I know I'll learn a lot because my co-presenters have terrific expertise and experience to share and the room will include educators from multiple schools, organizations, and roles with regard to teaching children well.
Prior to any learning/teaching event, I prepare for the learning.
Preview the Presentations and Learning Information
First I review the presentation materials. Generally presenters share their presentations and information ahead of time online so that participants can preview the material if they'd like.
Learn about the Presenters
Next I take a look at my co-presenters Google+ and Twitter sites to make sure that I follow them and to get an idea of their learning/teaching community.
Bring to Mind Current and Future Teaching/Learning Goals and Focus
Then I think about my learning/teaching focus and environment. I bring to mind current goals and future aspirations, and think about how I can match the experience with that foci.
Set Specific Learning Goals
After that I set specific learning goals so that I get as much as I can from a day of learning. For example, today's focus includes the following:
- Better use of Google apps for teaching/learning. I use Google a lot, but it's been a while since I've updated my knowledge about new apps and changes in Google for education and today's presenters are well versed in that information.
- Strengthening and deepening my ability to create a blended learning environment.
- Presentation style and strength. I know that my co-presenters are terrific, energetic presenters and I look forward to their modeling in that regard. I'm so serious, yet I already like the humor and personality embedded in the co-presenters' presentations and aspire to add more spunk to my presentations as well.
- Critical evaluation of my work through questioning and conversation as I present--I really want to hear what people think and how they employ learning design and coding to learn.
- Room for the unexpected and serendipitous learning too (that's often the best part!)
Listen, Interact, and Take Notes (written, audio, photo, sketch, video notes)
Throughout the day, I'll take notes, collect links, tweet out essential points, add names and addresses to my PLN, and synthesize the learning myself and with others.
Embed Learning Tools and Venues into Current Websites and Presentations
During the day, if the learning shared directly fits into a current curriculum unit, I'll quickly add the link, image, video, or information to the current unit website. Now most of my students' learning units and materials are hosted in online websites.
Synthesize the Learning Through Writing and/or Multimedia Composition
Then tonight or tomorrow morning I'll write up the notes in a blog post. I'll likely add links, images, and possibly a video or two. Writing about the event serves to deepen the learning, solidify the thoughts, and provide a link to share with others and to look back on later when I employ the new information into my classroom and collegial efforts.
How do you prepare for learning? How do you help students to prepare for learning? What efforts make learning deep, memorable, and actionable? These are great questions to consider as you think about your role as learning coach and colleague.