'Peer Connection' Targets Instructional Coaching


PBS TeacherLine this week rolled out (another) new service for educators at the 2007 NECC show in Atlanta. The latest one, dubbed PBS TeacherLine Peer Connection, is designed to help educators tasked with instructional coaching responsibilities.

According to a survey conducted by Hazel Associates for PBS teacherLine, 46 percent of superintendents and 65 percent of principals report the use of instructional coaching. "Schools and districts nationwide are moving away from traditional models of professional development that provide only one-time or short-term training," PBS explained in a release announcing the new service. "As administrators make this shift, they are tasking school or district faculty with instructional coaching responsibilities. Coaches express a need for ongoing support and training, particularly since this role is new to many educators."

Peer Connection include tips for working with adult learners and supplies a library of resources and strategies for helping teachers to accomplish professional development goals. Resources, called Coaching Modules, incorporate theoretical and practical information to support teacher learning, as well as media from TeacherLine's online courses.

Skills focused on include:

  • Assessing student performance and achievement;
  • Communicating with students' families;
  • Integrating technology;
  • Deepening teacher content knowledge; and
  • Understanding specific strategies for improving classroom practice.

PBS said the new Peer Connection is presently focused on middle school math and K-8 reading and language arts. Additional instructional topics will follow, including additional levels of math and reading, plus instructional technology.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).