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May 2014 | Volume 71 | Number 8
Professional Learning: Reimagined
Using video cameras in a way that recognizes teachers' professionalism can have a dramatic effect on teaching and learning
Bill Gates provoked an explosion of commentary when he suggested in his May 2013 TED Talk1
that a video camera should be in every teacher's classroom. Many people recognized that video cameras, if used effectively, could dramatically improve how teachers teach and how students learn. Others realized that if video cameras were used as tools for control, they could profoundly damage teacher morale and decrease the likelihood of any positive change occurring in schools. The truth is that both sides are right.
For the past five years, I've been studying how educators can use video cameras. At the Kansas Coaching Project at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, I've been involved in two research projects (Bradley et al., 2013) that explore how coaches and teachers can effectively use video as part of the instructional coaching process. At the Instructional Coaching Group, my colleague Marilyn Ruggles and I have conducted more than 50 interviews with teachers, instructional coaches, and principals who are using video every day to improve teaching.
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