Friday, March 21, 2008

Big crowds intimidate me!

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After I got home from NCaect, I began finishing up my final preparations for my NC Teach Super Saturday presentation on Integrating Technology. NC Teach is an alternative licensure program that at NC State is hosted in regional cohorts and the entire group comes together once a month for Super Saturday.

They plan their events about a year in advance, and I have to admit that it kind of crept up on me. Then to find out it was not only 120 people (ack!) but was entirely lecture based AND for 6 hours!!!! I was incredibly intimidated by this prospect. However, After I got my lesson plans together, I was fairly confident (or as confident as I get).

Let me tell you, it has been a long time since I have been with a "random" group of teachers. Now I work with a good amount of teachers, but most of them come to me and are already interested in technology. They have opted to hear me speak - these students on the other hand are REQUIRED to attend. I forget how much this changes the dynamic of the class, add to this that 30 counties were represented with varying degrees of technology prowess it was overwhelming at times.

However, I found a few things that really worked well. I used Turning Point Clickers (Thankfully CALS had 100 I could borrow) and that helped (once I got them working) to gauge the audience and assess where they were in the technology integration process. I used the PowerPoint Integration part, but wish I had used the Turning Point software throught the day so I could just get random questions answered.

The other thing that really saved my sanity was the teachers that were already doing technology integration. It is so important that these alternative lisensure see THEIR peers integrate technology well. That they were dealing with all the same obstacles and overcoming them. It was pretty powerful.

At the end of the day, trying to teach something as vague as "Technology Integration" was just as hard as I thought it would be in a one day workshop format. But I'm not giving up - I have some great ideas for next year :)

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