Recording Quick Tips
Enlist a videographer. The video
will only be helpful if it’s pointed at
Use a tripod. There’s nothing
worse than shaky video, and it’s
even worse when the audio is
scratchy because the videographer
touched the microphone while
handling the camera.
Reduce ambient noise. Turn off
fans and radios and close windows
and doors. This will improve the
quality of your audio recording.
Position the camera as close to the
audio as possible. This will result in a
louder and clearer sound recording.
Try using the devices you have.
You don’t need high-end equipment
to get high-end results. Try using your
smartphone, iPod, iPad, or standard
Keep it short. Target the area you
want to improve the most and record
Get permission from students
and parents. If your students will
be included in any videos, ask
for permission. Here are three
permission forms that you could
•;Elementary students: bit.ly/Ml6w0r
•;Secondary students: bit.ly/Ml5MIL
Trash it. When you are done
reflecting on the video, delete it. No
need to dwell on the past. You can
use your written reflections to look
back if needed.
or lead teacher. Make the most of your
recordings by preparing for your evaluation in advance. This not only gives
you an opportunity to make changes
before your supervisor comes in to
observe, but also allows you to show
and explain the steps you have taken
to improve your practice.
Reflect on Practice
Once you’ve recorded yourself, it’s
important to take time the same day
to reflect on the video. If you’re still
struggling to find an area to focus on,
ask yourself some critical questions
about what you see in the video. Why
did I do that? Why didn’t I say this?
Why didn’t I have the students do this
instead? Is that really the best way to
spend our time? Do I really respond
like that to student questions? Even
if you’re happy with what you see in
the video, ask yourself some critical
questions that get to the heart of your
teaching philosophy to help better
articulate your actions to peers and
If you still can’t find your focus,
don’t fret. Ask someone else to watch
the video with you. This could be
a student, a teacher, or even your
principal. If you’re comfortable with
them watching, schedule a time when
it works for both of you to sit down
and discuss what you see. If not, then
share the video with them and meet a
day or two later. Once you both watch
the video, discuss what you both saw.
Did they see the same things as you?
Are there things they would change?
Are there questions they ask that you
asked yourself? If so, that might be
something to examine in more depth.
Another way to approach reflection
on practice is to create a professional
learning community (PLC). You can
create a culture of reflection and im-
provement in your school by meeting
with other teachers who want to in-
vestigate their teaching in more depth.
This could take the role of a book club,
but with a twist. Instead of reading a
book, have everyone watch the same
video of one of the PLC members and
then have a discussion around what
everyone saw, what they might adopt,
and what they’d change if they were
teaching the lesson. Leverage those
around you to improve not only your
practice, but also the practice of your
Daniel Mourlam is a techno- logy specialist at the University of Northern Iowa, USA, where he helps university faculty and PK– 12 teachers design instruc- tion using technology. You can follow him @dmourlam and
2013 ISTE Board Elections! March 12–April 12. Visit iste.org/elections.