However much reading you do about teaching and however much planning you do for individual lessonsmost teachers would agree that everything changes once you reach the classroom. That’s why trainee and newly qualified teachers spend a lot of time watching experienced colleagues – reflecting on how they lead different parts of a lesson and how they interact with students. And of course, even when you’ve been teaching for many years you can nearly always pick something up new from a lesson observation! 

The most practical solution is to use video technology that enables video-based observation. But rather than just using this to replace traditional observation, it can also provide opportunities to develop teachers even further through pre- and post- lesson dialogue 

What if the process below could happen at your teacher training institute or school 

  1. A teacher talks remotely to a classroom teacher about their proposed lesson and the area they would like to focus their observation on. The teacher can point out techniques or tools they use to watch out for, or provide notes in advance for the observer to follow new concepts introduced in the lesson.
  2. The lesson is recorded on video and shared with the observer. Depending on the system used to record the video this might involve sharing the whole lesson or particular parts of it. It could involve watching the teacher or perhaps a student or group of studentsONVU Learning allows for the whole classroom space to be recorded and this decision to be taken later –and students and the teacher can be watched simultaneously!
  3. The observer can then watch the lesson in their own time. Rewinding and rewatching key areas as needed and making notes of good practice as well as questions for the teacher.
  4. The trainee and classroom teacher can then remotely discuss the lesson and the observer’s prepared questions.
  5. At the end of this process the observer could then do some further research and background reading to understand why the teacher had made particular decisions in the classroom – or discuss this with a professional mentor or university tutor.  And the correct permissions, a clip from the video could be used as part of an assignment for a teaching qualification (or a higher degree for experienced teachers).
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The School of the Future Guide is aimed at helping school leaders and teachers make informed choices when designing the learning environments of the future using existing and upcoming technologies, as they seek to prepare children for the rest of the 21st century – the result is a more efficient and competitive school.

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