Need wearable camera ideas from teachers?
March 18, 2017 8:27 AM   Subscribe

If you're a teacher, or if you know anything about small video cameras, maybe you can help. I'm in a M.Ed. Program in NYC, and I need to record myself delivering lessons for the edTPA (a multi-part certification process NY uses for teachers). I have a normal camera-on-tripod to set up at the back of the class and record my whole-class interaction at a wide angle. My professor's asking me to also record small-group interactions as well. (Specific questions inside)

1) Has any other recently certified teacher dealt with this? If so, what did you do?

2) I'm thinking of just placing my phone (iPhone 6sPlus) in my shirt breast pocket with the camera facing outwards and recording that. Good/bad idea?

3) If bad idea, is there a wearable camera less obtrusive than a GoPro? I certainly don't want to wear one on my head when talking to students.

4) Am I overthinking this? Is it simpler to just go and get the camera off the tripod and go handheld for this, then return it when the group work ends?

PS: Yes, I have permission to record the class on video. The class is a pretty well-behaving honors geometry, 9th&10th grade
posted by The Pluto Gangsta to Education (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My student teacher submitted her edTPA this week. She just used her iphone on a tripod to capture the whole-group lessons at the carpet and just moved it to the table she used for a small group lesson. She needed to have both herself and the students seen during the small group, so wearing a camera would not have worked. It was extremely simple and effective. Best of luck to you! The edTPA is NOT FUN!
posted by Cloudberry Sky at 8:57 AM on March 18

You're overthinking this. Set your phone up so the whole class is in view. That's what I and all my co-teachers did. One of them started recording "The Departed" after 10 minutes of teaching. It was pretty clear nobody watched beyond the first few minutes.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 9:29 AM on March 18

I agree with Cloudberry Sky, just move the tripod over to the small groups that you wish to record -- surely your professor does not have time to watch every single small group interaction that you ever have, so you're going to need to select a small number anyway. You could also just ask your prof how she prefers the set up -- if she's asking you to do this, presumably she asks all her students to do the same and so this is not a unique problem for you to solve.
posted by rainbowbrite at 11:47 AM on March 18

Yeah, don't overthink this. I will walk around and hold my phone and film in my classroom sometimes. My students know to expect it, so don't react much. I also did a few "fake" sessions before needing something real from them so they are desensitised to it.

And please film landscape, obviously. I know teacher prep programs watch a lot of terrible portrait videos.
posted by guster4lovers at 6:06 PM on March 18

Nthing the tripod idea, but you could also just ask a trusted student to hold whatever recording device you want to use.
posted by the thought-fox at 7:27 PM on March 18

I filmed for a colleague during my prep, a colleague filmed for me during her prep.
posted by Salamandrous at 5:30 PM on March 24

Thanks everyone. I wound up keeping the camera in a tripod in the back, then picking it up and moving it when I did close work with students. Not the best solution but I wasn't able to get anyone else to record for me.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:54 PM on March 25

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