A teacher’s job is complex. Teachers need to communicate subject matter clearly and keep attention. They must minimize distractions, answer questions, provoke students’ critical thinking skills and perhaps most importantly, notice.
“Teachers notice particular things in certain ways. When they’re in the classroom, they have to really think about what a child says and what is important about that idea,” she said. “They have to modify their instruction to better support that student’s learning.”
How video can improve student learning
Benedict-Chambers, who also coordinates the elementary education graduate program, includes video in many of her graduate students’ classrooms. It lets her review a teacher’s performance.
It also allows the teacher to go back, review the day and slow down a lesson. They can observe parts of the classroom that were not as vocal during discussion and ultimately notice how the students were taking in the information.
For example, in a third grade classroom during a science lesson on condensation, the teacher noticed students didn’t understand the sweat on the side of a soda can.
“The next day, she brought back these cold soda cans. Then she gave students white paper towels,” Benedict-Chambers said. “The students would wipe the side of the cold can and would see that there’s no brown soda. It just helped them to develop some evidence that it’s actually the water vapor condensing on the side of the can.”