With the myriad responsibilities, anxieties, assessments, and learners teachers have to juggle, sometimes learning just one more tool can feel overwhelming. Obviously, my job is to put teachers at ease and to help them to see that the technology is just a different way to do a lot of the same things students already do. But that can be difficult to visualize.
Today, I had the opportunity to share with a group of passionate and dedicated 4-6 educators some ways to help engage learners using their Interactive White Boards. Our district has chosen to utilize Promethean boards, which offer a TON of great resources and lessons via their online community called Promethean Planet. Today, teachers created accounts, learned how to browse and refine resources, and then discussed ways these lessons could be used in class.
I always love listening to teachers share and generate ideas with one another. That’s why I love working with educators! We all have so much to share, even if we think what we do isn’t necessarily mindblowing or earth shattering. Spending time discussing ways to get kids up and involved in their learning is always beneficial.
Another tool I showcased for teachers was Kahoot – which is getting tons and tons of buzz in the educational world right now. Sometimes I think it’s helpful for teachers to see things from the kids’ points of view, so I had the teachers experience Kahoot from the student perspective first.
Some comments I heard:
- “Wow, this is really fun!”
- “I LIKE this!”
- This was definitely worth it!”
- “We’re going to use this this afternoon!”
As a presenter and instructor, who doesn’t love when their attendees feel like what you told them was helpful and worthwhile? But more than an ego boost, I like knowing that I have generated an excitement. How validating to know that I have worked to inject some enthusiasm back into something teachers do. As the teachers left, the principal remarked that she hadn’t heard so much excitement and energy after a training session in a long time.
It’s not just that Kahoot is fun – it is definitely that. But, beyond that, the tool (because that’s what’s really important here) WORKED THE WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO. Teachers were impressed with the ease of creating their own Kahoot. They liked that it involved EVERYONE in the class at the SAME TIME. Teachers remarked that they appreciated how it was fair – everyone had the same opportunity.
Before we left for the morning, I walked teachers through setting up an account and creating their first Kahoot. That felt like an important step for me, because I know for myself that I constantly learn about all these new tools but then never actually use them. Now that teachers have their own accounts, that’s one less barrier to them not using this in their classroom. We were even able to create a couple of questions for a quiz, so teachers could experience that as well.
Today sort of feels like when you have a great lesson with students. You feel validated and inspired to continue to work hard. You get a sense that what you’re doing matters.
Have you ever had a lesson that turned out “just right”?
How do you get the feeling that what you do matters?