Review by Sandy Wisneski, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2019

Teaching Channel

Quality videos challenge educators to grow within a PD environment

Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
K–12
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Pros: Educators can connect and learn through videos and community connections.

Cons: Needs more practical videos offering concrete strategies in the classroom.

Bottom Line: Professional educators can watch, share, and learn in a continually updated environment.

The Teaching Channel site allows teachers to use video as a platform to participate in classroom observations and professional growth outside of the school day. Discussions about lessons can happen digitally or while watching a video together in small groups -- perhaps during a planned meeting or collaboration period. Videos and resources can be organized on a current topic and shared with a team for weekly collaborative PLNs. On top of this, the site's online community forum encourages teachers to engage in conversations about relevant issues. This means that teachers from all over the world can connect and grow together.

Teachers can easily save videos and add notes for future viewing, and even schedule personal reminders to come back to them. Searching for videos and resources on this interactive platform is streamlined. However, results may not always offer practical videos that could be used immediately. 

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The Teaching Channel is a video resource focused on educational best practices in an interactive environment. Through the site, educators can watch videos of teachers working in their classrooms as a way to learn approaches and provide feedback to peers in their profession. The site's platform also gives teachers a space to share lesson ideas and strategies across a fairly broad range of subjects and grade levels. New videos are added periodically, helping the overall collection grow.

Additionally, the site's new Teaching Channel Plus platform (subscription-based) functions as a private space for professional development (PD) among a smaller, closed network of teachers. It's essentially a more personalized version of the site's public video-PD model, geared toward individual schools or even departments within a school. This platform can be used for observation, coaching, mentoring, or professional learning network (PLN) groups.  Videos can be shared within private teams creating a safe and supportive place for mentors and coaches to work with new teachers, but also support collaborative groups of veteran teachers looking to learn from one another.

The Teaching Channel's website is a great resource for teachers who are looking to grow in their practice. The site is particularly helpful to teachers who are looking for examples of quality teaching on current topics in education. As it can be challenging to get away from one's own students and classroom, the site can help educators observe other teachers outside of the normal school day. In addition, videos can be added to My Resources with the ability to schedule reminders to view at a later date.

Videos and blog posts cover a wide range of topics including differentiation, Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and engagement -- and often include valuable resources such as lesson plans and handouts. Because the videos come from a variety of sources, quality and usefulness may vary. However, usefulness also depends on the topic and teachers should generally be able to take away ideas that can be molded into their own classroom. All of the videos can serve as good discussion starters and challenge educators to look for ways to incorporate ideas into their own teaching.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The intuitive layout makes navigation easy and the videos are well-produced for teachers looking to advance their practice. Additional resources such as lesson plans and handouts connect teachers to valuable information.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Videos highlight best practices that teachers around the globe have shared. The community area offers an avenue to ask questions in a forum approach.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

FAQ page guides teachers in setting up a profile, searching for videos, and creating My Notes. Well-organized directions are easy to follow.


Common Sense Reviewer
Sandy Wisneski Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
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Classroom teacher
Concordia International School Shanghai
Pudong, China
Teaching Channel Teaches Teachers To Try Techniques Previously Unattempted
To hear this quick review, please visit: http://21clradio.com/teachingchannels-discussion-formats-give-you-just-the-structure-that-you-need-tech-tools-daily-137/ ...
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