Today I got a great email telling me that my Swivl was on its way as part of being accepted into this year’s group of Swivl Video Pioneers. I am a huge believer that we can use video as a powerful tool in education, not just for creating content or providing feedback to students, but as a way for us also to reflect on our own teaching. I made sure to put a slide in for my presentation at NETA last week that talked about how powerful video can be. I even had this in well before George Couros said it in his keynote, which made me feel good since he thought the same thing.
The Swivl is a piece of technology that I wish I had when I was teaching in the classroom, especially when I was flipping my classroom. It is in essence a robot that can swivel (hence the name) so that you can easily track and record yourself using an iPad or any iOS or Android phone/tablet. There is a microphone that you wear around your neck that has an sensor on it so the Swivl can track you (line of sight is needed for this). This makes it very easy to get video of yourself teaching or talking. I created a set of videos for the Swivl my district has so our instructional coaches could use them as part of the work that they do. (these videos are at the bottom of this post)
I have used the Swivl myself to record some of the work that I do and to also record the presentations I have given recently. This allows me to easily reflect on my presentation style and delivery as I continue to improve. This also means I can have a video of my presentation created that I can easily share out.
As part of the Swivl Video Pioneers group, I am hoping to connect with other educators and work with Swivl as I believe this is a great tool that can be used by many educators, in and out of the classroom. As part of my work with them I had to detail the ways in which I would be using the Swivl. Although I no longer have my own classroom, I will be using this as I work with teachers and will be making my Swivl available to teachers so they can use it in their work with students.
Some of the ways that I plan on using the Swivl:
Recording Presentations – I recently used the Swivl to record a talk I gave to teachers at a HS in SE Iowa about the effective use of technology and I gave a presentation at NETA last week. It helps me to become a better speaker by using the video after my presentation to get the perspective of someone else in the room so I can get a better idea of how effective I was and what I can do to improve.
Recording Coaching Conversations – In my district as part of my role as a technology integration specialist, I use several techniques of instructional coaching to have both planning and reflecting or problem resolving conversations with teachers. By using the Swivl to record these conversations, both the teacher and I can use this as a reflection tool to aid in our growth together. These videos will also be very useful as I can share them with others to get a better understanding of what our instructional coaches do on a daily basis.
Creating Content Videos – I have discussed with various science teachers, as well as some other content area teachers, about how we can create some videos for students to use at a later time. By creating our own videos of reactions or other activities, we can use these as a resource with our students as we know that they are focused on our level of learning and there will be a greater connection for students as they will see their teachers in the videos as opposed to someone else.
These are just some of the ways that I plan on using our Swivl in the near future. As a classroom teacher in the past, I would have used this extensively to record
- classroom events for later use by students or myself
- discussions to share with other students
- demonstrations for use by students who were absent or for review
- student presentations
- experiments or trial runs of projects
- discussions with others so they can be part of our classroom
The new ability to let someone use the Swivl to participate from a distance is one that I hope to try out in the near future. We could easily allow a student to control the Swivl from home while sick and still be able to participate in discussions or communicate with team members. I am sure I will be posting how we are using the Swivl and how video can be used as a powerful tool as I continue to use it.