opinion

Shoot, I Did It Again: 3 More Ways to Implement Video in Professional Learning

By &

More and more schools and organizations are wanting to integrate video as a professional learning tool for teachers. But once you’ve got the recording device, what do you do?

At Edthena, a video coaching and professional learning platform, we work with many organizations working with video for the first time. A common concern for administrators and teachers is the how-to of integrating video into their culture of practice.

We recently offered three actionable ideas for using video coaching that we’ve learned from our own partners. But sharing just three ideas didn’t seem like enough, so we’re back with a few more.

Below find three more go-to ideas for using video to power teacher professional learning.

Getting Started: Virtual Pop-In

Pop-in observations are a popular means of providing teachers with feedback on snapshots of their practice.

However, roaming the halls and hopping randomly into classrooms demands a significant amount of time, and it also distract students from the lesson at hand when someone enters unexpectedly to lurk at the back of the room.

Conducting virtual pop-ins eliminates the distraction of having an observer in the room. It can also give coaches a fuller view of student behaviors when an observer is not present.

Coaches end up providing more feedback to teachers with a more efficient process. And if they want to watch more than ten minutes of a lesson, they can do so without throwing off the rest of the day’s observations.

Teachers benefit by being an active participant in the observation process—they get to see what the coach sees. They also become more comfortable with a video-powered workflow.

How it works:

  • Teacher records and uploads a video of an entire lesson.
  • Coach picks a ten-minute segment of the video to watch at random—much like the random timing of a traditional pop-in.
  • Coach provides feedback.
  • Teacher analyzes feedback on his or her own time.

When Ready: Skill Enactment Cycle

Professional development experiences for teachers can often focus on what to try out or change in a classroom. Teachers spend time trying to acquire a new skill or habit which they can then put into action in their classrooms.

But how will they know if they’ve implemented the strategy successfully?

Skill enactment cycles are designed to explicitly answer this question and close the loop between a PD conversation about what to do and then actually doing it.

The meat of the experience is that teachers document their attempts to try something new in their classrooms and then get feedback on how they’re applying their new knowledge. This type of applied learning has been well-documented by educational researchers Bruce Joyce and Beverly Showers, who argue these experiences can help teachers successfully transfer new skills into practice.

In our example below, we suggest analyzing a video example of the strategy.

How it works:

  • Teachers watches and analyze an example video that models a specific skill.
  • Teachers enact that skill in their classroom and document it on video.
  • Teachers share the video with their group.
  • Peers and coaches provide teacher with feedback.

Video Champion: Semester Reflection Cycle

Skill enactment cycles demonstrate the power of video in helping teachers improve at specific areas of practice at specific instances. But how well do they maintain or use those skills throughout the course of the school year?

Semester reflection cycles take advantage of the fact that videos can offer a powerful resource for teachers to look back at their growth across longer periods of time. Teachers and coaches can use this type of reflection to understand growth or document how changes have been sustained.

As the name implies, we suggest trying this out at the end of a semester to look back on a skill that was already examined through a prior conversation. We’ve also seen our partners implement this strategy to see growth across time spans of a few weeks.

How it works:

  • Teacher selects a coaching video from the beginning of the semester which captures a specific skill of interest to examine again.
  • Teacher records a new video documenting the same classroom skill or strategy.
  • Teacher examines each video side-by-side as part of a self-reflection.
  • Teacher and coach (or peer) discuss the new video, the differences or similarities with the first video, and the implications for future action.

Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena, started as a science teacher in St. Louis, Mo. Dan Moore, who began as an elementary school teacher in New Orleans, is Customer Success Manager at Edthena and writes for the Edthena blog.

Stay up to date on edtech. Sign up to have top stories delivered weekly.

Who we are

EdSurge helps schools find, select and use the right technology to support all learners.
© 2011-2016 EdSurge Inc. All rights reserved. Every student succeeds.