Educating Teachers Through Videos

Educating Teachers Through Videos

Throughout the country and even the world today, teachers are now being taught by videos and using videos to assess their teaching methods. Traditionally, they would take classes, read about the dynamics of a classroom, and spend a short time observing a real classroom. All students have had a teacher that was ill equipped and ill prepared to be teaching a classroom filled with uninterested high school students. The students and teachers cannot relate to each other because of the great technology gap. With all the distractions kids face today in the classroom such as phones and iPods, teachers need to be able to relate and find a way to keep students interested in the material. There are three common ways for teachers-in-training to study the reality of teaching. The first is through live observation, second is videos, and the third is text-based descriptions (Lee, Ginsburg, Preston 20). All of the options have advantages, but the video way seems to benefit the teacher and the student the most. Videos have been proven to be the most effective method of teaching (Lee, Ginsburg, Preston 20). They provide convenient access to diverse learners and teachers in a variety of contexts. Teachers need to feel prepared when entering a classroom and be able to associate themselves into their students’ generation.


Now, videos are being used to enhance a teacher’s knowledge about how a constantly evolving classroom really works. One such program for teachers is VITAL which stands for “Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning.” The goal of VITAL is to “enhance and expand video-based model so that it will be useful for a broader audience” (Lee, Ginsburg, Preston 19). Especially with all the school budget costs throughout our country today, a teacher needs to be prepared to be able to teach a wide range of students, from the high school prep spectrum all the way to the inner-city kids. With fewer job opportunities, a teacher needs to have an outstanding resume with skills that can integrate technology into the classroom.


Example of VITAL classroom

According to Lee, Ginsburg, and Preston, “VITAL provides prospective teachers with engaging and intellectually stimulating hands-on and minds-on learning experiences that supplement the traditional textbook and readings” (19). Teaching is very difficult to observe through text. With videos, they can go back and review the same video clip numerous times to fully grasp the concept, just as many students have to do when trying to learn something. The VITAL program also states that “watching the same videos provides the teacher candidates with a common framework for sharing their reflections and engaging in discussion” (Lee, Ginsburg, and Preston 20). They are able to visually see the material and get a firmer grip and better knowledge of the material. Technology gets outdated quite fast, particularly among our constantly changing teenage generation. Teenagers want to feel like they have some common ground between themselves and their teachers which could be solved simply if the teacher was being taught the way our generation is: through technology. Teenagers learn differently than the previous generation and will continue to do so. Teachers need to be able to adapt to students’ learning as soon as they are in the classroom.


Monica Martinez, President of the New Tech Network, said that new teachers are consistently complaining that they feel unprepared for the real world of teaching. They take a few courses in history, philosophy, and psychology of education plus a few methods courses along with a semester or maybe a year of student teaching (74). In order for teacher education to take a step in the positive direction, the learning process of children throughout the country have to be taken into account. By using videos, they have constant interaction with the real world though live video. The University of Sussex In-School Teacher Education Project, InSTEP, uses “interactive video technologies to enhance initial teacher education programs” (Marsh, Mitchell, Adamczyk 742). By using Internet Protocol cameras and mounted microphones, the trainees and their tutors have access to live interaction with schools (Marsh, Mitchell, Adamczyk 742). The trainees can now visually see how different schools are and how to adjust to each one. Trainees gain more insight to the dynamics of a classroom without even have started their student teaching. Another great benefit is that the actual learning isn’t affected by having an observer in the classroom. Although some people may say that using technology to teach teachers is unwise, there have been many benefits through this practice. Some benefits include the potential to enhance the development of trainees’ observation skills, develop reflective thinking, to provide authentic illustrations of classroom practice, enable remote observation and facilitate the coaching of trainees by mentors (Marsh, Mitchell, Adamczyk 743). All these skills promote education inside the classroom.


Although programs such as VITAL and InStep provide a more convenient and thorough understanding and training of becoming a teacher, there are some drawbacks with the program. In order to be able to work through the program, the trainee must be familiar with technology and the concept of editing and writing videos. The trainees need to feel comfortable working with the advanced technology that, for example, InStep provides. If a trainee is uneducated in the technology, it is defeating the purpose of the convenient way of learning. A second drawback of the program is the time it takes to view and go back and review the videos. Many of us know how costly it is to go to school. We want to spend as little money as we can, and finish as quickly as we can. Taking about the same time to observe the behaviors in a school, many trainees don’t have the privilege to get all their training done in a classroom.

By Claudia Mroczkowski

Works Cited

Joon Sun, Lee, Herbert P. Ginsburg, and Michael D. Preston. "Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning (VITAL): Analyzing Videos Online to Learn to Teach Early Childhood Mathematics." Australasian Journal of Early Childhood 34.2 (2009): 19-23. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 30 Nov. 2010

Martinez, Monica. "Teacher Education Can't Ignore Technology." Phi Delta Kappan 91.10 (2010): 74-75. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.

Marsh, Brian, Nick Mitchell, and Peter Adamczyk. "Interactive video technology: Enhancing professional learning in initial teacher education." Computers & Education 54.3 (2010): 742-748. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.

Digital image. The University of Melbourne. Web. 3 Dec. 2010. <,r:13,s:0&biw=1147&bih=603>.