Robin Hummel is the program director of the Leadership in Mathematics Education program at Bank Street College.
Students in the program start with a one-month residency experience in New York City. Afterward they disperse to school sites across the country to start their work as full-time teachers while continuing their Master’s degree program online.
Despite the geographical barriers, students in the program maintain supportive, professional relationships with each other through Edthena.
How does video observation change the way your candidates are collaborating?
Our students have told us that sharing and discussing professional situations using a visual medium is powerful, because they feel connected to their classmates’ work. In my mind, Edthena diminishes the isolation so commonly associated with teaching.
When teachers make their practice public, they are welcoming other perspectives and experiences into their work, which can only serve to make their work stronger and deeper.
How has the dynamic within your program changed since implementing Edthena?
Before Edthena, students usually only interacted with their advisor, and any interactions among the students were mostly limited to the summer residency.
Now communication is consistent among all the members of the cohort throughout the year. The interactions are consistent and substantive, and the learning community that began in the summer is sustained.
Can you share a bit more about the types of ongoing interaction and collaboration?
We’ve organized the students into smaller groups inside the whole-class group – approximately three students to each group.
Each month, each student posts a three-to-four-minute video that reflects a specific aspect of their environment. Each group then engages in discourse around the three videos that have been shared.
When you were selecting a video platform, why did Edthena feel like the right fit?
We didn’t actually know everything we needed before we chose Edthena, but we did know that we wanted teachers to be able to share videos of their practice with advisors and classmates.
In comparison to other options, Edthena seemed the most user-friendly, versatile and affordable.