Two nights this week, I taught sessions on creating with thinglink and they were both probably two of my favorite sessions this year. Let me be clear in saying that as much as I love thinglink…a 90-minute to 2-hour session on basically pasting a link on an image is pushing it and can be a ridiculously boring few hours so, I did some homework on my own and made sure that the session was taught to not only be interactive but useful for the teachers in my session.
“Blerding” Out My Session: Making Boring A Bit More Fun and Playful
1. Eliminate the “10-15-minute” Login Time
I provided a link in my session description for teachers to pre-create their teacher accounts. Doing this saved about 10-15 minutes of talking them through finding the login on the page. I may have had 1-2 teachers that did not take this step but the others did and also explored prior to class.
2. Share Resources Up Front and Communicate that You Encourage Play!
In lieu of a ppt, gslide, prezi, smore or tackk…I made a one pager using onepagerapp.com. This site is totally meant for people who really want to make ONE page as that is the limit on a free account. So, this is my ONE. I also created a thinglink with tons of information which is embedded in the one pager.
Making learning as interactive as possible ALONG WITH your bubbly personality makes for a session that teachers LOVE.
3. Speaking of Canva…Share Other Stuff Too!
The moment that I started talking about canva, teachers were creating accounts and creating their own graphics. This surprised the heck out of me and I totally had a “Sheldon loves trains” moment. It was like a ripple effect, started from 1-2 and then grew to almost the entire room of canva creations to thinglink! Any time that teachers can walk away understanding about another idea is a win. The fact that this session was built to be one that encouraged up front creativity made sharing crazy fun “thinglink add-ons” such a fun experience.
4. Go Crazy Over Teacher Work!
I was dying with excitement over my room of autonomous learners. They started with creating graphics about themselves and grew to designing for their classes. We shared, followed each other and made a big deal over each creation. The image below was created during the session.
5. If the Opportunity Arises, Challenge Thought on Student Learning
Who doesn’t nerd out over student brilliance? My session ended up going over a bit over as we discussed what students could and could not do. Truthfully, I could talk about this all day and we almost did! It was especially refreshing to hear their thoughts while also sharing my own experiences. Rome wasn’t built in a day but any time that we have to deeply discuss is an opportunity to change minds.
There is nothing more exciting than learning from a place of joy and fun and that is what “nerding out” or “blerd-ing out” is about. I’ve found that teachers are rarely bored to pieces if they get to make, do and create.
More of that…More Nerd-Outs…daily!