Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I wonder about the beginning ...

When you walk into a technology training session, what do you expect to see?
Do you want to want to see a preview of what the training is about?
Do you want to have something interesting to look at until the training starts?

As someone who leads professional development sessions, I am normally focused on what participants are going to see and hear during the session not before it starts. Recently I have been thinking more about the time between when someone comes to a session and when the training starts.

When I was a classroom teacher, I liked to have a calming atmosphere for students when they entered to class to try to set the stage for learning. There was generally instructions or a journal topic on the board/screen to get students engaged and focused. I liked to get everyone on the same page to prepare for the learning.

I have been in sessions where there is music playing when you come in. I have been in sessions where there are a list of questions or quotes for you to think about, and I have been in sessions where there is nothing to do. I am not thinking about requiring journal writing at the beginning of my training sessions, but I do think it might be a good idea to do or have something at the beginning of a session to get participants focused, thinking, and in the mindset for learning.

I think Wonderopolis does a good job or asking a big picture question accompanied with an image/video to encourage thinking. So I am thinking about creating something using screenshots of some of the Wonders of the Day to run on a continuous loop before certain training sessions start. That would expose participants to questions to promote thinking and possibly even encourage creativity.

I have some favorite Wonders that I might use:
I enjoy looking in the Wonderopolis archives to see what WONDERful Wonders from the Past I can highlight and share. I especially like to look at the Wonder of the Day from one year ago on that particular day.

I challenge you to go look at the Wonderopolis archives (and even at the current ones). Tell me about some of your favorites so I can add them to my collection to show at the beginning of sessions and lessons.


Heather Robbins said...

I absolutely love the idea of wonderopolis! The viseos you embedded from youtube do not play on my work computer. Shouldn't they play since you have deemed them safe for viewing?

Heather Robbins
Caleb's Creek

Melissa said...

Wonderopolis is working on ways to embed the videos so they will play since many school districts have youtube blocked. You can email me if you have any questions.