ECOO 2010 Power of Play presentation

A few months ago, I was accepted to present at the 2010 ECOO Conference. We attended last year and it was a fabulous conference – full of energy and amazing educators.  Unfortunately, we had to do some last minute switching on team MAET and I am on my way to Denver for the National Council for Social Studies Conference. (Literally, I’m on the plane right now!)

I was hoping I could livestream my presentation to ECOO, but, I’m on a plane and I wasn’t sure my neighbor would appreciate the chatter (though, I would be one heck of an edtech rockstar for presenting from 30,000 feet up!)

So, in place of a presentation, I offer this blog post with a recap of the session I was going to run.  Please feel free to email, tweet or comment below if you have questions!

This past March – Andrea Zellner and I presented at MACUL. Our presentation was called “The Power of Play: Infusing Fun into Professional Development” – Andrea’s recap of the session can be found here

Essentially, we surprise participants by setting up the room in a circle and having them tag each other with sticky notes.  Everyone is under the assumption that the activity is an ice breaker (we don’t tell them why they are tagging each other.) The twist comes after we debrief and the participants find out they were actually in a real life simulation of the social bookmarking site delicious.

We break down how technology PD can work and be successful when you take the tech layer out (or if you don’t have access to the tech) and participants understand the core underlying philosophies of the technology (rather than clicking through menus or tutorials.)  If you take a look at her extensive notes, you will see an outline of activities if you would like to run the activity on your own.

Last week, I was invited to speak at the ISACS Annual meeting in Chicago and I did another variation of the “Power of Play” presentation.  I ran the session twice, once on Thursday and once on Friday.  But…there seemed to be something missing on Friday – a co-facilitator!  Alison Keller joined me on Friday and the session ran so much better (just as it had when Andrea and I worked together at MACUL.) If you run this session with your staff, I highly suggest having a partner in crime – it just makes the whole thing run much more smoothly and you can play off each other to get the crowd engaged.

Several participants in the ISACS session asked “our staff all knows each other, how could we do this with them?” I suggested repurposing the activity as a launching point for curriculum committees, task forces, etc.  If you’re having problems stretching it – shoot me an email or comment – I can help come up with a way to make it work!

After the delicious simulation – we discussed the idea of Quickfire Challenges and how they also create a playful environment to facilitate technology PD (or any type of PD for that matter!) To learn more about Quickfire challenges, check out this post (and yes, it was inspired by Top Chef!)

Thanks for listening! I hope to see you twitter and next year at ECOO 11!!

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