In the first part of this 2-part series, Learning Begins with Hearing we explored technology that provides more teaching time, higher student achievement, and less teacher absenteeism.
In part two, we will review using the same audio solution in part one, integrated with cameras and recording to provide a safe classroom environment, while also incorporating this solution into providing a learning tool that the instructor can utilize each day.
Safety in the Classroom
A medical emergency, an upset student, an intruder- all are concerns for teachers and are threats to student safety. A discreet message to request assistance can prevent a situation from escalating.
Instructors can send a request for assistance using the same device that allows them to enhance their voice across the classroom. When a teacher activates the alert, they can tell if their signal has been received, via an indicator lamp mounted to the ceiling, and know that assistance is on the way, all without sharing this information with students or anyone else that may be present.
Add-on functionality available for this type of technology even initiates a video recording when the incident is taking place, enables real-time viewing and assessment of the situation, and provides the ability to review the event later and learn from it.
Cameras in the Classroom
Cameras in the classroom have multiple proven benefits for both educators and students beyond safety enhancement, but even with all the pluses, they remain a sensitive subject. Athletic teams and individual players regularly use cameras to capture their plays, review them, and then improve their performance. Likewise, capturing lessons in-classroom helps not only students with their studies, but also assists teachers and parents in their supporting roles to students.
Cameras provide a resource for teachers to learn from other teachers. Perhaps you have one classroom that is catching on to a concept, but another class seems to be struggling. Video provides a way for teachers to view sessions and determine what adjustments they might make to register improvements in their classrooms.
Substitute-teacher days may seem like wasted days, but now these classroom days can be better utilized. Regular teachers pre-record their lesson plan(s), substitutes can then play the lesson plan, and be on-site to assist students as needed for further assignments.
Students missing class-time due to illness, family obligations, sports, ISS, and more can utilize class recordings to keep up with lesson plans and to observe and Q & A and resulting discussions for current curriculum units.
Students today learn differently than their parents did, resulting in frequent “disconnects” for family members looking to assist with homework using the current taught methods. With recorded lessons, a parent, grandparent, or other guardians can pull up the lesson plan, see how the teacher is getting to the end-result, and assist accordingly.
Discipline issues can be extremely disruptive in a classroom, sometimes even getting out-of-hand. A discipline referral, on average disrupts 45 minutes of administrative and teacher time (based on a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) report from July 17, 2013).
To decrease these discipline events, Clements Middle School located in Covington, GA initiated two new practices over a two-year period. In 2012, they had a recorded 1023 discipline issues; based on the average of 45 minutes of administrator and teacher time per instance, approximately 770 total hours were spent dealing with the issues, time is taken away from the teaching and support of students in more meaningful ways.
In 2013, they implemented PBIS strategies, a framework used to create positive behavior, which reduced their number of instances to 802, which still meant over 600 hours for administrators and teachers.
In 2014, they added cameras to classrooms, resulting in a dramatic decrease to only 82 instances, and just over 60 hours spent addressing discipline issues. An overall annual reduction of more than 700 hours, with approximately 500 fewer hours attributable to the presence of cameras. A remarkable shift.
Teacher conduct accusations, even if proven false, can ruin a teacher’s career. Classroom recordings provide essential protection for both students and educators in such scenarios.
Continued improvements in technology, when applied to educational settings, give students a front-row seat for their learning paths, provide a learning environment where each student can hear clearly, and facilitate viewing lessons on demand and as needed. Teachers also need these tools to review and improve their processes.
Implement a safer working and studying environment for your school or school system.