Monday, February 04, 2013

Startups Helping Better Teacher Evaluations

Here’s an article about startup companies that are trying to help do better teacher evaluations:

 One of the MET project’s partners was  Teachscape, a company founded in the late 1990s that provides software and support for video-based teacher evaluations. Over the years, support for video-based teacher evaluations has waxed and waned.  But as video technology has improved and become more ubiquitous (in professional and personal settings) — and amid calls for teacher improvement and accountability — demand for observation tools has grown.

More teacher training programs are moving toward the use of video as a part of documenting candidate readiness for certification (not just for evaluation purposes but for self-reflection and self-improvement). And the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education has endorsed the use of video observation in the certification process.

In the past year, a few startups have emerged to serve that need, includingSmarterCookie, which was a part of the ed tech startup accelerator Imagine K12,Edthena and Torsh. Essentially, the companies enable teachers to easily record themselves during class, upload the video to a secure platform and then share the video with coaches and mentors to receive time-stamped feedback.

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