Questions about Basic Technology Skills – Part II

Thanks, Nancy and David for stretching my thinking about this professional development day.

I’m struggling with appropriate administrative pressure and my department’s buy in to provide basics training to faculty. I have been re-tooling our sessions to allow for better technological solutions for everyday problems. For example, “Appropriate Presentations” would include a discussion about what appropriate skills and guidelines are, how to find images, and create a presentation that is visually appealing. Another example is, “Creating a Newsletter” which would include pulling resources together and then formatting them in a desktop publishing program.

Nancy, I love your visualization question,

“Try to “imagine it is a year from now and you have embraced a couple of tools and practices that make your work more meaningful/fun/productive. What does that look like?”

I plan on using this when asking folks to register for sessions.

I am truly struggling with David’s game. I believe in my heart that that is the way to go, but want to start slow in smaller groups so we have some practice before going to the “big group”. I would like to try this with a small group of faculty during this day.

I hesitate because this is my professional development first day like this with a new Head of School and Business Manager. We have a traditional faculty and I want to expose small groups to this before we do it with the entire faculty.

I will definitely use these exercises in my department over the Spring, and then during our Summer Professional Development series where we’ll be working with faculty to use read/write web options…

I’m trying to be transparent in my writing here… Honest and open. But boy do I feel like I’m not living up to good pedagogical principles for adult learning… It’s very hard to let go of that “control”.

Thanks again, Nancy and David, for stretching me.


6 thoughts on “Questions about Basic Technology Skills – Part II

  1. David, We’re seriously considering the game during a part of the day now. I’ve started the conversation. Hopefully, we’ll include it. Thanks again for all of your support and good will.

  2. The control thing is very real and I think you are smart to recognize it and find a tai chi way of working with that power instead of trying to ram your head into it. After the workshop, point them to your blog and your thinking. it would be interesting to know what they think then!

    I have a hard time walking my talk. As I think back to “presentations” and “workshops” I did last year, I clearly struggled with this dynamic you are writing about. Half the time I did not prep my hosts and really get into discussing the value of alternative approaches soon enough or well enough so that they trusted me with it. And that I trusted MYSELF with it.

    It is sort of like jumping off a cliff. Always interesting. Mostly scary.

  3. I’m excited you are thinking of using the game, and delighted to share ideas with you on how it might work/might be changed. The way to develop games is to play and change them … and we need some testers!

  4. I’ve been having great conversations with my department based on the past two posts this week. We are discussing how to best manage these sessions and keep the ‘gaming’ objective present so we’re modeling and exposing our faculty and staff to the concept of ‘playing’ with the computer to learn how to use it. I think much of the problem with show and do exercises is that you don’t allow folks to ‘play’ with the computer.

    Yesterday, we were discussing the concept of David’s game at lunch, and because we only have three, one hour sessions and are really looking to expose faculty and staff to a small set of skills that can be applied in their classrooms/professional/personal lives right away, we thought that the game might be too ambitious. We thought that using it during our summer training would be great because we have a few days to do that training…

    What we did come up with were training scavenger hunts. Writing the lessons as can you find this, and this, and this… I’m thinking of a blog post that has just the things to find, and then another parallel post with hints. If we have two or three people in each class/lab of faculty and staff, they would be able to work self paced, and the last part of each scavenger hunt would be to look at the tutorials in Atomic Learning, giving those who go through the exercises quickly a plethora of tutorials to hit.

    I feel like this type of activity models active learning and the ‘play’ concept, right? Every done this? What do you think?

  5. Hi Alex – I think this stuff is messy, multi-connected, personal … so any way you can find to get people to relax and explore is great. I find people respond well, provided they have some expectation of how it will be done. I’m sure you won’t be saying it is Powerpoint:-)

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