I Ditched My Workshop Slideshow (Mostly)
Running workshops for teachers is one of my favourite things to do. To be able to run one recently about The Role of ICT in the PYP that relates to my current position in my school was an absolute joy!
Most teacher workshops are organized around a slideshow and sometimes include a wiki for collaboration. I wanted to try something a little different… Since it was a technology workshop, it was important to me to utilize tools that teachers might use in the classroom with students. Over the course of the 2.5 days we used these online tools for organization, communication and reflection:
This was challenging for many participants but by the end of the workshop the notion of “app-smashing” had become second-nature as they learned both the tools they had access to on their devices and how their technology worked. For some, it was the first time they had drawn with their trackpad or located and photo taken with the camera.
I wanted to be able to have all our provocations and resources in the same place so I created a website. This served as the launch for almost everything we did. Pages were organized by sessions and this worked reasonably well. I did need to do a little tidying up as I went and I wish that I had made time to change the image placeholder but it was a start and I would definitely do this again.
However, screentime is a concern when working with both teachers and students. So, I wanted to have a balance of creating with paper as well as digitally. We often used paper to construct and record our ideas even though this was a technology workshop.
We frequently used Visible Thinking Routines to clarify our thinking after reading documents, watching videos or discussing things.
Rather than a wiki, we used Seesaw blogs for reflection and Google Docs for creating shared resources.
I enjoyed using Seesaw as a tool for reflection. It is very visual and it was easy to comment on one another’s posts. Each participant had their own blog. As the “teacher” I posted some items from their blogs to our more public “class blog” and also posted images of them working there. Their reflections were not made completely public unless they chose to do so themselves. Since they joined my Seesaw class using their own email addresses, the participants were able to download their own work and keep a copy for themselves at the end of the workshop.
Truth be told, I still had a short slideshow that had instructions that could be used for reference since some people like to refer back to written instructions. I was a bit loathe to post these on the website since participants had paid to be a part of the workshop and I thought that not absolutely everything should be posted publicly.
Although it was particularly relevant for a technology workshop, I would definitely use a website and blogs for any future workshops. It made everything more accessible to the participants and they could could be more in control of their learning. Also, the links remain active so they can go back and look at them after the end of the workshop.