Peek Into America’s Best Classrooms With Teaching Channel

Nick Grantham is an Australian educator living and working in Ireland. With a background in education, engineering and e-learning, he founded Fractus Learning to connect people with a shared passion for technology and how it can bring education to life.

Best ClassroomsEver wanted to sneak a peek into the classrooms of your peers? Pop your head in the door and pull up a desk with the rest of the class? Well, Teaching Channel will give you front row seats to some of the best classrooms and teachers in America’s public schools… For free!

Teaching Channel is a fantastic service dedicated to video showcasing effective teaching practices in America’s schools. Delivering their inspiring video online and on TV, the non-profit organization is letting teachers share great ideas, techniques and methods all over the globe.

The Organization

Teaching Channel has been in the works since spring of 2010 and officially launched its public beta in June 2011. With three key objectives the organization has both its heart and head in the right place:

  • Build teacher-driven professional learning
  • Deepen and improve opportunities for teacher learning
  • Elevate and celebrate teachers in our society


Addressing The Need

In the 2012 Annual Letter from Bill Gates, education was a big focus for his foundation. His letter discusses U.S. education and problems with personnel systems:

“I still find it hard to believe that 95 percent of teachers are not given specific feedback about how to improve. Even more important than a pay schedule that rewards excellence is identifying and understanding excellence so that teachers know how they can improve. In all the meetings I have had with teachers around the country, and in the surveys we have done, it is clear that most teachers want more feedback and will use it to improve, even if the financial rewards for performance are comparatively modest.”

Teaching Channel tackles this problem head-on and it is no surprise that the team have received seed funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The well produced video content is a very positive step in the right direction, giving transparency into how the best teachers in public education are operating their classes.

 

How Can You View The Best Classrooms?

Teaching Channel can be watched on TV in the US, or online around the world. With over 300 videos and 20,000 teachers on the platform there is an endless source of quality content.

Search and Share

Videos can be searched by subject discipline (English, Math, Science History), grades (K-12) or topics. Topics cover many areas, ranging from class culture to behaviour and even a category for celebrating teachers. Videos range from one minute up to around half an hour and are all viewable in beautiful HD quality.

Video can also be shared on Facebook, Twitter and by email directly within the video player. If you would like to present or embed specific videos on your own school site or blog, there is also the ability to get embed code for each video.

Notes and Planner

Once you have signed up (for free) as a teacher on Teaching Channel you will be open to a number of extended features.

Notes, let you add your own personal comments to specific time frames of any video. This is particularly useful as your notes are not only viewable by yourself, but can also be shared when sharing the video.

The planner lets you add videos to your own calendar so you are reminded to watch them when scheduled. This can be very useful if you plan to replicate certain aspects of a video in  your own class.

Follow and Connect

One of the greatest benefits of social media and improving communication technology is the ability to share ideas. Teaching Channel takes idea sharing to a whole new level by bringing you into the best classrooms to watch how others teach, but it does not stop there.

Once you have an account on Teaching Channel you are also able to follow teachers that you are interested in. This means you can see what they are watching and what has interested them on the site. Not only is this a great way to find new and interesting content, but it is also a very good way to connect and network with other passionate teachers.

 

Are you using Teaching Channel to share ideas with America’s best classrooms? How would you feel about opening your doors to cameras?