What We Can Learn From Ear Doctors and Football Coaches

Brandy Price PhotoBrandy Price is Field Director with the Los Angeles Urban Teacher Residency program. She is a National Board Certified teacher, a teacher consultant with the National Writing Project, and a community guide for the Redesign Challenge. The first Challenge is: How can educators use video to improve their professional learning? You have until June 22 to submit ideas for a chance at making them real!

Does video save lives? Ten years ago, I would have emphatically said, “No!” I had just learned that National Board Certification process required that I video myself teaching and analyze the footage. At that point, I was pretty convinced that video ruined lives because the video–from finding the equipment to identifying an ace videographer–took so much time! Thankfully, the process is much simpler now. Years later, I understand that videotaping my practice did, indeed, make me a better teacher. I just had to stop focusing on my outfit, my hair…you know the rest. Since embracing video as a reflective tool, I have grown leaps and bounds as an educator. Yet many educators are still reticent to videotape themselves. Why is that when the use of video has become so essential in other professions? Some examples:

Remote Video Diagnosis Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 10.48.26 AM In a California pilot program, a Smartphone add-on allows users to record video of the inner ear. An otoscope (a device with a lens and light) is attached to the back of the Smartphone. The video can be sent to a physician for real-time feedback and advice. This is far superior to the plain phone call that may have taken its place.  For families with children inclined to ear infections, the discovery is revelatory. With the promise of fewer unnecessary trips to crowded emergency rooms, the innovation saves busy families their most precious commodity—time. (photo courtesy of Cell Scope OTO). Think how educators might apply an idea like this? What are we already doing? Submit your ideas to the Redesign Challenge.

Become a World Class Athlete The Hudl video site and app provideScreen Shot 2015-06-11 at 11.04.06 AM athletes and coaches with the ability to upload and analyze sports footage. Corrective feedback can be inserted directly into specific video clips. While the service was originally intended for college and professional football teams—ergo the “Hudl” moniker—it has become a mass-market product. In 2013, it was the 149th fastest growing business in the US. While no amount of feedback will probably turn me into Maria Sharapova, I’m pretty sure my tennis game could use the strategic feedback. How could we apply this technology to improving our education game? Share your ideas because the Redesign Challenge’s mission is to make great ideas actually happen.

Keeping up with the Smiths Smith Medical with the tagline “bringing technology to life” offers a slew of readily available videos on its website. The goal: Provide end users with high quality videos, by expert practitioners, on how to use their medical products. Now, I just need a video on how to open a child-proof aspirin bottle. Smith is not exactly a trailblazer. Nearly 70 years ago, representatives from Smith, Kline & French approached CBS with a proposal to use television as a tool for teaching surgery.  The pitch worked. The surgery was broadcast live in 1948.

Inspiration to Practice How might these innovations inspire us as we consider innovative ways to use video in our professional learning? How can we translate or adapt these examples to inform and even transform teaching and learning? Join the Redesign Challenge and share your ideas! Beyond the beauty of being part of an active and supportive community, the top 18 contributors will be invited to DC to learn how to turn their ideas into action. All it cost to participate are the few minutes it takes to describe your idea! You have until June 22, so share away!

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