The best idea to come out of my visits, however, has to do with motivating the kids. Much as was true in my old teaching days, many (perhaps even most) of the students were not terribly self-directed towards learning. When not given a specific task or assignment, and when asked to quietly wait their turn to be videoed, they had trouble controlling their energy, and would, at any opportunity, do something else (talking, playing—all the usual stuff.)
A solution occurred to me, though, that I would use if I were teaching daily, and that I recommend to all teachers. In almost all the classes, I asked the kids about their “passion,” or main interest, and just about every kid could readily tell me immediately what it was. For many kids the passion was a sport. For some it was music, or drawing, or dancing, and for a few it was a school subject.