Students have long suspected teachers can see out of the back of their heads.
Now, with the help of 360 degree video cameras, ECU’s School of Education is training its pre-service teachers to do just that. Researchers, in partnership with three Perth schools, have used the portable cameras to record classroom footage to help pre-service teachers develop classroom management skills.
School of Education Research Fellow Dr Khadeeja Ibrahim-Didi said the cameras film a full 360 degrees, giving viewers a sense of “being there”.
“They provide a complete picture of all that happens at any one time in the classroom,” she said.
“The videos work like Google Street View, in that you can pan around to look around the room to see how each student in the class responds to what the teacher is doing.”
Dr Ibrahim-Didi said the videos can be viewed on computers by in-service and pre-service teachers to help them improve the way they teach.
“This technology has changed the way we help beginning teachers at ECU learn how focus their attention within the complex context of the classroom. It helps them to identify specific aspects of student learning and consider the best way to respond.”
Virtual reality for teachers
The videos can also be viewed within the iDome at ECU, a three-metre hemisphere provided by IVEC – the federally-funded, research visualisation support institution..
The videos fill the user’s full field of vision, providing a totally immersive and realistic experience of a classroom environment.
“We are also working on making the footage viewable through Oculus Rift virtual reality glasses,” Dr Ibrahim-Didi said.
“The aim is to make the experience as immersive as possible so that when pre-service teachers start teaching, they have had enough opportunities to develop the skills and the necessary social and emotional competence to deal appropriately with challenging situations in the classroom.
“This ensures that when combined with the extensive professional placements our graduates are ready to teach from day one”.
(Source: Edith Cowan University)