“The proper way to videotape a classroom is for the instructor to inform the administration/school board that videotaping will be done to help improve instruction,” said Troen. “Then the teacher, administrator, or educational consultant informs the class, in advance, that the class is being taped to improve instruction. Next, place the camera on a tripod in the corner of the room so that the class and the instructor are included in the videotaping. This maintains the integrity of the concept that ‘the videotaping is being done to improve instruction’—I did this over a 3-year period as an educational consultant in a large school system. (A second camera can be place in a corner in front of the class that records student participation, reaction, and behavior.)”

Troen continued: “My findings are: After approximately five minutes, students forget that videotaping is taking place and the teacher is able to obtain the information that is needed. In other words, the taping is not to record negative student actions but rather to try and find better ways to improve instruction and, at the same, record disruptive students and perhaps discover why he/she is disruptive. After reviewing video with principal/school board/educational consultant, a decision can be made whether or not to show the video to class and/or parents.”

“Our school has a permission form in the student handbook where parents can give consent for videotaping that is approved by the building principal,” said Pat Fuller, a K-8 school counselor. “We have it on our school buses to protect students and bus drivers from accusations. I often suggest that students pretend their parent has a video on them and then behave as they would if their parents were watching them.”