Match Minis are professional development videos made for educators who must keep pace with the swift pace and fluid nature of the school day, but are also committed to improving their practice and development.
The Match Minis website – www.matchminis.org -- is the latest example of how Match Education is sharing what it knows about teaching, and coaching teachers. The website hosts a library of three-to-five minute, animated videos – 48 in all – that are publicly available, for free, to benefit teachers everywhere. Teacher-focused videos, including "using a turn and talk" and "incorporating student practice," are intended for teachers who wish to improve their practice, and are especially useful for novice teachers. Topics covered in the "coaching" videos, for people supporting teachers include: "giving precise praise" and "modeling effective teaching." These videos are intended for anyone who supports teacher development, including school principals, instructional deans and coaches.
Match Education operates a public K12 school in Boston, a graduate school of education and a college and jobs program for low-income students. The organization is in constant search of new approaches and new ideas, and then strives to share its knowledge and best practices with the world in ways that are innovative, accessible and fun. The division at Match responsible for sharing what it knows is called Match Export.
Match Minis are like no other available resource for teachers.
First, every video – all 48 – feature knowledge culled from Match's 15+ years of experience as school operators and educators. The practices and techniques featured in these videos aren't just "good ideas," they have been field-tested in Match's work every day and are proven effective: in classrooms, in coaching sessions, and with graduate students who are training to work as teachers in high-need, urban schools.
Second, Match produced every one of these videos in-house to live on its custom-designed website. Now that the library is filled out, the next phase of the Minis project will be focused on leveraging the platform to influence teacher preparation and training programs more broadly. Match has a long-term vision to improve teacher preparation in the United States and thinks Minis can be a key resource in that work. Already, Match has heard from many schools, school districts and organizations that specialize in professional development for educators about how they are incorporating Match Minis into their teacher development and teacher-coaching programs. Some of the most active Minis users include: Breakthrough Public Schools, Teach For America, Relay Graduate School of Education, Aspire Public Schools, Yes Prep Public Schools and the Florida Department of Education.
Third, the internet is swamped with resources for educators eager to improve their practice. Every year, an eye-popping 90% of teachers report searching for professional development resources online. But based on an analysis of the field, none of the resources available are packaged in a way that is as accessible – or dare we say entertaining – as Match's. Each library of videos (teacher and coaching) build knowledge from one video to the next, and so in some sense, they act as a course. And yet, users can watch as many (or as few) videos as they desire, at their own pace and tailored to their own needs and interests.
And fourth, social media -- and particularly Facebook -- has been, and will continue to be, a key pipeline for new Minis users. The users who find the Minis through social media are primarily individual teachers who learn about our website on social media and share the website with their friends and colleagues.
Since launching www.matchminis.org in spring 2016, more than 51,000 teachers, school leaders and instructional coaches have accessed the site.
Feedback from Match Minis users has been overwhelmingly positive. Match has heard from people around the world and from organizations who are integrating Match Minis into their professional development programs. For example, the Breakthrough Collaborative, an organization that works with underserved students and trains young educators, created a Match Minis-focused summer training guide for its 1,000 teachers and 200 instructional coaches. As Match continues to develop the Minis, its goal is to pursue additional partnerships like the one it has with the Breakthrough Collaborative.
Feedback from users:
- "I love these videos -- they are concrete, succinct and important. I plan on encouraging our school partners to use them as they work with teachers." - Zach Blatner, Assistant Professor of Practice, Relay Graduate School of Education
- "Minis are wonderful...brief, engaging and informative. I am using them training first-year teachers on classroom management." - Donna Fine, Peer Assistance/Review Teachers, Volusia County (FL) Public Schools
- "I absolutely LOVE what I have seen so far in both coach and teacher videos. Site was easy to navigate and I appreciate your sense of humor." - Kathy Pyle, Instructional Coach, Florida School for the Deaf and Blind
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