope this provides you with the information you were looking for.  Feel free to ask more if not.

    Thanks again! 

     

     

  • Icon for: Cynthia Callard

    Cynthia Callard

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 10:39 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your project through this video!  Online professional learning has great potential to provide access to teachers when there are geographic challenges.  I am wondering if you could share your "biggest lessons learned" so far in terms of moving face-to-face professional learning to online?  While I recognize that you will be engaging in a systematic data analysis in the next year, I am curious about what you would identify as insights/learnings in your project so far?

  • Icon for: Kristana Textor

    Kristana Textor

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 02:18 p.m.

    Hi Cyndi-

    We're still looking at the data - but one thing that has stood out as potentially valuable for further study is the transition into and out of small group discussions. In the Zoom video conferencing platform, we have the capability to divide participants into "breakout rooms" where they can have a discussion between 2-4 colleagues and a coach that "enters" the room. Coaches can move from room to room to observe and facilitate discussions.

    It's too early to claim anything quite yet, but we have seen collegial discussion and social interaction between teachers who aren't geographically close. Even though they are online, and haven't met each other face to face, teachers share stories from their own classrooms, laugh, support each other, and build community. I hope to look more deeply at the trust that manifests in these small group discussions, and see what happens during points of transition during the online course. That's just one small piece of the puzzle! Others?

    -Kristana

     

  • Icon for: Cynthia Callard

    Cynthia Callard

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2019 | 08:50 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing, Kristana.  Interesting insights.  I will be anxious to follow your findings as you continue to analyze your large amounts of data!

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Phillips

    Elizabeth Phillips

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2019 | 09:24 a.m.

    Great video! You are pushing the online PD forward. One questions: Were the teachers using a common curriculum? That is how did you accommodate or focus discussions around a common mathematical topic?

  • Icon for: Ryan Gillespie

    Ryan Gillespie

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 02:08 p.m.

    Hello Elizabeth.  Thanks for your questions and interesting in the project.  Teachers were not using a common curriculum or curriculum materials as they were located in various parts of New York and Idaho.  The online course component of the PD model utilized Smith and Stein's (2011): 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussion as a text to develop a common language and pedagogical foundation among teachers and coaches.  The course used the pedagogical content from this book as well as the mathematical tasks.  So while the different curricula and materials did come up from time to time in discussions, it never became a hindrance for the group as a whole.  

    It is also worth noting that the one-on-one coaching cycles, while connected to the learning in the course, naturally differentiates based on the needs and interests of the teacher.  Therefore, issues around varying curriculum materials become a natural part of the coaching conversations. 

    Hopefully this help answer your question.  Feel free to ask more.

    Thanks again! 

  • Icon for: Terri Sainz

    Terri Sainz

    K-12 Outreach Specialist
    May 17, 2019 | 05:28 p.m.

    Hi, SyncOn Team! I enjoyed your video and as an educator in New Mexico can certainly relate to the challenges of providing professional learning to rural communities. We've been utilizing Zoom video conferencing software since the company first began providing this service. The webinar feature is one which we've used extensively. In the past, we've also implemented a Mathematics Virtual Learning Community (MVLC) for various grade bands.

    Thank you,

    Terri

  • Icon for: Kristana Textor

    Kristana Textor

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2019 | 10:10 a.m.

    Hi Terri -

    Glad you found us! It looks like we have some alignment in our projects. I'd love to hear more about how you use the webinar feature; it looks like you are streaming classroom observations to a group of teachers during your MathLab PD, correct? We use Zoom as an online classroom, and like you saw in the thread above the breakout room feature has been especially useful for us. Do you have an online component for the MC2 professional development? Do you have a sense from your rural teachers if online training might be useful to them, or have they expressed any concerns about it? Looking forward to your perspective!

    -Kristana

     

     

  • Icon for: Kristana Textor

    Kristana Textor

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 09:49 a.m.

    Greetings viewers! Any last questions or comments in the final hours of the showcase? If any of you are working through similar problems, please be in touch! We are always on the lookout for potential collaborators - especially for conference proposals, panel discussions, and publication. If you're involved with a project that has alignment with SyncOn, we would love to hear from you. :)

    -Kristana

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.