What are some tricks you use to motivate teachers in your sessions that rather would not be there?
I have encountered some teachers over the years that do not want to be in the training. They may have little or no tech background, they may not think the material is useful..
How do you get them going right off the bat so you don't use valuable time?
I have found that high school teachers, are usually the owrst when it comes to trying to explain the benefits of new ideas and tools.
You are so right, Tim, I have had that teacher in my training! He was told he had to take my Thinkfinity Training and he was sure there would be nothing for him...a coach, a music teacher, a driver training instructor. Identifying this individual during initial welcoming conversation can help you make the training relevant to this person and every other teacher in your training.
Being very familiar with the various available resources in Thinkfinity can help you pull a WOW resource out of your bag of tricks to engage each teacher. Successfully pairing a reluctant learner with a more skilled technology user can help. I've always loved teaching in a room full of teachers because teachers love to teach and are quite willing to share their expertise and help the person next to them. You simply have to give them permission.
Your discussion has been posted in the right place. We have many experienced trainers who can give you tips. This should develop into an interesting discussion as we start the new school year and engage our colleagues in professional development.
I look forward to reading everyone suggestions!
Humor... just like the picture above illustrated! When walking into an unknown group, I like to set educators at ease with some humor. Lad Skelly has an amazing collection of cartoons that are all education and technology related. I think they are PERFECT for training sessions (and can easily be dropped into a PPT).
Do you have a Driver Ed teacherin your group? Is he positive you have nothing for him and his students?
Don't miss the Science NetLinks Lesson, Driving while Distracted - http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.php?DocID=560 . It is the perfect resource to draw this teacher into the conversation. Don't miss the "Monkey Business Illusion" video that shows how people can't focus on more than one thing at a time, i.e., driving and texting.
This resource definitely needs to be added to your Thinkfinity "bag of tricks."
Thinkfinity has so many interactives, it would be difficult to NOT be engaged. However, there are always naysayers who do not want to change. With the Common Core initiatives, all teachers will be required to change, and to participate in transdisciplinary lesson plans. If we model the ease of use of Thinkfinity resources in accomplishing this, we might hook the doubters.
Those particular teachers are just so fun to have in a PD session, aren't they?
I realize that this idea may be totally impossible in many settings, but here is what I try to do. In my district, I know who is coming, and their areas of teaching or interests. I really try to have something specific to them, even if it is just one little tidbit. They always seem appreciative of the fact that I have found something just for them, and often that is enough to get them engaged enough to look at other resources. And quite frankly, getting them engaged is often acheived by proximity, just like for the students in our classrooms.
I think that when teachers meet collaboratively to discuss student achievement, the teams should also discuss student motivation. Often what works in one classroom in a particular school, will also work in another. This is also a way for teachers to feel supported, to assist other teachers, and to be supported. At the end of the day, when teachers communicate and share, the students benefit.
I have been doing professional development for years in a traditional setting (teachers show up to a room and I have a variety of activities planned for the day to meet my goals for the session). In this setting, I feel that if I develop a good amount of hands-on group activities and group discussions, that participants become motivated and motivate each other. Face-to-face professional development gives me the ability to get to know my participants and differentiate for them based on what they say, what I hear them tell each other, and their body language.
This idea of motivating participants becomes more difficult when you try to offer professional development online. I have yet to offer professional development online, but would like to soon. Does anyone have suggestions on ways to motivate learners in online professional development?
I have found that it is best to get them engaged and active early in the session. I use some type of 'fun' opening activiy that gets everyone up and talking about themselves. (Kagan Structures are Awesome) Have them talk about themselves or their children/students to explain some positive thing.... like... My favorite thing to do with my students is...
Also...Always assess their knowledge level, interests, and their reason for being there. I have used Poll Everywhere (They can do this with a cell phone) , or use SMART Responders. One of my questions is always... I have come to this training because... A) I wanted to know more about this topic, B) I am interested in using this information in my classroom, C) I need the CEU Credit, D) I was drafted, sent, or made to come by my principal... Either way they answer... this last choice usually gets a laugh and opens up the group! Then, I use statements like, "No matter why you came, I assure you that by the time you leave, you will be glad you were here"!!!
I encourage the positive, upbeat attitudes and soon, the group is with me! After that... Keep them ACTIVELY ENGAGED! This has worked for me over my 20+ years!
There is probably nothing I dislike more than being commanded to attend a meeting/training and finding out that the presentation has NOTHING to do with what I do. After more than a dozen years as a tech teacher, I'm used to the idea that the core academic teachers get all the training and attention, and I'm used to the idea that I'm seen as non-essential (even though I know that couldn't be further from the truth!)
Because of this, when I am planning a training or presentation, I go out of my way to include things specifically for the gym teachers, the music and art crew, and special education staff, as well as the core academic teachers. I almost always get notes or comments afterwards about how much they appreciate being included
I also find it extremely helpful to make things as hands-on as possible and to aim for more dialogue than monologue. When I'm planning hands-on activities, I try to make it something where the participants will be able to do or find something in their own interest areas.
Finally, I always like to leave time for independent exploration while they are still with me. This way, those who are more tech savvy will have some free time to play and those who are unsure or who have questions can get some individual attention from me.
It sure helps if you love training and have a great attitude, too!
Great Question. I think first we have to realize is that not all educators, like our students, will be in the same place at the same time with technology. One suggestion I have is to possibly implement an idea we call Tech Tuesday. We have our Tech department come out to our school and basically give a quick prof. develop. on technical issues the teachers have. This is not a required item, but does seem to help. I think one way to get the unmotivated going is to use one of their area they have problems with in technology as one of the topics for Tech Tues.
I had this experience with some high school social studies teachers who attended a training because it was required by the school principal. I showed them a link to The Living Room Candidate that contains a comprehensive online collection of political television advertisements from every Presidential election since 1952. They were hooked and decided that Thinkfinity was worth their time.
As a trainer, I think it helps if you think about your audience ahead of time and have a list of interactives and/or other resources appropriate for each grade level and subject area that will capture the attention of teachers. Then when you are training and teachers want to know how Thinkfinity will benefit their instruction, you can direct them to a "Wow" resource specific to their needs that will "hook" them on Thinkfinity.
I just retired and the last 15 years was as an Instructional Technology Coordinator and I was a technology trainer for the North Carolina Teacher Academy. Yes I agree, I think high school teachers can be the hardest BUT you have to prove you are credible then you will not have an issue. Know content of the participants and share several sites/lesson plans and let them have the "gift of time" to really check out the sites and find useful materials. No one has time to waste.