Friday, June 03, 2011

Know Your Audience: Survey Prior to Teaching

I'm presenting a couple of tech workshops to two dozen teachers in June at Wayland's Literacy Institute.  As I started preparing for the workshop, I wondered about what the teachers were most interested in.  What did they want to learn?  What tech were they already familiar with?  That's why I decided to send out a survey prior to the workshop.

Thanks to Google forms, I was able to create a survey in minutes.  I was also able to pick a template that matched the mood of the workshop - a bright, spirited, beautiful pattern.  Then I sent the survey out.  Within a half hour, I had my first response. The teacher asked so many wonderful questions, and demonstrated a desire to learn specific tech skills to help her students.  Then today I received many more responses.  Each response once again reflected the educator's desire to motivate, facilitate and create optimal learning events for students.  Now, I'll tailor my presentation to the needs and desires of the workshop participants.

Next year, I want to use Google forms more often as I teach.  I'll begin by sending out a Google survey to parents in my class in late August.  That will give me a great snapshot of the incoming families.  Later, I'll use surveys to query students prior to unit study and class endeavors.  I'll check in with parents throughout the year too.  That will help me to make my teaching more meaningful and responsive.

The challenge now is to create a couple of one-hour workshops that will meet a diversity of educator needs and interests.  I'll let you know how it goes in a future blog.  Thanks for listening.