24 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2009 11:20 AM by lsrdhunter@msn.com

    Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories


      What surprises have you had  in a recent training?  Perhaps someone exceeded your expectations or another left you baffled with questions?  Did you have a traveling tale of doom or perhaps an inspiring moment that you will never forget?  In any case, share your story with us. 


      Please include whether your training was for Participant or Master Teachers and what course you were teaching.  Thanks!


        • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

          The exciting part of the story from my most recent training began when I arrived at the facility and none of the materials were in the training room. When I asked about the materials, I was told nothing like that had arrived . Teacher.training had informed me the materials were shipped and the tracking emails showed the boxes had arrived. In talking with the room's technology person during the first hour of the training, he mentioned he might have seen some boxes like I was talking about. Just after one hour AFTER the training began, the materials arrived and I handed them out to the Master Teacher candidates.


          I was so pleased with these Master Teacher candidates because they worked with me for the first hour without having materials to reference. We were able to go back and get caught up in the manual - marking up important pages and referring to upcoming tasks. What a great group of Master Teachers came out of that course - all completed the assigned work and became certified. I'm most excited because they look forward to doing several trainings for Participant Teachers now.

          • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

            I am so glad you started this post. I actually posted this story on our LA forum and our own Susan Gauthier got so tickled with it.

            After completing my first Essentials training, I did not let my participants know they would receive a "gift". When I presented my principal attendee with her gift of course she was ecstatic, but she walked away with so much more. She told me she was walking around and talking to other principals and they thought she was crazy. When I asked her why they thought that, she said, "I can say wiki and blog and no what I am talking about. I feel so smart". I had to just hug her for her enthusiasm. She really has turned out to be a great asset as she has really talked to other administrators and her teachers about the program. Now, I have to admit, it did start off a little shaky, but it ended up FANTASTIC.

            • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

                     I was very surprised and pleased to see the teachers in my last Master Teacher workshop using social bookmarking before I introduced the topic of bookmarking in the Teaching Thinking with Technology course.  del.icio.us seemed to be very popular among this group but I also saw teachers using digg, propeller, dzone, portaportal, and clipmarks.  Everyone seemed to have a favorite... favorite! 

              • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

                I was in Kentucky one summer and in addition to beginning my training was also being evaluated for my first time. We were in a building that also had students attending summer school. After a few hours, the fire bell went off. I asked everyone to take their training manuals and personal belongings with them and we held class outside. When we found out that they weren't going to allow us back in the building, I gave directions for some reading they could do that afternoon and we dismissed everyone. I was worried sick but we were able to catch up fairly quickly within the next two days and be right on track. On the fourth day, someone pulled the fire bell again but this time it was a much shorter delay. One of the best things I took away from this training was to stay cool, let the course materials lead the way, and have a sense of humor!

                • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

                  I have not fully completed a training session yet, however I had the chance to attend a second training and because of my excitement a fellow teacher signed up to take the training with me.

                  • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

                    We have a program in our district called E-Cubed Academy which stands for  (Empower, Engage, Excite) and the Intel Essentials course is used as a platform for the E3 Adademy.  Teachers are selected as a team and recieve six laptops each for completing the academy. In the past we have conducted the Essentials course using the online version and have seen teachers struggle to complete the work.  Last semester we only offered the course in the face-to-face format and found it to be a great success. Now, it is that time of year when I am getting a flood of applications from teachers who want to participate.   I was surprised to see teachers who had already gone through the academy asking to attend a second time even though they would not be getting addtional equipment.  They explained that the course was very enjoyable and helpful to them.  This made my heart very happy!

                    • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

                      During our get-acquainted time in a recent PT Essentials training, I learned I had beginner-level participants in the course. Their principal had advised them that the course would be perfect for them. She, however, did not know what the course was about. Needless to say, the training was more difficult than they had expected. But, we moved along with more hand-holding than usual and an extra day. At the end of the course, I asked them to blog about one important take-away from the course. Here is a portion of a response from a beginner:

                      “WOW! is a three letter word that sums up the content that I have obtained in 5 very short days. The one major take-away from this Intel essentials course is the ability to look at standards from a broader view… I can’t wait to implement these newly learned strategies in my classroom.” Now, that made my day.




                      • alternative strategies
                        Bonnie Feather

                        The first time I led an Essentials Master level course was in a district that is quite forward-thinking regarding the use of web 2.0 tools in the classroom.  When they were asked to create a flyer or powerpoint show to explain the use of Projects in their classroom, not a one of them did.  Nor did they ask me if alternatives were allowed.  They jumped in and used MixBook, VoiceThread, and other online tools to create their presentations.


                        Since then I have always noted to participants that they have the option to use other tools.  It's a great way to move them in that direction and not limit them to the "old" ways!

                          • Re: alternative strategies

                            Bonnie, I had a similar situation in one of my trainings. It was not a whole class, but just one person. Instead of using PowerPoint, the participant used PhotoStory. She used photos and saved some of the PPt. slides as jpegs to use them in the story. Turned out great! I think we should always encourage participants to think outside the box!

                          • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

                            My favorite training story just so happens to be from an INTEL training where Glen W was mentoring Quentina Timoll and myself. Q and I had broken up the tools to present and she refused to take the showing evidence one so she quickly took seeing reason to demo to the class. We were so exhausted because we stayed up late going over the material and practicing that we were a little out of our minds (more than usual). This was our first TwT MT training in La and we wanted to really impress Glen. Quentina stood up to talk about her tool and instead of seeing reason she said seasoning reasoning. Oh yes she did! She didn't even realize that she said the wrong thing but to see the look on the participants' faces was priceless. When someone corrected her she said well that's how we say in La. It was awesome. To this day I cannot say seeing reason without stopping to say it in my head first...I just know that seasoning reasoning is coming out! I share this story at all my Intel trainings so many of our La folks say seasoning reasoning instead of seeing reason. It is funny how your mind gets stuck on one thing - we always laugh about it at our TwTs.

                            • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

                              Hi ..

                              The most recent story I've had, was during Essentials MTs training in Dubai . I was told that all MTs are Arab , so I prepred all mterial in Arabic. On the first day . I found out that I have non-Arab MTs. So, When I gave them the training manual they stared at the book for a while and said " We don t understand this , we need the training in English" . Furtunatly , I've downloaded all course updates the day before the training. So, I switched all the training content into English. It was good experience, Also, I was lucky being an English teacher. that helped me alot to deliver the course successfully. I got good feedback from the MTs at the end of the course .. the one I liked was ...

                              ·        The course facilitator is really enthusiastic, approachable and accomplished. He seemed to be well qualified for conducting such training sessions. He had quick and persuasive answers for all questions. He quickly and smoothly sorted out all unexpected problems.

                              • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

                                Sometimes, right in the middle of the craziness of courses, workshops, and preps, you get something like this in an email that makes your day! I accepted this for all of us.      



                                     I am very interested. I will catch up in this course this week. Thanks for letting me know. Hope you have room. I have seen a huge positive change in my use of technology, increased interest, less behavior problems, more targeting their lives through news clippings and then applying it to the skills of the day. I'm much happier and can't wait to get to school each morning. Liz




                                • Re: Stories from the Front Lines - Share your training stories

                                  Some of you may have heard about the training I had in Huntsville, AL in April 2002.  But for those of you who missed the story, I decided to add it to this discussion.  It's all about keeping a positive attitude when faced with challenges.


                                  The Huntsville Assignment (Surviving a broken computer, an earthquake, sink holes, hail, tornados, and flash floods)


                                  An Omen…I had a few things to pick up at the store the day before my scheduled trip to Huntsville.  One of the coins I received as change from the cashier was an Alabama state quarter.  I thought to myself, this must be a good sign.


                                  The Journey begins…The Tampa International Airport does not have a direct flight to Huntsville; therefore, I booked a flight out of Orlando because I wanted to fly direct to Huntsville and avoid a layover in Atlanta.  The trip to the Orlando airport from my home was only 30 minutes longer than a trip to the Tampa airport.  Avoiding a mad dash between flights in Atlanta was easily worth the extra time.  My trip from home to Orlando went very well as it was very early Sunday morning and traffic was light.


                                  Fortunately, I arrived at the airport early with plenty of time to clear security.

                                  Unfortunately, the inspector, who examined my Tablet PC computer, insisted that he put the computer through a second scan because he had never seen a computer like mine.  I offered to power up the computer to prove this little machine was indeed a PC, but the second scan was completed before I could retrieve the Tablet. I had a funny feeling the second security scan was not a good thing to do to a new computer.



                                  Fortunately, despite this delay, I still made it to the gate in time to board my plane. 

                                  Unfortunately, I had time to turn on my Tablet PC. The little computer failed to boot up properly. My screen had wavy lines running across it.


                                  Fortunately, I backed up my files to a flash drive and I knew the training lab in Huntsville had a computer I could use.  Having a back up plan made me feel better! 

                                  Unfortunately, as I looked out onto the runway I could see a tall pilot run up the steps to a waiting plane.  He failed to lower his head as he entered the cabin of the plane and as a result hit his head.  I thought this could not be my flight; however, when my flight was announced, I walked down the gate to see the plane I had been watching!


                                  Fortunately, as I entered the plane, I could see the pilot.  He was conscious and talking!  The flight was one of the best I have ever taken.  The landing into Huntsville was smooth.  Once inside the airport, I went right to baggage to pick up my two bags. 

                                  Unfortunately, my suitcases were inspected in Orlando and the zippers were banded shut.  I had no way to open up the bag because passengers are not permitted to carry sharp objects in their carry on bags.  Guess where I put the map of Huntsville along with detailed directions.  Yes, in my suitcase. 


                                  Fortunately, I picked up a small map at the Hertz rental car desk and charted my route from the directions I remembered. 


                                  Arriving at the hotel a little early, I could see they were not ready for me. I was able to borrow a razor blade from the desk clerk to remove the band from my suitcase.  With my map and directions in hand, I set out to find the training center. 


                                  Fortunately, the directions were great and I found my way to the training center and back to the hotel.  This time the hotel was able to check me in.  I received a card key from the desk clerk and set out to find my room which was located on the second floor.  Everything looked fine until I saw the hallway were my room was located.  There was lots furniture in the hallway. They were putting new carpet in the rooms.  I literally had to climb over dressers, chairs, and bed frames to get to the door of my room.  I knew changing hotels was not possible because all the rooms in town were booked as there was a big festival in town.  I was sure they would have the furniture moved before dinner.


                                  Unfortunately, the next morning the furniture was still in the hallway.

                                  Fortunately, I was able to get to the training center on time and my day went very well. During lunch time I contacted HP concerning my Tablet PC.  They agreed to send a box to Huntsville to ship my computer to Houston for repair.  They told me to expect pick up the next afternoon.  30 minutes after I hung up, a gentleman from Airborne Express was at the training center to pick up a computer.  Thinking that this was too soon for my pickup I continued training while a staff member at the training center gave the delivery man a Gateway computer, which was waiting on a pickup for repairs.  You guessed it…. The pickup was for my computer.  I didn’t discover this fact until the next day when I called HP and asked why they hadn’t picked up my computer.  I was told they had my computer!   No, they had a Gateway computer.  Now they had to return the Gateway and issue another order for pickup to retrieve my Tablet PC.  Boy was I ready for a good nights sleep.

                                  Unfortunately, my sleep was interrupted when I was awakened at 4:00 am by a 4.9 earthquake!  You could say this was a moving experience!  There was a loud humming sound outside my window.  I found out later that sound was the high tension wires across the road.  As the earth shook, the wires pulled on the towers creating a humming sound.  You should leave a building during an earthquake; however, the hallway was dark and full of furniture. I was safer in bed than trying to climb over the furniture outside my room in total darkness.  The next day the local news station reported a sink hole had opened up as a result of the earthquake.  They cautioned everyone in the area to be on alert.  Detours may be a challenge for me as I only know one direct path to the training center from the hotel.


                                  Fortunately, I did not encounter any detours and the rest of the week went well.  My computer was returned to me by Friday.  I was impressed with the speed of HP’s repair department.

                                  Unfortunately, they restored my computer to factory specs and removed all software applications.  My software application CDs were sitting on my desk in Tampa.  I will never leave home without my application CDs again!  My computer worked but without my software I still felt lost.


                                  Transferring to a new hotel…My Huntsville assignment was for two weeks.  I was sure everything would be perfect for week two. On Sunday I was able to transfer to the Hilton Hotel located closer to the training center.  This hotel looked much nicer than the first hotel.  The Hilton was also under renovation but they closed down the hallway where the work was taking place.  My room was very nice. Everything seemed fine until Tuesday morning.  The sky looked very stormy.  A nearby town reported having 3.5 inch hail falling from the sky!  I put on my Intel jacket, grabbed my materials, and set out for the training center.  About 30 minutes into my presentation, the sky went black as midnight!  A few minutes later the town sirens went off.  We were under a tornado warning. The wind picked up as the rain fell quickly to the ground.  We were asked to leave the training center and move to the middle school behind the training center.  I grabbed my materials and took them along, hoping to stay on the training schedule. The class piled into two vehicles and we drove to the middle school.  The staff and students from the middle school were sitting in the hallways of the school when we joined them. About an hour later we were able to leave the middle school.  While the tornado warning was over, flooding presented a problem for our return to the training center.  Unable to drive back, we walk through ankle deep water to get to the training center.  With wet feet and pants we resumed the Intel class.  I was able to complete the day on schedule by working through lunch! 


                                  On my way back to the hotel, I could see where trees and branches had fallen to the ground. Several yards from the training center a tree had fallen on top of a car.


                                  Fortunately, the debris was not in my path and I was able to drive back to my hotel.

                                  Unfortunately, I could not pull into the parking lot of the hotel!  The early morning flash flood came so quickly and with such force, it pushed several cars from the hotel parking lot into the street as the water joined a city pond across the street from the hotel.  When the water receded from the parking lot, it left lots of mud and several fish behind! I felt incredibly lucky, as my rental car had been parked in the very spot where the water rushed through that morning. 

                                  Fortunately, I found a dry spot to park the rental car overnight. 


                                  Unfortunately, the weather continued to threaten Huntsville the rest of the week.

                                  Fortunately, we never saw anything as bad as the day we evacuated from the training center.


                                  I have decided my life will never be boring while working as a Senior Trainer with the Intel® Teach Program!