4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 19, 2012 6:07 AM by bberns@aea1.k12.ia.us

    Learning Takeaways from Conference Attendance, Keynotes or a Workshop Session

    NaomiHarm

      group-people-smiling.jpgI 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.

       

      sunbelt-special-education.jpg

       

      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.

       

      Monroe Preso_061.jpg

       

      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!

       

      Naomi Harm

        • Re: Learning Takeaways from Conference Attendance, Keynotes or a Workshop Session
          NaomiHarm

          This article is also cross-posted under the "Celebrations of Teachng and Learning" discussion thread- but thought it would fit nicely here too!

           

          http://www.edutopia.org/blog/conference-to-dos-professional-development-nicholas-provenzano

           

          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.

          1) Send an Email

          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.

          2) Talk with Your Department or Grade Level

          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.

          3) Talk to Your Principal

          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.

          4) Talk to Your District PD Office

          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.

          5) Get Online

          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?

          • Re: Learning Takeaways from Conference Attendance, Keynotes or a Workshop Session

            Hi Naomi~

             

            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.

             

            Thanks

             

            MF

            • Re: Learning Takeaways from Conference Attendance, Keynotes or a Workshop Session

              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."

              • Re: Learning Takeaways from Conference Attendance, Keynotes or a Workshop Session

                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