Today I led a personally challenging day-long workshop for 70 teachers in NewKirk, Oklahoma, and had the TREMENDOUS joy to co-present with my 9 year old daughter, Sarah. I titled the workshop “Getting Started with Blended Learning.” We were all in the elementary cafeteria together from 8:30 to 11:30 am, and after lunch we moved to the high school where teachers were split between the library/media center computers and a computer lab for hands-on activities. This was certainly not an “ideal PD situation,” but we all do the best with the resources and the circumstances we’re given, don’t we? I certainly tried today. All the certified teachers in the district were with me all day for the workshop, along with the school board president and one of the other school board members for the morning session.
Overall I think the workshop today was successful on several fronts. I’ll reflect more tomorrow on lessons learned from the day, and also share a podcast recording the teachers helped make of learning takeaways at the end of the day, but for now I mainly want to share Sarah’s Voicethread. My biggest pleasure certainly came from watching Sarah teach 70 PK-12 teachers how to use VoiceThread! The night before she selected eight photos from our vacation pics last month, and she used them today to walk teachers through the VoiceThread authoring process. (With a little help and coaching from me.) Go Sarah! You rock! I’d jump at the chance to co-present with one of my kids ANY day! It certainly makes a PD workshop seem less like work, and much more like a fun, shared learning experience. (I’m sure you can’t tell at all that I’m a proud father here, can you?!)
The audio in this VoiceThread sounds a bit strange because Sarah was simultaneously speaking into the cafeteria microphone and my MacBook Pro‘s built-in microphone. Several of the teachers complimented Sarah afterward on what a good job she did walking them through the process of creating a VoiceThread, step-by-step. More resources relating to VoiceThread and the other topics we addressed in today’s workshop are available on our workshop wiki.
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