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Start your video cameras for the great Global Physics Coaching Conference

November 16, 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve written about it, but the Global Physics Department is still going very strong. We’ve met on Wednesday nights at 9:30pm EST every week for the past 8 months (I think we’re now north of 30 meetings total) and we’ve brought many of the biggest names in Physics Education Research to come through and talk about their work, we’ve held discussions about teaching everything from E&M to modern physics and much much more). I’m convinced it is one of the very best professional development things I do—certainly far more valuable than many of the conferences I’ve attended. And the best thing is that you can easily go back and watch the recorded version of every meeting.

This week, the topic was coaching, and we held a pretty wide ranging conversation on coaching, both in real life, virtually via skype, and post-lesson via videotape.

Late in the meeting, Andy came up with the great idea that we hold a Global Physics Department Coaching Conference, which we’ve decided to hold on December 14. Here’s the basic outline:

  • Film your class and find five minutes of footage that you think is interesting and worth talking about. It doesn’t have to be your best moment—Brian Frank talked about how much he grew from weekly meetings at UMD where his professor challenged the TAs to bring in videos of their worst teaching moments.
    • Upload this footage to the internet. Youtube and Vimeo are great choices for this. Vimeo gives you a few more options to secure the video and place it behind a password.
    • Write a short context satement describing the video.
    • Send your context statement to Andy Rundquist. We’ll probably post a google form for this soon.

    Andy will then collect the context statements and put them together in a single post on his blog. On the night of the conference, we’ll get together and watch and discuss the clips.

    This promises to be a unique and awesome opportunity to get excellent and wide ranging feedback on your teaching. I’m really excited for this, and hope you’ll join us.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. rhettallain permalink
    November 17, 2011 8:32 am

    Great idea. But here is my question: are we recording (not filming) ourselves or the students? For me, I am pretty boring in most of my classes. I mostly just walk around.

    If I record the students, that might be a little awkward (remember Georgia Tech).

    • November 17, 2011 9:47 am

      I think the idea is to post these videos behind some sort of password protected space. You can password protect videos in Vimeo, or in YouTube, you can select a list of YouTube users who have access to the film.

  2. November 17, 2011 3:01 pm

    We should all get GoPro cameras, and mount them to our heads. The ‘first person’ perspective would be a lot of fun. Better yet, we could get a class set and sync up the same time period to catch the action from all perspectives.

    http://gopro.com/

  3. November 17, 2011 4:49 pm

    Does it have to be a physics class? I’m not teaching that right now.

    • November 17, 2011 8:05 pm

      I don’t think it has to be a physics class. But if we get inundated with entries (not likely) we may have to prioritize physics videos.

  4. November 17, 2011 8:01 pm

    I wish I had been able to video todays class. One of the” awful classes”. I could have used help in stopping the downward spiral. Kids didn’t know the math they should have known (they are in PreCalc. The practice I gave them to check their understanding before hand, they wrote down what someone told them too, and didn’t have a clue. They fooled me.

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