In three years, the number of cameras installed in classrooms grew from 2 to 1,390
NEWTON COUNTY, GEORGIA – October 2015 —Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research has released a toolkit for their Best Foot Forward Project, a study conducted from 2013 to 2015 that took an in-depth look into how camera technology can be implemented in classrooms to aid in the teacher observation process. Newton County School System in Georgia was featured for their use of VIEWpath (Video Interactive Education Window) as an example of going from a small installation in specialized classrooms to a district-wide standard.
“In March [of 2015] we had just over 22,000 video recordings across the district, and that’s without a mandate to do so,” said Samantha Fuhrey, Superintendent of Newton County School System (NCSS). According to the Best Foot Forward toolkit, the number of cameras installed in classrooms grew from just two to 1,390 in just three years – not because teachers were compelled by administrators but because they recognized the impact of the technology on their practice. “Reflection is one of the most important things to improve practice in education, and [VIEWpath] allows them to do it,” said Shannon Buff, Director of Secondary Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development at NCSS.
Newton County started with just a few cameras installed mostly for security purposes in 2012. “For us video was part of creating a safe classroom environment,” stated Fuhrey. But they soon realized there was far more potential for using cameras in the classroom than just security. “We discovered that [VIEWpath] could be used for so much more,” said Fuhrey. “We learned that the video footage enhanced our professional learning communities because teachers were able to capture their instructional techniques and share them with their colleagues in a setting that was not evaluative.”
Recognizing an area for growth in their math department, Newton County trained one of their most effective math teachers to do video instruction for other teachers. Due to the great success of these videos, demand for cameras in the classroom increased dramatically among teachers. “I think that VIEWpath has been a total game changer for Newton County,” said Melissa Jackson, Instructional Technology Coordinator at NCSS. “It has created a true culture of sharing among our teachers.”
VIEWpath is part of an entire classroom solution installed at the schools in NCSS. In addition to VIEWpath, the school uses classroom audio systems that allows teachers to talk in their natural, soothing voice and be heard clearly by all students in the classroom. They also use the SAFE System, an alert notification system that can summon help in an emergency with the press of a button on the teacher’s microphone. All these products are available through Audio Enhancement, Inc.
ABOUT AUDIO ENHANCEMENT
Founder Claudia Anderson began Audio Enhancement, Inc. in 1978 with the simple idea that “learning begins with hearing.” As pioneers of infrared audio technology, Audio Enhancement brings understanding and success to both students and teachers. Today, Audio Enhancement continues to be owned and operated by the Anderson Family. For more information, please visit www.AudioEnhancement.com or call toll-free, 800-383-9362.