How I Use It
The Teaching Channel is a professional development website that has featured videos from real classrooms which highlight what they consider best instructional practices. It is a forum for educators to discuss lessons, ask questions, and save videos to their library for later reference. The idea is that you can see real teaching in action.
I really wanted to like the Teaching Channel. I like the idea and philosophy behind it, and when I first discovered it, I dove into the lessons and videos. The Teaching Channel lost my trust and my business, so to speak, when I came across a video that highlighted a teacher who was using a teaching strategy that was the equivalent of "round robin reading." I was disturbed that this would be considered quality teaching, and even more appalled when I saw comments from teachers that stated how much they loved this teaching strategy and were going to use it in their classrooms. Yikes! Research has shown that round robin reading is a teaching strategy that yields very poor results, and can even be counterproductive when teaching students how to read. This research has been published since the 90s. I find it irresponsible that the Teaching Channel considers itself a professional development resource, yet it is unclear how they choose the content they recommend and whether or not it is based on research. Although there are some great lessons on The Teaching Channel, my district has used its featured videos as examples of partially effective or ineffective teaching more than once. The bottom line is, I do not trust their definition of best instructional practices.