FAQs

What is Teaching Channel Teams?

Teaching Channel (Tch) Teams is a private, video-enabled collaboration platform that enables educators to use video to improve their practice and better serve their students. Teaching Channel Teams sites are co-branded and secure for your school, district, or education organization. Members have complete access to the growing Teaching Channel video library, as well as the ability to add their own videos.

Is Teaching Channel Teams a Learning Management System (LMS)?

No. Teaching Channel Teams focuses on teacher professional development. However, within Teaching Channel Teams, you are able to include supporting teacher professional development resources, such as lesson plans and presentations alongside videos, and in discussion groups. There is also integration with Google Docs for sharing existing resources. With some additional customization, Teaching Channel Teams can be integrated into an existing system to enable single sign-on.

Is Teaching Channel Teams a teacher evaluation or observation system?

No. Teaching Channel Teams provides professional learning support using video from the Teaching Channel library and video from your organization and educators. Schools and districts can tag videos to align with a teacher evaluation rubric, so videos featuring specific teaching strategies can easily be found. Teaching Channel Teams is not designed to track or monitor teacher performance, but to provide a safe, secure place for teachers to work together to improve their practice.

How does an organization get their videos onto their Teaching Channel Teams site?

There are two primary ways an organization can upload their own videos onto their Teaching Channel Teams site: 1) If you have an existing set of videos, we will work with you to upload all of these videos into the system, making them searchable using Teaching Channel’s easy to use tools, and 2) any Teams teacher, coach, or mentor can capture their own video via smartphone, iPad, or any other video camera and upload them into their own workspace, as well as into a group.

What if I don’t have an iPhone or iPad? Can I still upload videos to my Teams platform?

Yes, you can take videos with any video capture device. Simply transfer the video to your computer, log in to your Teams site, then upload the video either into a Group for immediate comment and feedback, or on to your Resources page for later inclusion into a Group.

I use a SWIVL to capture video, how do I upload video from my SWIVL to my Teams site?

Using the SWIVL device to hold the camera is no different than using a tripod to hold it. The video will still be captured by your Tch Recorder app, and the upload process will be the same as it is for video that is not filmed using a SWIVL.

Is there a limit to how many videos or resources we can upload to our Teams platform?

No, there is no limit to the overall number of videos or resources that you can upload, though our system cannot accept individual file uploads larger than 2GB per file.

Which videos can I annotate with time-stamped Notes?

Teams customers can use our Notes feature to annotate all videos on the Teams platform: the Teaching Channel library of videos, as well as videos generated and uploaded by the user.

What online communication tools are included in the Teams platform?

Teams users can communicate in a variety of ways. In the Groups section, users can create posts as well as comment on any posts in their Group. Users may also leave comments in the Resources section. Videos can be annotated using the Notes feature and the Notes can then be shared with others. A Q&A section allows users to post questions to which other Teaching Channel members may reply. Finally, Teams members have the ability to send direct messages to one another, which is a more private way of communicating among smaller groups or single users.

Does Teams offer a blogging platform?

Yes, we provide services to create your own blogs within your Teaching Channel Teams platform.

Why are Teaching Channel and Teaching Channel Teams safe for schools?

The platform does not contain data subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), nor does it contain any Personally Identifying Information (PII) beyond users’ names, email addresses and current teaching status. The Teaching Channel video library is a curated set of videos produced by Teaching Channel and does not expose users to the potentially inappropriate content that can be found on general-purpose video sharing sites. Any user (e.g., teacher, administrator, staff) that is granted access to the Teams platform can upload a video to the site. That video is then accessible to other site users, similar to how content may be uploaded to existing file servers, learning management systems, or file sharing resources internal to an educational organization.

What student, school, and/or staff data do you collect?

Teaching Channel does not collect or use student data or education records of any kind. Teaching Channel uses some publicly available information about schools to provide background information about where videos were recorded. Staff, if they are Teaching Channel registered users, may provide Tch with data including their name, email, and indication of their interest in Tch content and subject areas.

What processes are in place to assure that student data, names, and likenesses are used with permission?

When Teaching Channel films and produces video in a school, all parties sign release forms, including parents/guardians of students. If teachers, schools, districts, states, or other educational organizations intend to film classrooms and students, it is the responsibility of the filming organization to acquire and manage the necessary release forms to ensure consent. Many schools and districts have release forms in place for photo and possibly video, but this should be confirmed prior to capturing and sharing video.

How is my sensitive data secured?

All of your data is stored on servers in datacenters using industry-standard security precautions. Additionally, user passwords are stored in an encrypted format.

Am I eligible for a free trial of Teaching Channel Teams?

If you are a state, district, school or education organization that supports teachers, you are eligible for a free, two-week trial of Teams. A trial group should include instructional leaders, coaches, and teachers (or a group of similar makeup). Your trial group will participate in an online introductory session to familiarize you with the Teams platform. Your trial group should be prepared to set aside time each day to work within the Teams platform in order to accurately evaluate how well it meets your goals and objectives. Currently, trials are not designed for individual teachers or users.

How do we get started with our trial?

You can request a trial by completing the form on the Request a Free Trial page. Your account manager will contact you to arrange a short online training meeting with your trial group to ensure all involved have a proper introduction to the Teams platform. Teaching Channel staff will be in contact with you during the trial to help ensure that you are getting acclimated to the trial site, and that you understand all of the different ways in which you can use Teams.

How do I make the most out of my Teams trial?

First, it is important to have a group of your colleagues who are committed to participating fully in the trial. There are many aspects to Teaching Channel Teams which you will want to experience, so having a high level of participation is key. Start with selecting a Teaching Channel video, posting it to a Group, then inviting your colleagues to discuss it using Notes and comments. You should also plan on filming and uploading your own video — it can be something as easy as a brief classroom session — and having someone in your Teams trial use Notes to comment upon it.

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