I think the community is great! I have a few videos on the site and I love how my PLN has expanded by exchanging emails with members. Educators need to stick together, and this is the place to do it!
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I adore the strategies I see on the site. For example, there is a video called Text Grafitti and I thought it was such an innovative engagement strategy. I get so many ideas just by viewing the videos. I deliver many professional development sessions and I use teaching channel videos to show effective practices. Teachers who are in PLC's use the strategies as a way to re-teach a concept in a different way.
As an instructional coach, so many teachers tell me that they need to 'see' a strategy before they can embrace the idea of using it. In the past, we've relied on model teachers in the same school or the occasional site visit to another ECHS. Now we are creating some of our own videos with text bubbles actually pointing out the components of the CIF, as well as using other great videos in the larger site. I think all of the Educate Texas coaches are using videos during face-to-face PD as well. I have even used one while I was in a PLC and was asked about a specific strategy.
I just joined, and I have already had a great experience. Education is a dynamic field. If we embrace the concept that we are life time learners, then the teaching channel is a great learning environment for teachers that want to grow as well as become more effective. The teaching channel is a massive collaboration network with strategies, and methods that work. The collection of videos, and testimonies of teachers is the evidence. Seeing the evidence in practice by other teachers is the greatest benefit. I am grateful to be part of the teaching channel.
What Tracey said really resonates with me. One of the more frustrating aspects of PLCs at my previous campuses was the sheer number of techniques or instructional strategies that were advised or discussed. I would feel hesitant interrupting the flow of my lessons and class to try a strategy I'd only read about on paper. Seeing educators in their classrooms with their students using the strategy makes it exciting to experiment and try out new techniques!
As an Instructional Coach, the most powerful part of using videos is providing quick examples for teachers to see first hand and then connect to their own classroom. I have a lot of schools that are in various parts of Texas where they feel isolated from others. Having videos at my finger tips removes the obstacle of distance and travel and allows immediate connections to those immediate conversations. It's the most practical part of embedded professional development.
I love how easy it is to find something in your field.
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