Idea for

How might we enrich video with other resources or experiences so that it better supports your practice?

In Stage 1, we heard that watching a video by itself isn’t often helpful.

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Wendi P

Get Students Involved

I work primarily with language learners, but I also work with quite a few struggling learners. My idea is that we get the kids talking on video. Ask them what helps them learn, what teachers can do to make their instruction more helpful and effective. Too often we forget to rely on, or even to simply ask, our biggest resource. Kids know a lot more about their own learning than they realize.

Potential Impact

I often provide surveys to my students, and know that my own teaching has improved exponentially from putting myself out there. Students are also empowered because they see me making changes according to their suggestions--and I explicitly tell them when I'm doing so. My suggestion is to scale this up by creating video surveys so that students can answer individually OR as a panel of sorts to talk about what helps them learn. (Ideally, we could get to the point where students SHOW teachers what they think is effective--but that will come with time. ) Once students understand that constructive comments can help teachers as well as themselves, I think they would own their learning in many more ways--but it would also get teachers thinking about student learning vs their own content. A BIG impact. Metacognition, school dialogue--among teachers and between students and teachers, buy-in, empowerment, and more thoughtful lesson planning/ implementation would result.

Possible Implementation

Questions to ask would run the gamut from content-specific to general, from activities they liked to ones that they learned the most from (whether they liked them or not), topics, teaching styles, strategies, learning tools, pacing, homework, their questions, classroom mgmt ideas, etc. Then use the students' video footage responses with PLCs or with larger groups of colleagues. Take the key ideas and work on them one at a time, say one per month. As we narrow the focus for teachers, for example, if the students ask for more help with vocabulary, we can look at various vocab teaching strategies. Then dig deeper and ask students for their feedback--simultaneously delightful and nerve-racking simply because they tell it like it is. Ask THEM how WE are doing. We can learn A LOT from them, but it's not always easy to absorb their candid responses! Let's use video with student suggestions as a back-and-forth dialogue, to spur thinking about learning, fueled by our students' input, feedback, and ideas!

Discussion (6)

3 Years Ago

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Lisa H Community Guide

Palmyra Area School District

Hi Wendi! Thanks so much for sharing your idea. I really love your focus on student voice. As you mentioned, candid feedback from students, although helpful, can be tough to hear. How might we gain buy in from teachers being asked to be very vulnerable?

3 Years Ago

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That's a great question, Lisa. As an ESL teacher, I'd start from the perspective of ESL students. Because teachers often hold them at such a distance, particularly the lower proficiency students, (I'm currently at a highschool--I didn't see this as much at elementary school) it can be powerful to hear things from them rather than from me conducting PD, for example. It's important for me that my students are seen as human beings who are intelligent, even if they can't always express themselves perfectly. We often talk about what helps students learn in my ESL class, and there are often very simple things teachers can change to help our ELLs learn better--I think some teachers would certainly resonate and find at least one takeaway, but for those who are more resistant, I'd make sure students didn't mention any names or content areas. Maybe start the questions off with a more general range, rather than by specific content. We could also ask what things teachers already do that help students--ie., focus on the positive first, then try to implement those strategies more often. Another idea is that we could even swap schools virtually--if I, for example, questioned my students about what they'd like to see more of, what helps them learn more effectively, then a colleague at another school (even in another district) could use that video with his/ her colleagues... With videos so easily shared, we could pass it around, and different schools could add 3-5 minutes to the original video, thereby enhancing our students listening skills, as well as speaking and synthesizing. It may also help students with their own discussions/ beliefs to hear what other students are experiencing.

3 Years Ago

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Kip H Community Guide

Oldham County High School, ECET2; ECET2KY; Hope Street Group

Hi Wendi! What a wonderful idea! Student voice is many times overlooked and could be the reflection needed to truly personalize learning. How will the videos be archived and formatted? What do you think would be the best way discuss the student voice when reflecting with colleagues in a PLC, etc...? Thank you for sharing!

3 Years Ago

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Brandy P Community Guide

LA Urban Teacher Residency

Hi Wendi--I love this idea because it brings students' experience with teaching and learning into the discussion. Beyond the student video surveys, do you anticipate videotaping other pieces of the process? For example, teachers reflecting on student feedback? Implementation? Reflection?

3 Years Ago

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I also just see this as an important and necessary step for colleagues who aren't used to working with language learners as a non-threatening way to see them as individuals, and prompt them to rethink ways of support. Would love your ideas, please.

3 Years Ago

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Fred E

Putnam/Northern Westchester

PD without all stakeholders involved in some fashion is truly lacking. It would be helpful to not only have students sharing their thoughts and feedback, but also to have them reflecting on instructional strategies and processes that are built into video-based professional learning. While the expertise and engagement of a presenter are sometimes enough to build capacity for learning, we tend to internalize best when learner outcomes are front and center. What better way to showcase this than to make sure that student voice is included in PD analysis!

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