Most have heard of the individual education plan or IEP if you’ve been in education circles for more than 5 minutes. As research grows in the field of education, so does the variety of strategies with which to teach students with nuanced learning differences. This creates an interesting dynamic for the public school teacher with an ever growing amount of students in the classroom. Enter differentiated classroom instruction. How is a teacher supposed to incorporate this teaching strategy while accounting for individual education plans and expect to get anything done?
We have been hearing for a while about different types of learners. Some visual, some auditory, some prefer reading/writing, while others excel at demonstrating content retention through using their bodies to create something. It’s an interesting dynamic if you think about it. Don’t we as adults have a preferred way to receive new information? Some like blogs, others prefer video content, still other adults like live instruction. We can all agree that when you apply a preferred method of content delivery to the learner, the ability to receive the information and retain it increases dramatically. So how do you measure that in children with IEPs with any merit?
Teachers Tell What They Do For Differentiated Classroom Instruction
For most teachers, it is required to note what was done for differentiated classroom instruction to demonstrate how a lesson was delivered. When peers come in to audit and evaluate instruction, again, it is written down as to what was done by the teacher being observed. The auditor or person reading the notes written by the teacher will then determine based on what was written as to whether or not what was done was effective. How would you know that from reading notes?
You could go back to the student(s) and ask them questions about what was delivered based on their preferred differentiated classroom instruction and make a determination as to the effectiveness of what was taught. Most students only retain part of what is taught in the best case scenario. Going back to them a week or two later would give you a very skewed version of the effectiveness of what was taught through no fault of the teacher. So how do we best handle evaluation of effectiveness?
Students Are The Only Way To Gauge Effectiveness In Instruction Methodology
Simple note taking and observations with written reports will never do enough to help us understand what kinds of content are received best and what methodologies employed in teaching them made the most impact. There really is little to reflect on honestly.
If we are to see how something was instructed and what its effectiveness was, we need to make better use of real-time data gathering: video. What better way to observe, especially when you are reflecting on an experience later, than video? Reports are usually written for someone else to read later. Video is a better data gathering tool than written reports ever could be. So why aren’t they more widely used when it comes to observing the classroom, particularly around differentiated classroom instruction and IEP effectiveness?
Wouldn’t it be great to video something in the classroom and allow others to see and hear exactly what transpired without the bias of an auditor or a written report? Where would you put it all for safekeeping?
Video Recorded Classroom Audits And Reports Require Compliant Data Storage
Many are skeptical about video recording in the classroom because of the ability to keep the video safe from unintended eyes and the risk of legal exposure if privacy is not kept to the proper standards. FERPA and HIPAA compliance is a real issue in public and private schools. eCare Vault is the first solution of its kind with these two privacy compliance laws in mind.
Imagine a place where differentiated classroom instruction effectiveness, along with IEP delivery notes and progress reports, and videos proving the effectiveness of content delivery to a student could be stored for all involved to see and collaborate on in real time? What kind of job satisfaction would a teacher employing differentiated classroom instruction along with IEP delivery have if videos and supporting documentation were stored in one place for all to see?
The possibilities of video recording for content delivery effectiveness for those those with and without IEPs is endless. We have the technology in our back pockets every day to measure and prove teaching methodologies. Why not make better use of them?