I am always excited to share learning takeaways that I have gained from conferences I have attended, keynote sessions or hands-on workshops. But lately I have not had the opportunity to be an activate participant, due to I have been the main presenter. So as a strategic plan to mix it up at my last keynote in Monroe, WI I "flipped my keynote" presentation. Yes, literally flipped the traditional style keynote and had all 350+ educator and administrators actively involved in breakout sessions, dynamic duos, instant critical reflections and back channel chats. Did this method work- yes it it did- but with some clunks and bumps- as the technology could not keep up with our active learning strategies.
We definitely tapped out their wirelessly connections as I knew we would, even with all the pre-planning setup from the night before and the early morning setup. But it was worth to have all these educators active in the learning instead of a sit and get keynote in an auditorium. (Please see attached Blooms Questions sheet I utilized to formulate critical thinking questions as a guide).
Yes, I did start out with a grand opening as a normal keynote, but quickly changed to a personalized learning environment of asking a few critical thinking questions where the educators were grouped in dynamic teams and I used the tool of GoSoapBox http://gosoapbox.com/ to capture their immediate thinking process. GoSoapBox is used during classes/workshops/conferences to break down participation barriers, keeping students/attendees engaged, and giving teacher/facilitators insight into student comprehension that was never before possible. This tool is not free, like many other tools I have shared in the past, but the yearly fee of $90 for an educators license meets my needs to instant poll my audience, perform a simple comprehension check, and allow for students to create more critical questions and reflections on the fly with any mobile learning device.
To gain back everyone's attention into large group very quickly- I would utilize free transitions timers- my favorites are http://steep.it and http://e.ggtimer.com/ and I did this all from my iPad as I was highly mobile utilizing Apple TV with my laptop and projector. This allowed me to make personal interactions with each group in the auditorium.
When it was time for large groups shares or shouts outs with the mobile mic, I transitioned them into http://nextup.info/ groups and set a time to share and moved seamlessly through each groups to allow for an equal amount of sharing time.
Please note I also used the Orchestra strategy for active learning groups. Each participant in the group was to be responsible and active for their learning, so each member had a part in the "Orchestra. There was a conductor who was the facilitator of the group, their was a composer who crafted the groups message reflections through the back channel chat and GoSoapBox http://gosoapbox.com/ activities, and their were a variety of musicians - these were individuals that contributed creative thoughts, posed new questions, and assisted with the technology hiccups/setbacks. These dynamic groups setting and scenarios assists everyone to be responsible for their learning, be active and self-directed in their learning, and accountable for their learning.
Hope these strategise will assist your efforts for your next dynamic presentation!
This article is also cross-posted under the "Celebrations of Teachng and Learning" discussion thread- but thought it would fit nicely here too!
Do you just take the awesome things you learned at a conference and keep them to yourself? I hope not. Teachers in your district are counting on you to share great ideas. Here are some things you can do to share the conference love.
'Tis the season for state technology conferences. I recently went to my state conference, MACUL, and was excited to see some great presentations. There is nothing like being in the audience when passionate educators talk about the awesome things they are doing in the classroom. In my position, I have the opportunity to write about the cool things I saw and share them with my district. I also have a chance to visit other schools and work 1:1 with teachers. And what about those full-time classroom teachers that attended the conference? Do you just take the awesome things you learned and keep them to yourself? I hope not. Teachers in your district are counting on you to share great ideas. Here are some things you can do to share the conference love.
The simplest thing you can do is sending an email to your school or district, sharing some of the great tools you discovered at the conference. Give credit to the presenters who gave you these ideas, and offer to answer any questions people might have. This allows for non-attendees to take a look at what you learned by attending -- and follow up when they have the time.
Friendly conversations with your colleagues are a great way to share ideas. You can talk about the tools and how they work in your specific curriculum. This type of connection could get more teachers willing to try something new.
Find out if there is any time during a staff meeting or half day professional development (PD) to share some of the things that you learned at the conference. It might be weird for you to stand up and talk to your entire school, but what you have to share could make a major impact on the lives of students who aren't necessarily in your classroom. Another bonus, the willingness to share with the entire building will always score you points with the boss.
If you are willing to share your awesomeness with the people in your school, maybe you could share what you have learned to the whole district. Having worked in central administration this year, I know they are always looking for teachers to teach other teachers. Setting some time aside to do a mini presentation on the interesting things you learned at a conference is a great way to help other teachers grow.
If you are still feeling the urge to share, get out there and start a blog, join Twitter and use other forms of social media to spread the good word about what you have learned. If you want to reach as many people as you can, look to social media as a tool to do just that.
By trying these five ways to share your exciting new ideas, the presentation you attended in a room of 30 teachers now has another chance to help hundreds or thousands of teachers across the country and around the world. Multiply those educators by the number of students they have, and one teacher attending one session at a conference can change the world.
What are you waiting for?
I was interested in your article based on the "flip classroom". My principal had sent out an e-mail asking us if anyone was familiar with the flipped classroom. I would be interested in hearing more of the specifics about how it went and how your students felt.
Love these sites- Thanks for sharing!!!!
"To gain back everyone's attention into large group very quickly- I would utilize free transitions timers- my favorites are http://steep.it and http://e.ggtimer.com/ and I did this all from my iPad as I was highly mobile utilizing Apple TV with my laptop and projector. This allowed me to make personal interactions with each group in the auditorium."
A take-away, by way of Keynote speaker, is Dan Meyer and the idea of Perplexity. Learning is everywhere and web tools can be used to showcase learning and get kids interested in real world applications of their learning. Check out his website from our conference, The 2012 TIC Sessions.