Supporting teachers in rural areas is one of the many benefits of using video as a professional development tool. From the Bering Strait area of Alaska to Indian reservations in Colorado, video reflection is a tool growing in popularity.
This innovation is not only happening in the United States. In collaboration with Learning Forward India, Edthena has started partnering with schools to support teachers in India.
The Fabindia School, led by Principal Rajeshree Shihag, is one such school located in the rural parts of Rajasthan, India. For reference, Rajasthan is a state in northwest India that covers about 10% of the entire country.
About half the size of Texas, Rajasthan is the largest state but not even in the top five when it comes to population. Collaboration among teachers is difficult due to the length of time it takes to travel to different school sites.
We caught up with Rajeshree to learn more about how her teachers are becoming more self-reflective and starting to analyze their own teaching using Edthena.
For those of us unfamiliar, can you share how your school is situated within the Indian education system?
We are a K-12 school with over 370 students. Comparatively, this is considered quite large to the other schools in the surrounding areas, which means we have a large number of teachers to support.
The Fabindia School is a private school run by a trust as a corporate social responsibility initiative. The Central Board of Secondary Education is the national level board of education in India for public and private schools, controlled and managed by the Union Government of India.
Is there any evidence that video is helping teachers improve their skills?
One particular story comes to mind of our mathematics teacher Ajay Vijayvargi. After watching his lesson, Mr. Vijayvargi realized that he came off combative to his students.
Along with the help of his peers, he was able to self reflect and then change his behavior. This would never have been able to happen had he not been able to watch his lesson on video.
Why did you originally introduce video reflection to your teachers?
It was important for us to give our teachers a tool that allowed them to reflect and analyze their mistakes. We also wanted to have a wider access to resources and connect across borders.
And do you think that video has helped your teachers reflect and analyze their practice?
Overall, our teachers have become more confident in using technology and specifically video as a professional development tool. This has enabled them to be more self-reflective, as they can see both their strengths and weaknesses.