Bright Idea: Caught on camera
Perhaps more than in any other career, professional development is crucial for teachers. Thanks to state mandates, changing technology and curriculum standards, the education profession is in a constant state of flux.
At the same time, as teachers retire, in come younger educators, many of whom have grown up with some sort of technology in their lives. And so, professional development should reflect their learning styles.
Trained members from the association facilitate courses through the platform, called COpilot, providing feedback through videos uploaded by Colorado teachers. The association partnered with Edthena for the new initiative.
“With Edthena, teachers who are taking classes on COpilot can collaborate with each other in a unique and personalized way, which is something many of them have never experienced,” said Casey Kilpatrick, director of learning services at the Colorado Education Association.
CEA is the first association of educators in the country to launch a statewide, interactive tool delivering peer-to-peer teaching support.
“Using Edthena, teachers can record their classroom instruction and receive feedback from other educators who they respect and trust,” said COpilot class facilitator Kim McLachlan. “Video coaching also allows teachers to become an active part of the evaluation process. Rather than sitting on the sidelines waiting for feedback, teachers can collect artifacts for their evaluation, showcasing a whole class period or specific strategy.”
So how does it work?
Teachers upload videos of their classroom instruction from any video camera and then share those videos with facilitators who provide comments categorized as questions, suggestions, strengths and notes, CEA says. The platform allows teachers to collaborate on professional learning cycles, identify teaching trends and engage in ongoing dialogue about instructional best practices.
And this goes to show…video is indeed an effective learning tool.