New AI Coach by Edthena Makes Personalized Coaching Accessible to All Teachers
- By Kristal Kuykendall
Educator professional development provider Edthena today launched an artificial intelligence-based platform called AI Coach capable of helping teachers review and analyze videos of their classroom methods and self-identify strengths and weaknesses, followed by guidance for recommended improvements.
The AI Coach platform allows all teachers access to support, on-demand self-analysis, and actionable advice to improve teaching effectiveness, using an AI-backed chatbot to guide teachers through coaching cycles aligned to common growth areas, such as “pacing” and “engagement.”
While inside the AI Coach platform, teachers have a conversation with an AI bot named Edie, their “virtual coach.” Edie asks teachers to identify their professional goals, and then teachers analyze and reflect on videos of their classroom instruction by adding time-stamped comments.
After the video analysis, Edie leads teachers through summarizing the evidence and notes and through developing action plans to reach the teachers’ goals and increase their effectiveness.
“As part of their conversation with Edie, teachers develop a short-term goal, identify a strategy for change, and commit to a timeline for implementation,” Edthena said in a news release. “This evidence-based process enables teachers to receive many of the benefits of instructional coaching even if an in-person coach is not available.”
“The AI Coach platform is meant to support teachers who have access to in-person instructional coaches as well as those those who don't,” Edthena CEO Adam Geller told THE Journal. “We get messages often from teachers asking for more support options. Now we have a tool for them with guidance and coaching. It's really hard to be successful at any complex activity or job. Getting better at your craft — whatever that craft or job is — takes focused work.”
Geller noted that ensuring every teacher has consistent access to an in-person instructional coach is nearly impossible, particularly with modern-day school staffing shortages. And requiring teachers to complete a certain number of hours of professional learning each year has also gotten harder, with the pandemic adding to teachers’ workloads.
“Teachers are constantly hearing ‘You’ve got to keep getting better,’ and the only way to prove you’re working to get better — the structure of the system that is in place now — is teachers have go to a workshop or training and earn PD hours that are accounted for,” Gellar said. “One of the values of the AI Coach platform is it gives teachers a really flexible way to have documented professional learning time. They can spend time reflecting on themselves, and at the end of the process with Edie — after they’ve set a goal for their classroom, actually put that change into motion, collected new data, and documented what happened — being able to say, ‘Here’s a report on what I did, and here’s my AI Coach log that reflects my PD hours showing the work that I did,’ and they can potentially get credit for that.”
Designed by experienced instructional coaches, the AI Coach platform personalizes the coaching cycle for the focus areas selected by each user. For example, if a teacher indicates they are interested in observing for “checks for understanding,” the AI Coach platform provides related observation tips for the video analysis. Then, when it’s time for the teacher to develop a strategy for making progress against their goal, the platform offers curated content to help the teacher learn more about “checks for understanding.”
Common teacher growth areas covered by the AI Coach platform include:
- Managing student behavior
- Positive teacher-student relationships
- Classroom routines and procedures
- Checking for student understanding
- Facilitating group discussions
- Eliciting student thinking through questioning
- Clearly presenting and explaining content
- Culturally responsive teaching
- Student:teacher talk ratio
- Providing feedback to students
The AI Coach platform walks each new user through recording themselves teaching, and it works with any device through a web browser; no downloads or installations are required, Geller said.
The platform is in testing with teachers this spring, Edthena said; AI Coach will be available to all schools and teachers starting in fall 2022.
Learn more and join the waitlist for access at www.YourAICoach.com.
Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can
be reached at [email protected].