Education schools have a lot on their plates these days as edTPA picks up steam throughout the country. The edTPA is a national, subject-specific portfolio-based assessment of teaching performance that is completed by student teachers to demonstrate their readiness for a full-time classroom teaching assignment. Many states are currently passing regulations requiring that teacher candidates complete a portion or all of edTPA requirements. Part of this requirement includes the submission of two ten minute video clip samples of teaching from an actual class during a student teacher’s practicum.
We recently had the chance to interview Dr. Matthew McConn, assistant professor of English education, Graduate School of Education at Binghamton University, who is currently using the Sibme video sharing and feedback platform to help prepare his student teachers for the edTPA performance assessment.
How long have you been an educator, and why did you go into the field of education?
I’ve been in education for almost 13 years—11 years teaching secondary English, and this is my second year as an English education professor. I started teaching English because I love literature. I stayed in the field because I grew to love the art of teaching kids literary appreciation.
Describe your current role at SUNY Binghamton
I’m an assistant professor of English education. I teach an English methods course, various English literature classes, and I supervise the student teachers in the field.
Had you ever videotaped your colleagues or student teachers before using Sibme?
Yes, but it was a big hassle setting up recording equipment, sharing large video files, and organizing supporting resources such as lesson plans and student artifacts. I was spending way too much time managing the process when I could have been using that time on helping my students become better teachers.
Do you think video has the potential to accelerate teacher development?
Absolutely. Research is clear on this, and any real experience with video and teacher training will reveal the power of having video while working to develop the skills of student teachers.
How do you currently use the Sibme platform at SUNY Binghamton?
This past fall I used Sibme with my student teachers. All of my students uploaded at least two videos of their teaching. I use it as a way to share the teaching with all my student teachers and as a way for my students to tap into my expertise whenever they would like. The student teachers share videos of themselves teaching and get feedback from each other, while I’m also able to provide examples of common issues they are having in their student teaching placements. Sibme also allows me to be in many classrooms at once. For example, a student might ask me to come observe a lesson but I’m already scheduled either in another observation or I have a meeting. In this instance, I simply ask that the student video the lesson and place it on our private Sibme account.
When it comes to recording, hosting, and sharing video there are many different solutions. Why did you choose Sibme?
I like Sibme because I can navigate through the site easily, it’s private and secure, and the iPhone/iPad/Android apps make recording and sharing video hassle free. Most of my students have an iPhone or Android phone, which means they no longer have to setup or find expensive recording equipment to film their classes. They can use their own device.
What is your favorite Sibme feature?
The Sibme iPhone app that allows me to record a student teacher’s classroom in a lower resolution, which avoids compressions and allows me to upload the video immediately over a wireless network to our private Sibme account within the Graduate School of Education. I can also quickly share the video with the student teacher right from my iPhone and provide time-stamp feedback from any location with my laptop or iPad.
If you were to give any advice to field directors or professors who are considering using video to support their student teachers, what advice would you give?
Sign up for Sibme because it takes away the logistical concerns and allows you to focus on effectively developing the skills of your teachers from anywhere and at anytime.