Education as a Business

This week, we watched a video regarding the use of video technology as a means of self and peer evaluation. Essentially, a pre-service teacher would be on camera teaching, and they would be able to view themselves after. Another teacher would comment and offer constructive criticism. The goal is to build a network of communication between new and more experienced teachers.

The whole point is for teachers to reach out and connect with one another. With all of the technology available at our fingertips, we could speak with teachers around the world in seconds. It’s easy to make connections with people and start communities where we can all help each other and share experiences. Let’s face it, we are never alone in our experiences. There is always a solution and someone who has been in a similar situation. Not every solution works, but by reaching out, we have given ourselves more opportunities to solve problems. Most people want to help you if you ask for help, so why not ask for it?

Communication saves lives, but not enough people communicate. Or, at least, in the right ways. That’s how wars are started; miscommunication and white men taking land away from other people. So, the first step would be to put yourself out there like we have been doing all semester. My main issue is that I tend to disconnect from social media and stand on the fringe, watching all of the goings on. I want to be able to gather more courage to post frequently about the issues I care about. I just don’t like unproductive discussions where one side is so stuck in a particular mindset that all other possibilities are dropped by the wayside. I feel that, on the internet, people are more aggressive as opposed to encouraging. Though I have learned through my attempts at communicating with others that if you find the right people to communicate with, you will make some progress and gain some insight. (As long as you don’t throw yourself into an echo-chamber of bad company, you should be good to go.)

To get back on topic with the video we watched, I wanted to mention that I had mixed feelings about it. So many things could go wrong when using video in a classroom. While I think video is a brilliant means of self-evaluation, there may be some issues such as focus in the classroom and creating an artificial environment. There are other ethical issues as well that may be brought up. However, I think that if we fine-tuned that idea, it could work in our favor.

As a former member of color guard and chorus, we always video-taped our performances and played them back. In rehearsals we needed to practice as if we were actually performing. We were to bring everything we had to the floor. Our instructor would replay our parts and tell us to watch what we were doing incorrectly. It was eye-opening to see the mistakes that we were making by viewing ourselves. In the moment, we were focused on getting through the routine. After knowing the faults and looking back on ourselves with an objective mind, we can pick at those things that we missed. The same thing would go for teaching. When you are teaching for the first time, you are in the moment, worrying about teaching and getting through the material. However, when given the chance to review that “performance” you can see where you need to improve so that the kids will understand you.

Teaching is an art, a performance. You have to step outside of yourself and put on a show for those who are watching. So, being able to view yourself would be a good form of evaluation as a sort of self-reflection, bringing awareness into the equation. This is something I would support as a means of using for your own benefit.

On the other hand, the video was plugging the technology used. EDTHENA was the product being marketed. While I understand that it is helpful technology, I hate that everything in education is being treated like a business. Education is more politics than learning, it seems. That is another problem that needs to be “solved”. We need to care more about the students than selling products. Students are like guinea pigs in the equation, testing all of this technology. (I’m not saying to eliminate technology here. I think that we need to show students how to use it in a smart manner where it will benefit them. I just hate that education has become a market for profit.)

I think the video made grant points and it has merit in helping teachers and building a thread among them, but it should be fine-tuned. It can’t be another fad in teaching, only in place to be sold and forgotten when marketability reaches an all-time low. Anyway, these ideas are a step in the right direction even if the presentation may not be.

Let me know your thoughts on film in the classroom and using it as a means of evaluation! Or let me know any thoughts you may have on this post. Feel free to disagree. I look forward to reading your thoughts and opinions.

Next Week on Blog Posts with Rebecca: Wrapping Up and a Step Forward

This week on Tweets with Rebecca: I did tweet, but the response was nonexistent. And I saw a blog I enjoyed reading. The posts were interesting, but not as helpful as I would have liked. It dealt more with math and general and what a math degree could offer. In review, interesting, but not completely teaching related.

Until next week! Have a beautiful day wherever you may be!



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