Teachers Take the Lead on Innovation
Bishop Guilfoyle’s culture of creating an exceptional learning environment means that they empower faculty to make their classrooms the best that they can be. Teachers are encouraged to implement new ideas, become experts in these innovations, and then pass them on to others.
One of these teachers is Gina Baker. She teaches Pre AP Biology, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science and Ecology and Environmental Sustainability. She stumbled upon an article about Swivl, a classroom camera that tracks the teacher and records classroom interaction. The interface consists of a tracking camera in the classroom as well as an account where the video can be viewed and shared with other collaborators for feedback. She was drawn to it because, “self-reflection is such an important part of growing as a teacher.”
“I wanted to find a way to objectively evaluate myself as a teacher,” Mrs. Baker says. “And of everything that I have used to evaluate myself objectively in the classroom, Swivl has provided me with the most useful data.”
Mrs. Baker has used Swivl in her classroom since January. She credits the video observation and collaboration solution as being very user friendly. “I’ve used it quite a bit since January,” she says.
As for the benefits, Mrs. Baker says, “I’ve learned a lot about myself as an educator since using Swivl. I can see exactly what has happened in my classroom instead of assuming how things had gone.”
She says it’s been a privilege to pilot this new technology for Bishop Guilfoyle, and strongly encourage teachers to use it as a professional development tool. “Mrs. Donnelly allowed me to introduce the Swivl to our faculty during our opening year in-service,” she says. “We now have two.”
She credits the culture of innovation and ownership at Bishop Guilfoyle for the autonomy to implement new ideas into her classroom. “Mrs. Donnelly has been so supportive,” she says. “She welcomes new ideas and encourages progress. I know that if I truly would like to make a change that would benefit the students, her door is open.”