The latest on eWT from Dr. Gillespie
From the CEO...
The team at Southwest Plains Regional Service Center is committed to continually supporting teachers in the effort to deliver excellent instruction. As professional learning is designed and implemented to support this vision, it is absolutely essential that student success remain the center of all our endeavors.
The powerful data generated by implementing the digital eWalkThrough system provide immediate feedback for decision making. Ultimately, these data provide a consistent and reliable fuel for the education engine--for delivery of excellent instruction and ultimately, for increased student learning.
Because walkthrough observation 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 are collected and analyzed, they become a powerful source of fuel to support self-reflection and collaborative conversation. The final results are clear (Protheroe, 2009). Program initiatives are actualized. Instructional strategies improve. Student success increases.
Expect the eWalkThrough 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 results for your staff and your students.
eWT Fuel - Volume 1 Number 4
eWalkThrough: What is it?
These observations should be conducted by observers trained in both the philosophy of the process and the functionality of the digital tool. Additionally, it is absolutely necessary that observers be calibrated regarding the specific data points in the tool content. eWalkThrough observations are conducted around an intentionally designed set of "look-for's."
These "look-for's" are the priorities and initiatives of the system (district, institution of higher education, technical college, etc.) in question. These "look-for's" become the data points that support the system in a variety of functions including the decision-making, instructional conversations and self-reflection, and in a continuous cycle of improvement.
eWalkThrough: How Can the Data Be Used?
- Building and district leaders OR program and college/university administrators often utilize cumulative eWalkThrough data to describe the state of instruction within a program OR across an entire district/college.
- eWalkThrough data are commonly utilized by administrative teams to provide insights and capture priorities regarding the professional learning needs of both faculty and staff.
- The eWalkThrough data may be used (in total or in selected, disaggregated sets) to initiate professional conversations and then to coach and mentor individual instructors, instructional teams, or departments.
- These same eWalkThrough data (aggregate or disaggregated by topic or initiative) are effective when utilized for self-reflection by educators as they consider professional practice.
"Professional reflection is self-focused meditation that includes visualizing where you are, where you have been, and where you might go...In striving to become a better practitioner, you must move from intelligent assessments of where you are at present to reflect on how to use past and future strategies to realize planned change." (www.sagepublication.com)
eWalkThrough Data: Evidence for KESA Accreditation
The customized eWalkThrough can be designed such that "look for's" are aligned to KESA goals. Because eWalkThrough data are stored digitally within the tool, progress toward selected instructional goals can be accessed at any point in time. A strategic administrative vision includes use of the eWalkThrough data as KESA accreditation evidence. eWalkThrough data leveraged to move district accreditation forward--that's leadership in action!
Using the digital eWalkThrough system, the district and buildings disaggregated the eWalkThrough data by individual teacher, by grade level, by content area, by professional learning community, and by building. District X utilized the data to identify those educators or content areas/grade levels that needed specific and targeted support in differentiated instruction. District and building leaders were able to refine professional learning needs and provide focused support in differentiated instruction.
[NOTE: The digital eWalkThrough system is also applicable to support accreditation systems within higher education and to generate the data required by said policies. (policy.hlcommision.org)]