In preparing summer professional development for teachers, my district knew we wanted CLASS to play a larger role in our trainings. But how were we going to do that?
Once we began writing our training on centers we decided to videotape some of our model teachers to highlight interactions in each specific center—in essence, we wanted to create our own internal version of the CLASS Video Library.
I spent last weekend on a cabin trip in the mountains with a few family members, including my four-year-old nephew. We planned so many activities (kayaking! board games! frisbee!), but once he got his hands on dad’s iPad, I could barely get a word out of him (let alone entice him with a game of Go Fish). As an aunt, I understand how technology can discourage effective interactions—and sometimes I just want to throw the iPad out the window! But I also know that we have just as much chance of curbing kids’ fascinations with hand-held devices as we do of getting the average adult to turn off their cell phone. Given this reality, I think we need to work with, rather than against, technology by taking advantage of children’s natural curiosity for all things electronic.
Leveraging technology to support professional development for teachers is a growing trend in education—one that's really just getting started. If you've been keeping up with our blog posts, e-books, and research papers, you've heard us talk a lot recently about how technology is empowering teacher growth by:
One child arrives late, another needs to clean up after a painting, and some children are having a dispute in the block area—all while a teacher is trying to get a small group engaged in a letter-learning activity.
Teachers that watch videos of effective classroom interactions are more likely to improve their own interactions. Knowing this, Teachstone created and continues to cultivate a robust CLASS Video Library, featuring real teachers effectively interacting with children. In order to help coaches and mentors make the most of their Video Library usage with teachers, Teachstone also created the Video Library Companion, a roadmap for planning and facilitating effective conversations around the videos.
I’m no tech-nerd. And if you’re anything like me, you probably cringe when you see couples sitting in restaurants blankly staring at their phones instead of talking to one another; or worse yet, toddlers eerily scrolling through an iPad with ease as if it were as natural as sucking on a bottle. Although I’m relatively young, I’ve never been into gadgets—to give you an idea, I was still using a flip phone less than a year ago. Technology was never a passion of mine until I began working at Teachstone and saw the ways it could impact education for the better.
A few months ago, I came upon this article by Christina Quattrocchi at EdSurge. It spoke to so many of the themes we are seeing in professional development—the power of video, the challenges related to technology, the importance of individualizing professional development—that I just wanted to probe a bit deeper with Christina. As a reporter for EdSurge, Christina is talking to educators, ed tech companies, and leaders across the field about her passion: using technology to support teachers in improving their practice.