It has taken me awhile to get this up. Spent a few days at the National Staff Development Council Conference at the beginning of the month. I stayed at the Gaylord Opyland hotel which was like a "Disney" experience in and of itself. I presented two three hour workshops.
One was for Microsoft about their Partners in Learning program. I co-presented with John Norton, Teacher Leaders Network and Kathleen Fulton, NCTAF and we Skyped in Allyson Knox, Microsoft and Emily Kornblut, Taking ITGlobal.
The other was about our work in Alabama with the Alabama Best Practice Center and was on 21st Century teaching and learning. John Norton and Jeanee Simpson, Cedar Ridge Math Teacher co-presented and we Skyped in April Chamberlain, Trussiville City Schools, Suzanne Culbreth, Oak Mountain High School, Erik Myers, Spain Park High School, and the fantastic team from Wrights Mill Road Elementary.
Jeanne and John did a fantastic job of engaging the crowd in conversation. NSDC encourages longer presentations so that the presenter will work many opportunities for engagement and networking into the workshop. I really like the format.
One of the first activities we did to make things more engaged was to do a quick needs assessment of those in attendance.
It was Cathy Gassenheimer's( of ABPC) idea and I really liked how it went over. Everyone had a dot and simply went up at the beginning of our session and rated themselves on this scale. You can see our audience of IT folks, professional development people, administrators and teachers were evenly dispersed.
1. Know Nothing- Clueless but interested...
2. Newbie- A newcomer to cyberspace, Web 2.0 and/or social networking.
3. Explorer- Willing to try a few new things, ask questions, and starting to gain an awareness around using blogs, wikis, podcasts, and vidcasts in instruction. You have possibly joined a listserv and are sharing ideas with other teachers.
4. Pathfinder-You or your students have created a blogs, wiki, or podcast. Some of your teaching is delivered in a student centered, inquiry-based format. You are reading articles/books about how to use Web 2.0 tools with your students. You understand the term digital native.
5. Power User- You blog and teach others how to blog. You use flickr, RSS, del.icio.us, and a wiki regularly. You can give at least three traits of a netgener and confusion and chaos do not bother you anymore. You regularly use project/problem based teaching in your classroom.
6. Know Everything- Should be teaching this workshop.
We also did a walk-about with five charts. Folks traveled in groups and answered questions about their perceptions of 21 Century concepts. This activity gets their ideas on the table and gives participants a chance to move.
We got into an excellent discussion about filtering and funding issues. You could tell it was a topic close to the IT director's heart.
The interesting thing was that when I asked folks why they chose this session, many of them said because it was of only about three being given at the conference on technology! There is a whole world out there of teachers who really aren't involved in the conversations. We need to think about ways to bring them into the blogosphere.
To help establish the reason why we need to be using these tools we got into assumptions about how students learn best. I asked them to discuss in groups...
What are some key assumptions about how students need to learn that are stressed at your school?
Finish this statement….Students learn best when…
If you would like to see the rest of the pics that Jeanee took while we were there check out her flickr set...http://flickr.com/photos/43204815@N00/sets/72157594419440428/