Colorado contains more than 75 percent of the land area of the United States above 10,000 feet. It’s fitting, then, that the Colorado Education Association (CEA) has sky-high ambitions for the state’s public education system.
CEA, state affiliate of the National Education Association, supports more than 36,000 educators across the state. Offering best-of-class professional development for teachers is an important and ongoing investment for the association.
According to Casey Kilpatrick, director of learning services at CEA, video analysis and video reflection is one key to achieving this goal. This is why CEA partners with Edthena to provide teachers access to video coaching technology.
“Video,” says Casey. “Is here and now.”
Why do you think video should be a component of professional learning for teachers?
What compelled us to start using video in our PD is the fact that we know how powerful video coaching is. Just look at any major sport. They all use video coaching as a means to understand practice and ultimately improve. Therefore, it made sense to incorporate some sort of video coaching into our online platform.
Edthena filled a technology void when it comes to video coaching. Of all the products we looked at, Edthena emerged as the clear choice for video coaching that would provide actionable feedback to our adult learners.
Also, video is the “here and now.” People entering the public education workforce have grown up on videos through YouTube, Vimeo, etc. They favor watching videos, especially if the videos incorporate actionable feedback that can help them improve.
Can you explain your process for using video in online PD?
We incorporate video coaching into our online professional learning classes. Our facilitators—who are full-time classroom teachers—set up a variety of conversations and Explorations on the Edthena platform. Teachers who take these classes film elements of their instruction that correspond with the content being covered in the online class. The teachers then use Edthena as a way to discuss and improve practice.
One result of this is, instead of just having one coach, our teachers have a multitude of current practitioners providing them feedback.
Are there unexpected benefits to using video within professional development for teachers?
Just this past week one of our teachers was able to use his Edthena videos and feedback during an observation and evaluation meeting with an administrator, and he was very excited.
We don’t ask our teachers to share their videos from their PD classwork with administrators. Bust in this case, it made sense for the teacher because he was so excited about what he was learning throughout the process of using Edthena.
What is your long-term goal for video coaching and reflection at CEA?
Our main hope is that we can incorporate Edthena into all of our professional learning classes. Additionally, we hope that more districts and organizations will see the value of Edthena and invest in it for themselves.