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Mr Atkinson's blog - Using Video Technology to enhance teaching practice

Here at Gateway School, we recognise that our staff are fundamental in enabling us to provide an exceptional learning experience for our pupils. One of the benefits of being part of Bellevue Education is the professional development opportunities available to staff.

Over the past 18 months, Sam Selby, Education Director at Bellevue Education, has been supporting us with a project focused on developmental CPD through coaching and the use of video technology to enable teachers to reflect on and develop their teaching practice.

We are using piece of technology called a ‘SWIVL’.  Essentially it is an iPad mounted onto a device that follows your movements and records what you are saying when you are teaching.

When it is first introduced in class, the children are often enthralled by the device whirring away at the back of the room, and, upon first viewing, the teachers are often shocked at how they sound and look (I certainly was!).

Once the teacher (and the children) have got over the initial shock, the recordings offer a valuable insight into the learning that goes on in the classroom. Teachers are able to review the delivery of their lessons in their own time and replay parts that particularly interest them. It is one thing to be told that you do something, but it is another thing entirely to watch yourself! The teachers share snippets of their lessons with a colleague who helps them to focus on an aspect of the learning that has taken place in their classroom.

Examples of what teachers might focus on include:

  • The level of challenge the teacher provides to particular children
  • The effectiveness of the questioning used by the teacher
  • The opportunities that children are given to consolidate thinking before answering questions
  • The percentage of time that children are engaged with an activity

It is proving to be a highly valuable tool and I look forward to sharing further updates in future newsletters.

Adam Atkinson, Head of Pastoral and Computing

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