What’s not regressing in schools (post COVID)
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Throughout the pandemic, we were asked several times by senior education leaders what we thought wouldn’t regress when we are out of COVID restrictions. We believe that it’s time for that question to fundamentally change to “what have schools embraced, adopted and embedded?”
In this article, we will summarise some of the conversations that we have had, point to examples of what schools have done and link to our products and services developed to make all as easy and sustainable as possible for schools.
Supporting Teaching and Learning
During the pandemic, schools bought whatever webcams they could get their hands on but are now looking to enhance this position. Ahead of further lockdowns, schools have realised the considerable value in having on-demand video resources and have been extensively using resources such as Oak National Academy, leading to schools gradually developing their own. As a teacher, it’s far easier to ‘just teach’ to a class of students and be captured doing authentic teaching than try to teach directly to a camera lens with no audience. We have extensively researched and built product packages to support lesson capture. See one of our research videos here, where we explore different camera angles and purposes. Link to video.
Building from their staff use of our camera systems whilst in lockdown at home Oswestry
School continue to extensively use various cameras to capture lessons and events.
“I cannot say how much I appreciate the opportunity to work with these [cameras]. They’ve made the process of being online so much easier.” - Claire Thompson, Director of Performing Arts Oswestry School.
Our the pressure continues on Early Careers Framework teacher training providers and schools have shown considerable interest in cameras to enable teacher training. Newly formed Teaching School Hubs delivering the Early Career Framework (from September 2021) are excited about the opportunities to remote observe, coach and develop their teachers using Teams or Zoom calls enabled with cameras enabling potentially more practical coaching and support and less travel so maintaining organisational environmental goals and aspirations.
In our experience, the majority of schools are going to keep some element of online parents meetings in their mix of interactions with parents. Oswestry School has permanently installed a camera in their board room for general communication use with their parents and for Governor meetings. Orwell Park continues to use cameras to capture assemblies and make them available to parents; and sees this as something that they will continue to do as it has become so valuable for all parties.
Parents physically attending school events has been much reduced either through lockdowns or through parents now being logged into their Zoom calls for much of the day. Orwell Park has embraced this challenge, developed its “media crew”, and is building the schools capacity to live stream events home to parents by developing the skills of its students to operate the kit. Using various cameras Orwell Park has produced amazing multi-camera angle live streams for its parents to watch wherever they may be. As one example, using the cameras amazing wifi capability wonderful coverage of cricket matches has been achieved with umpires taking the pocket-sized cameras onto the pitch with them to provide closeup coverage as previously not seen. Students use the casting tablet to mix different video sources, including the scoreboard. An Orwell Park a parent reported that “it was wonderful that even though they had to be at home working, they could still see and follow the sport.”
Oswestry School has enjoyed similar feedback from its parents. Here you can see their camera mast in operation and live-streaming video direct to their webpages using one of our LiveU Solo units.
The schools mentioned here all report positive increases in home-school communications with parents communicating how much they enjoy seeing all that the schools do.
Celebration and Marketing
All of the schools that we are working with report determination and resilience no matter the lockdown situation and reduced access for parents to celebrate and communicate all the amazing things that their students and staff achieve. Developing their use of video further, schools are using mobile wireless camera systems to roam sports fields and broadcast out their fixtures and sports days through to using semi-professional professional multi-camera setups to livestream awards ceremonies, music and drama events.
Orwell Park school has delighted its remote audience by using multiple cameras and video mixing equipment to produce near professional quality live video streams, with the students working on the equipment and learning vital digital skills simultaneously.
The Orwell Park Motorsports Day presented numerous opportunities for the students to practise their skills operating the cameras and video switching deck. Using an NSCaster X1 video mixer, 4 wireless cameras and other hardwired cameras, video was efficient captured and live-streamed to web pages where there school’s community could be engaged and immersed in all the exciting activities taking place on the day.
In conclusion, the use of video shows the opportunities schools have to teach & learn, communicate and celebrate everything they do. This goes beyond the bounds of Covid, and is why we believe that video is here to stay.
Reach out to us if you’d like to discuss the strategic use of video in your school!