User Stories | October 9, 2017

Maximize your CPD Programmes with Video Observations

Teaching is both a science and an art, and an ever-changing one at that. With each influx of pupils a whole generation of new minds are being cultivated. People, and the culture that shapes them, are ever changing variables, and to be successful, teachers must adapt to change and evolve. With the implementation of programmes recommended by both the Department of Education and Ofsted, continued professional development has been shown to be a key factor in the success of teachers’ careers and pupils’ achievement. It is accepted as an integral part of a teacher’s education because only a continuing learning and training programme assures a high level of expertise and enables teachers to keep their professional skills and knowledge up-to-date.

Collaborative CPD, or: “teachers working with at least one other related professional on a sustained basis” (Semantic Scholar), has been shown to be especially effective in both classroom teaching and learning, in part due to the peer support that is introduced into the practice. “In order to improve teaching and learning, continued professional development should start in the classroom: talking about our teaching, learning from our peers, sharing good practice and developing coaching models,” Rachael Stevens says. Pedagogical reflection among peers and mentors is an invaluable practice, greatly enhanced in CPD sessions with the assistance of video observations. By showing these observations in CPD sessions, teachers are able to “bring” attendees into their classroom, allowing for an unparalleled learning experience via direct observation of practises.

Video observation of classrooms is not only able to greatly enhance CPD programmes, but it also eliminates many of the problems seen in current Ofsted live classroom observation practices. The lack of a new person entering the classroom eliminates the Hawthorn effect as well as any fear or intimidation factors felt by a teacher when an inspector is present.  Video observation also allows for a more holistic view of a teacher’s abilities, with the capability to view an entire lesson, or lesson series, rather than just a small portion of a live lesson. Unnecessary repetition in a lesson is also eliminated: “a member of SLT dropped in on a 'learning walk'. So he stopped the students again to ask them exactly the same questions he'd just asked. He was told that this was 'excellent practice'” according to The Secret Teacher.

With the Swivl robot and video observation platform, we provide the technology to make it easy for senior leadership, coaches and mentors to provide meaningful feedback to teachers and NQTs on their own schedule. Our superior software platform and advanced robotic technology also fits seamlessly into Ofsted and Department of Education guidelines for continuing professional development.  You no longer have to physically be present in a classroom to provide skilled guidance from an unbiased perspective. “If teacher-controlled video observations help make evaluations more useful and convenient, there is great potential for evaluation to become less contentious overall.” (Harvard, 2015). Both personal self-reflections and external feedback become more thoughtful substantial with the integration of video observations.

With Swivl, not only is it incredibly easy to use, but we alone make it possible to always see and hear both the teacher and pupils, creating a holistic view of the classroom. With a more meaningful level of constructive feedback and support given to teachers, a success loop is created. Swivl provides all educators with the support needed to thrive. We help you create a culture of support in your school.

While the ability for video observations to help teachers are vast, both in the classroom and in professional development programmes, it cannot be left unsaid that the primary purpose of video observations, along with formative assessment in general, is to ultimately help and support pupils. With Swivl’s dual or multi-camera feature capturing a comprehensive view of the classroom, you can see how pupils work together in peer-to-peer learning sessions and adjust the composition of your groupings to yield the most optimal outcomes. Through these unique views of the classroom, you are able to gain unparalleled insights into personalities, helping you to create a holistic view of each pupil. Video observations allow you to improve pupil questioning and their outcomes. The best way to know your pupils is to make sure they are equally seen and heard.

Swivl is the best and most comprehensive tool available for classroom video observations, transformational CPD sessions, bug-in-ear coaching, and enhancing your own formative assessment. It adheres to the requirements set forth by Ofsted and the Department of Education. We value your privacy and have implemented the utmost safeguards in protecting and securing your data. With Swivl, you can record, edit, analyze, reflect and easily share your content to best practice libraries or your colleagues. We are the worldwide leader in video observation technology, deliver the most advanced hardware and software at half the price of our competitors, and do not require expensive fees or lengthy time commitments. Schools around the world, including David Ross Education Trust Academies in the UK, have been using the Swivl solution to achieve their CPD goals.  Upgrade to Swivl and let us save you thousands of pounds today.