This morning I remotely presented a workshop for NECC: Designing Quality Interactive Projects for Videoconferencing (this second link goes to the handouts too). We had a full crowd with 30 participants onsite in Atlanta, and 4 participants onsite here in my distance learning room.
I wanted to model this year’s NECC workshop after the Mini-Jazz workshops I’ve done with Roxanne this past year. So after a short introduction to videoconferencing and what you can do with it, we divided into groups and everyone got on camera and introduced their group. In the process, I was able to provide some extra instruction on how to do posters well! 🙂 One group had wonderfully thick fat writing and their poster was so easy to read.
Then we talked through the latest version of my projects booklet, with stories and video clips along the way. I had emailed the participants ahead of time, and some of them had done Kid2Kid connections, so I had them share their stories sprinkled through as we looked through the booklet. It was neat to have everyone hear from someone other than just me!
After a break, I divided them into groups and had them dream up a project idea, pick a potential month and time, and share their ideas on a poster. Here’s where it gets really crazy! I created a GoogleDocs file with all the participants information so they can network with each other after the workshop. I had invited them ahead of time; and about half of them had gone in and added more details about themselves. In the same file, I had another sheet to collect their ideas. As they presented, I recorded the following:
- Target Grade Level
- Preferred Month
- Potential Time (include time zone)
- Intended Videoconference Technology
- Idea Creator Names
- Names of Interested Parties
- Other Notes
After each presentation, then I asked “who wants to do this with them?” I wrote down their first names, and since we already have all the contact for everyone in the first sheet, they’ll be able to contact each other and actually do the project. I’m really getting into the whole idea of follow-up and creating structures for people to actually implement their ideas. I was concerned that GoogleDocs would be too much of a stretch and just one more thing. But they jumped right in and some were editing right along with me as I recorded the project ideas. It worked well way beyond what I imagined! Those that couldn’t get in during the workshop will work with me via email to get set up. And I’m hoping (not promising!) to email everyone in the fall with reminders of their idea and who their partners are.
I’m much more pleased about how this year’s workshop went compared to last year, and I think the participants got more of what they were hoping for as well. I look forward to seeing these connections actually happen next year!