Archive | Case Studies

Supporting a third of Denmark’s student teachers with video PD


VIA University College, Denmark

In a unique research project, a third of Denmark’s student teachers were given access to remote support from tutors at VIA University College using IRIS Connect.

Watch this short video for a quick overview or read the full case study below.


The project

One third of all teachers in Denmark graduate through VIA’s bachelor degree programme for teacher education. The ‘Experts in Teaching’ project looked at supporting student teachers over 2 years to develop their practice through “micro teaching” and research.

What is Micro-teaching? Micro-teaching is a technique whereby the teacher reviews a recording of a teaching session, in order to get constructive feedback from peers about what has worked and what improvements can be made to their practice.

The research included students:

  • Documenting their own practice
  • Observing their own practice
  • Getting peers and teachers to observe their practice
  • Sharing their new insights with peers and teachers and in turn learning from their peers’ and teachers’ insights (knowledge sharing)
  • Establishing communities of practice
  • Developing through micro-teaching and feedback

“IRIS Connect is such a powerful tool. We found that once students started recording themselves they actually got into the habit of doing it and more importantly, they wanted to do it. They were more than happy to share videos with us, using the editing tool to select key moments which gave us more time to look at them.”


Finding areas for development

The students started by using video to reflect on their teaching and identify an area for improvement. They would then research different strategies and techniques to try before recording themselves again and repeating the process.

“If we imposed a focus then it wouldn’t be their research. We needed to let their practice determine what they would concentrate on trying to improve,” explains Project Leader Annemette Heine Wullum.

“We said to the students from the very start that this project was not about best practice but about making their practice better. Because, what is best practice?”

analysis tools (2)


The power of research and lesson analysis

One of the primary areas where the students used IRIS Connect was on their six week placements, where they could video themselves as many times as they liked and use the tools within the IRIS Connect platform to analyze what they saw and share.

“On most placements, students worked together in groups sharing and discussing the videos among themselves to get feedback,” says Annemette.

“IRIS Connect is such a powerful tool. We found that once students started recording themselves they actually got into the habit of doing it and more importantly, they wanted to do it. They were more than happy to share videos with us, using the editing tool to select key moments which gave us more time to look at them.

She continues; “The video recordings and data processing tools have opened the  students’ eyes to aspects of their teaching that they did not notice before. That’s why the process of analyzing the video afterwards is so important. The tools in IRIS Connect helped them to get deep analysis of what they actually did and then see how they could improve on the basis of their research.”

Frits Hedegaard Eriksen, a lecturer involved in the project, agrees: “It’s not the videoing of themselves that makes them think deeper, it’s the analysis of the videos that does and I think that has been a great success. Our student teachers use the tools in IRIS Connect very sophisticatedly so they are dealing with data instead of stories to discuss and improve their teaching.”


“The video recordings and data processing tools have opened the  students’ eyes to aspects of their teaching that they did not notice before. That’s why the process of analyzing the video afterwards is so important. The tools in IRIS Connect helped them to get deep analysis of what they actually did and then see how they could improve on the basis of their research.”


Investigating triangulated teacher PD

With the project at an end, Frits and Annemette are now encouraging more students to make use of IRIS Connect.

“We’re going to see if we can use the recordings from placements next year in what we call a three party conversation with the teacher trainer, student teacher and the placement teacher,” explains Annemette.

“It’s a triangle learning situation which we have had for many years but very rarely have we used video as part of those conversations so we’re going to explore how that could work. And the Group functionality in IRIS Connect is really good for this because it means we can share videos with people outside our own community.”

Student teachers


Supporting education programmes across the board

Due to the success of the initial project, VIA University College have decided to roll out IRIS Connect’s video-based training and professional development technology across all 8 of their campuses, extending its use to support a wider range of their education programmes.

With focus on applied sciences and participating in various research and development projects, they see IRIS Connect as a powerful tool supporting them in their mission to be a leading educational institution in Denmark and internationally.

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A structured approach to self-reflection for teachers

 


The impact of IRIS Connect film club

Unity Academy Blackpool in the UK have provided their teachers with a structured approach to self-reflection, encouraging them to take risks and experiment with new teaching strategies.

Through IRIS Connect film club, teachers were given access to video clips, resources and discussion questions focused on dialogic teaching. They came together to collaborate, reflect and discuss the strategies used, before trying them in their own classrooms. We spoke to Head of Communications, Toni Shaw to find out about her experience and the impact it’s had on her and her colleagues.

 


Why did you choose to run a film club?
Toni: We chose to run IRIS Connect film club as part of our whole school teaching and learning strategy to encourage people to experiment and take risks. The different episodes of film club provided us with a specific focus for this and encouraged dialogue and ‘corridor talk’ amongst the teaching staff. Sixteen members of staff across our primary and secondary sectors attended the first meeting. This included those who were already using IRIS Connect as well as those that hadn’t.

What do you like about film club?
Toni: The opportunity to try something new and to discuss it with both our primary and secondary colleagues. It also forces me to dedicate time to my personal development that often gets buried under the day to day role of a classroom teacher.

Has film club affected the professional learning culture at all?
Toni: Yes. It’s encouraged people to use IRIS Connect for the first time and allowed teachers who experimented with the strategies, an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone. Self-reflection is an important part of our Academy Improvement Plan so it gave people a very structured way of approaching this.

What exactly was it about film club that made a difference?
Toni: The neutral video clips, collaborative approach and clear focus are all part of the appeal of film club. For instance, the collaborative approach provided opportunities for us to open dialogue with our colleagues about how things had gone. Where we found a particular area of the strategy a challenge, it was useful to coach each other towards possible solutions.

The content in episode 1: the Empire Talks Back is great. Especially because the teacher in the clip used strategies that wouldn’t be traditionally encouraged, such as not giving praise.

Will you be using film club in the future?
Toni: Yes. We are due to run the second episode early January so hopefully, with more experience, I will have a better understanding of how we can use it going forward, and how many people experimented with the strategy after the meeting. My goal is to use the film club approach and apply our own classroom clips that coincide with our teaching and learning improvement plan.

Can you suggest any improvements?
Toni: To aid the development of discussion I would have liked to have watched the pre-screening clip a couple of times within the session with my colleagues. This would have opened up much more professional dialogue. Watching it in advance meant that we had all already drawn our own conclusions and therefore, made our discussions rather brief.

 



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What is film club? 

What is Film Club?

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Building a positive culture of professional learning

 


The impact of IRIS Connect film club

Whitecote Primary School based in the UK, has developed an open and positive professional learning culture, and supported staff to analyse and discuss teaching and learning more successfully.

As a participant in an EEF funded project in the UK, staff at Whitecote Primary School ran IRIS Connect film club, a ready-made professional learning programme. It gave them access to video clips, resources and discussion questions focused on dialogic teaching, via IRIS Connect. Teachers then came together to reflect, discuss and learn before implementing the new strategies in their own classrooms.

We caught up with year 6 teacher Dan Sheffrin to find out about his experience of IRIS Connect film club and the impact it’s had on him, the school and their learners.


IRIS Connect: Why is film club effective?
Dan: It works because it ties into what we are already doing, becoming part of the whole picture. For instance, yesterday we had a meeting on Maths, and we referred back to the learning from a film club session about dialogic teaching.

IRIS Connect: Is that because of the specific content on dialogic teaching, or the flexible format of film club? 
Dan: It’s both. The content, which was really useful in itself, and the format of film club. The ready-made modules or episodes really help because half the job is done for you.

IRIS Connect: Tell us how you are using film club at the moment?
Dan: We are using groups of three teachers from across year groups to promote mixing and better spread ideas across the school.


Find out what the teachers at Whitecote Primary School think of IRIS Connect film club…

   


IRIS Connect: So it’s an intentional network?
Dan: Yes. It means that people feel secure within the triad but can also go beyond it to get new ideas. We’re using whole school priorities as focuses for the triads e.g. at the moment we are looking at reciprocal reading and seeing how to implement that.

IRIS Connect: So you are using film club for change management?
Dan: Yes, film club is a useful template for change management. The next topic we’re hoping to explore through it, is Bloom’s Taxonomy. It feels like a very sustainable approach to embedding whole school priorities.

IRIS Connect: Has using film club affected the professional learning culture at all? If so, how?
Dan: Definitely! The culture is less top down, people are more open and its created an atmosphere of trust between teachers.

IRIS Connect: What exactly is it about film club that’s made a difference?
Dan: The clips are high quality and lead to fantastic face-to-face discussion during the film club screening. The online comments function is very helpful for sharing thoughts beyond the triads. This combination of formats works really well. Like with anything in school, you need someone with capacity to keep this going and it must have support from leadership.

IRIS Connect: Any improvements we can make to film club?
Dan: It’s really useful to see what’s happening beyond your own school, so we’d like more episodes please.

IRIS Connect: Thanks Dan, we plan to keep creating new episodes with different teaching and learning focuses from a range of schools around the world. Watch this space!

What is film club? 

What is Film Club?

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✓  Try IRIS Connect Film Club
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Creating coaching capacity with video


West Hills STEM Academy

Teachers and coaches at West Hills STEM Academy in Bremerton, Washington have been using IRIS Connect video technology to transform their professional development process. Assistant Principal Andrea Tee shares a few insights from their journey:

Why did West Hills STEM Academy decide to adopt video-based professional development?

​”We have a large staff and one instructional coach. Often, the instructional coach is requested to support during the same time in multiple classrooms. It is not possible for this to happen! The video-based professional development program helps to mitigate this problem as she can now be in more than one place at once.”

How do educators at West Hills use IRIS Connect?

“​Educators at West Hills STEM Academy use IRIS Connect in a variety of ways, determined by their individual needs for professional development and support. ​Some use it to target a specific skill they have selected to work on and reflect privately or in collaboration with the instructional coach. Some share their videos within their Grade Level PLCs to talk about practices and connections to the curriculum and its implementation. Others use it to share with their evaluator to talk about their growth in connection with the CEL5D instructional framework. ​Some even use it for the purpose of reflecting and improving classroom management.”

Have you seen changes in the culture of professional learning?

​”Staff seem less hesitant about opening up their practice – to their peers, their evaluators, and even the general public. They have a better sense of what is occurring in the school, feel more connected to the experiences of their peers, and have increased ownership in our common agreements and school-wide professional development goals.”​

Were staff initially hesitant? How were you able to overcome that?

​”Staff were initially hesitant. Capitalizing on the bravery of the early adopters and then allowing additional adopters the options to participate in the Video Professional Development in a format that was still within their zone of proximal development has increased teacher buy-in to the program. A strong emphasis on privacy and protecting that privacy has also been very helpful – to the point that our staff are fully comfortable with sharing amongst their teams and are not concerned about what their evaluator sees.”

What tools or resources have you found most helpful in using video for professional learning?

“Clear protocols using targeted feedback – strengths-based, actionable, and evidence-based – provide a focused and safe environment for interacting with the video. It creates a culture of trust that opens up the practice and avoids the pitfall of criticism and comparison.”

How have your teachers/coaches/students benefitted?

Things teachers have said:

“I found it useful both for self-reflection as well as getting a better picture into what groups were doing/how they were interacting when I wasn’t nearby. It was a great way to record student discourse that I didn’t always get to hear.”

“Increased my focus on a topic. I don’t like being watched but after a while I forgot the camera was there so my teaching was more natural and felt like it was an opportunity to get genuine professional feedback without worrying about someone sitting in my room. Watching the video helped me reflect on practices other than just my focus topic.”

“It’s helped me see where I spend most of my focus/attention during my lessons.”

“Students get to evaluate themselves and actually see their form for different skills vs thinking they know what they did.”

“As a coach, it has allowed me to be in more places at one time, helping to support more teachers in what they need. The direct benefit to me is time.”

Do you find that using video for PD increases PD efficiency and effectiveness of professional learning at West Hills?

“Yes, not only is it efficient, but it can be individualized to meet the needs and areas of growth for a specific educator.”

What advice, tips, or recommendations would you offer to other educators considering adopting IRIS Connect?

“A strong, collaborative, safe and trusting environment is the #1 essential piece to have in place for adoption of the IRIS connect to be successful.

  • Set up a structure to support teachers with the basics of the technology.
  • Adopt clear protocols that can flex to an individual teacher’s needs.
  • Obtain background and training in targeted feedback – strengths-based, evidence-based, and actionable.”

Desiree Hall

Desiree, teacher and coach at West Hills STEM Academy, explains her transition from traditional coaching to video-based coaching. Through the use of video, Desiree multiplies her coaching impact among colleagues. Hear her story below.

To learn more about West Hills STEM Academy’s school-wide use of video for professional development, click here.

“I have been able to be in multiple rooms at the same time without actually being there. It’s been extremely powerful!”

“I don’t think it matters where you are in your career, whether you’re a first year teacher or a 30 year teacher… there’s something that you always can learn, and there’s lots of different ways to learn it.”

 

IRIS Connect allows educators to capture, upload, analyze, and share videos online for highly-effective professional learning. If you’d like to learn more about IRIS Connect call 206-201-1998 or click here to start a free trial.

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Getting started with video professional learning


Ryan Hanley, a year 5 teacher at Treleigh Community Primary School in the UK, volunteered to be one of the first to use IRIS Connect after his school invested in the system in January 2016. In his own words, Ryan shares an honest account of his experiences of getting started with video professional learning and how he is finding the use of IRIS Connect…

With the changes to the new primary curriculum and the raised expectations, it is tempting to say that teaching and learningTeacher using video in the classroom has been compromised. Do we solely focus on teaching the increased content driven curriculum, or focus on the best methods and vehicles in which to deliver this content?

We believe IRIS Connect will help us as a team to hold true to our convictions and focus on the best methods to deliver this new curriculum. With a balance of video-based activities in the IRIS Connect platform and peer coaching groups, we’re hoping to improve how we teach, encourage and motivate one another to focus on what really matters; the impact our actions have on children’s learning.


Getting started with video professional learning

We are a medium-sized expanding Cornish school that serves the biggest conurbation in Cornwall – Camborne, Pool and Redruth district. After initially seeing the IRIS Connect platform at a local cluster school’s ‘learning-group’ training day in 2015, our deputy-head teacher was keen to investigate further.

Soon enough, we invested in the system and put forward two teachers (myself and the year 6 teacher) to be in charge of getting used to the equipment, ensuring that it was embedded into our practice and a consistent part of our professional development.

We began using IRIS Connect in January 2016. Rather than just being seen as another ‘bolt-on’ or ‘gimmick’ for the new curriculum by our fellow colleagues, we knew it would be important to ensure that IRIS Connect was properly embedded into our school practice.

Working with our deputy-headteacher, we planned a ‘3 half-termly phased’ approach to help us structure the way teachers got used to the equipment; becoming familiar and competent at recording themselves.

We also had a liaison with Richard from Impact Matters, a leadership consultancy that act as regional partner for IRIS Connect, working with schools and colleges in Wales and the South West of England. Richard helped us to think about coaching methodology, and how to encourage peer-to-peer support amongst the teachers to help motivate and encourage this new approach in our school.


Building the confidence to share with others

Teacher using IRIS ConnectInitially, however, we had to get used to the equipment and filming our lessons. They say with IRIS Connect, you need to get 4 recordings done ‘on-the-bounce’ to get over that initial awareness that you’re being filmed throughout your lesson; and we both found this to be true! Equally, after 4 recordings, we found that we became less concerned with our ‘looks’ and how we sounded on camera, and more focused on the impact the lesson had on the children. We began recording lessons just to see if a new idea would work, or how a group would react to a certain task etc.

Once you’ve recorded a lesson, you have the ability to share it internally from your account to that of a colleague. At first, we both found it slightly nerve-racking to share our lessons; it’s a lesson observation all over again! Will he think I went on too long during the input? Were the children engaged? Was there enough challenge? All these questions flooded our minds before we hit the share button.

However, to the contrary, the comments (which can be tagged within minute and second intervals of the video – like a Facebook feed!) were very encouraging and up-lifting. As we were both ‘in the same boat’, we both enjoyed having the opportunity to be the ‘fly-on-the-wall’ in each other’s lessons. More importantly still, we could silence the harshest critics (ourselves) and focus on the positives; a skill that is arguably forgotten in the current teaching climate.


Setting up coaching triads

Once we had set up coaching triads, our colleagues enthusiastically took to video coaching, recording both long and short lessons in order to get over the ‘4 recording hurdle.’

On a staff-meeting feedback session, we found that the feeling of anxiety before sharing a video was common. However, we knew that we didn’t have to share our video and that if the lesson was an absolute car-crash, we could always choose not to and try again the next day.

Currently, we are still in the process of recording lessons with set focuses to help us get used to the coaching process, improving our professional development and overall teaching and learning.


Looking to the future
treleigh community primary school

Although it is still early-days for us, we are hoping that we can build a ‘bank’ of good practice videos that will help not only the staff at Treleigh, but maybe even the schools in our cluster and learning group as well.

We are already seeing how our PGCE students are benefiting from the impact of seeing themselves teach and saving time arranging demonstrations and observations of other teachers, rather than just logging on to watch best practice of a particular focus they need.

We’re in the business of educating, and this life-long education culture needs to be alive and modelled by the teachers to the children they teach.

IRIS Connect is certainly an educational journey for us, one we are only beginning, but are excited to be on.


What is IRIS Connect?

IRIS Connect platformIRIS Connect is a secure, personalized place for teachers to record, analyze and reflect on their practice.

Teachers can take control and arrange their own professional learning experiences and resources. As well as share easily with each other to make collaboration simple, organized and effective.

Find out more

 

 


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Increasing adoption and relevance of PD activities

West Hills STEM Academy

Teachers and coaches at West Hills STEM Academy are using IRIS Connect to make sure professional development time is focused on aspects that are most relevant to each individual classroom and seeing impact the very next day.

Julie Lordon, Teacher at West Hills, explains how her previous PD experiences were mainly idea-based, but weren’t always relevant to her classroom. This resulted in a lack of implementation:

“You spend one day learning about some new strategy or curriculum, but it’s very separated from the real world.”

This changed when the academy adopted IRIS Connect, which she says is “probably been one of the most meaningful and relevant tools that we have used to really reflect and improve our teaching practices.”

Even experienced Teacher, Connie Wheeler, who was reluctant to use the system at first as she is retiring from teaching in a year, has seen value:

“I could really see this as a tool that you’d use frequently in your classroom; just for yourself, even if you chose to never share it with anyone else.”

Use of IRIS Connect has also made the academy’s coaching programmes easier, as Desiree Hall, Teacher and Coach at West Hills, explains:

“I can be in multiple rooms at the same time without actually being there.”



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Personalized professional learning


Heritage High School

Amy Klennert

At a STEM-PD workshop day facilitated by Evergreen Public Schools and their region’s Educational Service District, Amy Klennert, Math Teacher at Heritage High School, shares how IRIS Connect has personalized professional learning and enhanced coaching experiences for her. She says:

“I would highly recommend IRIS Connect to other teachers. It has helped me to analyze my proximity management and question levels. I have used it to check how students are using academic language and help special populations present mathematics. I have also created a video for my coach to show my classes when I am absent.”

 

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Video transforms teacher professional development at Tumwater High School


Interview with Tumwater HS Principal Jeff Broome

For the past several years, teachers at Tumwater High School in Washington have been using IRIS Connect video technology to transform their professional development process. Below, Principal Jeff Broome shares his insights about their journey.

Why did Tumwater HS decide to adopt video-based professional development?

“We had been looking for ways to provide teachers with more opportunities for personal growth and reflection besides the traditional evaluation and coaching methods. Our district does not allocate coaching resources at the secondary level so we were looking for ways to facilitate this process through our PLCs. We had already been doing peer “learning walks” and discussing problems of practice, so the IRIS Connect platform was a logical extension of our work.”

How do educators at Tumwater HS use IRIS Connect?

“Our math and science teachers have been using IRIS Connect for two purposes for several years now. The primary purpose is for self-reflection. Teachers will record and review their own videos looking at specific aspects of their instruction and then share their reflections with their PLC team mates. This has been a safe entry point for our teachers because others do not see their video but they do share their thoughts and insights with their team.

We have also been doing some peer observation and feedback using IRIS Connect. Some teachers have been recording and sharing videos with a partner and getting feedback on specific parts of their lesson. The use of the technology has really benefited our PLC teams in creating a collective culture of inquiry, growth, and trust.

This year we purchased an additional Discovery Kit and next month we are launching an initiative to see if we can expand the use of this tool building wide. This week I had a teacher (who was very nervous about the evaluation process) record her classroom over a several day period and review her videos and share segments with me that I would use for my formal observation. In the end, she felt great about the process. I could watch the videos on my own time and she had a more reflective observational experience. It was a win for everyone involved.”

Have you seen changes in the culture of professional learning?

“Yes, definitely. Our PLC times are so much more focused because teachers are more in tune with their own improvement goals and they have shared with their colleagues. It is a very vulnerable process and when you are able to do that; it takes your PLC to a completely new level. We are also trying to cultivate a culture of continuous improvement and IRIS Connect allows us to drive teachers to be more reflective about their work.”

Were staff initially hesitant? How did you overcome that?

“Yes, they were hesitant. We did some exercises to help staff get more comfortable with seeing themselves on video. Many of my teachers are either new teachers or have gone through the National Board Certification process, in both of these cases video reflection is required. There are still people that are hesitant, but the cultural tide is shifting. Every day people are getting more comfortable with the idea. We gently nudge people! We are persistent that this is that way that we will be facilitating our PD in the future.”

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?

“We were able to overcome the technology challenges; the product is very easy to use. It was really getting people behind the idea that we can learn from watching ourselves. Teaching can be such a private experience and so breaking the teacher culture of isolated silos was the most difficult part. We overcame that barrier early on by using our learning walks. Getting teachers in each other’s classrooms was the first step. The difficult part is that it is logistically difficult and can be expensive to get substitutes. Once people were excited about seeing their colleagues, IRIS Connect was a logical next step to get the same experience.”

What tools or resources have you found most helpful in using video for professional learning?

“The videos and tools in the platform have been very helpful. I have been very fortunate to have a strong teacher leader with me on this journey. Chad Stussy our Science Department PLC leader has been instrumental in leading this charge. As a Principal, I recognize that my instructional leadership can sometimes be limited by the fact that I am not a teacher and have not been one for some time. Using teacher leaders has been a great way to get excited, motivated and credible people moving the same direction to push a cultural change in our building.”

Do you find that using video for PD increases PD efficiency and effectiveness of professional learning at Tumwater?

“The problem with general PD delivery is that it is one size fits all. We preach differentiation to our teachers but we rarely provide it for them in their PD opportunities. Video PD provides teachers with an opportunity to chart their own PD path. The price of an Discovery Kit is the same as sending a team of teachers across the state to a conference for a few days — it is well worth it.”

What advice, tips, or recommendations would you offer to other educators considering adopting IRIS Connect?

“Start small and with a willing group of volunteers. If you continue to support these pioneers with resources, time and encouragement it will gain momentum and begin to be a cultural norm for your organization. Done right, IRIS Connect can help you create the reflective culture of improvement you are looking for.”

Melissa and Chad Stussy

Find out how Melissa and Chad Stussy, Science Teachers at Tumwater High School, are using IRIS Connect to collect evidence for their Teacher/Principal Evaluation Project (TPEP), to support the use of essential questioning across the Science department, and help with their classroom management.


Joshua Reynolds

Learn how student teacher, Joshua Reynolds, is using IRIS Connect to gain important feedback, and explore and develop his practice.


IRIS Connect allows educators to capture, upload, analyze, and share videos online for highly-effective professional learning. If you’d like to learn more about IRIS Connect call 206-201-1998 or click here to start a free trial.

Get started – it’s FREE!

✓  Try IRIS Connect Film Club
✓  Record, reflect on & analyze your practice
✓  Use coaching & collaboration tools


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Developing a growth mindset in students


Braunstone Frith Primary School


Zainab Gangat, a recently qualified teacher at Braunstone Frith Primary School in the UK, has used IRIS Connect to develop a growth mindset in students. Here she explains how.

Why did you decide to develop a growth mindset in your students?

At Braunstone Frith, we believe failure isn’t a permanent state; if you get something wrong it doesn’t matter, you just need to keep working at it until you get it right and actually the more you fail the better it is for you because when you do get it, it’ll really stick with you.


How did you do it?

My students used to be really fussy and claim that they couldn’t do things. So, I introduced the idea of a growth mindset through grit, the perseverance and passion for long-term goals and used the phrase ‘keep on swimming’ from the film Finding Nemo to help them understand.

They now know that if they find something really difficult they’ve got to keep on swimming and ask themselves, how am I going to do this?

They’ve got three options to choose from:

1. They can ask the person next to them

2. They can have a go, get it wrong and then ask the teacher to guide them a little bit more

3. They can ask the teaching assistant who’s also in the classroom


What impact has it had?

Before working with IRIS Connect to develop grit and a growth mindset, I had two children who weren’t very confident learners. Over time they have got better and now they’re independent learners. They’ll just get on with the task at hand and quite often move on to the more challenging work. In terms of progress they’re making strides because I’ve been able to successfully embed that mindset in them.


How did IRIS Connect help you?

Through the regular use of IRIS Connect to film my lessons, I have been able to see which children haven’t quite got to grips with the concept of grit and don’t use a growth mindset yet. I then use the videos to work out what the barriers are to them developing it.

I also created a showreel demonstrating how well my children have developed a growth mindset to show my professional learning progress. I started off with a lesson right at the start of term where the idea was there but it wasn’t very clear what I was trying to do. Then in the videos towards the end, you can really see how the children have developed as a result of how I’ve developed, in terms of the language and questioning that I’ve used. I also interviewed two children who were using grit and could explain it really well.

I couldn’t have done any of this without IRIS Connect, it’s really helped me a lot.


What are your plans moving forward for this?

Obviously there’s a transition between my class going up to the next year,  so I’d like to use IRIS Connect to show their new teacher what they are capable of and how they are using a growth mindset. From that she will know what she can expect from them and maybe use that or even show them the videos of them using it at the start of the year to remind them. I’m also planning on using it again with my class next year but this time jumping straight in with the techniques that have worked and refining them to meet the needs of the new children I’ll be working with.


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Supporting Student Teachers with video PD


Braunstone Frith Primary School

Braunstone Frith Primary School in the UK is using IRIS Connect to help support and develop student teachers.


Learning and Developing

Walk the halls of Braunstone Frith Primary School in the UK and you could meet any one of the 8 enthusiastic NQTs (Newly Qualified Teachers) and 1 RQT (Recently Qualified Teacher) who they have been supporting for the past year. Visit any classroom and you will see the confidence that live remote coaching has brought to those student teachers.

Since September 2014, Education Consultant, Mike Fleetham, has been working with the team at Braunstone Frith to support the learning and development of student teachers.

They chose to use IRIS Connect in addition to their existing lesson study process to develop a unique program that would accelerate the quality PD of these 9 teachers.

“Germaine McKinnon (Assistant Headteacher and Instructional Coach for the school) and I began by working with each NQT; offering them different styles of coaching using IRIS Connect,” explains Mike. “Some people decided to do live remote coaching, some decided to do self reflections, others decided to work with each other.”

Mike and Germaine took a coaching rather than mentoring approach. “Instead of telling them what to do or giving them advice, we helped them draw out their own solutions to challenges. So when they were watching themselves on video we were prompting them with questions to help them come to their own conclusions about what they needed to do. We found this to be more effective because the NQTs felt they had more ownership over their professional learning,” explains Mike.


Why IRIS Connect?

“We chose IRIS Connect because we wanted our NQTs to learn quickly and become reflective practitioners,” explains Germaine.

We wanted to be able to really support the NQTS and help them develop. The NQTs got up and ran with it. With the support they received from Mike Fleetham and IRIS Connect’s in-ear coaching tool, the progress they have made and the improvement to the quality of their teaching has been extraordinary.

NQT, Christopher Brown, says: “I think it’s really accelerated my progress because it’s allowed an insight into my practice that I wouldn’t have had in any other way. Through the in-ear headset, my coach has always given me advice that’s appropriate to me and relevant to my class. It’s really helped to give positive but also relevant points for my teaching and I feel that through our close working relationship I’m more susceptible to taking on new ideas.”

NQT, Ellen Watts, says: “At the beginning of the year I was looking at how to develop the children through my questioning with my coach. Through live remote coaching, he taught me loads of different ways to build that up. I would be doing my PowerPoint and he would say to me; ‘This would be a really good time to ask this question’, or; ‘Why don’t you ask them to come up and point to the picture if they can’t give you an answer’.

So, I got to develop all of my questioning techniques during my lessons, helping me to easily make them part of my normal everyday practice. As the year’s gone on, I can see that the students have developed their questioning as a result of me developing mine. I’ve had a lot of challenges and IRIS Connect has helped me to develop myself and have a really good NQT year.


Demonstrating Progress

Towards the end of the year, the student teachers developed showreels of their practice to demonstrate how they had progressed. They picked key moments of their development across the year and edited them into short 5-10 minute films.

“For example, one person chose behavior management as their focus, so she put together snapshots throughout the year of her demonstrating how her behaviour management skills had improved. She showed a clip of carpet time in September, carpet time in January, carpet time in June and you could see through the sequence of clips how the learners had improved because of the techniques she was using,” describes Mike.

I created a showreel demonstrating how well my children have developed a growth mindset to show my professional learning progress.

It began with a lesson right at the start of term where the idea was there, but it wasn’t very clear what I was trying to do. Then in the videos towards the end you can really see how the children have developed as a result of how I’ve developed, in terms of the language and questioning that I’ve used. I couldn’t have done any of this without IRIS Connect, it’s really helped me a lot.

– RQT Zainab Gangat.


A Sustainable Future

The end point of the year’s NQT program is the development of a personal PD plan. “So, they’re choosing what they do and how they do it making them independent, lifelong professional learners,” explains Germaine.

“I think it’s going to be really interesting to watch the progress of these NQTs over the next two to three years. Our hypothesis is that by being involved in this intense IRIS Connect video coaching programme they will be more self motivated, more empowered to take on their own PD.”

As well as developing NQTs, Mike also worked with Germaine in her role as lead coach, to help her develop her instructional coaching and video coaching skills. “Part of that was to help her build on her existing success with the lesson study programme and figure out how to work IRIS Connect into that,” describes Mike. “Germaine is now beginning to train other people in her school as coaches thereby making the whole process sustainable.”

Using IRIS Connect platform

The natural next step for rolling out IRIS Connect in the school is to have those experienced NQTs working with their colleagues who are less familiar with the technology.

The plan is to have people working in pairs or trios, each including one of the 8 NQTs who will then help the other person(s) to become familiar with IRIS Connect and how to use it as a CPD tool.

“Certainly the progress that the NQTs have made and the improvement to the quality of their teaching has been extraordinary. IRIS Connect is definitely having an impact on the quality of teaching and learning here at Braunstone Frith,” explains Headteacher, Amelia Smith.

It’s helped us focus on people’s individual PD needs which then had an impact on whole school targets. PD is now much more individualised but also helping us to get people to be more accountable for their own learning rather than just waiting for the school to sort it out.


What is IRIS Connect?

Online learning for teachers
Our cloud-based platform gives teachers a secure, personalised place to record, analyse and reflect on their practice.

Teachers can collaborate easily with colleagues and share their lessons and resources with each other to create a sustainable professional learning community within one platform.

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Get started – it’s FREE!

✓  Try IRIS Connect Film Club
✓  Record, reflect on & analyze your practice
✓  Use coaching & collaboration tools


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