This year the coaches I work with in Kansas and Oregon are experimenting with video to support a variety of approaches to coaching. In most cases, the coaches use Flip Cameras, iphone3Gs, or other micro cameras. These cameras are used to (a) record teachers as they try out new practices so that the video can be used for coaching conversations, (b) record model lessons that can be downloaded right onto a teacher's computer so they can review them when they wish, (c) record coaches, who then watch their coaching practices to see how they can improve.
My friends and colleague are using video in other innovative ways. Jean Clark in Maryland has coached teachers to record themselves teaching and then to edit the video using iMovie to create clips showing a good teaching practice and a teaching practice that could improve. The teachers then share the clips in PLCs and everyone constructively discusses what they see. Jean has found that teachers find it to be extremely powerful to edit their own video--the multiple reviews of the video, she says, are highly informative.
Lynn Fuller, an instructional technology coach, uses the iSight video camera on her Powerbook to record herself during facilitation sessions. She just opens up her laptop, turns on the camera, and records away. Lynn says she finds reviewing the recording to be extremely educational, and she now records herself all of the time.
Watching yourself is a revelation, and it is not for the faint of heart. Having watched myself way too much recently, during my workshops, I now know I need to diet and maybe tuck my shirt in a little better. But watching yourself, aside for challenging your vanity, reveals information that you have no idea about until you see it. I now know that I could do a better job of providing advance organizers during, and I'm going to be working on that starting tomorrow. In fact I'm going to ask someone to tape me tomorrow, so I can see how I do.