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Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) is the first school in the world to use new technology and expert methodology to aid staff to develop the highest performance through self- and guided coaching.
AUEA is supporting its teachers at a new level, becoming the first school in the world to install discreet, always-on 360-degree cameras from ONVU Learning in every one of its 28 classrooms. These cameras are fully controlled by teachers who can rewind, zoom in to specific parts of the classroom, reflect on their regular lessons and ask for support from each other. They can also share lessons with ONVU’s highly experienced coach Dr Sean Warren, who uses a coaching method called ALIGN to explore classroom events and use them to suggest improvements for the future.
The Birmingham school sets itself out to be different from other schools, with a clear focus on educating the inventors, engineers, scientists and technicians of tomorrow. It has an enviable record for sending students on to top universities and apprenticeship programs. To continue to be innovative AUEA knows that it needs to attract the best teachers and give them the opportunity to further develop. And this isn’t easy.
AUEA Principal Dan Lock-Wheaton points out that "staff don’t always have the time to learn from each other" while Vice Principal David Chapman adds, "an observer in the room can influence the students and teacher, forcing a false outcome - known as the Hawthorne Effect."
Dan Lock-Wheaton adds, "by giving the ownership and control to that member of staff and encouraging an open climate of sharing advice and performance, it becomes a really powerful tool and a fantastic positive investment in our staff."
AUEA has been trialling the camera system from ONVU Learning for the past academic year and the experience has been highly positive – Dan Lock-Wheaton reflects, "capturing the learning behaviour and when the students are mostly engaging or not with learning, that’s the absolute utopia of where lesson observation should be."
In July AUEA officially launched their new whole of school camera deployment – teachers and leaders from the school including Dan Lock-Wheaton, David Chapman and Science Teacher Chioma Kpogoho shared their experiences.
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