By guest blogger Victoria O'Dea
The Southern Regional Education Board has launched a new online tool designed to help teachers share strategies for improving teaching and learning through instructional videos.
The project, dubbed SREB ShortTakes, offers ten videos designed to show teachers the latest web 2.0 tools, and their application in the classroom. One video, for instance, offers a demonstration of teachers using Google+ Hangouts to try to increase student success.
Each SREB ShortTakes video is created by a teacher who is using technological tools in his or her classroom, and all of them are approximately five minutes long.
Matlea Parker, a spokesperson for the board, said that SREB ShortTakes was inspired by the idea that teachers are often pressed for time, and that online videos could give them easy access to helpful ideas. The videos are meant to provide concise information so that teachers will be able to determine within five minutes whether or not a particular web 2.0 tool will be effective in their classroom, said Parker. Web 2.0 tools refer to web sites, such as social networking sites, that use interactive technology.
The SREB, based in Atlanta, is a research and policy organization that works with 16 member states to improve education in the hope of boosting economic growth and overall quality of life. Online learning has been one of its areas of focus over the years.
Parker said that the Southern Regional Education Board worked with its network of teachers to develop the online demonstration videos. She said it was important to have teachers create the videos for their peers.
"Researchers can go out and research the tools, but we feel it's best to have teachers talking to other teachers," said Parker.
Parker said that her organization plans to release 10 new videos every two months during the school year. The next set of SREB ShortTakes will be available in April.