It’s an exciting time to be part of one of the 21 Verizon Innovative Learning Schools directed by Digital Promise: each school has successfully rolled out tablets to teachers and students! For some schools, it’s the beginning of a new journey. For others, it’s year two, and they’re building on the changes and learning that took place last year. Through this 1:1 initiative, students now have 24/7, always available internet connectivity.

Implementing this technology requires more than just a vision and devices; it requires support from individuals willing to lead and support teachers and students. In this project, we’ve worked with schools to identify two very important roles: the COACH and the STORYTELLER. Each school has a learning coach who supports teachers in implementing technology in the classroom and a storyteller who creates media to share the school’s stories:

The Coach

  • Works with teachers to effectively use technology to increase student learning opportunities
  • Creates a professional learning plan and provides support through strategic outreach and informal support
  • Collaboratively develops engaging lessons with faculty and provides support through classroom observations and co-teaching
  • Develops a digital responsibility strategy that is embedded in the school culture
  • Develops and facilitates student and teacher leadership teams; works with parents and community members

The Storyteller

  • Creates content to help tell the school’s story
  • Works with teachers to share victories, lessons learned, and needs and concerns
  • Builds a student storyteller team
  • Pre-rollout: storytellers document the planning process, work with students on production, and engage with teachers
  • Post-rollout: storytellers share learning moments, work with student teams to use technology in production, and develop mindmaps and plans for story leads

These two roles have different focuses, but are both essential to the success of the project and function best when they work together. The coach and storyteller are a team (sometimes, they’re even the same person!) and are most successful when they work collaboratively to support teachers in their school. As Kalani Au, a learning coach at Lokelani Intermediate School in Maui, Hawaii put it, “I feel like he [storyteller Kepa Meno] is my right arm!” Kalani and Kepa are working together to build connections throughout their school community.

In the video below, meet some of our coaches and storytellers from the first cohort of the Digital Promise Verizon Innovative Learning Schools. They’ll share some of their top tips and lessons learned from their time in these roles.

Produced by Marco Torres, Director of Story at Digital Promise


About Emily Morris

Emily Morris is a Project Associate with the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative.

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