Teacher Education

Navigating Today’s Uncertainties in Teacher Education

A webinar featuring education faculty from Ball State University, Bowling Green State University, and Michigan State University

Education faculty from Ball State University, Bowling Green State University, and Michigan State University share how they’re doing more with less to create a more certain future for their programs and their teacher candidates.

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Dave Greene:

Hello everyone. Thank you for joining today’s workshop on Navigating Today’s Uncertainties in Teacher Education. My name is Dave Greene, part of the GoReact account executive team. And I’ll be your host today. If you should have any questions or needs following the webinar, you can reach me at dave@goreact.com. That’s D-A-V-E @goreact.com. I’ve had several requests from educators in recent weeks to put something like this together. We sincerely hope and expect that each of you will walk away from today’s webinar with new ideas that you can act on and implement right away. We hope you leave feeling a sense of community support, and encouragement as you make your final preparations for the fall semester.

Dave Greene:

Now, we have three really incredible panelists with us today to share their experience and insights. Tracy Huziak-Clark from Bowling Green State University, Kelly Hodges from Michigan State University and Jackie Sydnor from Ball State University.

Dave Greene:

Tracy, would you like to briefly introduce yourself followed by Kelly and Jackie? And maybe just give us an idea of your role at the institution, some of the things you’re involved in, how long you’ve been with university, and how long you’ve been involved in teacher preparation?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

Hi, I’m Tracy Huziak-Clark. I am the assistant Dean for Educator Preparation and Partnerships at Bowling Green State University. I’ve been with Bowling Green State University for almost 20 years. I was a former science teacher, and worked with pre-service teachers in science education before this current role. I’ve been in this role for about two years, and I’ve loved working with teacher educators for the past 20 years.

Kelly Hodges:

Hi, I’m Kelly Hodges. I’m the Associate Director of Teacher Preparation and Accreditation at Michigan State University. In my former life, I was a high school mathematics teacher. And before that I was a graduate of Michigan State University. So, I’ve played the role of student, mentor teacher. And then I’ve been in the faculty in one way or another for 21 years, working in secondary math methods, and also some professional courses for students that happened during our fifth year full year internship. I’m glad to be here today.

Dave Greene:

Thank you. Jackie?

Jackie Sydnor:

I’m Jackie Sydnor. I am an associate professor and the assistant chair of the Department of Elementary Education at Ball State University Teachers College. I teach methods courses in elementary education, specifically literacy. I also have been a professional development school liaison, and worked with our student teachers supervising them. Prior to that, I was a first grade teacher.

Dave Greene:

Thank you. Rich experience. Tracy, Jackie, Kelly I want to thank you for making time to be with us today. I can’t wait to hear all that you have to share.

Dave Greene:

Now, before moving on, I want to take a minute to outline how this workshop will be structured. In a moment, you’re going to be able to listen in as we ask our panelists questions about some of the uncertainty, and contingency planning that most programs are strategizing on right now. Those questions will last for approximately 20 minutes. At that point, it’ll be your turn to ask questions of our panelists. As we host a live Q&A session that will last for another 20 minutes, approximately. If you’d like to submit a question for Q&A, there’s a tab just below the video feed, and you can see your question there. And also, if there’s a question that you see there that someone else has submitted that you’d like to also have answered, you can use the upload feature to let us know.

Dave Greene:

You’ll also notice a tab beside the one for questions where you can participate in a poll. You’ll be able to view the results of all attendees as they’re entered. Please open that and let us know your thoughts when you have a moment. I’d also recommend taking advantage of the chat feature, which is located on the right side of the video feed. It’s an excellent place to share ideas, and connect with other local educators, and innovators in teacher preparation.

Dave Greene:

Before diving into questions with our panelists, something I know that we’re all excited to do, I’d like to lay a quick foundation for some of the discussion that’ll be taking place today. We have a mixed group of attendees representing more than 50 universities with us today. Some of those have deep experience with GoReact. Others have little to no knowledge of the platform. Because of that, I’d like to take a few minutes to share some basic information that may add clarity to any references to the platform that may be made by our panelists, or attendees today.

Dave Greene:

GoReact is a formative assessment tool that brings great clarity of feedback, whether working with students in-person or remotely. Since the 1950s coaches have used game film to help their athletes understand where they’re being beaten on the court, or the field, so they can understand with greater clarity, adjust their approach appropriately, and experience a better outcome during future performances. GoReact utilizes video in much the same way. It’s, essentially, game film for the classroom. Your students record themselves teaching lessons, or practicing skills. That recording is made using any camera that’s available to the student and convenient. Most often it’s a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. A supervisor, cooperating teacher, or instructor is then able to watch the recording at their convenience, applying timestamped and hyperlinked feedback that makes the feedback more clear and contextual. Let me take a brief moment and show you.

Dave Greene:

GoReact can be used in a couple of different ways for synchronous video or asynchronous video. So, you can review and provide feedback on live video as it’s being recorded. Or I can watch and review video after the fact and provide feedback when it’s convenient for me. GoReact provides continuity of education and allows us to pivot more easily between various types of environments. When we’re in class with our students, it works great. When we’re in a hybrid or an online only environment, it can be incredibly helpful.

Dave Greene:

GoReact’s more than just a video storage tool. We are FERPA, COPPA and HIPPA compliant, but GoReact is really about formative assessment and clear feedback. We can provide feedback in several different ways. You have text-based feedback with, which is entered below. As soon as you start to type the video automatically pauses, so I can focus on my feedback entirely. As soon as I’m done, I hit Enter. And that video posts above. You’ll notice that it’s timestamped. It’s also hyperlinked. When you click on any element of feedback it’ll jump back five seconds in advance of the timestamp to give the context for the moment. And then, you’ll see a text overlay with the feedback. Again, this is very much like a coach rewinding the game film for their athlete to show them the exact area that need to put their focus, and what they need to be aware of for their next performance.

Dave Greene:

GoReact also gives you the ability to utilize audio and video feedback. So, I can record myself talking to my students providing feedback. Or I can allow them to see me and I can model skills that I want the student to better understand. Now, beside any of these hyperlinked elements of feedback you’re gonna have an ability for a student to click a little bent arrow to engage with us and seek clarity. To ask a question, for example, and then we can dialogue with them so we can respond to their question, they can respond to us, and so on. All of that discussion around feedback will stay nested, or threaded immediately beneath the feedback that it pertains to. Again, bringing clarity, also providing artifacts for accreditation, and helping the student to come back and continue to learn from these experiences. All of this feedback, the video, and the rubric are stored for a minimum of five years. And they can be accessible at any time in the years to come if you need to download the video, or any of these elements.

Dave Greene:

Now, another really helpful feedback tool comes in the form of these colorful little boxes. We call these markers. Markers can be used in a number of different ways, but they’re essentially flags, or tags or video that help us to very quickly point things out to the student that need to be brought to their attention. These can be used for things that you’re commonly repeating for students, or they can be structured around licensing requirements for programs like PPAT or edTPA.

Dave Greene:

Now, things that I might be looking for as examples, again these are fully customizable, are behavior, class participation, effective questioning, effective reinforcement, academic language, higher order thinking, et cetera. I might even have little reminders like this, don’t refer to the term as guys for example. And so, as I see things that I want to point out to the student, I would click the marker that pertains to what I’m seeing and it flags that moment so that I can easily reference it when I debrief with the student later, whether that’s in-person or remotely. When I click on these elements also, I jump back to the moment that they pertain to. And, again, I can have a conversation with the student. But just like the athlete and the coach, they can see exactly what I’m referencing.

Dave Greene:

Now, when you want to you can also see a graphical representation of all the markers that were used I can see which markers were used, how many times each marker was used, and where in this presentation each marker was used. I can also pull a report that shows this for a broader group of students for the whole class, all the students that I’m working with. So, I can look for broader trends.

Dave Greene:

Now, we’ve talked so far about GoReact being used in an observation setting. And it’s so helpful for that. But it’s also very useful for students to do deeper self-reflection on their performances, or for peer review. And then, there are other ways that GoReact can also be used in a variety of environments. Again, this helps us to pivot between environments much more smoothly and easily, whether we’re in-person with students, whether we’re working in a hybrid environment, or we’re entirely online. Students have the ability to practice skills on their own as part of methods classes. They have the ability to gather with students using our multi-camera feature, to do either micro teaching assignments, or to potentially gather with a small group of students to do remote teaching through GoReact. That’s all captured and available to the supervisors so they can provide feedback on that type of a teaching experience as well. We’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s available in GoReact and the various ways can be used. But, hopefully, for those that haven’t previously been familiar with the platform this is a good introduction.

Dave Greene:

Again, GoReact helps programs pivot more easily between in-class, hybrid, and online environments. It provides clarity to students to help with skill development, and it provides artifacts, and help with accreditation and licensing. Now, that everyone has at least a basic understanding of the GoReact platform, let’s jump into questions that we have for our panel.

Dave Greene:

So Tracy, Jackie, Kelly, feel free to dive into these questions. This first one is one that we’d probably love to hear from all of you on because you’re all in different states. Probably at the foundation of all other questions on uncertainty that everyone has is the question of, “Will we be face-to-face with our students in the fall? And if we are, will it stay that way?” And so, again, different probably for all of you. And if you could pull out your magic eight ball and shake it and let us know what you think for your area, we’d love to hear.

Kelly Hodges:

I can go first. So, Michigan State University has made the decision to begin classes live at the usual time, but to go remote at Thanksgiving. And so, the last couple of weeks of the year will be remote. And that’s been a model for not only other institutions in our area, but I think also our K-12 schools, which are still trying to make some plans.

Kelly Hodges:

One of the things that decision meant is that we have to plan both for live instruction under these new guidelines of social distancing, and the chance that any, or all of us could need to be remote at any moment. And so, that’s making us think in multiple directions at the same time about how to meet course outcomes using both online, maybe hybrid, or maybe some live instruction this fall.

Dave Greene:

Thank you.

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

So, Bowling Green State University is planning the same, and I think that’s similar for many of the institutions in Ohio. We’re going to start back. Students will have some online courses, some what we’re considering blended courses. So they’ll be face-to-face for a portion of their meeting time. And then, there’ll be some fully online classes as well. So, there’ll be a blended schedule for most of our students with a focus primarily on our freshman and sophomore students who are new to the institution and still acclimating to BGSU to have the majority of their schedule be fully face-to-face. Also, there in our residence halls at BGSU. So we want them to be able to have that active sense of community as well.

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

Our K-12 schools at this point are planning a blended approach as well, the majority of them at this point. So, there’ll be some remote learning planned. Some districts are planning a day of remote learning, and then other days they’re still waiting for some state clarification on some standards, but they are planning as much as possible to be face-to-face with social distancing practices.

Jackie Sydnor:

And at Ball State, we are taking a similar approach. We will be online after Thanksgiving as well. And we are adopting a high flex model, which faculty are still learning about exactly what that means. But most of our courses will have some online as well as some face-to-face components.

Dave Greene:

So, you’re all fairly similar in that regard and you know that some online only components are coming, and there’s some hybrid in there as well. During those times when students are remote, how can you allow them to practice skills, and still have a continuity of experience, a rich education during that phase without that feedback feeling impersonal or vague?

Dave Greene:

Any takers?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

Well, I just was wondering who was jumping in first? I think it’s a challenge. I know a lot of our faculty in the College of Education at BGSU last year did a lot of synchronous classwork together. So, we utilized all the tech skills that we had, and all of the platforms that we had available to us to try to provide as much feedback as we could to students. And students really, at the end of the semester, they were asked in a survey by our president, and they said they appreciated the opportunity to see each other, to learn with each other in a synchronous environment. So, they wanted more of that synchronous time together when that was possible. So, I think we tried to do as much of that as possible. And we learned that it’s more possible than we even thought. So, we were using a lot of different tools to do that.

Dave Greene:

Thank you.

Dave Greene:

I’ve got a question. I don’t know which of you… I’m sure this applies to all of you. But I’ve heard from a lot of programs that said that when they were forced into a remote environment with their students, they were surprised to learn how many students didn’t have access to the internet, or not at least reliable access to the internet. So, when you’re dependent on technology to help with some of the quality measures that you’re putting in place, and some of those continuity measures, how are you accounting for that reality that there are some students that don’t have very good access?

Kelly Hodges:

Yeah, I think one of the things that this is bringing to light, I think both in universities and K-12, is that access to those kinds of technology resources is really critical infrastructure. It’s not a luxury. And I think we were moving in that direction anyway, but I think this is really making that clear.

Kelly Hodges:

So, I was recently talking to one K-12 school who had enough devices on hand that they were able to distribute them to every student. But realized that they had about 100 students district wide who didn’t have reliable internet. They started partnering with local providers to set up hotspots in areas where families could still access them, even though that still presented some challenges for families that had multiple kids at home that were all trying to get online and engage in remote tasks sometimes at the same time. Because they were able to kind of assess things early on and work with those providers they were happy with the progress that they were able to make.

Kelly Hodges:

I think we’ll need to be thinking about similar needs in higher ed. How do we help people who need access to devices get them? And then, how do we work with providers to make sure that we have coverage in places that are safe so that we can make sure that instruction continues to happen?

Dave Greene:

Thank you. Any other thoughts, Jackie or Tracy? Anything in addition? If you don’t have anything we’ll move on. Okay.

Dave Greene:

So, there’s another common concern about supervision during the fall. The thought is, will supervisors be allowed in the classroom? If they are allowed in the classroom, will they want to go to the classroom? Some of those supervisors may be in a high risk category. What are your plans around that so far? Or how do you plan to address that potential issue?

Jackie Sydnor:

We are currently planning for supervisors to not be in the classrooms. We’ve heard from several of our partner districts that there are going to be some strict visitor policies in place. So, supervisors will be observing via video and GoReact as they’ve done for years in our Transition to Teaching program where our students are placed throughout the state. And it’s not always feasible for supervisors to get to them as frequently as we need to. They’re going to be holding virtual seminars with student teachers, and having conferences with the mentors and student teachers through Zoom and other ways.

Dave Greene:

Any other thoughts on that Tracy?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

We’re doing the same. In the spring, we just trained 90 of our university mentors to use GoReact and get comfortable with using that platform. And I have to say, they’re pretty excited about the ability to give deeper feedback using the… They love the audio and the video chat feature to be able to give that verbal feedback. So, we’re excited to try that out in the fall. But, again, our partners are the same. They’d like to reduce the footprint as much possible in the K-12 schools. So, we will likely be doing most remote observations.

Dave Greene:

Now Tracy, you mentioned that your supervisors are using audio and video. Do they find that when they utilize audio and video, and some of the written comments that there’s a personal enough feel in that interaction with students?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

So, the coaches that we had used this past spring and fall really found that students paid more attention to those audio feedbacks rather than the written. So, they were more likely to listen, or watch a video than they were to read the text feedback. And they were also more willing to respond via video. So, our teacher candidates, in particular, like to make their own videos instead of typing up their responses back to their supervisors. So, that conversation that happened via video seemed to be more personal. And they were more likely to do that, I think, than just respond. Those university supervisors who just provided text feedback didn’t get as much of that dialogue back and forth.

Dave Greene:

Excellent thank you.

Dave Greene:

Another concern that’s related to what we just mentioned is if, if traffic is limited into schools, what about our students that go in to do student teaching, is there a scenario where they might not be allowed back in the classroom? And what kind of plans have you made for that kind of possibility?

Kelly Hodges:

Yeah, I think that even if schools start online, as I said earlier, I think there’s a good chance that any number of them might end up in some kind of remote situation at some point during the year, whether that’s planned once a week, or taking two weeks off in the middle of the semester, or whatever.

Kelly Hodges:

I think we learned a lot from last spring about what teachers are learning that they need. And about how if class sizes need to be smaller to get kids in rooms there’s gonna need to be a lot more hands, and eyes, and hearts on kids this fall than there have been previously. So, we’ve been really working with our school partners to get them to start thinking about how can… Not just our full year interns, we call them, our student teaching year. But also candidates in the two years previous to that, how can they be helpful? And let’s think together about whatever that needs to be, to be helpful to you, and how it could also be educative for our students.

Kelly Hodges:

And then, I think the ability to have a tool like GoReact that allows experts on both sides to be able to see what’s going on, and provide feedback will really help us help candidates make good progress on particularly one-on-one and small group interactions with kids, which is a lot of the kinds of things that we are working with them on prior to student teaching anyway.

Dave Greene:

Excellent. Thank you.

Dave Greene:

Any other thoughts on that?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

I agree Kelly, we’re having some similar conversations with our partners. And one of the requests that often comes to us from our partners is more opportunities for tutoring, and more opportunities for one-on-one work. And this is gonna provide a unique opportunity for us to be able to provide some of that when we can’t get our students into the building I think we actually might have more flexibility to be able to provide more support than we might have been with having to have students transport, and drive to all of our locations in BG where we’re not the center of metropolis. So, our students have to drive quite far sometimes. So, they’ll be able to actually utilize some of that drive time to work with more students. So, we’re excited about the opportunity to be able to partner better.

Dave Greene:

Some programs are looking at things that they never tried before like simulated classrooms, for example. And I wonder if any of you have had experience with that, what your findings have been, and maybe if you could explain what that is for some of those that might not be familiar?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

At BGSU, we use virtual simulations. We have a simulation lab, so our students actually can come into a lab, and practice with five avatars at either the middle childhood level, the early elementary, or high school level. So, they can practice asking questions, they can practice classroom management skills, they can practice a lot of different things. And we’ve actually been able to do that, as well, remotely which has been really beneficial for our students. And what we’re trying is videotaping that, and giving them the feedback then through GoReact as well. So our students, when they first encounter the avatars, they’re a little surprised by how the avatars can talk back to them, and answer their questions directly, and it’s not a script. And they feel like they’re really getting some great experiences that way. So, we’re excited about those possibilities.

Dave Greene:

Thanks, Tracy.

Dave Greene:

What are your plans for students that are in the early stages of field experience, where they’re just observing teaching being done in classrooms, if they’re not allowed to go into schools, how will you provide comparable experiences for them? Any plans there?

Kelly Hodges:

One of the things that is challenging, we have a fairly large teacher preparation program, at least for the state of Michigan we’re the largest program. And we certify a little over 300 candidates a year. So, one of the challenges has always been how do you find, within 30 minutes of our university, hundreds of excellent examples of all the different kinds of lessons, and strategies that we hope students can see? And it’s jus not a practical problem. So, we have already been thinking about how to create better libraries of captured exemplars of certain things. And this is, I think, gonna accelerate our use of that. And I think it will have some real advantages. If you need to see a high quality science lesson, you’ve got one in the library. You don’t have to send kids out and hope that you find something in the next couple of weeks.

Kelly Hodges:

And then also the ability to use that in GoReact as, what’s called, a comment only activity. So, the instructor can load it, and then ask all the students, either with or without the ability to see each other’s comments, to comment on what they see. Maybe to identify key stages in a certain kind of lesson. And then, for the instructor to get that summary feedback from the students all at a glance has really been a good foundation for having shared conversations about similar experiences that are high quality. So, we’re actually kind of looking at this as an opportunity to put some investment in those kinds of things that are probably gonna improve practice, even if we were able to be live in schools.

Dave Greene:

Oh, that’s excellent. Thank you. Tracy?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

We’re looking at doing some similar things. We’ve asked a few of our just extraordinarily wonderful teachers in our partner districts if they would use GoReact to do, what we call, thought bubble. So, watch their video, and tell us, or tell future students what they were thinking about the decisions they were making? I think sometimes for our teacher candidates the decisions that you make in your head, why you’re asking the questions that you’re asking, or why you called on that student but not that student, those things are not always transparent. And those reflective conversations don’t always happen because school is busy. The day is busy.

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

And so, letting our candidates see the thought process that a teacher goes through in making all of the decisions that a teacher has to make through their teaching practice, we’re excited about having them starting to think through, and look at that, and reflect on all of those, as well as watching the practice. So, we’re excited about trying that in the fall.

Dave Greene:

Thanks Tracy.

Jackie Sydnor:

And we as well are looking at some of those libraries from Atlas, national board certified teacher videos. And we’re also reaching out to our partners. We have a laboratory school on our campus and, in this time of remote learning, they’re creating instructional videos for their students. So, we’re planning to gather some of those to create a library of instructional videos that our students can watch, and use as stimulus for conversations.

Dave Greene:

Excellent. Very good. Thank you.

Dave Greene:

Fall planning is also being impacted by limited resources that we’re all having to deal with, and do more with less. How can we maintain quality in the face of shrinking resources? Meaning both financial resources, and also sometimes the human resources, the people to help these students as they’ve done in the past.

Dave Greene:

Anyone figured that out?

Kelly Hodges:

Say a couple things. One of the things that was important to us when we started our large scale GoReact implementation two years ago was that we were not trying to replace live supervision. But we had the sense that there were probably opportunities we were missing because we were missing these key moments. And that I think has turned out to be true.

Kelly Hodges:

One example of that has been that it’s really difficult to get a supervisor, and a mentor teacher, and an intern to all look at the same practice, and have a conversation about that together live. It’s almost impossible. But GoReact created some opportunities for that, even though we still had field instructors traveling. I think what this illustrates for us is that there will be travel savings. Tracy mentioned it in the sense of students, but also in the sense of supervisors. So, there’ll be less of our financial resources and less of their time that has to be spent driving around, which means that the quality of time that they can spend commenting on students is gonna go up. We don’t know yet whether that’s gonna have any changes to their load, or things like that. But I think we are feeling pretty good about the ways in which virtual commenting on lessons can be at least as effective, maybe in slightly different ways, as live supervision.

Dave Greene:

Thank you, Kelly.

Dave Greene:

Another question that we have, how can you generally make decisions, or how are you making decisions when you’re dealing with limited resources in terms of where you’re cutting back, and perhaps sometimes where you’re investing more?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

I think we have tried very much to try to keep field at the center of all that we do as part of our coursework. We know that our students learned so much from the practical being engaged with actual students, being engaged with experts in the field not just the university faculty. And that is a challenge because there’s cost for the students when they drive, there’s busing costs, there’s all kinds of logistical issues. But we are still trying to figure out how to provide as many of those opportunities for our students as we can. So, I think we’re trying to figure out other ways to save costs. So, cutting back maybe on some textbooks and using more electronic resources, so we can provide other experiences for students, and they will still get the same kind of experience, not a lesser experience.

Dave Greene:

Well, that’s important. Do you have any tips for any attendees that might be dealing with frozen budgets, or undefined budgets? I know that’s always a challenge. How do you plan for fall when you’re in that kind of an environment?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

The budget is my daily. I crunch those numbers every single day, frankly. It is a challenge. And not knowing what the budget is, I think that’s part of the challenge is that as things continue, and as we learn more about COVID-19, and all of the things that we’ll need with PPE and other things to bring students back live, our budget’s continually changing. We just don’t have a finalized budget and I’m guessing most of the people participating today do not have a finalized budget. So, it is a continually shifting environment and a continual daily to make different decisions.

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

The priority for us at BGSU, and I know other institutions of higher ed as well is the best experience for students that we can possibly provide. And so, we have all learned, we’ve joked, and it’s not really a joke I haven’t printed a piece of paper since February. So, my printing costs have gone way back so I can cut my printing budget in half, or even more because we can clearly get by without printing any pieces of paper. So, it’s just looking for creative solutions and ways that we might do business different. So it’s not less than, but it’s how can we think more creatively and do it as well?

Dave Greene:

Thanks, Tracy.

Dave Greene:

Have any of you had experience using the platform for role plays, and simulated conversations with students where they maybe role play a student teacher conference, or other things like that? And if so, maybe share some ideas, if you would, on, some of the different things that you’ve had students do, and what the impact has been.

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

We always do a mock interview, a mock job fair interview before our large teacher job fair. Like Kelly said, we’re one of the largest teacher ed preparers in the state of Ohio. So, we have quite a large job fair. And we weren’t able to do that face-to-face, so we had a lot of faculty, we had wonderful partners, principals, superintendents, who were willing to meet with our students in a one-on-one environment and pose questions to them. So, I think they found that to be as helpful as meeting with them.

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

Our students are getting very savvy at the Zoom, WebEx, Teams, whatever format we’re using, conversations. So, I think they found that to be very helpful. And actually our interviewers were able to give them some really great tips about their media presentation, which is different than your face-to-face presentation. What’s in your background? What kinds of things can you the interviewer see that might help them? Because a lot of them are now interviewing online, and on the phone, so I think that was particularly helpful for them.

Dave Greene:

Has all of this disruption that COVID-19 has caused with the way we meet with students, and interact with students, and monitor students, all of those various elements have there been impacts, or disruptions in terms of your preparations for accreditation, or student licensing? And if so, how has GoReact helped with those processes?

Kelly Hodges:

In Michigan, for students who were planning to be certified this spring the decision was that all time requirements, numbers of weeks would be waived. But we still needed, as an institution, to have evidence that students could do all the things that we expected them to do at exit. We are not an edTPA state. We don’t have a video-based licensure assessment. So, we were a little on our heels in February, and early March when we realized we were gonna need to find ways for candidates to give evidence of things.

Kelly Hodges:

But because we had been using GoReact in other ways, we were able to go back to things that candidates had done previously, and look at them in new ways, and in new patterns of interaction. And get just about everybody to meet the state requirements, even though we missed the last few weeks. One of the things that taught us is we should be even more strategic about that as we go. And I think probably places that have edTPA, probably a little ahead of us in that regard. But we are overhauling our field instruction, we call it, our university supervisor seminar work to plan, fully collect artifacts that address components of the things we want students to see by the end of the year. That’s not only gonna help us make sure that we can say with confidence candidates are ready, but it’s also gonna help us have even better examples of things for accreditation.

Dave Greene:

Thank you, Kelly.

Dave Greene:

So, the last question I have for you for now, then we’ll get into questions from our attendees is related to mandates. And this is something that may be different in every state. You may have things on the horizon in some areas, and not in others. But are there any mandate changes that are on the horizon for your state, and how are you preparing for those in the face of all these other changes?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

We are still, I think, grappling with all of that. We still don’t have clear definitive what the rules are going to be come fall. Our state is still working on… We had an early draft, but it still says draft version three. So we’re not quite sure where that’s going to head in Ohio yet.

Dave Greene:

Anything on the horizon in Indiana, Jackie? Or are you in the clear for now?

Jackie Sydnor:

I don’t know of anything at the moment. We are not an edTPA state either. However, our university it was unlucky that this coming fall is the semester that we decided to require edTPA for our students, and go to national scoring, which we’ve done local in the past. So, we are making some preparations to ensure we’ve shared the materials, the handbooks with candidates already, who are gonna be student teaching in the fall, encouraging them to get started thinking about what that might look like, and to do that as soon as possible in case schools do close early in the semester.

Dave Greene:

Excellent.

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

So, Ohio just became an edTPA approved state. That was just before all this happened. We were using NTPA for about 10 years prior to that as a graduation requirement. So, we’ve had that in place for quite some time.

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

I will tell both of you that our students have loved… Or all of you having access to GoReact for their video analysis for edTPA because it allows them to think through what parts of the video they want to use, because they can’t make any modifications within their videos. So, they have to start at one point and end at another point. So, it has really allowed them… They said it’s been a time saver, and a game changer for them to be able to really more deeply reflect on what they want to share and why. So, that was really a helpful tool to them.

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

And NTPA is allowing them to submit online videos as well. So, if they’re remote teaching they’re allowed to submit those as well. So they should be okay in that regard, if that’s how they end up student teaching.

Dave Greene:

Excellent.

Kelly Hodges:

In Michigan, there’s no signs that we’re moving towards edTPA. It’s just not our vibe. But we are making a lot of structural changes in teacher certification in our state. Started about a year and a half ago with a new set of requirements for clinical experiences that much more carefully laid out than the kinds of experiences, the amount of experiences, the qualifications of the supervisors, the kinds of feedback that students were getting. So, we’ve been thinking about that for a while. We’ve also adopted the high leverage practices out of the university of Michigan Teaching Works as sort of the core practices for teacher certification in Michigan. And so, that shift from a more additional set of standards to practice-based requirements for teacher education is another big shift.

Kelly Hodges:

And then, a third big shift on the heel of that is a change in the structure of certification in our state from two grade bands, elementary and cert and secondary to actually five grade bands starting at birth and going through grade 12 and different combinations. So, every teacher preparation program in our state is rebuilding itself right now. And with a much more intentional focus on clinical experience in high leverage practice, and assessment of those things across the program, not just sort of the way that edTPA sort of captures things at exit.

Dave Greene:

Excellent, okay. Well, thank you for answering all of our questions.

Dave Greene:

And now we’d like to take some time 10, 15, 20 minutes, depending on the number of questions that we have, to do a Q&A with our attendees for the panel. So, they can address participant questions. We’ve eagerly gathered your questions as you’ve been posting them, and have selected several to start with. But please continue to post those questions as they come to mind so the panelists can address them.

Dave Greene:

So, to start with, I see one question that we’ve already addressed it looks like in terms of simulated audiences. “If the campus closes halfway through the term, how does a student teacher house themself if they are student teaching locally?” Any thoughts on that big shift and upheaval?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

So, that happened this past spring for us, certainly. We are mostly a residential campus, but our students typically live on campus the first two years. And then, the majority of them choose to live off campus. Our housing did stay open to any students that needed to stay on campus. They were moved and spread out to some housing. So, we were able to handle that when campus closed for students who needed that accommodation. But most of our student teachers were already in an apartment off campus, so they already had their own housing established.

Dave Greene:

Okay. Any other thoughts on that?

Dave Greene:

Another question, “If the students do not have the opportunity to go out in the field to create their own videos to use in GoReact, what resources do you use to input videos into GoReact for the students to view and analyze, and where can we find videos that simulate the field experience?”

Jackie Sydnor:

As I mentioned, we are looking at Atlas as a way to have videos for students that are high quality to look at. But just because they’re in the field doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have their own videos that they can use as well.

Jackie Sydnor:

This summer I’m teaching a pilot of a practicum course. I was supposed to take students overseas to teach in London. And that got canceled. So, we have been kind of on the fly trying to figure out how to make this work, so that they would still be able to have their requirements for student teaching next year. So, we have been having them tutor students. And they have been recording those tutoring sessions, uploading those to GoReact, and analyzing those, their one-on-one tutoring sessions with students. They are also creating instructional videos for those students. And we’re using GoReact as well to help them look at those, look at the videos of their peers as well, and do some critical analysis of those.

Jackie Sydnor:

And as their tutoring comes to a close, they’re also going to be having final, actual, real not simulated conferences with the families of those students they’ve been tutoring. And we plan as well to have that as a video artifact that they review, and think about how they could have done that better, what things worked well, and just a way for them to reflect on their teaching.

Dave Greene:

Excellent.

Kelly Hodges:

I’ll add a little bit… Sorry, Dave. I was just gonna add that we had some experience with that this spring too, some literacy and mathematics methods courses that were in the pre-internship phase that were planning to do work in schools with small groups of kids. And we asked teacher candidates to find somebody. Some of them could find a relative, some of them used their roommate, some of them use their parents to deliver these small lesson packages. And although teacher candidates kind of responded with like, “Why are we doing this? I don’t understand what difference it makes,” afterwards they were able to see how, although it’s different with your parents it’s, in many ways, the same. And it’s in some ways a little bit easier ’cause you’re not trying to think about how you keep kids engaged while you’re thinking about the steps of this lesson. And then, also parents were really excited. We had reports of parents who said, “I never knew that about math before.” So, I think it turned out to be a good experience for everyone.

Dave Greene:

That’s great.

Dave Greene:

So there’s a question that I think maybe I should answer for people and that is, “Is GoReact planning to have edTPA rubrics available to use for universities that use edTPA?” We are working on some of those resources that can just be kind of plug and play. A little bit easier to grab and use. We don’t have those available at the moment, but that’s something that is on the horizon for us.

Dave Greene:

Now, when you create marker sets, or rubrics that reflect edTPA, or PPAT, or any other program those can be shared throughout your department to provide consistency. And so, everyone can utilize the same resources, and that makes it really easy. And so, you could certainly do that now. There’s a rubric builder that’s very easy to use, and we can also help you with that. But we also do have, again, on our plans to build some of those things preemptively for those that want to use them so they can just drop ’em in and start to use them right away.

Dave Greene:

So, question that has come in from the audience, “Who pays for the student to have GoReact at your schools?” How has that worked?

Jackie Sydnor:

Currently, we have students purchase licenses for the semester for GoReact. They are able to purchase it directly from the website. Or if they need to use some of their financial aid, they’re able to purchase a code through the bookstore in order to do that. We are exploring, and likely since we’ll be using it more program wide, shifting to having it paid by their program fees.

Dave Greene:

Is it similar or different at your program, Tracy?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

So, fortunately, we had an opportunity with a federal Department of Education grant to be able to pay for this initially. We’re finding such wide interest from our faculty and from students that we are looking at making it a program fee starting after next year. So, we’ll fully implement across teacher ed.

Kelly Hodges:

And similar at MSU. We’re in kind of the second year of like large scale piloting. And we’ve had access to some internal soft money sources to scale things up, and study what we’ve been doing. But we are convinced that this is an essential component of teacher preparation, not just in the COVID era, but generally speaking. And so, now, we’re looking at options for making this not an out-of-pocket expense for students in the sense of when they sign up for a course, but a part of what comes along with being a student in our teacher preparation program.

Dave Greene:

Thank you.

Dave Greene:

So question, “What do you do to make the process of filming and feedback comfortable for students?”

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

We have been doing that with faculty mentors in actual classes. So, we’ve been diving into certain classes where the majority of our students are present. So, our junior year pre methods courses, as an example, all of our students had two of their classes where they spent time learning how, and practicing, taking video and uploading it to GoReact, and giving each other feedback. So, they had lots of practical hands-on experience. It didn’t take long. It was about a half hour, the first class. And 20 minutes the second class. And the students really felt pretty comfortable being able to do it and problem solving. And, certainly, they get a lot of support, if they have questions, from GoReact as well.

Kelly Hodges:

I can’t take credit for this, I got it from another GoReact user. But one of the things that we do in our student teaching year is have students start the year, even before their kids arrive with a classroom tour. So, it’s an opportunity to capture video, get themselves with their own, learn how to use the app, walk around their classroom, and kind of narrate what everything is, and why it’s there. And then, share that with each other, and comment on that. We can do that before we’ve got permissions taken care of from kids, and it gives them an opportunity sometimes in student teaching groups that are spread out geographically, where they never do get to see each other’s classrooms, the opportunity to see, and get lots of ideas about how teachers are setting things up. This is another way to think about an activity you can do early on before you’ve got actual classroom video that you’re trying to share.

Dave Greene:

That’s a great idea.

Dave Greene:

What are some of your favorite ways to utilize the markers? Markers are often one of those features that are utilized, and they’re utilized in a lot of different ways. What are some of those strategies? And how have they evolved over time?

Tracy Huziak-Clark:

I love markers. I have a video that I use when I’m initially sharing with people who are new to GoReact, or are new to looking at it. And it’s a teacher candidate who says the word you guys about 50 times in about three minutes. Not quite, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you’re able to really mark and tag each time. So, instead of pointing it out, those markers are such an efficient way of really giving a visual picture of how often something occurs, or how often you would provide the same kind of feedback. So, I love markers to be able to provide that visual picture of what’s going on.

Kelly Hodges:

[inaudible 00:50:52]. Oh, go ahead. You go first, Jackie.

Jackie Sydnor:

So this summer, as I mentioned, we’ve been recording online tutoring sessions. So, the students, our teacher candidates are tutoring kiddos ranging from age 4 to 10, I believe. So, we’ve been using markers for them to see, really focus in on the student, and notice those moments of engagement, and disengagement, and what they’re doing, what teaching moves are occurring during those times. So, really looking at student engagement. When they’re in the moment, they might be looking at lots of different things, sharing their screen, looking at their co-teacher. So, seeing really the focus beyond the student has been helpful with the markers.

Kelly Hodges:

I’ve got two, I’ll say ’em quickly. One is we have used them, for example, in interactive read aloud. We teach students that there’s kind of a heuristic. There’s five steps to that. When we show an exemplar video, then we can ask students to tag where they see the five steps. And then, the feedback graph can, you can very quickly see how many, and whether students can find those things in the video. So, that’s one kind of an example.

Kelly Hodges:

The other is that we’ve created marker sets that align with our student teaching evaluation instrument. We’ve built it ourselves at Michigan State, but you could use something that was aligned with [inaudible 00:52:14], or whatever tool you use. So, that field instructors can tag examples of things as they’re going without having to think about marking a group rubric. Then, they can go back and see examples of those things and mark the rubric, so they’re coded to the rubric itself.

Dave Greene:

Excellent. That’s great.

Dave Greene:

Thank you so much for all of your time, and the expertise that you’ve shared with us, Jackie, Tracy, and Kelly. You’ve been generous with your time. Tracy’s on vacation right now, and she’s willing to join us and share. We appreciate that. We’re so grateful that you volunteered your time to help teacher preparation programs across the Great Lakes region as they prepare for the fall.

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