Throughout my IT&DML courses I have had a lot of firsts when it comes to taking part in new and creative ways to share information. This week I participated in a Google Hangout where we each got on our own soapbox and presented information on a topic for 8 minutes. Besides a few technology glitches, I was very impressed with the format of the Hangout and the information that was shared by my fellow colleagues. The time limit on the presentations was perfect for us to disseminate our information without others getting bored with the presentation. In addition, it required me as the presenter to find and present only the key points of my topic that I felt the others needed to hear rather than drag on about the subject for 30-60 minutes.
The soapbox format is something that I want to take with me when I work with my PLN at my school and within my district. I wish we all had time to research and find information on every topic available. In reality though, we need to strategically determine what we have time for and what can wait until a later date. If a group of colleagues has a common interest, such as those with me in the IT&DML courses, topics can be split between everyone and 8 minute presentations can be created. This is a great way to get everyone involved with a learning opportunity and provide as much information as possible during a short amount of time. I think about the number of staff meetings where we sit for hours and listen to one or two speakers present. Most of the staff is tuned out within fifteen minutes. If staff members knew they had a role in the meeting and would be presenting information, they might be more interested in hearing others' presentations as well.
This format could also be implemented into a middle school and high school classroom. The students could use it when reviewing for a final exam or upcoming assessment. Students could work in pairs to discuss a topic and present the information to their classmates. Teachers could then post the presentations online and allow for students to view them when they are outside the classroom. Teachers could also use an online assessment program such as Socrative to create an assessment that students would complete after viewing their classmates presentations.
In addition to the format of the Hangout, I was very impressed with the information presented by my classmates. The topics that were discussed were very relevant to everything that we are doing in our courses and within our classrooms. I look forward to sharing the information presented with my fellow teachers and staff members at my school.
The following link will take you to my Google slide presentation on the shift of schools from STEM to STEAM focused curriculum.
STEM to STEAM - Elizabeth Ferry