Professional Development | News

Memphis City Schools Implements Video Capture for Professional Development

Memphis City Schools (MCS) will implement a video capture solution in all 180 of its schools as a primary component of its professional development and teacher evaluation program.

With this technology, teachers will be able to use any video capture device to record themselves teaching a complete lesson or lesson segment. The teachers can then use the video for self-reflection or upload it to a secure Web site to share with colleagues. The district said it hopes to develop an online video repository of professional best practices using examples from teachers within the district, so teachers can learn from each other as part of the professional development process.

The technology the district chose for this project is from Teachscape, a provider of Web-based professional learning content, classroom observation and evaluation technologies, and teaching improvement services. MCS will provide each of its schools with at least one video capture device, which teachers can use to record lessons. Teachers can then upload their videos to Teachscape's secure, Web-based software, where they can review, comment on, and share videos with colleagues.

"The use of Teachscape's video technology allows our teachers to be their own first observer," said Monica Jordan, coordinator of reflective practice and teacher support at Memphis City Schools, in a prepared statement. "Teachers have so many ways in which they can use video to enhance their practice. They can use it for self-reflection, feedback, instructional planning, lesson prep, co-teaching, and more."

According to Jordan, the technology is easy enough to use that even administrators and teachers who are uncomfortable with technology can use it effectively.

Video-based professional development is not new to the district. MCS educators started using video as part of the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "As a result of the MET Project, teachers started using video to deconstruct and analyze their lessons and saw its value in improving their teaching effectiveness, and ultimately student achievement," said Jordan.

Memphis City Schools is a public school district in Memphis, TN, serving more than 100,000 K-12 students in 180 schools.

Further information about Teachscape is available at teachscape.com.

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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