'Teachscape Reflect' Provides the Next Generation of Professional Development

Oct 12, 2010, 09:28 ET from Teachscape

System integrates immersive, 360-degree video and online collaboration tools that allow educators to reflect on and share teaching practices

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teachscape, the leader in delivering web-based professional learning content, innovative technologies, and expert services to improve teaching practice, has created the next generation of professional development with the launch of Teachscape Reflect. Developed for educators, this is the first solution to combine state-of-the-art 360-degree video capture hardware and online software to provide teachers with a panoramic view of their classroom that helps them reflect on their teaching, share instructional practices, and receive timely coaching support.

Teachscape Reflect hardware includes a low-profile lightweight device combining two high-definition video cameras and two high-quality wireless microphones to provide a 360-degree view of what is happening in the classroom. As the wireless microphones capture audio from both teacher and students, one video camera captures everything the teacher is doing at the front of the room (Board Camera), while the other camera simultaneously captures a 360-degree panoramic video of the entire classroom. The panoramic camera is connected to a dedicated capture station (included with Teachscape Reflect) to store classroom footage during recording.

After recording, the video footage is uploaded to Teachscape's secure web site. Teachscape's password-protected, web-based video sharing and management software allows educators to view, comment, and share their classroom videos. The reflection and professional learning process takes place as educators not only reflect on their own practice, but also share their videos and comments with other teachers, coaches, and principals.

"Improving teacher effectiveness is the single most powerful solution to improve learning outcomes for all students. To improve teacher effectiveness, educators must be allowed to view what they are doing on a given day and also observe what their peers are doing in other classrooms," said Mark Atkinson, CEO of Teachscape. "Teachscape has used video of effective teaching practices within its professional development programs for years, and Teachscape Reflect is the next generation of the application of this technology."

Teachscape Reflect enhances teacher coaching by allowing coaches to review actual footage of lessons and to point out specific growth opportunities. Coaches can also work with teachers to identify areas of teaching excellence. With Teachscape Reflect, schools and districts can better match coaching expertise to teacher needs since review, observation, and coaching can be done remotely and at any time.

Teachscape Reflect was born out of Teachscape's work in the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As part of the MET project, Teachscape's panoramic video capture, sharing, and scoring tools have been used to capture and score more than 12,000 lessons in more than 3,000 classrooms in six states.

Technical Specifications

The Teachscape Reflect audio/video capture device is (L) 21.75" x (W) 7.9" x (H) 9.5" (with the camera arm down) and weighs approximately 12 lbs. The panoramic camera has a video resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and the Board Camera's resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels. Integrated into the Teachscape Reflect camera system are (1) a high-quality lavalier microphone worn by the teacher to capture all teacher delivered instruction and (2) a high quality ambient microphone that picks up student discussions and student-teacher interaction.  In addition to the camera, Teachscape Reflect includes a laptop to use as the dedicated capture station and the Teachscape Reflect tagging and sharing software. The entire system can be easily transported among classrooms with the included rolling carrying case.

Availability and Training

The complete Teachscape Reflect system, including the camera, the dedicated capture station, and an annual Teachscape Reflect software license, will be available for purchase in October 2010 and will start shipping to customers in December 2010. Services and support are also available to ensure success with Teachscape Reflect. The training package includes a full day of product training and professional learning on using Teachscape Reflect to support self-reflection and school-wide professional learning communities. Toll-free support is included for all Teachscape Reflect users. Additional coaching and professional learning services are also available for enable schools and districts to deepen their work with Teachscape Reflect.

For more information about Teachscape Reflect, visit www.teachscape.com or call 1-877-988-3224.

About Teachscape

Teachscape uniquely combines innovative technology, engaging content and expert services to develop great teachers. From its Classroom Walkthrough technology, to its powerful web-based content delivery platform, to its online masters programs, Teachscape's award-winning products and services have been inspired by its dedication to sparking transformative change in teaching practice.  Since 1999, Teachscape has worked with schools and school districts, charter networks, archdioceses, universities and state education departments to measurably and continuously improve the effectiveness of teachers and instructional leaders to produce gains in student achievement. Teachscape's partners include Stanford University, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Charlotte Danielson to help shape its vision, its products, and its strategies. For more information, visit Teachscape at http://www.teachscape.com.

SOURCE Teachscape