Teacher Evaluation | News

Alaska School District Digitizes Classroom Observation Process

Petersburg City School District in Alaska is implementing classroom observation and walkthrough software throughout the district for the 2012-2013 school year. The new software will enable district and school administrators to help teachers identify their strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of improving their teaching skills.

The district had been seeking classroom observation software that was simple to use while also providing robust and comprehensive data collection tools. After a significant search process, the district found observe4success and ran a four-month pilot program before making the decision to implement the software districtwide.

Observe4success is software for observing teachers in action and collecting data to analyze teacher effectiveness. The observer can use the software to keep track of teachers' skills, such as the ability to establish and manage a positive learning environment, explain concepts, instruct, and provide feedback. Administrators can customize the software to meet the content and data reporting requirements of the state's teacher evaluation system, or use it independently for informal observations. For state-required observations, administrators can digitize the state's teacher evaluation rubrics and then export the observation data into graphical reports.

Dr. Robert Thomason, superintendent of Petersburg City Schools, said he appreciates the simplicity of the software. "Observe4success is not a complex program,” he said in a prepared statement.

He also believes the software will improve the district's ability to support its teachers. "We believe that our use of observe4success is central to not only the data collection process but also our success in utilizing the data to more effectively help our teachers," he said.

Petersburg City School District is located in the city of Petersburg, in the southeast panhandle of Alaska, and operates one elementary, one middle, and one high school.

Further information about observe4success is available on the observe4success site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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