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Welten Institute develops app for teachers and their coaches
Pre-service and beginning teachers often struggle with issues of classroom management. Research has shown that real time coaching can be helpful in these situations. The Welten Institute and the department of teacher education of Fontys University Sittard developed an app for teachers and their coaches entitled EarCoachforTeachers. The app supports real time coaching with a Bug-in-ear device.
How does it work?
The ‘EarCoachforTeachers’ app allows teacher coaches and mentors to send short messages to a pre-service or beginning teacher while he or she is teaching. The coach/mentor is present as observer in the classroom and sends the messages through text-to-speech technology. The teacher hears the messages through a bug-in-ear device and can immediately adapt his or her teaching behaviour in the situation. This use of the app is embedded in a coaching practice including a preparatory talk and a debriefing talk. In the preparatory talk between pre-service or beginning teacher and coach the teacher takes the lead and indicates on which issues he or she wants to receive feedback and instruction. An equally important aspect is the debriefing talk with the coach, in which the teacher is expected to formulate the lessons learnt from the coaching session.
Input from users
The mobile app has been developed Kamakshi Rajagopal en Karel Kreijns, researchers at the Welten Institute in co-design with Frank Crasborn and Maurice Smeets from Fontys University and with school-based teacher educator and mentors from schools for secondary education in the province of Limburg. The iterative approach to the app design has been successful in creating interest with the end-users of the app.
The mobile app will be available later this year. (Watch this news channel!) If you want to know more: Frank Crasborn and Maurice Smeets (Fontys University) present the latest version of the app for teachers and their coaches at the VELON conference on 12 and 13 March 2018. You can meet them there and discuss with them the app and its features.