We live in a noisy world – both in terms of what’s going on around the world and within our classrooms. As teachers, broadcast is (almost) a default setting, but taking the time to mute the dominant force of the teacher’s voice can be incredibly revealing.
What’s more it can allow you to ensure that the correct progress is being made at the levels that you’re expecting. In a primary setting, for example, where tables are ability led, by using the ambient input of a mobile recording device, you can be a fly on the wall for a particular group to really get a feel for the attainment and comprehension levels.
We asked some of our teachers how they use our various systems and how this has helped with development both of teaching and learning.
“What’s been really been valuable and useful is to be able to turn off the desk mic and just listen to the ambient input.” says the deputy head of a primary in the South West. “This allows the viewer to focus on different aspects. For example, we’ve got an NQT who wanted to try something in a maths class. Student teachers have used it to develop their own practice. We’re really looking at encouraging independence in learners and using the recording system has enabled us to see how well this is working.
One thing our staff have learned, since we started using the system, is the importance of positioning the cameras. What concerned them initially – being on camera – is no longer an issue – When the system is used, our focus is on the learning and not the teacher themselves. We make sure the cameras are facing into the classroom. We check whether every child can be seen.”
Bringing cameras to the students rather than the other way round can also help provide continuity for the students who are there. As the deputy head of a large secondary in Wales puts it: “The flexibility works well – you can bring the cameras into whichever room you need. I know that some schools have an observation room which is permanently fixed. So when you move them in there, already the students are aware that something’s different – they’re not going to react in the normal way. A mobile system captures them in their natural habitat.”
In both of these examples you’ll see that the focus is on understanding what, how and why the students are doing at any given point of a lesson which can only lead to a better learning outcome.
What differences have you noticed?
We want to hear from you – let us know on Twitter here.
Or contact us to arrange a free lesson recording demo at your school.