Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What does it take?

I recently undertook setting up our first SmartBoard users group for our faculty in the district that use SMART Technology. The event was set up to be a day and a half where the participants would be able to learn, create and share with other faculty from around the district. The goal was not only to learn but was to begin establishing relationships with other faculty around the county that they could collaborate with.

So the question I asked myself was... what does it take to do this? At first I really did not know how to start but I knew that I needed a plan which included a location, agenda and equipment. I was fortunate enough to be able to have a host location that was not only able to provide the space but the equipment as well. Developing the agenda was the next step which took on a life of its own. I know that I went through about 4 different revisions of the agenda before settling on a completely different 5th edition. That one even became the victim of a mid morning redo. I then had to figure out all the incidentals and accidentals that could happen and make arrangements for them as well as to have a back up plan for the back up plan. But the biggest thing was the people that were there to help me out. Not just my co-workers but the participants that went above and beyond to help out others when questions were asked. As I walked around I saw teachers talking and collaborating. There were small groups working together to create Notebook files. In other areas I saw less confident users being helped by their peers who have been using the products longer.

Well now that it is over I can ask myself the same question in a slightly different way. What did it take? I can answer that a lot easier now, the participants. Without them the SBUG would not have been as successful as it was. The post surveys have been very positive and informative for me to be able to use to develop the next SBUG meeting.

Thank you to all the members involved who helped to make this event happen.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Getting Ready for College

Are you getting ready for college, or are you still deciding? Trying to figure out where to go and what it will be like can be a daunting task.

Would it be a better thing if you could get a sample of what life is like prior to actually showing up on move in day? I know some of you are saying "..but I went to orientation." What about those who were not able to go to orientation or have just now decided on which school to attend.

Do not worry you can now go to YouTube EDU to check out what campus life is like. The site contains a lot of free video clips from colleges and university's that have been pulled from their regular YouTube channel. You can easily search for your college by using the Directory or you can check out the Most Viewed or Most Subscribed tabs. They have more than just interviews with students there are also information about classes as well as recently added materials like commencement speeches and clips from Oprah Winfrey.
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