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Using Video For Classroom Observation And Feedback – Struggles, Challenges And Solutions

picture of the author, Kjersti Ulvestad by Kjersti Ulvestad, October 7th 2016

Despite the many benefits of using video technology in the classroom and for teacher professional development overall, there are still struggles and challenges inherent with video use. This blog post walks you through a few of the common challenges and issues and what to look for when selecting an online video platform for your school or organization. 

Security and Privacy of Videos

One of the biggest concerns with using classroom video footage is the security and privacy of videos uploaded online.  Understandably, in today’s hyper-accountability environment where teachers and their work are constantly being evaluated, many teachers are concerned that a recorded video may be used for evaluative as opposed to developmental purposes. For this reason, many teachers fear being recorded and allowing their employers access to videos of their practice. Additionally, given that students are often recorded in classroom videos, hosting these videos in a safe and secure environment is paramount to ensure that images of students do not fall into the wrong hands. Consequently, it is important to look for a vendor that protects the privacy of teacher uploaded video content and to ensure that videos are private to the individual user until that user decides to share the video with others. Additionally, schools and organizations should ensure that the hosting vendor prioritizes security by protecting uploaded content through industry-leading encryption and utilizing commonly accepted security practices.     

Individuals are uncomfortable seeing themselves on video 

Another major concern is an individual’s comfort level with being filmed. Seeing yourself on video for the first time is an eye-opening experience, which can be a bit uncomfortable and leave you vulnerable for all to see. For some, it takes longer than others to adjust and feel at ease with the video process. As a result, it is important for all schools or organizations interested in using video observation and feedback to allow individuals to ease into the process. As mentioned above, ensuring that all videos uploaded are private to the individual unless shared gives individuals control over their own videos and a sense of security that their videos will not end up in the hands of others they do not wish to share them with. A private and secure platform also allows individuals time to adjust to seeing themselves on video before beginning to share with colleagues, supervisors, and/or coaches. When video content and sharing is put into the hands of the individual, it allows the mindset around video to change from its perception as a “gotcha tool” to a “growth tool.”   

General technology issues 

All technology comes with potential issues—bugs, user error, limited internet connectivity, firewalls, etc. These potential issues can impact any individual’s desire and comfort with using video. As a result, consistent and reliable technology support is needed to ensure that if any technology issue comes up, they are resolved quickly and completely. When researching video technology vendors, it is important to look for companies with fast and dependable customer support as well as substantial help resources.

The initial learning curve with using video technology

As with introducing any new process, there is an initial learning curve when introducing video technology as a professional development tool. Users need to first understand how to use the chosen video platform before they will feel comfortable fully utilizing it as a professional development resource. Additionally, it is important that all facilitators, coaches and/or administrators using the system be fully comfortable with the technology so that they can be the first line of support for general users. They should have an intimate knowledge of the new technology and be able to support users as they begin to use the platform. This is why it is important when looking for a video technology vendor to choose one with a user-friendly interface and vast help materials that will allow users to quickly gain comfort navigating and using the platform. In addition, schools and organizations should look for vendors with intensive onboarding resources and customer support, which can promote the successful implementation of video technology.

Challenges associated with capturing good quality video

Last, but not least, is the challenge of capturing good quality video. We are not all skilled videographers with top of the line video equipment. Because of this, it can sometimes be difficult to record good quality audio and video across a range of classroom environments. Consequently, it is important that when video is introduced that individuals are informed of video capture best practices and also able to easily record good quality video on their everyday devices. It is important to find a vendor that provides easy video capture and upload through common iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. This way the common user can simply use their iPhone to capture video, anytime and anywhere. For more recommendations, check out our previous blog post, 8 Tips for Recording Good Quality Video.

Facing another challenge we didn’t mention? We would love to hear from you. For more tips for finding the right video platform or help with implementation, you can always send us an email at support@torsh.co.

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