How a Veteran Teacher Used AI Coaching to Evolve Her Practice
The world of education technology is expansive. With so many options and tools out there, the challenge for many K-12 leaders and teachers is identifying which tools can actually help enhance the learning experience.
In a session at the National Charter School Conference, presenter Donna McDaniel explored how AI Coach by Edthena, played a critical role in helping Donna (a ninth-grade science teacher with 30 years of experience) evolve her teaching practice.
Click below to view the presentation or continue reading for a summary.
Why AI Coaching Matters
Donna discussed Edthena’s AI Coach platform, which uses artificial intelligence for instructional coaching. The platform provides teachers with on-demand guidance from an AI-based coach as they self-reflect and comment on videos of their teaching.
Donna shared why a tool like AI Coach is helpful, even to someone with 30 years of experience in the profession.
“My students change year to year. They have different needs. They have different circumstances so my teaching needs to evolve. My teaching needs to change as well so that I am addressing the needs of my students which is my ultimate goal,” she said.
In a personal example, Donna told the audience how the AI Coach platform helped her recognize and rectify a problematic teaching approach during a group activity.
She realized her mistake when she watched the video of her classroom teaching during a guided self-reflection using AI Coach. She had wanted to help a group of students with their activity, but she had unintentionally disrupted their interactions.
“In watching my video what I was able to see was I had shut down that table … The group I had interacted with actually became independent workers,” she said. “I was horrified. It’s like … that’s not what I want.” (Jump to this moment in the video.)
By using the AI Coach platform she was able to see this happening and fix it.
“Had I not used the AI Coach, had I not actually watched my own videos I would not have gotten that insight. So in video reflection, I was able to see a need from me to alter what I was doing in my practice,” she said.
What is AI Coaching?
Donna summarized key points about what AI Coach is and what it is not.
What AI Coach is not:
- A replacement for coaches in schools and communities
- A prescriptive program telling teachers exactly what to do
- A tool that summarizes a video and provides key takeaways
What AI Coach is:
- A tool to support data-driven conversations around specific teaching practices
- A guided coaching process based on proven methodologies and individual teacher input
- A conversational experience that mimics a real coaching session
- An autonomous coaching experience that’s available whenever teachers want to use it
- A trusted source for expert-curated resources to help teachers achieve their goals
Using AI Coaching to Mentor New Teachers
Not only has AI Coaching been helpful for Donna as a veteran teacher but it has also been an effective tool for helping new teachers. The reflective process allows teachers to identify skill gaps, set goals, and make changes more quickly than otherwise possible.
In addition, the platform empowers teachers to improve and set new goals continuously. So they don’t have to wait for specific in-person coaching sessions or feedback from a supervisor to improve their practice.
Enhancing Instructional Coaching with AI
Responding to questions from the audience, the presenters mentioned that AI Coach works best as an enhancement to existing school coaching practices. In this model, teachers can work independently to improve and set goals but within the framework of support that they are already receiving at the school.
In this way, AI coaching serves to enhance a school’s coaching process rather than replace it.
AI Coaching and the Future of PD in Education
The session concluded with an emphasis on how AI coaching can empower educators to take charge of their professional growth, ensuring that they remain at the forefront of educational innovation.
The speakers noted that AI coaching can play a critical role in reshaping professional development for educators. By harnessing the power of AI-based coaching, districts and schools can build professional learning environments where teachers are empowered to refine their craft, adapt to changing educational landscapes, and enhance student outcomes.
Learn more about the AI Coach platform here.