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.

Collaboration

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.

Coaching

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?

Employee Spotlight: Alex North, Territory Sales Manager

Employee Spotlight: Alex North, Territory Sales Manager

After teaching for four years, Alex North made his way to Audio Enhancement, where he continues to make an impact in education. North is the Territory Sales Manager over Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia. He is dedicated to not only bringing Audio Enhancement to more schools in his region, but to making sure each of those schools is using the technology to make classrooms more effective. Continue reading “Employee Spotlight: Alex North, Territory Sales Manager”

How VIEWpath® Can Take Student Assessment to the Next Level

Happy student learning in the classroom

How VIEWpath® Can Take Student Assessment to the Next Level

What do you think of when you hear the words “student assessment”? For many, just hearing the phrase can bring unwelcome images of high-stakes standardized testing. Thankfully, that’s not the only tool teachers have to gauge student progress. Essentially, there are two types of classroom assessment: formative and summative. Continue reading “How VIEWpath® Can Take Student Assessment to the Next Level”

Employee Spotlight: Tony SanFilippo

Tony SanFilippo Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Tony SanFilippo

Here at Audio Enhancement, we are dedicated to making learning more effective. Our employees are individuals who are passionate about education, like Tony Sanfilippo. After a teaching career of 19 years, he continues to make a difference in the teaching community through his work at Audio Enhancement, Inc. Tony is the Regional Director of Professional Development and is constantly advocating for technology in the classroom, specifically classroom video, and how it is a vital tool for professional development.

Continue reading “Employee Spotlight: Tony SanFilippo”