While student teaching is a critical time for new teachers to receive feedback and mentorship, driving to placement sites can take up a lot of time for student teacher or early career teacher supervisors. In-person observations by supervisors also poses similar challenges to an administrator’s classroom observations: their presence in the class itself can alter both teacher and student behaviors. And when the only artifacts that come out of the observation are written notes and the teacher and supervisor’s memories of how the lesson went, turning these into actionable feedback can be a challenge in itself.
By using Swivl video to replace or supplement onsite observations, student teacher supervisors can overcome many of these challenges, while still fostering a sense of mentorship and support. Remote observation via video reduces the need for travel out to placement sites, and Swivl’s time-stamped comments allow supervisors to give feedback rooted to clear evidence.
Swivl for Student Teacher Observations
Recording Your Lesson
The first step toward filming your video for observation will be to download the Swivl App and sign up for a free Swivl account. To take full advantage of the capture system, you’ll need access to a Swivl robot, too (but you can also record video on the Swivl app without one).
One of the benefits of the Swivl app is that it allows you to set up your mobile device with a Swivl robot. Once you’ve verified your setup status, you can begin capturing your lesson on video. The Swivl robot’s markers not only guide the robot to follow you as you move about the classroom, but they also capture high quality audio, allowing you to hear your and your students’ interactions clearly.
Once you are done recording your lesson, you will need to upload the video to your Swivl account (this can be done manually or automatically).
Share Your Videos
All videos will default to private when uploaded to your Swivl account, so no one else will have access to them until you choose to share. Once you have uploaded a video to your Swivl account, you will need to log in at http://cloud.swivl.com and share it with your supervisor.
While Swivl provides several options for video sharing, the best option to use in this case is Share via Email. This sharing method requires that whoever you share with must log into their own account to view your video. They also can’t pass the video along to anyone else. So for any videos that feature your students, this option provides the kind of privacy and security you need.
Receive and Respond to Contextualized Feedback
Once you have shared your video with your supervisor, they can log in and leave you feedback right on your video in the form of time-stamped comments. The time-stamp associates the comment to a particular moment in the video, and each comment is clickable, so you can jump right to that moment. This allows your supervisor to tie their feedback to concrete in-class interactions that can be revisited. They can also choose to leave their feedback privately so that only you can see it. Once you have received feedback on your video, you have the option to respond with your own time-stamped comments, starting a dialogue on the video.
Exporting Videos for Certification
Video is a great tool for supporting and observing student teachers out in the field, but for many student teachers, it is also a requirement for ultimately obtaining their credential. Many performance-based new teacher assessment programs now incorporate a video component, where teachers must record one or more in-class videos of a certain length for submission.
If you already have a Library of recorded video lessons within your Swivl account, it’s easy to use one of these (or record a new one) to submit for certification purposes. First, you’ll need to trim the video down to the length specified by the assessment organization (each assessment system has its own protocol specifying what kind of video editing is allowed, you may need to check if you are allowed to trim any part).
Next, you’ll want to download the video. This will require exporting it from Swivl, which will produce an mp4 file for you to download to your computer. We know it’s often required that the files be very small, so we do our best to compress them as much as possible!
Lastly, if your supervisor had some great feedback that they provided in the comment section, you can download the comments to a CSV spreadsheet, to be submitted along with your video.