VEO - Video Enhanced Observations
CONCEPT: Take lesson observations to a new level with this video tool that allows live tagging of key concepts.
DELIVERY: Produced by Newcastle University, VEO (video enhanced observations) is quite simply a stroke of genius. Any educator will be familiar with lesson observations, whether it be as the observer or the observee. Some may even have experience with the increasingly popular use of filming the lesson for review afterwards. The problem with that though is. That you end up with a potentially long video clip that needs to be cross referenced with a set of notes and watched in full to bear any use.
This is the point where VEO takes things to a new level. Before starting the recording process, you enter all the key details into the app (class size, teacher name, focus etc) then you are presented with a live feed screen that has a range of buttons around the edge. These buttons allow you quick access to a range of tags for all the key things an observer would look for. So for example there are things like differentiation, questioning types, behaviour management strategies and a whole host more. They even have personalisation on the horizon in the coming soon section!
They really have got you covered in terms of what you could be looking for as an observer. There's even a quick tag button which you could use as a sort of wild card - perhaps to represent the core focus of the observation. You can also filter who the tag is assigned to, be it teacher, class, group or individual. Additionally there's a separate gauge along the bottom which can be used to track engagement levels throughout the session. Upon completeing the observation, the observer can evaluate against a set of generic CPD criteria or elect to use the British standard OFSTED criteria.
After the session is over, the review process begins. The video can obviously be watched back in full if desired but the ability to jump to ANY of the tags you have used is simply superb. The observee can instantly be directed to highlights ot ares to work on without a laborious hunt for teh relevant parts. There's even a statsitical breakdown, showing the core elements of the lesson in various graph forms. It really is an incredibly impressive and comprehensive tool.
LIMITATIONS: Filming whole lessons will quickly eat up space on your iPad... Good thing they have cloud storage integration in the coming soon list!
CONCLUSION: A brilliant idea that could easily become an industry standard. Every educator needs to take a look at this one. 5/5
CPD and school self evaluation