Frequently Asked Questions
If you wish to contribute lessons to our growing collection of classroom observation videos these answers to frequently asked questions may be of use to you.
Why are you not charging for the filming of lessons?
Mediamerge cover 100% of the production costs - schools NEVER pay anything. The way we make our money is by selling resources to schools for professional development purposes.
What is required of our school?
We will film 3 to 4 lessons in chosen schools in a single day. Due to production cost, we can't film less than 3 lessons a day unless it is part a large range of lessons on consecutive days.
For every lesson filmed we require the following:
- Signed consent forms from teachers and students appearing in the video (we'll supply you the forms)
- Soft copies of lesson plans and supporting materials (Supplied on disk or via email)
- Teacher’s introduction to lesson and reflective feedback to camera
- Once reviewed, final signoff from school
Will the film make my teachers look less than good?
- It won’t. We can look at the teacher’s planning by email with them in advance to reassure them.
- We will edit the video down to about 20 minutes per lesson to highlight the best parts of the learning.
- We are focused on the pupils’ learning, not the performance of the teacher.
- We will ensure the teachers have seen the edited video before it is used
What happens if the children play up to the camera?
- This is very rare. We simply ask them to ignore us and they almost always do.
- We edit out anything that occasionally distracts from the flow of the learning.
What if we don’t like what you write about the lesson?
- We write in very positive tone highlighting the strengths in the learning and the teaching strategies that create them.
- We will provide you with the text before it is used and are open to discussion if you do not agree with the feedback we provide. We can provide you with examples of feedback to reassure you and your staff.
What if the teacher ‘makes a mistake’ in the lesson?
- Normally we simply edit out anything that is not helpful.
- In the unlikely event that the teacher wants to stop the lesson and repeat a short section we can do that, though normally this is not needed.
What other information about the lesson will you need?
- A copy of the planning to provide the context.
- If the school wants to provide a statement about the progress data achieved across the year in the class that would be great to fill out the picture.
What if some of the parents will not sign the consent form?
- We would ask you not to include them in the lesson as we would not be able to use the material.
What if there is an assistant in the room?
- We would film them in their normal role and add positive analysis into the text.
How do you include criticisms in the text?
- We don’t. The audience does not have access to the teacher, to talk with the children or to see the books. We therefore simply raise questions that they would need to resolve with that evidence if they were there in reality.
How will cameras in the classroom affect the running of lessons?
No particular preparations need to be made and the lesson should be carried out as usual within a single period.
An unobtrusive approach means lessons are filmed without any disruption to the class, and in our experience students ignore the camera entirely if asked to do so.
How long does it take to set up camera and what is involved?
Camera setup time per classroom takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Two cameras will be recording the lesson, one focussed on students' reaction and the other on the teacher. We will need time to move between classrooms, so if lessons are back to back we suggest planning a 50 minute lesson or doing a starter activity to cover the setup time.
What do teachers need to do?
Teachers will be asked to introduce their lesson to camera and also give reflective feedback.
These two clips can be filmed together at an agreed time and room in the school on the same day and usually takes no longer than ten minutes. As the teacher has the closest relationship with students, we would be grateful if he/she tells participants to ignore the cameras and work as usual. Footage of children reacting to camera will end up on the cutting room floor! Also, students should be reminded to speak up, our mics are good, but whispers can’t be heard!
What do students need to do?
Ignore cameras and behave as they would in any normal lesson!
We want to see students communicating with the teacher or each other using clear, audible voices and see the process and outcomes of their learning.
Tell me more about Mediamerge
Mediamerge is a media production company that produces high quality video materials for education. Nearly 15% of all UK schools have used Mediamerge resources for CPD. We now have created the largest series of lesson observation videos in the UK and expect to expand the collection over the next few years.