MNU to Help High Need Schools Improve Instruction

Aug. 18, 2014 - by Carol Best

Video Analysis Improves Instruction

By Carol Best
August 18, 2014
Gonzalez-Bravo-Jill

Imagine teachers everywhere being able to view themselves in action in front of their classroom. The ability to analyze what works and what could be improved could go a long way in making classroom instruction more effective. MidAmerica Nazarene University School of Education is utilizing this technology for its teacher candidates and just won a grant to expand the program for use with teacher leaders from select high need elementary and middle schools.

Project “Focusx2i” will provide video analysis software and training to a group of teacher leaders from schools identified with high need. The software allows users to video record themselves in class, review the recording, tag results and accumulate data for analysis. The results can lead to improved instruction.

“It’s a powerful tool for observation, data analysis and reflection,” says Jill Gonzales Bravo, (left) director of clinical and field based experiences in MNU’s School of Education.

Currently MNU faculty observe teacher candidates using the Focusx2i software, and tag evidence of effective practice. Each tag results in the accumulation of data that is documented in Excel format and a 5-10 second video clip used during post-observation discussion between faculty and candidate. Observation data is stored to track the candidates’ growth over time. While other universities have adopted a similar structure for using the Focusx2i platform, Gonzales Bravo says it appears that MNU is the first school to place this software into the hands of every teacher candidate.

“The positive response of both faculty and students, spurred our desire to share this innovative tool with our surrounding educational community,” she says. “This project equips a group of teacher leaders with tools and training to assist both future teachers and their colleagues during the transition to recently adopted college and career-ready standards

Phi Delta Kappa International awarded $3,810 in grant funding and travel to the national conference in Washington, DC to present program results to MNU for the project through its Innovation and Impact Grants. The PDK Educational Foundation supports the development, implementation, and sharing of new teaching strategies aligned with rigorous college and career standards and associated student assessments.

PDK will support the project directors by virtually connecting them during the planning and implementation phases to allow for the sharing of ideas. Project directors will also be invited to co-author articles for publication in Kappan or Educational Horizons magazines.

 

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