eWalkThrough Fuel

The latest on eWT from Dr. Gillespie

From the CEO...

Welcome! to the inaugural edition of the eWT Fuel. If student achievement is the destination, education is the engine, and eWT is the fuel.

eWT Fuel

Educators must be continually supported in the effort to deliver excellent teaching. And it is absolutely essential that student learning remain the center of all our endeavors in education.

The powerful data generated by implementing the eWT (electronic WalkThrough) provides immediate feedback for decision-making. Ultimately, this data provides a consistent and reliable fuel for the education engine--for excellent instruction and for student learning.

Because a WalkThrough has such potential as a catalyst to support both excellent instruction and a positive shift in learning (Walk-Through as Powerful, n.d.), this process is quickly establishing itself as best practice (Hopkins, 2010; David, 2008). When real-time observation data is analyzed, used to support reflection and collaborative conversation, and ultimately, when this data becomes the basis to drive professional learning, the results are clear (Protheroe, 2009). Program initiatives are actualized. Instructional strategies improve. Student achievement increases.

Expect the eWT Fuel quarterly from Dr. Kelly Gillespie, CEO of Southwest Plains Regional Service Center. Our professional learning team is dedicated to the design of innovative solutions which will deliver the results you require for your staff and your students.

eWT Fuel - Volume 1 Number 1

eWalkThrough Data Drives Professional Learning
Job #1 at Southwest Plains is supporting educators with professional learning. This work has become a PK-16 effort. We continually design innovative solutions---more effective, more efficient 21st century techniques--to support teachers and students.

As you well know in your work with instruction, regular observation followed by self-reflection and professional conversation is paramount. When this occurs, teaching improves and student achievement increases. Not surprisingly, electronic observation is gaining popularity across the country to fuel these efforts both among PK-12 schools and in institutions of higher education.

The eWT process is resource efficient. Observations collect real-time data which is stored within the tool. An additional feature of the eWT is its ability to provide immediate feedback and to generate summary reports. Many districts and institutions of higher education are so visionary as to utilize the eWT data for strong evidence in accreditation reports.

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Easy Steps for Success

A seminal use of eWT data is for the purpose of validating the professional learning needs of educators. This can be done in four easy steps:

1. Conduct eWT observations continuously across the semester.
Be sure observers are regularly calibrated so data is as clean and strong as possible. Conduct observations at various times of the week, the day, and even of the particular class period so that the eWT snapshots generate a true picture of instruction.

2. Analyze the eWT data regularly (monthly and/or each semester).

The luxury of the eWT tool is the data can be analyzed considering multiple variables (individual instructor; content area or grade level; program or building; and even by date). Identification of professional learning needs can be refined and therefore, potential for instructional improvement increases exponentially.

3. Identify and prioritize specific instructional areas in which teachers need support.

Again, teacher needs can be analyzed for the individual; for the district or institution of higher education; or for any subset in-between. Teachers can even be grouped into teams or PLCs in order to receive the specifically identified professional learning they need.

4. Schedule professional learning to answer the identified needs.

Gone are the days of drive-by professional learning--great workshop, but no follow through! The eWT provides well-refined and accurate fuel. Needs are identified. Professional learning is delivered to meet those needs. And data can be viewed, so the administrative team can track success of the Professional Learning. Did the training make a difference? Have instructional techniques and strategies changed as a result of the support provided? Do the educators need continuing support to improve the intended outcomes?

The Bottomline

eWT data is collected in real-time, as instruction is being delivered. Results can be viewed at any moment--after each individual observation, weekly, monthly, or by semester. This data tells the story. This data insures that resources target specific instructional needs and that teachers are supported with exactly what they need in professional learning.

Southwest Plains Regional Service Center is your professional learning team. "Professional learning...innovative solutions" is the #1 job of SWPRSC. Call on us to discuss your specific professional learning needs. We will assist by designing customized solutions. And remember, your eWT data fuels the education engine, so that your system can reach its intended destination--ever increasing levels of student learning!

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