Teacher Education

Why Dr. Marti Elford ONLY Uses GoReact for Student Teacher Observations

A short video clip focused on GoReact features that support remote observations

Dr. Marti Elford, a veteran teacher prep professional and expert on feedback, sings the praises of GoReact for teacher observations: the feedback features, ease of use, affordability, and so much more.


Hillary Gamblin:

Why did you choose to use GoReact?

Dr. Marti Elford:

I’m so happy you asked me that question. We started out with a different software platform and we were happy with it for a period of time. And then I had a chance to go to Finland on a Fulbright and part of my work over there was to work with their teacher prep faculty to figure out how to do remote supervision. And so I had time to investigate a variety of video software for teacher preparation. And when I put them all to the test, GoReact exceeded my expectations. One of the things that I like the most about GoReact is I can have a conversation with the student. The student can make a comment and then I can piggyback or make a comment based on that comment. And so it’s little like a chat thread. So that’s one of the things I really like.

The markers, the tags, are brilliant because we as teacher prep faculty can set up what it is we want the student to look for. Based on their lesson plan, we’re really heavy into explicit instruction right now at SIUE. And so most of our markers are related to the things we expect to see in explicit teaching. And so the students can watch their video and go, “Oh, yeah, that’s where I explained it explicitly. That’s where I gave my advance organizer.” And then they can comment about that or they can say, “Oops, I missed that.”

And then we had a chance to make our own comments about what we see, and we can also respond to their comments. And it’s affordable, it’s easy to use it, and the other thing that really tipped the scales for me when I was trying to sell it to the KU School of Ed, is that the help features and the videos and how explicitly it’s explained, I don’t have to troubleshoot for the students. The students can just go to the help desk and if they can read, they can figure out how to solve the problem on their own. And if they can’t, all they have to do is type in the chat and somebody will get back to them.

We would be here all day if you asked me to sing the praises of GoReact because GoReact allows both the instructor and the teacher candidate to look at the same teaching video. Peter Parker calls that… No, Palmer Parker calls that the third thing, you’re both looking at the same thing. And so it’s not me sitting at the back of the classroom writing copious notes, it’s both of us looking at that teaching and having a conversation about what we see, what went well, what matches, what they said they were going to do in the lesson plan and where there are discrepancies and then the things that they need to work on to improve. So GoReact is absolutely perfect for providing the feedback that we describe in our book and that I believe works.