Starting a new job, I've found, can be an awesomely engaging, enthralling experience! I wake up in the morning with a million items on my to-do list, and I have to take a breath and remind myself, "Not everyone you work with is ready to work through that to-do list! More importantly, not every item on that list SHOULD be worked through."
Still, I'm finding my new position as Director of Technology an experience that I feel like I've been waiting for all my life! Profoundly grateful for the people I get to work with every day, I also find myself working towards that moment when equilibrium is achieved. Having started various jobs before, I feel like I'm paddling like heck towards that moment when the organization achieves the crest of the wave...and then, it's time to enjoy the surge of the tide towards the shore of organizational success.
As I watch some of my team members prepare their slate of workshops, I can't help but feel like I'm missing out on the fun...you know the old story of the fire station bell ringing and the old horse stepping into the traces, even though the fire truck is now pulled by a motor engine, not old horsepower.
|Horse-drawn fire engine - Image Source:|
One of the casualties, though, is that list of workshops I'd love to facilitate. Once upon a time, I tried balancing workshop facilitation with a new position...and, failed miserably as I was torn this way and that. As such, I've laid these workshops aside for now, but look forward to the day I can facilitate workshops like this, or at least, similar enough ones.
Here's my list of....
Workshops I wish I had time to facilitate....
Creating Digital Slideshows
As human beings, we are hardwired for storytelling. The motto of the Center for Digital Storytelling (www.storycenter.org) is "Listen deeply. Tell stories." Unfortunately, students and teachers in schools today often feel too time-stressed to engage in digital storytelling. Yet these projects can provide ideal opportunities for students to acquire and demonstrate the literacy skills required to thrive in the 21st Century. This workshop provides participants with opportunities to experience both listening and telling digital stories using free software tools. The slogan of Microsoft's PhotoStory 3 software program is "Make show and tell cool again." That is one of our goals today too. Be sure to bring a USB flash drive so you can get a copy of the software; it will also be available for download off a web site.
Creating DVDs with Free Software
Although sharing information and media has gotten easier with USB flash drives, web sites like Dropbox.com, Flickr.cc, PicasaWeb, we often encounter a need to share our most precious media memories using older media, such as CDs and DVDs. This class will show you how to create DVDs using free software. This is particularly useful for educators creating content they can send home with students who may only have a DVD player and television at home. Be sure to bring a USB flash drive so you can get a copy of the software; it will also be available for download off a web site.
Building a Professional Learning Network (PLN)
As a educator, probably one of the tougher challenges you face isn’t just keeping up with the technology, but rather understanding how to leverage it in your teaching and learning situation. While in the past, we were limited by the occasions that served as “learning experiences,” in the 21st century, learning isn’t restricted to a special event bound by time and place. We don’t learn just when sitting in a meeting, or at a conference or from 8:00 to 3:30 PM when school is in session. Today, we have the potential to tap into a flow of conversation, a web-based learning ecology, that we can learn from 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Participants will learn how to build their Professional Learning Network (PLN).
Embrace Freedom! The Linux Experience
Using GNU/Linux, you are able to easily load software--Office suite, image editing software, media players, Firefox/Chrome browser, antivirus--onto a USB flash drive and carry it around with you from computer to computer. This makes it possible for you to always have your software with you, regardless of where you go. Lubuntu Linux--an UbuntuLinux derivative--provides you with an easy to use, lightweight and "cloud" focused suite of tools you can use. Make sure you bring at least an 8-gig flash drive to the workshop. Note that you can get these for about $10-$20 at local stores.
Grabbing Media Off the Web
We often encounter wonderful content on the Web but have to negotiate through a variety of barriers to save it for use in our classrooms. In this workshop, you will learn how to pull media content--such as pictures, videos--off the web and save them to your computer. We will also explore how to deal with various media formats, how to convert them to content that is usable in Powerpoint presentations. While all software is available for download, bring a USB flash drive so you can take the software with you.
Wikifying Your Classroom Learning
Wikis are incredible tools, whether you are using them a la Web 1.0 to publish information easily, or Web 2.0 to engender conversations and dialogue with others about common projects. In this hands-on session, you will create your own wiki using Wikispaces.com and request a free education version (without advertisements), quickly add content, and share images. There are many ways to use wikis in the classroom!
Problem-based Learning Academy
In this 100% online course, learn how to design flexible learning environments for your classroom that are focused on the use of ill-structured problems. Participants will have the opportunity to learn the basics of Problem-based Learning, and collaborate with others on creating a problem-based unit of study.
Digitizing the Writing Workshop
In this fast-paced, 100% online session, participants will works as teacher leaders to digitize the writing workshop. Often, our focus is on students use of digital tools during the writing process. Learn how you can digitize the writing workshop with safe, free, easy-to-use Web 2.0 technologies and software.
In this 100% online workshop, participants will explore various web-based tools (e.g. Aviary.com's Audio Editor, VoiceThread) for creating snazzy podcasts that engage their audience.
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure