Six Ways to Spring into VIEWpath 

Six Ways to Spring into VIEWpath

Regaining momentum after prolonged interruptions to instructional time can be hard—here's how to get teaching back on track.

by Clint Moles, Audio Enhancement Educational Development Specialist

Video, according to instructional coaching pioneer Jim Knight, represents a pivotal innovation in education—perhaps even more significant than the advent of computers or the internet. But how can teachers harness the power of their VIEWpath classroom camera systems toenhance student learningand cultivate their own professional growth? Here are six strategies to re-engage students after classroom continuity disruptions like spring break and testing season, while also adding valuable tools to their teacher toolbox: 

1. QR Code Classroom Detective – Tempt your students with a QR code classroom detective activity, where they must piece together short review or content videos you recorded in VIEWpath to solve a mystery using QR codes placed around the room. 

2. Flipped Classroom – Transform their homework time into a flipped classroom experience. Have students deep dive into a recorded lesson, then express their understanding through creative mediums like skits, mock news broadcasts or reflective writing. 

3. Next Year’s Classroom Procedures – Let your seasoned students set the pace for the newcomers by recording classroom procedures for the next academic year, ensuring a seamless start. 

4. Build a Lesson Library – Create a personalized lesson library in MyWorkshop using tags, a valuable tool for students to strengthen their understanding and at the same time curate evidence of your top-notch teaching practices for year-end reviews. 

5. Time Lapse Progress – Track the evolution of a class project through time-lapse videos, creating a captivating journey of its growth. Snap bits of video daily to follow the progress of a class activity or project. 

6. Student Presentation Reactions – Finally, augment student engagement by recording their presentations, linking them to the LMS and encouraging peer interactions with questions or comments. For deeper student engagement, pair students up and have them watch each other’s recorded presentations or role plays. They can provide constructive feedback based on specific criteria (e.g., clarity, body language, use of evidence). This peer review process enhances communication skills and builds a supportive classroom community. You’ll find that these activities not only enrich their learning experience but also foster a dynamic, interactive environment. This activity also provides an opportunity for a 3-2-1 exit ticket or other similar practice. 

These activities not only enrich the learning experience but also cultivate a dynamic and interactive classroom environment.  Remember, VIEWpath serves as more than just a tool for capturing moments—it is a catalyst for fostering engagement, reflection, and continuous improvement. Embrace creativity and let the camera become your ally in the pursuit of effective teaching! 

Clint Moles is currently an Educational Development Specialist with Audio Enhancement. He taught for 17 years in Orange County Public Schools before working nine years with the OCPS Educational Technology Department.  

Fantastic Feedback: Professional Development through Video

Fantastic Feedback: Professional Development through Video

How classroom cameras expand and enhance educator experience—and why that’s crucial. 

by Kevin McVicar, Audio Enhancement Regional Educational Specialist and Educator on Staff 

The recent Covid pandemic has forced educators to radically shift and adapt to deliver instruction in new ways using a variety of technological tools. Teachers have risen to the monumental task, often providing instruction both in their classrooms and via web conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. Despite the pandemic’s disruption to education, it’s had at least one major positive impact. It’s hastened a tech trend that had already been gaining ground: the use of classroom cameras. Look what teachers are saying about their experience with classroom video feedback:

“I have my video running all day now. I love it! It helps me so much to be able to go back to see what set off the last tantrum! It is also very easy, and I thought it would be overwhelming.”

“I learned about myself: the words I repeat, the side of the room I face more, and how often I call on certain students. It’s worth it to record yourself.”

“I love seeing what I missed when I was teaching, whether it’s a behavior, a step I didn’t explain as well, the ratio of praise to correction. It’s been so helpful!”

Professional Development in Education via Classroom Cameras

Having a camera in the classroom was once a novelty but has now become more common and is often considered an essential tool for teachers. Some educators may feel intimidated by new tech or even a bit camera shy about being recorded as they teach, but most find that the benefits far outweigh any initial hesitancy they may have. Not only can video technology facilitate more efficient interactions between teachers and students, but it can greatly enhance communication between teachers and administration as well. 

In 2012, the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University started conducting research on the use of video in classrooms for teacher evaluations. Their findings, published in an initial study in 2015, detail the benefits and potential of using video for observations and professional development. Now several years later, the research still holds tremendous promise for improving the quality of classrooms throughout the country.  

An incredible surge in classroom camera access, a shifting paradigm, and encouraging research together form the trifecta that will allow us to reconceptualize the potential of education and specifically, the quality of training offered to dedicated educators. Now, more than anytime in the history of education, the potential for better teacher observation, feedback, evaluation, and instructional coaching is possible because of classroom cameras. 

Professional Development Goals for Teachers

As more and more classroom cameras are installed—and as more educators come to rely on them as an integral tool in their teaching—studies continue to verify the efficacy of using video for teacher self-reflection, observation, and evaluation. Consider these professional development goals and objectives that recording makes possible.  

Observation that Generates Positive Change

Awareness is the first step of improvement. Tom Kane from the Harvard Graduate School of Education explains that “it is neurologically impossible to get someone to remember [or improve upon] something they didn’t notice in the first place.” Cameras allow us to notice teaching habits, behaviors, and interactions we would otherwise miss, whether in our own teaching or in that of someone we’re evaluating. 

According to Libby Fischer in a recent article about the role of video in professional development training, “Teachers may enter the profession with a preconceived idea about what good instruction is supposed to look like. According to a study by Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research, this leads to ‘imitative, rather than intentional, practice.’ It goes on to explain that ‘Systematic self-reflection, on the other hand, sharpens the intentionality of the practitioner and allows him or her to address the unique challenges of the classroom.’”

Most educators are incredibly dedicated to helping their students grow and learn, and the same attention and excitement for personal development can motivate teachers to increase their quality of instruction. That’s most feasible when they can observe themselves and identify areas in need of improvement.    

Efficient Feedback that Saves Time

Administrators and instructional coaches can now provide feedback and fulfill observation requirements without being constrained by the school day schedule. It’s a huge opportunity to extend the amount of time available for providing feedback to teachers on their instructional practices. In schools that require numerous classroom visits throughout the year by administrators, this can now be done beyond the hours students and teachers are at school.   Even though there is a difference between an in-class observation and a video recording of the same teacher and class, the benefits realized through the flexibility offered by the recordings is substantial. 

Fischer points out that “video coaching allows for a more targeted approach to feedback and actually takes less time than observing in a classroom setting. This way of coaching is not only efficient, but it also helps both the coach and teacher look back on the lesson and take notes. With video coaching, a school leader can watch directly what a teacher is doing or the teacher can record a lesson and send the segments they want feedback on through [an] app at any time.” 

Teachers can also evaluate themselves through video in order to determine scenarios that could run more efficiently. For example, every teacher transitions from one part of the day or part of a lesson to another. These transitions are extremely important in the allocation and use of instructional time. The less time spent in transitions, the more time that becomes available for instruction. Having the ability to record and analyze these transitions has not been possible to do as easily as it can be done now with the introduction and use of classroom cameras. Saving even five minutes a day in transitions can add up to many hours of instructional time available to teachers over the course of a year.

Audio Enhancement has developed the tools and platforms needed for teachers to easily record lessons and instruction into a privately controlled platform. This VIEWpath solution integrates cameras installed in the classroom, along with additional point-of-view recording options through a mobile app that can be installed on a phone or tablet. It allows teachers to schedule recordings at certain times of day and certain days of the week. Another feature that teachers love is the ability to manually start a recording through their computer or even from a lanyard mic that they wear to distribute sound evenly throughout the classroom.  

Further Reach that Promotes Teacher Collaboration

The effectiveness of classroom cameras is not limited by geographic location. Urban, suburban, rural, wealthy, and poor districts all benefit from video coaching. Teachers and schools now have a whole new way of leveraging video, allowing collaboration and community building amongst staff that was not possible before. In the past, arranging a visit to a colleague’s classroom has been a constant logistical challenge for many schools, but now the ability to record lessons allows for easy collaboration and immediate feedback.  

Educators have started to form “video clubs” in which they share valuable best practices and build camaraderie. Classroom cameras and other tech tools have the potential to create professional learning communities that can enhance specific building PLCs and can extend these opportunities beyond the constraints of a location.

Increased Support that Boosts Teacher Retention

Effective professional development, feedback, and mentoring is important for all teachers no matter their tenure, but for new teachers entering the profession it is vital. Eye-opening statistics indicate that approximately 40 percent of teachers leave the profession in the first two years. One of the most effective ways to reduce this concerning number is to increase the support and training of these teachers. 

An effective professional development plan includes the following components, all of which can be enhanced via video: 

  1. 1 – is content focused 
  2. 2 – incorporates active learning utilizing adult learning theory 
  3. 3 – supports collaboration, typically in job-embedded contexts 
  4. 4 – uses models and modeling of effective practice 
  5. 5 – provides coaching and expert support 
  6. 6 – offers opportunities for feedback and reflection 
  7. 7 – is of sustained duration 

This new era of technology coupled with a global pandemic has flung open the door to a much wider range of options for teachers to collaborate, evaluate, reflect, and improve their instruction. As more classroom tech becomes available to more teachers, these technologies will continue to change virtually every aspect of education. 

Especially now, we should take advantage of this opportunity to better realize the purpose of staff development and achieve the most important professional goals for teachers. Thanks to classroom cameras, we can continue to see an increase in the quality of instruction, job satisfaction, and retention of our amazing educators. With more professional development through video, their camera confidence will translate into greater teaching confidence—the greatest gift they can give their students. 

To find out how Audio Enhancement can supply your school or district with classroom cameras and video platforms, call 800-383-9362 or visit

The Best Classroom Camera Solution to Get You Back to Your A Game

Masked Teacher Microphone Remote Learning

The Best Classroom Camera Solution to Get You Back to Your A Game

Educators, got questions? VIEWpath has answers. Ace this school year with our innovative classroom camera setup.

You know teachers already had enough to juggle: lesson plans, effective instruction, behavior management, student assessments, parent communications, professional development, faculty commitments . . . just to name a few of your responsibilities.

Then without warning, COVID-19 attacked your to-do list, making it exponentially harder and longer. You had to frantically figure out how to convert to an online classroom, completely revamp lesson plans, accommodate both in-person and remote instruction, connect in a helpful (and meaningful) way with students, and troubleshoot every imaginable tech issue. 

And these were just the logistics! You likely felt stressed from social, emotional, financial, familial, and maybe even physical burdens as well.     

Even though you’ve taken a deep dive (or perhaps a forceful shove) off the gangplank into COVID-induced remote learning and have managed to stay afloat, the frustrations continue. 

What if a user-friendly all-in-one technology for school had been implemented before the COVID storm hit? And is it too late for some miracle like that to take effect now?  

Here’s some really great news—maybe even the best news to come out of 2020!  

Such a lifesaver exists. 

Audio Enhancement’s VIEWpath® (Video Interactive Education Window) solution simplifies all audiovisual tech so you can climb out of survival mode and get back to focusing on what you love. 

We know you probably have a zillion questions about simplicity, efficiency, management, and delivery, so we have you covered with our own teacher-style Q&A!

Q: What exactly is VIEWpath and why is it one of the best classroom camera systems on the market? 

A: Audio Enhancement’s VIEWpath solution is a remote and blended learning package that streamlines a classroom’s audio and video content. Designed specifically for educators, it enables you to easily create, manage, and deliver lessons to students who are learning remotely or at school.


With an intuitive interface, VIEWpath allows you to record lessons not only from your installed or portable classroom camera, but also from your personal webcam or mobile app.

4 ways to record lesson


Quickly upload your videos, then organize them with metadata and in collections.   


Best of all, keep your students engaged no matter which way you present content: live-streamed video, recorded video posted to your LMS, or downloaded video on a USB when streaming isn’t possible. 

With the VIEWpath Live feature, which allows you to take advantage of popular virtual meeting platforms, remote students participate in real-time classroom discussion and don’t get left out—or left behind.  

Download or embed lessons to common LMS

Q: What other problems can VIEWpath help me solve? 

A: We’ve done our homework! Here are some of our well-researched answers. 

Accessibility inside or outside your classroom

You no longer need to stand rooted to the floor so your remote students can see you. Our VIEWpath cameras allow you to freely move around your classroom. COVID has enough restrictions already—cornering you in your own classroom shouldn’t be one of them! 

Continuity for your face-to-face and virtual students

The unpredictability of COVID has disrupted the predictability of American education. Whether your school has adopted a fully remote, fully in-person, or hybrid schedule, there are significant numbers of students missing school at any given time, either because they’re staying home out of precaution or quarantining out of necessity. 

VIEWpath provides remote learners the same instruction as those who are physically able to attend school in the classroom. No more replacing teacher instruction with a packet of worksheets! Even more important, teachers themselves can teach remotely if necessary.     

Consistency for homes and schools

Another major hurdle for schools and families alike is the lack of consistency within school districts when it comes to online classroom configuration. 

The result? Different remote learning resources used across schools and families and platforms—and every parent-turned-homeschooling-director’s nightmare! Cue the frazzled parent memes.

With VIEWpath, everyone—from teachers, parents, siblings, superintendents, curriculum directors, tech directors, facility managers, and principals—can finally be on the same streamlined page.  

Q: Do you have any tech solutions along with classroom cameras that can make teaching in a mask less miserable? 

A: Glad you should ask. Yes, we do! 

As you know all too well, wearing a mask has a huge impact on classroom communication—and it’s not a positive one. An Audio Enhancement expert says, “Ensuring every student receives proper volume and clarity of instruction and can understand what is being taught can already be a challenge with the normal background noise of a classroom environment. With teachers needing to speak from under a mask, classroom audio solutions become an essential aid in student education.”

Luckily, our distributed audio solutions that allow for multiple speakers throughout a classroom can drastically help increase comprehension and decrease teacher voice fatigue. 

No need to tolerate muffled mask voice again.   

(See our research about how masks affect classroom communication.)

Q: What about other tech solutions for my students that can make learning in a mask less miserable? 

A: We have those too.

Other products include a variety of speakers, the XD Student Handheld Mic, and even a fun and colorful ball Mic360 that promotes student participation!  

Q: What’s your best tip for teaching with technology, especially with a virtual classroom camera? 

A: This one’s easy. Simplicity! 

We offer two VIEWpath packages, both of which deliver incredibly advanced yet user-friendly technology for school use. Whichever one you choose will make your life so much easier. 

Installed Cameras

Audio Enhancement’s installed classroom cameras allow remote students to see and hear their teachers giving instruction from any location in the classroom. They also make it possible for teachers to see the entire classroom and monitor and record multiple views.  

VIEWpath Blend

Audio Enhancement’s VIEWpath Blend classroom camera is an all-in-one audiovisual solution for the classroom: our audio system coupled with a portable camera (EduCamPTZ) that can pan, tilt, and zoom. With its adjustable height of over 8 feet, the camera can be positioned for a bird’s-eye view of the classroom or lowered to focus on the teacher. Because it is freestanding and easy to move, teachers can choose the best angle for any given activity throughout the school day. 

Setup is as simple as it gets, requiring only a network drop and a power outlet. With no installation required, you can start recording crystal-clear audio and visual content immediately.  

Q: Was VIEWpath originally created as a camera for online teaching?  

A: No, actually. Good question.  

Developed in 2011, VIEWpath proved to be an effective tool for professional development and learning; teachers could record themselves for a variety of reasons: to review (like athletes analyzing game film), to promote best practices among faculty and teaching teams, and to use with instructional coaches or administrators during employee evaluations. 

The camera could also be used to record video lessons for absent students or those who needed instructional reinforcement. For example, when a student was homebound for an extended period, VIEWpath was installed in his classroom so he could keep up academically. But VIEWpath wasn’t frequently used for this purpose since remote learning wasn’t a priority that most educators needed to think about. Yet. 

Enter COVID-19. 

Schools everywhere were shuttered and students sent home. Suddenly, this product, with 10 solid years of development under its belt, became a critical tool for remote learning. Our original VIEWpath solution has an installed 360° classroom camera. During the global pandemic, we developed a portable camera + classroom audio system called VIEWpath Blend

Incredibly high demand is proof that VIEWpath Blend is a solution that educators desperately need.

Q: When can I stop wearing a mask when I teach? 

A: We don’t have an answer, but hopefully soon! One thing is certain, though—unlike face masks that we can’t wait to ditch, the classroom camera is here to stay. 

Experts have known for a long time that cameras can provide huge benefits to educators, and now with a surge of camera use in education, we’re seeing how helpful—and even crucial—they are for students as well. Even when we can ditch our masks, we’ll definitely be keeping our classroom cameras.

Q: Since VIEWpath is one of the best cameras for teachers, why did I not find out about it sooner?  

A: Again, we have no answer for this one, but we’re glad you’re here now!

Let us help you streamline your classroom’s remote learning resources and eliminate tech drama so you can focus on what matters most—your students’ success. We’re excited to show you how our innovative classroom camera systems and simple technology can change your professional life!

Q: I’ve needed VIEWpath Blend in my classroom since March 2020! How do I schedule a free demonstration with an Audio Enhancement representative? 

A: Please discuss your interest with your principal or district leaders. Call 800-383-9362 or visit for more information. 

VIEWpath®—A Simple Solution for Remote and Blended Learning

VIEWpath®—A Simple Solution for Remote and Blended Learning

As we’ve recently seen, schooling is not always isolated to the classroom. When students are participating in remote learning due to blended learning models, schools closing, teachers on leave, or student absences, how do we maintain effective learning? VIEWpath® (Video Interactive Education Window) enhances remote and blended learning by making it easy to Create, Manage, and Deliver video content to students outside the classroom.

How do we keep students learning outside the classroom?

VIEWpath is an intuitive platform designed to help teachers heighten instruction through personal video. Combined with cameras, this solution helps teachers create video content for students, easily manage files by creating collections with searchable metadata, and deliver content through video recordings and live-streamed lessons.

4 Easy Ways to Create!

VIEWpath’s multiple recording options make it easy to create video content. Video can be captured directly from the mobile app, with an installed EduCam360, a mobile EduCamPTZ, or with a web cam.

Multiple Delivery Options

VIEWpath provides multiple ways to share digital content. Users can download video files or use embed codes to add recordings to a preferred LMS. VIEWpath can also be shared live, streamed through platforms like Google Hangouts, YouTube Live, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom—perfect when students are learning inside and outside the classroom.

Whether it’s due to schools closing, teacher leave, or student absences, learning doesn’t always happen in a traditional classroom setting. VIEWpath offers a streamlined way for educators to create, manage, and deliver content to students, helping them learn anytime and from anywhere.

Supporting Teachers Online

Supporting Teachers Online

With your school closing and the stay-at-home order in effect, what is a coach to do?

Many coaches find their roles changing during this time. Instead of implementing traditional structured professional development and creating coaching plans, many coaches notice themselves responding to teachers’ individual needs, requiring skills that are outside their normal role.

Coaching and providing PD can be a little different during a time like this. The focus should be helping teachers where they are. Not all teachers are in the same place when it comes to creating digital lessons and curriculum. Often, teachers that are rock stars in brick and mortar classrooms feel much less confident in an online setting. Teachers can’t gauge their kids’ reactions to know if they understand content; the worry about whether their students are eating and sleeping is wearing on them; and they are working much longer hours. They can begin to feel much less confident, even if they shouldn’t. Teachers need support more now than ever.

Coaches do not have to know all of the answers. They are here to build relationships, share resources, and encourage growth.

Dr. Melissa Jackson

As a coach, you do not need to hold all the answers. Instead, do what you already do best—build relationships. You know your teachers. Identify those finding success in their new roles and leverage them as a resource. Share teachers’ successes with others. Continue to encourage teachers and build a positive morale. For the moment, you may just put out fires and share resources, but remember that firemen are our first line of defense and they are very valuable. You may not know all of the answers, but you definitely know how to connect people. Connect teachers with those that can help them.

Top Ways to Use Cameras in the Classroom

Video Review for Video Reflective Practices

Top Ways to Use Cameras in the Classroom

We live in a world where cameras are everywhere, and they have been making their way into the classroom. Students carry them in their pockets every day in the form of cell phones. Teachers have cell phones, tablets, or other devices with cameras. Some classrooms even include installed cameras. Since the cameras are a part of our lives, how can teachers leverage them to enhance learning in their classrooms?

Share lessons with students

Whether absent, studying at home, or working in a flipped classroom, students can be helped by accessing lessons outside of school. Students who miss class for extra-curricular activities, medical absences, or in-school-suspension can keep up with the class. When studying from home, students can review difficult concepts and have a parent or guardian review the lesson so they can understand what’s being taught. Teachers using a flipped or blended learning model can record any lesson they need to share with their students.

Professional Learning

Lifelong learning is important for everyone, including educators. When teachers record lessons, they can review what happened later to reflect on their strengths and areas where they’d like to grow. Video gives a clear, objective record of events. Video can improve self-reflection by clearly showing the “instructional reality.”

“When we record ourselves doing our work, we see that reality is very different from what we think.”

Jim Knight

Cameras open doors for capturing lessons and teaching moments to be shared with others—professional learning communities (PLCs), teaching teams, instructional coaches, and others. This increases options for feedback. It also expands options for collaboration within a school and even with other campuses. For small or rural schools where teachers may feel isolated, sharing video opens up their network and enhances opportunities for collaboration.

Student & Teacher Safety

Cameras can provide an accurate, unbiased record of classroom events. When teachers encounter bullying, fights, or conflicting reports of others’ actions, a video record can clarify what actually happened. If a student reports a classroom incident incorrectly or parents are concerned about how a student is being treated, a recording can ease concerns and give a clearer picture to all parties involved. Even knowing that events are or can be recorded can help everyone be mindful of their words and actions, creating a more thoughtful space for everyone.

When it comes to cameras in the classroom, there are a lot of mixed feelings from excitement to concern. How do you feel about classroom cameras? Is this a trend you embrace or want to avoid?

How does VIEWpath® enhance education?

Man reviewing VIEWpath video

How does VIEWpath® enhance education?

Our mission at Audio Enhancement is to empower educators to create more effective classrooms. When teachers and administrators tell us what tools they need to do that, we get to work developing it. One example is VIEWpath® (Video Interactive Education Window)—an installed classroom camera that integrates with computer software. Educators use this platform to enhance professional growth and increase learning opportunities for students. Through VIEWpath’s recent redesign, educators have an easy-to-use, intuitive solution for professional development (PD) and content creation.

Five key benefits of VIEWpath for PD

VIEWpath is a complete solution for professional development. From recording lessons to sharing them with a student, PLC, or coach; from editing video to using it in Google Classroom™, VIEWpath helps teachers enhance instruction through personal video.

Teacher Reflection

Video playback lessons to reflect on teaching methods, classroom experience, and student engagement. This increases self-awareness, paving the way for efficient professional growth.


Share video with your team or PLC for collaborative sessions. Evidence-based feedback, along with time-synced text and audio notes, increases effectiveness.

Best Practices

Create a video exemplars library to demonstrate best practices in action. Share with teachers, instructional coaches, and others.


Capture authentic teaching moments and classroom behavior when they won’t be affected by the presence of a visitor. Facilitate remote coaching opportunities.

Inter-rater Reliability

Clarify standards to ensure all coaching and evaluations are assessed equally. Review coaching on video submissions to ensure accurate, quality feedback.

VIEWpath expands learning with content creation

VIEWpath makes it simple to create digital content for use inside and outside the classroom. Now, learning can happen anytime, anywhere, and by anyone.

  • Share lessons with students who are absent due to extra-curricular activities, suspensions, or being hospital homebound.
  • Prepare lessons to pre-teach concepts for personalized learning, flipped classrooms, and blended learning.
  • Add recordings to your Learning Management System.
  • Easily download recordings and other files to Google Drive™ for easy import into Google Classroom™.
  • Use Lecture Capture to combine camera recording and desktop side by side.

VIEWpath was built with educators and their heavy workload in mind. It’s easy to use, offers multiple recording options, is controlled by teachers, and is simple to share. VIEWpath includes a simple Chrome™ web-based interface with all controls on a single page. An intuitive editing tool enables simple modifying within the platform. Recordings can be scheduled in advanced or started by pressing the REC button on the teacher microphone. You can also now record within the mobile app. As always, teachers control the camera and manage who can view their recordings. Recordings are also easy to share with an individual or a predefined group.

VIEWpath makes it simpler than ever to record, reflect, and collaborate on your lessons. This complete solution for professional development provides tools for educators to enhance the classroom experience for themselves and their students.

Teacher Collaboration—Why is it so helpful?

Teachers Collaborating

Teacher Collaboration—Why is it so helpful?

Collaboration is not new in the world of education. Discussions on student collaboration happen regularly, and many sources offer tips and guides for facilitating it. People generally accept that effective student collaboration plays an important role in classroom learning and preparation for future careers. Teacher collaboration is just as important and can greatly affect classroom learning for students.

“If our ultimate destination as educators is student achievement, think of teacher collaboration as the journey.”

–Lauren Davis, Schoology

What does it look like?

Teacher collaboration happens when teachers work together, possibly planning for their particular grade level or subject. It might look like a teacher submitting a video lesson with her PLC to get feedback or share best practices. It could be a teacher team reviewing student work so they can select targets for instructional improvement. Collaboration happens when teacher teams work together to plan professional development.

How does it help?

Effective teacher collaboration takes additional time and effort, but we found many examples of its worth. It has been associated with increased student achievement. Research has also indicated teacher collaboration can lower turnover rates among new teachers. Sustained teacher collaboration is a primary vehicle for continuous improvement of teacher practice and encourages shared accountability and collective responsibility for student achievement.

Schools and students receive a lot of benefits when teachers collaborate. When educators share the same vision, they create an environment for more effective student learning. Sharing ideas for presenting content can result in more creative lesson plans. Teachers, especially beginning teachers, more easily avoid isolation and feel more supported when given the opportunity to collaborate with others. It also gives teachers a great opportunity to test out new instructional methods and receive feedback on their effectiveness.

Tips on making it happen

So how do you make teacher collaboration a reality? Time, trust, and respect are three key ways that we found. Teachers already have a lot of requirements on their schedule, so time has to be set aside specifically for it. Some schools even adjust their schedules to create common planning time, allowing teachers to designate a specific day and time to meet. Open collaboration requires trust, and a safe place to learn. Ideas and perspectives of all involved need to be respected.

“The more people invested in a student’s education the better the chance that student has to be successful.”

Lauren Davis, Schoology

Collaboration is a valuable tool in education, whether between students or between teachers. When teachers are given the opportunity to collaborate effectively, we can see a great impact on classroom learning and student achievement.

What experiences have you had with collaboration?

Video Reflective Practices

Video Review for Video Reflective Practices

Video Reflective Practices

Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall to get a clear picture of how you do your job, how you interact with the world around you, and how others respond to you? Have you ever thought back to an event and wondered if the details really happened as you remember them? How would that impact your personal and professional growth? Imagine if someone gave you the opportunity to do all those things. With video reflective practices, you can.

Many professions use video for training, and education is no exception. Different devices and products make it possible, but we may wonder how much of a difference it can really make. Is it worth the time and effort? Is it worth the discomfort that can come from watching yourself? A recent study conducted by Dr. Kasey Clements-Hutchinson investigated video reflective practices and answered a lot of those questions. And they used our favorite video reflective tools—VIEWpath® and the EduCam360®!

Video Reflective Practices Study

The school district chosen for the study, Julianna School System (pseudonym), had previously installed VIEWpath and EduCam360s in every classroom. They also valued reflective practices and peer feedback on a district level. Three different teachers from each of three different schools were asked to participate. None of them were brand new; in fact, they all brought at least three years teaching experience to the study.

The results of the study are very enlightening and make a great case for classroom video and video reflection for teachers. Teachers reported observing things happening in their classrooms that might generally go unnoticed. They gained insight into their students’ engagement, understanding of concepts taught, and how to improve that understanding. The teachers also reported gaining a better self-awareness—a more realistic picture of their strengths and weakness.

Video Reflective Practices Benefits

Video reflection gave teachers a clearer picture of what happened in their classrooms and a better understanding of some unacceptable behavior. They could assess how different students learned best. Teachers could further see that some students who got off task did so because they didn’t understand the content. The teachers then made immediate adjustments in their scaffolding, questioning, and delivery to improve student understanding and increase student engagement.

“Self-assessment fosters self-awareness; self-awareness promotes self-correction; self-correction enhances student achievement.”

Dr. Kasey Clements-Hutchison

One of the biggest benefits seen in the study was the teachers’ improved self-awareness. Video reflection showed that self-perception and reality were not always in sync with each other. Teachers saw strengths they didn’t realize they had and noticed areas where they wanted to grow. One teacher reported, “It was so eye-opening; I saw some things I liked, and I saw some things I changed.” The ability to clearly see what she was doing right and what she needed to change was very helpful for her. When adults are self-aware, they are more open to change and see the need for more growth.

Everything we do in schools is intended to enhance student achievement. Video self-reflection enhances opportunities for this by giving teachers insight into their classrooms, their instructional practices, their strengths, and their weaknesses. They gain a clearer picture of their students’ needs and how to best meet those needs.

Flipped Teaching: How does it benefit students?

Flipped Teaching: How does it benefit students?

At home, a 7th grade student, Michael, watches his teacher’s lecture about photosynthesis online and takes notes. In class the next day, Michael’s class gets into small groups to read an assigned text on photosynthesis and to take more notes. The groups work together to create a storyboard that shows the process of photosynthesis. Michael’s teacher checks students’ understanding through questioning and observation. As discussed in a previous post, flipped teaching is an effective way to transition to a more facilitative learning environment. There are many articles, how-tos, and opinions regarding flipped teaching, but in the end, the question is: how does it benefit students?

  1. Flipping the classroom can be a more efficient way to teach. One study showed that high school students spend an average of 38 hours per week on homework. The flipped learning method reduces work being done at home, allowing learning to occur more efficiently. Flipped teaching also gives students more time with the teacher, allowing them to not only be taught through their lectures, but to have them available to answer questions during the practice part of their learning.
  2. Flipping the classroom can produce significant learning gains. When a flipped model was implemented at Clintondale High School in Clinton Township, Michigan, the entire 9th grade failure rate went down 33% in one year, the English class failure rate decreased from 52% to 19%, and the Math class failure rate decreased from 44% to 13%.
  3. Flipping the classroom can fill in learning gaps. Every school year, students who miss class lose valuable instruction. If it’s the teacher that needs to miss school, entire classes can fall behind while a substitute fills in. However, teachers who use flipped classroom technology can easily upload their lectures for students to learn the material at home, allowing the learning process to continue seamlessly. Parents can also access class material and can more easily explain concepts to their children and help them to understand better.
  4. Flipping the classroom promotes student collaboration and student-centered learning. In a flipped classroom setting, students are not passively soaking in information by simply listening to a lecture. At home, students have the freedom of replaying parts of the lecture they didn’t understand, allowing them to understand the lesson even better. Class time is used more efficiently as teachers answer questions from their students, who had to actively seek to understand the material before arriving in class. While in class, students can take control over their own learning by working with other students to master the lessons they learned at home. This route empowers each student to take an active role in their own education.

Flipped teaching, with time and preparation, can benefit your students in many ways. Its goal, just like many other teaching methods, is to improve student learning and achievement and help students reach their highest potential. Have you tried implementing flipped learning into your classroom?