Preparing for any Professional Development session is hard. However, preparing for a 90 minute workshop in front of teachers, administrators, and educational tech experts is down right stressful. To create a well rounded conference session, I start out with three main objectives:
1. Over planning is what I am most known for when presenting any type of training. I want to meet the needs of every learner. Those who are new to the concept, those who might have a little bit of experience, and those who are experts on the topic. I feel like if they have made time to attend my session, then I want to make sure the training meet their individual needs.
2. Learn Something New: When I plan for a training or workshop, my main goal is for everyone to walk out of the room knowing at least one new thing. One thing that they can take back to the classroom. One thing that energizes them. One thing that is going to make them try something new. It does not always have to be a technology tool to implement but maybe it is the teaching style that I showcased, maybe it is the excitement that I have for learning.
3. Making Everyone feel at home: Leaning a new tool, new technology, or new classroom management style can make people uneasy. I play music in the background to help those who need a little distraction. I circulate around the room and talk with everyone. And my number one thing to make everyone feel at home is I allow everyone to have a voice. Either through back channeling, one on one conversations, or small group break out sessions. The tension drops in the room and then everyone feels free to learn.
I am excited to say, that my 90 minute workshop on Mix it, Stir it, Blend it went really well yesterday. I had the honor to be mentioned in a recap in twitter feeds and in blogs. It's moments like this that drives my passion for teaching others. Thank you to everyone who attended my session and shared out my links. The teachers need to know how to apply the blended learning model and I hope that is what those 70+ teachers walked away with yesterday.
DSD Professional Development Coordinator
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Marcia Kish is a Blended Learning Coach that is currently helping schools across the country to implement the Three Phases of Blended Learning model.