by Bridget Crooks
Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand
Part of my teaching job is presenting workshops to staff and students.
Each term I typically run two sessions a week – covering everything from using Outlook effectively to using social media in the classroom. I try lots of different things to attract teachers and students to these workshops – and admit that towards the end of the term I get tired and run out of energy to impart the amazing things that technology can do in our classrooms.
I was thinking about how better to reach my audience this year when I saw a challenge laid down on Yammer. Asking us to reconsider how we interact with our audience and think about presenting outside of the square.
I am aware that sometimes we all need to reinvigorate what we do – not only for our audiences, but to re excite ourselves also. So this term I have started to use three different presentation ideas – ideas that have seen engagement rise and my work load lighten – which has to be a winning combination!.
If you haven’t tried Kahoot in your classroom – I urge you to look into it now.
What is it? Simply put it is a game based response system use to motivate, engage and check the learning in your workshop or class. I’ve used it in my classroom before – but never thought to use it in my tech presentations.
This term I have been using my personalised Kahoots with both teacher and student groups. The engagement and sense of camaraderie that these games have created is incredible. I have excited students wanting to learn new things in their lunchtimes – and that’s no mean feat!
And the teachers? Well, we all are kids at heart and the motivation of a healthy competition has certainly made my training more sessions energetic.
USING STUDENT EXPERTS
I have been running a student tech support team for the last six months (read about them here). They have been a fabulous support in regards to devices and WiFi issues. This term I have included them in the timetable of training that happens around the school. The ‘IT Ninjas’ now run lunchtime classes for students and teachers – specialising in varied areas of expertise. It takes a particularly brave and empowered group of students to teach their own teachers. We call this AKO - shared teaching and learning.
There is no way anyone can be an expert in everything. The sooner we come to realise this the better and more effective we can all be.
I use my amazing colleagues to help deliver support and knowledge in the upskilling of our staff and students in all things IT. This emergent leadership has been very sucessful. It not only shows a great cross section of the incredible work that happens at our school but it also shows that anyone is cabable of taking a risk with new technolgies and trying out new things. The personal stories that our staff share makes me proud to be part to the shift in thinking in education.
If you are responsible for the training at your school, I challenge you to change the way you present. Try a couple of the ideas I’ve used so far this year – or let me know how you keep your workshops engaging and motivating!