I spent the last day and a half attending a Resilience Training workshop/seminar with facilitators of CERD. We were asked to spend the second half of day 2 reflecting on our learning.
While I will not be discussing the actual training in this blog post, as a presenter on the topic of 21st Century Learning I thought it would be a good idea to blog 5 general observations on PD presentations.
General Reflections and Observations on PD Presentations:
1- It's fascinating to me to see how PD instructors and presenters fail to incorporate technology to make the learning more engaging. In fact what it does psychologically is it ruins the opportunity to have a great start and earn the trust of the educators.
Facilitator says "Welcome, before we begin please turn off all cell phones and electronics."
Attendees hears "Welcome, before we begin please step into this cage and you will be released in a few hours."
I wish I was joking. However it's the truth. That's how educators feel. There's no gray area here. So work with educators wants and needs or lose them.
2- Simply allowing the educators to use their phones under basic guidelines is a good thing. Try using a web 2.0 tools like polleverywhere.com to allow responses and feedback and opinions and from the crowd.
3- Incorporate Twitter so educators can reflect, then create a hashtag and tweet the different lines or nuggets of learning they found meaningful and valuable. This extends and depends the conversation amongst the learners.
4- There needs to be a back channel like todaysmeet arranged where educators can post questions, comments and give direct real-time feedback to the presenters. I think this can change the level of engagement and interactivity amongst the attendees.
5- All workshops and PD sessions are too long. Less equals more. Educators are smart and intelligent human beings who need to feel valued and feel their time is being valued. Be succinct. Value their time. Other wise you may be the catalyst for engendering animosity, angst, anger or even burnout. A professional presenter keeps things short and sweet and moving. Time management truly is critical.
Although this is a starting point if presenters can incorporate even one of these items the attendees will be afforded that much deeper and valuable a learning experience.
So what do you think? Do you agree, disagree, a little bit of both maybe? Please share your thoughts!