Teacher Observation

Torsh Adds Bluetooth-Compatible Version to Video Observation Platform

Torsh, a company that provides a video-based platform for teacher professional development, is improving its basic video capture tool by launching a Bluetooth-compatible version of its T Uploader iOS and Android apps.

The Torsh Talent platform lets users upload instruction-related video, taken via mobile app, for viewing and provides space for reflection, discussion and feedback. The idea is that teachers will upload video they have shot of their own classroom performance and then collaborate with their coaches based on the material to get feedback.

One of the challenges to using the platform to provide feedback is the fact that most mobile devices are not designed for recording audio in large classrooms. As a result, the audio quality of the video is sometimes lacking.

"We have heard our customers and they've told us that recording high-quality videos is important to them," said Torsh CEO Courtney Williams. "Many of them believe it is as important to hear the interaction between teacher and student as it is to see the interaction, perhaps even more so."

That's why the enhanced app now available will still allow educators to capture video of classroom instruction using their phones or tablets, then automatically sync those videos with the audio captured from an external Bluetooth microphone. Torsh will supply teachers with a list of recommended Bluetooth microphones they can purchase from Amazon or other outlets and use them in conjunction with the video they shoot using their mobile devices and the apps.

"The new Bluetooth feature will allow us to reduce our capital outlay on hardware purchases while still allowing our teachers to record high-quality video and audio," said Laura Garza, principal of Blanton Elementary School in Dallas, one of the 1,600-plus schools using the Torsh Talent platform.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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