3 Killer Observation Tools No Supervisor Should Live Without

framing student teaching observation

If you’re a teacher educator, you know that student teaching observations are a must. But that doesn’t make them easy.

Observation challenges come in many shapes and sizes. Finding the time to observe an army of student teachers and jumping through scheduling hoops is just part of a supervisor’s job.

And if your students are hours away? Conducting long-distance or out-of-state observations is a whole new challenge. And once the observation is done, how effective is your feedback? Are your student teachers grasping your comments and applying them to their daily teaching?

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The challenges are many, but no there’s no reason they should stop you. To help you get ahead, here are three killer observation tools that you definitely need to try:

1. GoReact Video Software

If you have to travel to supervise students or you need to film them for certification, GoReact is the observation tool for you. The software allows student teachers to film themselves teaching with their very own smartphones and laptops and submit the video directly to you for feedback. You can watch them teach live or watch the video later to leave time-coded comments right on the footage. GoReact is specifically designed to show your feedback in context for maximum effectiveness.

2. Equipment Upgrades

Investing in your equipment can make life easier and really enhance your observation recordings. Here are some ideas,

  • observation tripodImproved stability from your smartphone or webcam with a tripod. Tripods like this one can be placed on the floor or a tabletop. Some tripods even come specially made to hold a smartphone.
  • Improved audio capture with remote microphones. Lavalier microphones are great. Wireless options like the Hey Mic and the Sony ECMAW4 wireless mic are both under $200.
  • There’s also the Swivl. While a bit expensive, the Swivl is a robot that rotates your camera or smart device to follow you as you move around the room. Definitely a cool way to get a beautiful, high-quality recording perfect for any certification video.

Research has shown that watching yourself teach on camera is the fastest way for student teachers to improve. Now’s the time to get your teaching interns filming so they can reflect on their skills and make meaningful changes right from day one.

3. Observation Form Library

Whether you’re tech savvy or not, maybe the best way to innovate your observations is with a new and improved observation form. We’ve compiled an entire collection of sample student teaching observation forms from all 50 states so you can see what other programs are using. Check out our observation form library here: State-by-State Collection of Student Teaching Observation Forms.

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