Another dot in the blogosphere?

The smallest things matter

Posted on: November 26, 2014

When I facilitate workshops for teachers, I focus on large ideas that create dissonance. Minutiae are best left for conversations with individuals, teacher reflections, or purposeful accidents.

I find that break times and post-workshop chats are best for having deeper or more focused conversations. These allow me to address very specific needs or concerns that others are not interested in.

Time for reflections during or near the end of a workshop encourage teachers to think of actionable takeaways. Rather than leave this to chance, I use one-minute papers or exit tickets.

Purposeful accidents might happen if teachers are curious or observant enough. I typically model the use of multiple technology-mediated strategies. They range from simple timers to manage group work to creating my own wireless hotspot to using almost the entire suite of Google Edu Apps.

Until they ask, I do not tell teachers how I set Google timers, tether or use a mifi device, or embed Google Docs, Slides, Forms, and Spreadsheets (and other tools) into Google Site pages. Doing this helps me model how:

  1. pedagogies or strategies come first
  2. transparent technology needs to be
  3. to provide just-in-time information to learners

Without realizing it, my workshop participants learn not because I have taught them. They learn because they have caught behaviours and value systems I model.

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