John Viau, Driver Educator, Bellows Free Academy Fairfax
Get behind the wheel with John Viau and you will quickly discover this isn’t your dad’s driver’s education class. John has been transforming his road-teaching methodology and entire classroom to put more self-aware drivers on the road each year.
The Setup – True Mobile Learning
Bellows Free Academy in Fairfax rolled out a one-to-one initiative throughout the school to improve student learning in the classroom. John originally looked at iPads as an opportunity to provide better instruction to students in his driver’s ed classes. He took a very literal approach to the concept of a “mobile” device and started using iPads in the car.
John typically shows student drivers a skill, has them practice, then films them doing the skill. Each video clip is from 30 seconds to two minutes in length to allow students to focus on specific areas.
Replaying the videos on device was a good start, but John knew there had to be a better way for students to interact with videos. In his search for an app to help students evaluate their performance, John found Coach’s Eye. Bellows Free Academy Fairfax was then able to purchase copies of the app at a discount for all of the students in John’s driver’s ed classes through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.
While the initial video review happens in the car, the real assignment happens after the student goes home. Students are tasked with the homework includes performing a self-assessment of their driving by creating an analysis video on their iPads with Coach’s Eye. Students review their driving performance with telestration tools, slow-motion review and audio narration. This allows John to understand the student’s POV of how they think they are doing. Parents can also review the students’ videos to see how their child is progressing and where they need additional practice.
John is going to continue to leverage mobile devices wherever he can, and has already presented his findings and advancements in drivers ed at inside BFA and at education conference. Next he plans to film driving routes ahead of time and review them with Coach’s Eye in the classroom, before students ever get behind the wheel.
John’s accomplishments have prompted Bellows Free Academy Fairfax to look into using video analysis in other subjects and classes by installing the Coach’s Eye app on every student’s iPad.
John Viau has been teaching drivers education for ten years. John was rewarded for his efforts in 2014 by winning VDTSEA Teacher of the Year for Vermont. He also was one of three educators selected for the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association (ADTSEA) Teacher Excellence Award for his innovative teaching strategies.
You can learn more about John and his work at: