How One Teacher Used AI to Reflect on Teaching Effectiveness (SmartBrief)

What happened when a 29-year teaching veteran tried new artificial intelligence technology to reflect on and improve her teaching effectiveness?

Ninth-grade science teacher Donna McDaniel was recently featured in SmartBrief for her use of AI Coach by Edthena, and according to her, “AI-powered virtual coaching for teachers can enhance our in-person collaborations while helping all teachers experience timelier coaching more often.”

This isn’t about replacing in-person instructional coaches, but about teachers being empowered with support to reflect on their teaching effectiveness.

“Just as I always want to push my students with their learning, I always push myself to grow too. So, when an opportunity arose in Keller Independent School District to test out artificial intelligence instructional coaching, I was on board,” said Donna.

Teaching effectiveness and improvement guided by AI

Keller ISD (Keller, TX) was one of the first districts in the country to pilot AI Coach by Edthena.

What does AI have to do with teacher coaching?

It’s not the science fiction you might be imagining.

In the AI Coach platform, teachers have a conversation with a virtual coach and work through guided coaching cycles aligned to priority growth areas, such as differentiation or facilitating student discussions.

Teachers upload and analyze classroom videos of their teaching as they work with the virtual coach to develop goals and strategies for teaching effectiveness.

Here are some highlights from Donna on what she learned from using the AI Coach platform:

AI coaching can build teachers’ confidence

There were tips for how to upload my video and frequent check-ins from the virtual coach, just like a real, in-person coach would provide. This all helped me feel confident as I went through the coaching cycle.

AI coaching creates reflective practitioners

Significantly, I had the agency to decide what was important to me for the coaching cycle.

During the video analysis, the virtual coach asked [personalized] questions to guide my self-reflection. I liked how the process centered on me discovering what was happening inside my classroom instead of hearing from someone else about what they saw happening inside my classroom.

AI coaching is a personalized PD experience

Throughout the coaching cycle, one of the biggest benefits was the personalization AI coaching provided. The virtual coach helped me develop my specific goal and reflect on that goal using targeted prompts by providing tips, suggestions and questions related to that goal.

This taught me how to better coach myself — what to look for and what questions to consider. Since my principal and in-person coach cannot be in my classroom every day providing feedback, this acts as a great supplement to their ongoing support.

AI coaching offers an objective view

AI coaching can truly help teachers coach themselves while they wait until their next conversation with an in-person coach. A virtual coaching tool can give teachers an objective look at their teaching and is available anytime they are ready. It is flexible and self-directed, so teachers never have to worry about scheduling conflicts.

So how would Donna sum up the experience of trying out the AI Coach platform?

“As helpful as this was to me as a veteran teacher, I can see the use of AI coaching being especially beneficial for new teachers looking to receive extra personalized support. Accessing the virtual coach on-demand could help them more quickly develop their craft and become effective reflective practitioners.”

From veteran educators to new teachers, AI Coach by Edthena supports self-reflection and action planning for teaching effectiveness.

Read Donna’s full story at SmartBrief: Tech Tip: Individualized AI coaching provides helpful PD

 

Learn more about AI Coach by Edthena here.

Want to try it out for yourself? Sign up for AI Coach access here.

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