When it comes to being a great Intel Teach MT/ST,facilitator successful support is the key. In this discussion, we’re brainstorming ways that we can help make every participant’s experience successful.
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What other suggestions do you have to help make each training a success. Add to this list for a chance to win an Amazon Kindle.
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I've found that preparing your participants before the class ever starts is very helpful.
During the class, make sure you remind them that the trainers have all been in their shoes and have survived! And chocolate is always good.
When I do a PT training, I find it very helpful to send out reminder emails a day or so prior to our next meeting. These emails indicate where and when we will meet, what we will work on, what teachers may want to bring and invite questions to be submitted.
For MT trainings, I find it helps a lot to model using questioning techniques with the teachers. One group of MTs indicated they felt much more comfortable not "directly answering questions but having discussions" due to this modeling.
One of the keys to success for my trainings is that I make sure I am totally familiar with all the unit plans in the Designing Effective Projects site. So often it is critical to share these with teachers as they are stuck on either a project idea, or their CFQ's - and I find that when they read about what other teachers are doing, they can then move forward. In addition to the DEP unit plan, I also have lots of other unit ideas I verbally share with participants that I have seen developed over the years. So prior to every training, I review, review, review.
I read your post and realized how often I relied on those post-it notes and highlighted materials in the past. The new digital viewer changes the way I facilitated previously. One of the HUGE changes for me was how it was actually easier to project the Digital Viewer and not use the Presentations. I really liked how smoothly it went - just like showing the entire manual to the participants. I could highlight and show them the "important points" I found in the manual. Personal notes - just like sticking the post-it can also be made (with comments on them.)
The one challenge I see is that these digital viewer notes do not "stick out" of the top or sides of my binder like earlier versions. Not I've gotta figure out how to use the agenda in a way that it reminds me when to flip digital viewer pages LOL.
Shelley, Alison just posted this.... Download a presentation you can use and share to learn more about the new Intel Education Viewer. The Intel Teach Essentials Course and Intel Teach Thinking with Technology Course are now shipping in the viewer - "Digital Guides" replacing the print manuals.
Do you think the Digital Guides are Facilitator's Guides or is it another name for the Digital Viewer?
Hey Vanessa - the viewer is actually called the Intel Education Viewer and the manual is the Digital Manual. I just found out that in the U.S., the words "digital manual" is localilized to "digital guide" - so the answer is no, what Alison was referring to is not the facilitator guide.......
There's a big difference in preparation depending on where the training will be held. If the participants are coming to my location, I have to make sure they know how to get here, where to park (including getting parking permits), and how to find the room. I need to have power strips set up, and posted information on connecting to the wireless. Of course they need to know where the bathrooms are.
If I am going to their location, all that information needs to get to me -- hopefully before I show up! Especially important is the technology connectivity. Make friends with the tech person at the district and find out what is blocked -- and if you might possibly maybe pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top could unblock these sites for me this week (and keep them open for your teachers after I am gone)?
You hit a home run with the reminder of how important it is to get to know the District person in charge of opening up blocked sites. I'm thinking I need to keep a stash of Chocolate now ! I am thinking this could be one way to let this person know how much I appreciate his/her work on behalf of the teachers. Now to figure out what "thank you" needs to be left so the sites remain open after a training.
I hear from Stephen Andrews that an Intel Bunny can be used for a variety of encouragement activities! I'm not sure how well it will work to open up district blocked sites - but I'm confident it could not hurt to try .
Vanessa, I have started creating "generic" agendas for my trainings. That way, I have more time to plan for each training, and add or take away those areas that may or may not be needed at a particular school. It has really helped me cut down on the "creating the agenda" time that I used to spend.
One tip that has been touched upon but cannot be stressed enough is to really become familiar and comfortable with the content. Especially content such as the CFQs since this is an area teachers typically struggle with. This will greatly improve the facilitator's ability to assist participants with their unit plans and help them to make strong connections to their teaching.
I send with my welcome letter a copy of my completed lesson so that participants will know what is expected of them. I want them to know that I am not asking them to do anything that I have not already done. I also include the language of the county and explain how the strategies are aligned with the goals of itel
There are so many great ideas already in this discussion. I will just add some minor, but important to me ideas.
With students, it is important to not only engage them with concrete instructional material, but to also have them buy in through social/behavioral ownership. If they like the environment or identify with enjoyable aspects of the environment, they may be more likely to retain and use the instructional material. Same goes with teachers. Sit and listen doesn't always work well.
Especially in multi-day workshops or learning programs, pull the participants into the fun of the training. Honor participants throughout the day with a lighthearted 'great idea' or 'active participant' encouragement awards. We adults may feel silly sharing the ocassional Whoop!, but if the participants can relax and share in the experience with their co-participants, then we may be making deeper connections not only into the instructional plan, but also connecting to other teachers and building on to their professional learning network.
My 2 cents.
Mr. Martin, (Do you go by the letter H as a first name?) Good advice when you say "Honor participants throughout the day with a lighthearted 'great idea' or 'active participant' encouragement awards." These things go a long way. Everyone likes to leave class knowing that they contributed.
This is one of the initial letters that I send out to my participants.
Gail, the only thing I would add would be the possible NET*T standards. If you have state technology standards, you might want to include those as well. Another idea I really appreciate is having the teachers bring a Unit Plan they are or have worked on before. Sometimes just having to create something from scratch can get in the way, and that can lead to frustration and dropouts. LIke you, I have my participants register prior to the training for the various logins we will use, but you know as well as I do that doesn't always happen. :-) Just be prepared to have them create those at the beginning of the training.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful document.
Here are some facilitator tricks that come to mind:
1. Make links within all supporting websites. For example, you might use an engage group, wiki, blog, or something else for your specific group. Make sure they are linked together so that the participants can keep up with you and won't struggle trying to "see" what everyone else is seeing.
2. Invite participants to visit the various places, set up gmail, delicious, etc. before you meet. Especially, remind them to KEEP all passwords and logins that are provided to them by Intel Teach or the other major players. You won't get 100% to "pre-visit" but you will get some and that will reduce confusion during the workshop.
3. Have two computers available for the presenter. When possible, two projectors (really cool). So, one computer is displaying directions or locations to the group via a projector. The second is sitting right next to that computer but is showing facilitator notes, or the next page in the digital viewer or ppt so that you know what is coming up as the participants work. I use a pair of laptops and set them up together. It is helpful also when you need to make an adjustment, correction, or check out a link during the activities without causing a distraction.
I know it has already been mentioned that teachers have a list of logins and links to sites which will be used during the course. It can be even more helpful if it is annotated, and if the participants may add more annotation. I have sometimes created a wiki in addition to using the community for this purpose because in Essentials we are showing uses of wikis.
One you may want to look at is: this wiki from a TwT MT course I led this summer. The teachers and administrators really enjoyed having a place to gather links and materials outside the community, though they used the community extensively as well!
Oh, I just remembered something else!
When we begin groups, we never know just how seriously they will take our break time guidelines. My first Intel trainer gave us each a small paper on which to write our names when we returned before the timer went off.
Names were added to a container and drawn for prizes the last day.
I have been collecting Intel treats unused from trainings and those we get to order once in a while in the community when there is an announcement of materials available for free. I use these treats along with other ones I pick up here and there (often goodies from conferences, supplemented with a candy bar or other small prize if needed) and I allow teachers to choose their prize when their name is drawn.
Of course it can be done daily or saved up for a big drawing on the last day. Teachers get to decide before the drawing whether to ignore names when they are drawn multiple times.
It's a small thing, but they love it, and I don't have to worry about people arriving for training and coming back from breaks on time!
I've been pondering how to keep folks in the community after their training is completed. I know that often they don't think about Intel for a while, until they are ordering materials for a training, if they have done a MT course.
Also, those who are being trained as PTs might not explore deeply in the community during their courses.
I see the Community as one way to keep providing support to PTs and MTs after their training, but I am trying to gather ideas of how best to *snag* them before they finish their trainings and make them want to maintain their relationship with the community.
I used the Engage Community to support my last Essentials training. I reminded the teachers every day that they could reach me and the entire community with questions after our training. Several times in the training, I pointed out how the Engage Community could help answer the question. I've seen several of those participants active in the community since the training. (I wish it had been everyone who continued participating.)
How can we support and engage these new participants in the community such that they want to regularly visit and share with all of us?
I am starting a new thinking tools training in two weeks. It will be my plan to include as an assignment an activity involving the community at the completion of each module. Since I will have created the group in the community, exploring one tool in the communityafter each module should not appear as something extra.
I wonder if it would help if we highlighted one discussion each day, or sent them a link to a discussion which might shed light on something that came up during training? We would need to remind them to login before clicking the link...
Are there particular areas of the community or particular discussions you think would be beneficial and exciting for all our participants? I think the "What's in your bag?" and "Favorite web 2.0 tool" discussions would be enticing to learners...
Another suggestion would be to have participants works in pairs. Have participants identify their strengths and comfort level and pair them with others. Working with another oftentimes will reduce the stress of learning a new application. That adds support for the development of a successful experience.