No matter how experienced a teacher you might be, when using video in the classroom for the first time, we find that some teachers are a little anxious to capture their practice on camera.
This article shares some suggestions that might help ease nerves if you, or one of your colleagues, are feeling self-conscious about seeing yourself, or others seeing you, on camera.
Are your worries more about privacy and data security? Fear not! Visit our comprehensive GDPR section here.
You are not alone...
We have worked with many, many teachers across the globe and are used to hearing a variety of concerns about using cameras in the classroom - some of us even shared those concerns when we first started recording our own practice here at IRIS Connect!
However, that said we know that these concerns are very quickly overcome and harnessing all the benefits of using video for self-reflection and ongoing professional development becomes the main focus.
When we speak to teachers who have been concerned at the start about seeing themselves on camera, they've told us that it typically takes reviewing three recordings of yourself to move way past the superficial and focus on the teaching and learning.
To help move you to that place as quickly as possible, we have outlined some recommendations based on a number of concerns that we hear from time to time.
Remember that you are in control
You are in complete control of your content. Only you can see your recordings1 unless you specifically share them with other individual users or platform groups.
You can delete your recordings anytime you wish, even after they have been shared (any shares will also be removed). Don't worry you also have 30 days to recover any deleted recordings in case of being too hasty!
Linked article: How to... Share a Reflection.
Consider how you position your devices
If you are most concerned about seeing yourself on the recording, you can think about where in the room you position the device (or devices) which are capturing the video.
If you arrange the devices so that they are facing the classroom, rather than the front of the class, as pictured, then you are less likely to be featured predominantly in the recording.
You can adjust your positioning as you become more comfortable so that you get used to seeing more of yourself in the field of view.
Start in the staffroom... or your empty classroom
Perhaps you want to start one step before recording your classroom in action.
Some teachers have set their kit up in the staffroom and used it to simply record them making a cup of tea, then viewed that back to get used to the idea.
Alternatively, set up as you would in your classroom, but just record yourself setting up or clearing up at the end of the day. Get used to moving around the room knowing the camera is recording, but without the added pressure of teaching. You'll quickly see how easy it is to forget it's there at all!
Use anonymisation to take away the personal image
This is a top tip if you are really uncomfortable, to start with, seeing yourself on camera, and it can have added benefits for reflective practice too.
Apply the anonymisation filter to transform the way that your recording looks. I will take you away from seeing yourself and any insecurities that come with that, and allow to you really focus on what is happening in your classroom and all the great things that you are doing.
This can be a great tool to use even when you are not concerned about seeing yourself, as you can really focus on particular aspects of the recording, such as the use of tone, language or pace in a lesson. Give it a go!
Linked article: How to... Use the Anonymise Filter
Edit clips to review, or share, just the section you are confident with
With the easy to use 'edit' tool allowing you to select a section of a recording to create a new Reflection, you only have to share a short clip that you are happy with.
Remember, the power of using video is that you can get real insights and quality feedback on objective footage of your teaching practice. So, we hope that you will feel confident to share all aspects of your teaching as soon as possible.
Linked article: How to... Clip a video
Speak to a trusted colleague who has already recorded themself
It's unlikely that you'll be the only person in your organisation who is using IRIS Connect. Why not speak to a colleague who has recorded their practice already and hear about their experience? Share your worries and see if they have any tips to help you!
Even better, see if they would be willing to share a short clip with you so that you can see what it looks like in reality. You may be able to give them some positive feedback, and soon you'll be reciprocating!
Get inspired! Find out how other professionals have benefitted from video
It's tricky to try something new and overcome obstacles, especially when you aren't particularly motivated to do so.
Have a think about what you would want to focus on in your practice and consider your action plan for doing so. We suggest that you start by focussing on the positives! Perhaps aim to capture a lesson that you really enjoy teaching, then edit the video to a short 5-minute clip of a section of the lesson that went well. Review it and add comments highlighting five positive elements.
Find inspiration in our case studies: How are teachers using video for professional learning?
1An exception to this is when there is a safeguarding concern or criminal enquiry, and a recording may become subject to a data access request by authorities. Of course, this is an incredibly rare occurrence.
It is also worth noting that for some organisations, an organisation administrator can view only the thumbnail of videos that have been captured in a Reflection.