How Tablets Can Make You A More Effective Teacher

ipad cameraHave you ever finished teaching a lesson and thought to yourself: “That was a slam dunk!”, only to find out later that students did not retain your lesson as you had anticipated?

Teaching is a secluded profession, in which teachers spend much of their day in adult solitude, but almost certainly requires more feedback than the majority of other occupations.

So the question is raised, “How can teachers better assess their teaching in this solitude?” In today’s world of video recording capabilities, it only seems fitting to utilize this advanced technology to record one’s teaching. Teachers can use classroom video recording much like athletes do. Athletes review video tapes in order to critique and analyze their performances, while also generating ideas and ways to improve their next performance.

This self-assessment technique has proven to give athletes a better understanding of their attributes as well as a comprehensive realization of their weaknesses. For classroom teachers, this same philosophy can hold true. Teaching is an art and what better way to improve upon one’s artistic abilities than to watch their own performance as an observer. As teachers embrace self assessment in their teaching development, then growth in teaching ability can begin to take shape.

Figuring Out What To Improve

The integration of Tablets as an assessment tool helps to answer the question: “How can a teacher improve something, if they are not sure what to improve?” A supervisor’s feedback is important, but self assessment can be even more powerful. Even the greatest athletes find imperfection in their performance and utilize self assessed feedback to grow and consequently, rise to the top of their professions.

Societies’ fast paced mindset expects instantaneous feedback, and teachers are no exception to this mentality. Therefore, utilizing Tablets as self assessment instruments only seems logical. As teachers access and incorporate a Tablet’s video recording potential into their arsenal of teaching tools, then instant feedback can be achieved.

Instant Feedback

self reflectTablet’s high definition video recording capability is unlike any other observational instrument teachers have had access to as a self assessment tool. In the 1980s and 90s, some teachers may have had access to a camcorder, which was bulky, hard to setup, and the tapes were not easily edited. As Tablets’ video recording possibilities have become more advanced, they have also become more available, compact, easy to use, and video editing has become a cinch. Tablets offer immediate feedback on the spot, as they have transformed into an all-in-one self assessment device.

Through the use of Tablets, teachers have video recording potential like never before, encompassing built-in video playback, email attachment ready, and easy video editing, all from one device; not to mention, Tablets are pretty much self-serving. Meaning they can be operated by one person using a tripod or stand. Therefore, self assessment is truly self assessment without feeling judged by colleagues or supervisors.

Tablets can assist teachers in successfully accomplishing an entire self assessment using a few slides of the finger. Tablets have impacted classroom learning for students, now it’s time Tablets impact classroom teaching for teachers.

5 Comments

  1. Joe Beckmann

    January 20, 2013 at 4:39 am

    About fifteen years ago I got involved, through Montessori assessment and documentation, with the Grady Profile (http://www.aurbach.com/gp3/index.html). Each of 10,000 objects in a Montessori classroom has from one to five educational objectives, which can, each, be filled at different levels of competence. And THAT is a major piece of “big data,” which the Grady Profile was organized – using, then, Apple’s Newton hand-held computer – to track, update, and complement students’ own portfolios.

    In other words, this stuff has a long, huge history, and there ought to be more online – in various places at various levels of competence – to show people how to do it. While tablets are useful – both for video and for the kind of database required to index those videos – an “average” smartphone is both cheaper, lots more portable, and lots more available to most teachers and classrooms of students from middle grades and beyond.

    In still other words, don’t invent what’s been around quite awhile. Use it.

  2. Jasmine

    January 20, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Hi
    This is a great suggestion. The problem is the storage capacity on the tablet. I only have 16G on my iPad and much of that is taken up with photos etc. so I can only manage a few minutes of video. My iPhone is 64G and so I could use that. Even so I’m not sure it would last for an hour’s lesson.

    Any ideas?

    Best wishes
    Jasmine

  3. Fiona

    January 22, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    This sounds a really exciting idea as it would take away the technical difficulties involved in recording a lesson and simplify the process by elliminating the need to involve anyone else. Could using iCloud to store photos etc. solve the problem of storage space on an iPad 16GB?

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