One of the things we had to do when I was student teaching involved recording a lesson we were teaching in order to better reflect on how we could improve. This was something that was very useful as a student teacher but is something that I have not really done much since then. Which is unfortunate as having a video of your classroom can really help a teacher reflect as the video may be able to show what you do not see as you are involved with all that is needed while you are teaching. Having that impartial observer can really help you in your reflection afterwards as we strive to be better each day.
This used to be something that involved cumbersome equipment but newer technology is making this easier and easier. We can now record using many different tools that can allow us to record and then share those recordings with others in order to better help us grow as educators. Besides the usual digital cameras, may which can produce HD video that can be easily viewed on a computer or other device, there are some newer options that can provide some better features but at a cost.
Swivl is a little device that you place your smart phone or tablet on and it will follow you as you walk around the room. It will swivel (hence the name) so that the camera on your device is pointed towards you, as long as you are wearing the clip-on microphone that is connected. It may be a little costly (around $300) but can do a great job following those teachers that tend to walk around the room a lot while they teach.
A Go-pro camera (starting at $200) is a handy little camera that can be placed off in the corner of the classroom to gain a wide view of the room during a class period. While this camera is used for a lot of first perspective outdoors situations such as swimming or biking, it can be something that is very un-obtrusive and will provide a high quality video of the classroom. The audio may not be great as you do not have external microphone options but the video can’t be beat.
And if you really want a first person perspective of your classroom, either from the teacher view or the student view, nothing can be Google Glass. Many teachers have already tried using this in the classroom and have even given them to students to wear as the class is going on. This allows for a great perspective video from the student’s view that can help a teacher really see how their classroom looks during a lesson. While they are the most pricey (starting at $1500), the future is bright for a cheaper second edition coming out hopefully in a year or so. This is the one that gives me the most hope for a device that can really give a teacher a view into how their classroom really looks to the student.