Technology brings innovative solutions to Innovations

by Cody Meirick

Thanks to the Motorola Solutions Foundation, this year the coaches and teachers of the Early Math Project’s Innovations program have benefited from new mobile technology and an innovative way to use it. With tablet computers creating easier ways to view and document experiences, it was natural to leverage that technology to bolster the coaching cycle that the project has been doing for years.

With ten Motorola Xoom tablet computers and a new website where videos and coaching data can be posted and shared with teachers and their coaches, this year moves the program to the “cloud.” Coaches document their coaching cycle by inputting online forms rather than paper forms. Rather than burning video observations onto DVDs, videos are posted on the Early Math Project’s website. All of this remains password-protected and secured so that only teacher and coach have access to their videos and coaching documentation.

With the Innovations program lasting until 2015, the end result of the website will be a multimedia portfolio of each teacher’s coaching experience over years of learning, full of videos, reflections, and ongoing goals.

“The Xooms and website really help us be more efficient,” points out Donna Johnson, an instructor, coach, and coaching supervisor.. “If we are more efficient, then that means there is more opportunity to reflect on teacher practice and the overall coaching process.”

The website, Early Math Online, was built in the Fall of 2011 to incorporate many pieces of what the Early Math Project does into one secure online resource. While participating teachers are logged in, they can not only view their own observation videos, but they can also access videos and view Powerpoint presentations that were shown in previous learning labs, download documentation and forms, and view announcements about upcoming programming.

These services are made possible by a generous grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundation’s Innovation Generation program.

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