This post is a quick overview of The Connected Trainer workshop (45 mins) that I presented with Simon Brown at Converge08. Since the participants were shown an overwhelming number of online tools throughout the conference we decided it was better for them to reflect on they could become more connected.
Survey of Workshop Participants
Before the workshop we tried to survey how connected participants attending our session were so we could design the session to better suit their needs. Unfortunately people choose which sessions to attend on the actual day of the conference which made the task hard. However we did get 15 responses to our survey.
The image below shows the number of responses to use of each tool. Please note : Basic meant they had heard of the tool but had minimal experience using; Average meant had used the tool and have reasonable ability; and Advanced meant they had their own site that they regularly update.
So instead we ended up quickly surveying the participants at the beginning of the session using a shortened version of the survey and writing their response on the Powerpoint. Majority had minimal experience to no knowledge of using blogs, wikis, podcasts, photosharing, feed readers, personalised start pages, microblogging tools and social bookmarking tools. However there were also some very experienced users within the workshop.
With both surveys it was interesting to see the limited exposure to some of the more handy tools such as Google Documents, Slideshare and Personalised home pages.
Getting Participants To Reflect On Their Connectedness
Instead of doing a workshop where we did all the talking we decided to engage them in conversation by using Flipcharts. I’d had seen Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach use Flipcharts effectively at a workshop.
The idea was for them to work in groups to consider the issues and challenges facing them plus work out the actions they needed to take to become more connected. For those already connected we asked them to consider ways of helping others within their organisation become more connected.
Unfortunately we hadn’t factored into account that the room would be a sloping Theatrette with fabric on the side walls that restricted the area where the flipcharts could be used. While it did work room layout made it harder.
As groups they rotated through the Flipcharts answering the following questions:
- Question 1: What are the barriers that are stopping you from connecting now?
- Question 2: How would you connect if you didn’t have any barriers? What would your choices be?
- Question 3: How will you find the answers to learn how to become more connected?
- Question 4: What are three action that you will take as a result of attending this conference to become more connected?
Below are photos of their responses on the Flipcharts:
After the groups wrote their responses on the Flipcharts we got a person to read out the answers on each Flipchart and then we all discussed the responses. Both Simon and I also learnt about tools neither of us had heard of which was excellent.
Its been good to see that people at the conference, as well as people within my personal learning network, are using my PLN Yourself website and are increasing their connections to other educators.
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