February 14, 2018

By Shaun Fagan

How do you know if students are actually learning what you’re teaching? Every educator uses tests and projects to measure student learning after they’ve covered a lesson or a unit. But what if you had a way to go back and see what happened in your classroom, even after the day is over? With video, you can relive those instructions, transitions, and small-group discussions in real time to help students and teachers grow in the classroom.

Before making the decision to use video in the classroom, it’s important to understand how it can make a positive impact on the overall environment. A recorded lesson provides teachers, principals, and administrators with objective documentation of those organic moments where teaching and learning happen.


Here are three ways video can help educators look back on student learning experiences:

  1. Showing evidence of student learning: Video can help serve as a resource for providing proof of what was taught each day. While the teacher may not always be at the students’ side during small-group discussions, with the power of video they can easily revisit key moments of learning. For example, students can create videos of themselves speaking a new language or doing a presentation and share it with parents at home. Teachers can also identify what the student did well during the recordings, and allow them to watch so they clearly see and hear their strong points and the areas that need improvement. This review process makes it easier to notice unseen behavior, too.


  1. Taking a look at what you missed: It can be hard to keep track of everything that goes on in the classroom. Video captures active learning, showing teachers, administrators, and students how and where students were engaged, as well as the events that led up to major “ah-ha” moments. Research shows that, after viewing a video recording, 42% of teachers reported noticing student behaviors or their own behavior that they may have missed otherwise.


  1. Aligning with standards: Covering the appropriate standards and encouraging students to succeed is a big part of a teacher’s role. Not only can video be used as evidence of covering the right materials, but others can benefit from seeing it as well. Parent/teacher conferences or administrator meetings are great times to discuss a child’s learning behaviors. One way to illustrate this could be sharing video of the child in the classroom, allowing discussion to unfold about how the student can grow and improve.


When it comes to maximizing student learning, video is a great resource to capture those moments in the classroom when students and teachers are working together, and when they may not be in sync. Ultimately, it serves as a way for parents and educators to see student’s knowledge.


So far, our blog series about using video in your school has covered Coaching and Teacher Evaluation and Evidence of Student Learning. Get ahead start on next week's topic by downloading the partnering infographic - "9 New Ways to Use Video in Your School"


Download the Infographic Here!


Shaun Fagan

Shaun Fagan

Shaun Fagan's mission at Lightspeed is to continue to find new ways to create access to learning by studying the dynamics of the classroom. His goals include evolving our instructional audio systems to improve the learning environment for both students and teachers. Outside of the office, Shaun enjoys spending time with his family, running and training for marathons, and rooting for the Oregon State Beavers!

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