Teacher Observation

Queen Elizabeth High School Deploys Classroom Observation Cameras for Teacher PD

Queen Elizabeth High School in Wales is using a video-based professional development tool called to help teachers analyze their teaching and share best practices with colleagues.

The school has implemented the Iris Connect classroom observation system, which uses iPod Touch cameras placed on tripods around the classroom to video lessons. Teachers wear sensors on lanyards around their neck, which enables the system to follow their movement through the class. When the lesson is over, the video uploads automatically to the secure Iris Connect online system, where the teachers can view it and use it as a tool to analyze their teaching practice. They can also share videos with colleagues, so they can learn from each other's individual successes or failures.

Pete Spencer, head teacher at the school, told the Carmarthen Journal that one quarter of teachers at the school are using the technology to reflect on their teaching practice, and he sees the potential for using it as a showcase of best practices. He said students can also use the system to record themselves delivering presentations, for example, and use it to improve their own performance.

According to information on the company's site, Iris Connect is "built to empower teachers." Videos are encrypted when they are uploaded to the online database, and each teacher has their own password-protected account to access their videos. Nobody else can view the videos unless the teacher chooses to share them. And because the system is cloud-based, teachers can view their videos at work or at home from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Queen Elizabeth High School is located in the community of Carmarthen in Wales. It serves approximately 1,600 students aged 11 to 18.

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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