Video can be useful as part of professional learning because it brings each of us into other educators’ classrooms. As useful as it can be, its use can often be micro-managed at the well-intended direction of upper-level administrators. Rather than focus on using video as a tool IN professional development, I suggest using it as a tool FOR improving professional development, for educating those outside of classrooms about how we need to change the structure of teachers' professional learning.
Despite many innovations for improving professional learning, educators are not seeing the systemic change to make it site-based, ongoing, and during teachers’ contracted hours. What if we used video to influence the decisions of policy makers to provide time in our daily schedules dedicated to professional learning? What might happen when teachers make brief videos showing examples of professional learning taking place in their schools – a three minute video of history teachers planning a lesson, or of a team of 2nd grade teachers analyzing the data and determining what steps to take based on the data? Imagine a few Vine-style videos that quickly show the impact of teacher collaboration on student achievement.
If teachers use video to speak out about what works best and then share those videos with viewers outside of their schools, the public might be more likely to understand why teachers need professional learning to take place every day during the school day. Let’s use video to show why proven strategies for high quality professional learning need to be implemented in every school.