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Student Engagement: Using video technology to empower and upskill teachers

Robert Aitken, Business Development Manager, ONVU Learning
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Student engagement is a challenge for both students and teachers: Practical ways to help teachers share their teaching style to help engage students 

With the school agenda being packed out with a broad range of subjects, students experience a multitude of teaching styles throughout the week. The average secondary school student will be scheduled to have around 25 teaching hours per week, not including the extra time allocated for independent studies. As students work to a demanding schedule, their engagement is bound to take a downturn and engagement levels will fluctuate between subjects.

Gen Z students in particular are digital natives who have grown up with the internet and immersive technology which has reduced their attention span. EdTech is geared to address this by providing educators the tools to deliver quality teaching and therefore improve engagement levels.

For many teachers in primary education, teaching multiple subjects is common and normal to expect that students will favour certain classes over others. For example, in many educational establishments, teachers originally trained for English or arts, have also needed to step into teaching STEM subjects.

It is understandable, in these instances there is a lack of connection between the students and the teacher who’s been placed out of their comfort zone. In addition to this, teachers are under constant pressure to maintain and better students’ grades to improve the school performance average. Research by Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education shows student performance levels are higher when they are more engaged, so teachers are eager to maintain this to ensure high results among their pupils. 

The value of video technology

Being able to identify the route cause of student engagement will allow teachers to tailor their approach in classes where they’re experiencing a lower attention span. This not only improves the student experience but also empowers teachers to continue their own development. Research by University College London found that a quarter of all teachers in the UK are working more than 60 hours per week, 12 hours above the legal limits set by the European Union. With burnout being one of the common reasons for workplace retention and unproductive behaviour, teachers are turning to tools to broaden their capacity and save time. 

Education technology goes beyond just streamlining administrative tasks, it helps teachers become more versatile and understand their students more. Research has shown that the individual teaching style can be a key contributor to student performance. Using video technology in the classroom allows teachers to objectively observe how themselves and their colleagues teach, in doing so analysing what teaching traits are most effective for certain students.

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Instead of relying on feedback from other teachers, 360-degree video allows teachers to see first hand what their colleagues are doing to engage students. This can be particularly beneficial to help re-engage apathetic students and those whose grades fluctuate between classes. The transparency of 360-degree video also has benefits for continually challenging students and could help teachers integrate newer students. 

Increased demand for personalised learning

Students professed that the classes they favoured were those that had an element of personalisation. They felt as though the teacher was more attentive and understanding to their needs. EdTech enhances teachers’ capabilities to provide a personalised learning experience, yet, research from Informatics in Education found that teaching style is essential to providing quality education. There is high value in personalised learning as it exudes a higher level of engagement which translates into higher grades, happier students and more rewarded teachers. 

Approaching further education is one of the most challenging times for students, as they are deciding a potential career path and whether that career path includes continuing on to university. This is an understandably stressful period and it is the role of teachers to be mindful of this, using their expertise to retain and improve engagement in students to help them progress.

Gen Z students are at the heart of the digitisation age and have a higher demand for personalisation. The use of video analytics allows teachers to personalise the learning experience of students across most echelons of education, further improving the development and retention of relationships with older students. 

Video reflection is fast-becoming a solution for teachers to recognise how and why student engagement levels fluctuate from class to class. Across all levels of the education system, teachers are able to objectively observe one another and understand what makes each student tick. Video technology empowers teachers to teach across various subject areas and be confident that they can maintain the quality regardless of who or what they are teaching.

Robert Aitken, Business Development Manager, ONVU Learning

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