Becoming a highly effective teacher is a lifelong process that requires much more than a teaching certificate. It requires on-going, job-embedded professional development and support over the long haul.
The Hoot Education Solution™ allows a teacher to participate in a personalized learning experience, mentored by an expert coach, and supported by a team of other teachers who work together as a professional learning community.
Our solution replaces in-person coaching, ineffective one-size-fits-all workshops, and eliminates the large costs associated with travel and down time for these activities.
The Hoot Platform
The Hoot Education™ methodology and solution was developed and tested in an iterative process through federally funded, scientific randomized control trials conducted at SMU’s Institute for Evidence-Based Education (IEBE). This iterative R&D process grounds Hoot Education on a solid research, providing a significant advantage in the educational professional development space. Hoot Education, Inc. will, with SMU’s IEBE, commercialize the Virtual Coach methodology and content.
The Hoot Education Solution allows for regularly scheduled face-to-face video observations and conferences in which the coach and teacher problem-solve around children's behavioral and learning problems. Through these interactions, teachers learn to:
Research identifies six critical features that need to be in place in order to increase teacher effectiveness. The Hoot Education Solution includes all six of the features:
Focus on Data
The core of the Hoot Education process focuses on measuring improvement in the teacher practice and student academic growth. The process begins by having teachers review student progress data and direct observation data gathered from observing the teacher’s classroom instruction. All activities within the community revolve around how teacher practice affects student achievement.
Incorporate Important New Knowledge
The science of how to best teach, even difficult to teach children, is constantly expanding. Thus, teachers need to continually update their understanding of research-proven routines and practices. The Hoot Education process provides opportunities for teachers to discuss research-proven instructional practices, change their existing instructional approaches, and rehearse the implementation of new practices with their coach.
Provide for Apprenticeship
Teachers engaging in Hoot Education are observed and supported by coaches who mentor them as they try out innovations in their own classrooms. Teachers are more likely to learn and implement professional development that can be immediately applied in the classroom while having the support of a mentor. Until now, apprenticeship has not readily been available via technology.
Provide for Peer Collaboration
Collaborative environments, in which teachers feel supported by colleagues as they strive to improve their practice, enhances the impact of professional development. The Hoot Education Solution envelopes teachers in a professional learning community where they learn from their peers and provide support to each other.
Personalize Learning to the Need of the Teacher
Teachers benefit from staff development courses when the courses match their personal professional needs. Coaches guide the course selection process for teachers by assigning courses that meet their most pressing needs. Likewise, the coach places groups of teachers with shared needs into study groups to delve more deeply into the course content. The Resources space offers teachers an efficient, customized access to feasible and relevant content.
Provide Support of Adequate Duration & Intensity
Research has shown that professional development must include 14 or more hours of focused professional development activities distributed over time and embedded with practice opportunities in order to have positive and sustained impact on teacher practice. The Hoot Education Solution provides job-embedded professional development across an entire academic year.