When it comes to digital ways to collaborate with peers, we often look to our frequent blogger and friend, Stephanie Affinito. Learn how you create and use digital coaching cards to boost connections and celebrate your experience as an IC.
ollectible trading cards have been around for a long time. The trend originally started back in the 1800's as stiff advertisement cards tucked into cigarette boxes. Since then, they've shifted into sports cards of player biographies tucked into packs of bubble gum and gaming cards worth points and prizes. These cards even made their way to the social and business world, announcing the arrival of guests, and showcasing business brands.
And while traditional business cards are still alive and well, they've shifted and changed in response to our digital and virtual growth as a society.
Digital coaching cards represent who we are in the online space. They quickly showcase our accomplishments, our professional interests, and how others can reach us. And they're not just for businesses anymore! They're for anyone creating a digital footprint online, including instructional coaches. Given our current pandemic, the need for digital and virtual collaboration is at an all-time high and the digital coaching card is more important than ever.
Deciding on your purpose
The first step in creating a digital coaching card is to articulate your purpose for connecting and collaborating online. Who are you as an educator? What are you most passionate about? What have you accomplished and could share with others? Who do you want to connect with and learn from in the future?
Your responses to these questions will help you create a card that showcases who you are, what you stand for, and how you might collaborate with others.
Designing your own
Your next step is to create a card that captures those ideas in print and graphic form. I've found that Google Slides and Canva are ideal tools for this work. Here's one of my digital coaching cards, made using Google Slides:
Once you choose your platform, plan your layout. Select a theme, or start from scratch with a blank slide. Then, choose a background color or image that suits your personality. Add text boxes to capture what matters most to you and use graphics to celebrate accomplishments.
Be sure to include the following elements:
Your name and position
A brief biography
A photograph of yourself—or your favorite bitmoji!
Certifications, accolades, and achievements
Social media contact information
Special interests and hopes for collaboration
Images to represent the work you do
Themes and colors to match your work and personality
Here's another example from my peer Laurie Guyon that showcases her skills, accomplishments, and achievements.
Pro tip: Don't be afraid to play with font types and colors, borders, and images and embellish as desired. You'll want to personalize your digital card to your coaching just as a business card might personalize a brand.
Distributing your card
Once you're done, it's time to share! While business cards might only be handed out in person, there are many options for sharing your digital coaching cards online:
By doing so, others online can easily see who you are, the work you do, and how you might strengthen their professional learning network (PLN). But not only that, it celebrates the work you do and lifts up the education profession, too.
Have you created a digital coaching card? Share yours in the comments! 👇
About our Guest Blogger
Stephanie Affinito is a Staff Associate in the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning at the University at Albany in New York. She has a deep love of literacy coaching and supporting teachers' learning through technology. Stephanie creates spaces for authentic teacher learning that build expertise, spark professional curiosity, and foster intentional reflection to re-imagine teaching and learning for students.
Additionally, she presents regularly at state and national conferences on literacy coaching, teacher collaboration, and supporting teachers' reading, writing, and learning through innovative technology.