Edthena hosts author, researcher Jim Knight

March 9th, 2016

video coaching

Knight sat down to discuss using video for instructional coaching

In February, Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena, an online video coaching platform for classroom observation, sat down with author/researcher Jim Knight. They talked about Knight’s new book Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected and how video supports the instructional coaching process.

Knight has spent nearly 20 years studying how teachers get better at teaching. He is a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and the president of the Instructional Coaching Group.

The conversation is posted on the Edthena blog at

Knight started by speaking about his book, how technological advances have made it easy to use video for professional learning and how seeing Mick Jagger recording a World Cup game with a flip camera inspired him to action.

He stated, “In working on coaching, we ended up spending a lot of time on video, and I’ve come to believe that video is the most significant technological innovation in education in maybe decades. It’s an extremely powerful and a disruptive technology that has great potential.”

Knight also talked about courage it takes for teachers to look at a recording that may threaten the perception they have of their skills. “But the thing is, most people want to be good at what they do,” he said. “And to be good at what you do, you have to get a clear picture of where you are.”

Another major point Knight made was on the issue of trust. “If someone doesn’t want to use video, it’s probably not about the camera. It’s probably about the absence of trust,” he stated. He said that trust is usually an aspect of organizational culture rather than an individual matter.

Knight also addressed an array of topics:
● Creating an environment/culture that’s psychologically safe for video coaching
● Effectively jump-starting a video coaching process with teachers who are new to video
● Two characteristics that lead to a technology being embraced
● Five factors of trust that are critical to successful implementation
● Online video’s potential for expanding the geographical scope of teachers’ professional learning and collaboration

“I’m really excited to have had the opportunity to speak with such a distinguished scholar,” said Geller. “It was particularly gratifying to hear him discuss essential tactics for effective video-based coaching, such as ensuring privacy, that we had also prioritized at Edthena.”

About the Author:

Material from a press release was used in this report.