We thought it was important to have an overarching theme / message, as well as some sort of framework for the sessions that we'd run on the day [instead of having a 'random' collection of topics... ]. We decided to go with the main theme of how do we learn in the 21st century. Underneath this would be three sub-themes that framed the content of each of the workshops held during the day:
- communicate / collaborate
Having considered a range of topics and foci for the one-hour workshops we offered, we had to filter down to nine [offered over three sections of the day] for teachers, plus three for parents and students.
My first bit was on Learning with Video Games. We had lots of opportunity to try out some different popular games [using X-Boxes, a Wii, iPads and laptops], but also had time for the 'walk through', or 'tutorial', to borrow from the terminology of video games...
My second bit was on Blogging. Again, I wanted this session to focus on people 'doing the work' - I was looking to build in some discussion about the educational benefits, etc, but the first priority was for participants to experience the blogging process, themselves.
We followed this main part of the day with an hour of short [10 minutes], informal sessions, for which anybody could lead and participants were able to pick and choose on the spot what they wanted to learn about. Not quite an 'unconference', but in that ball park of being participant-driven [people had complete autonomy about where they went], demoting the notion of the 'expert', as well as promoting openness and sharing.
Bit of a relief that this is over TBH, as I'm looking forward to being 'freed-up' a little - everyone involved in the planning for the day committed a fair bit of time... BUT it was nice to see a good number of teachers from my region that participated so positively in a Professional Learning event ON A SATURDAY!!