Prepping for Minds On Media

Next friday (May 20th) our school board is hosting a Minds On Media session for one teacher from every school. We’ve worked with the “makers of” Minds On Media, Brenda Sherry and Peter Skillen in the past to run a small pilot at one high school. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so we’ve decided to do it with a teacher from each school (with permission and wonderful support from Brenda and Peter). I wrote about the small pilot here and here.

My concern with this fridays MoM event is that we are working with one teacher from each school and then sending them back alone. That is always difficult when you don’t necessarily have the support and collaboration when you return. In this instance, we do not have the option to release two teachers from each school because our system is so large and there aren’t enough supply teachers to cover that many releases. Our work around for this is to help support collaboration among Families of Schools. This has been a year-long goal and the hope is to continue developing local support systems.

Back to Minds on Media… in planning for Friday we have created a wiki as a place to store links, resources and share ideas. We have booked a million laptops and projectors. We have put a call out to get as many extension cords and power bars. This is going to be our biggest barrier yet – getting enough power to support the stations and teachers neediing to power up. We are lucky that our big conference room has power drops in the floor at regular intervals. This will help tremendously. We’ve also got our hands on chart paper to put on the walls as projection screens (makeshift solution). The IT department knows about the day and graciously offered to have technicians and technical folk on hand for the first part of each session (we have 2 half-day sessions).

We have chosen stations that look at tools that are universally accessible in our school board. For example, voicehtread, blogging, networking (twitter, evernote, livebinders), pod casting, digital storytelling, WordQ and SMART technologies (focus on the notebook software which is on every computer not the hardware which isn’t available in every classroom) and ABEL/Learning Connections (we have a board-wide ABEL license so every teacher can access ABEL or Learning Connections).

One teacher is creating signs for the stations, we have an opening message that will include the guest wireless password and link to the wiki, we have an exit ticket (google form).

Any suggestions? Have I missed anything?

5 Replies to “Prepping for Minds On Media”

  1. My biggest concern would be bandwidth. Do you normally have network slowdowns on board internet? If there is any way to get them to prioritize the traffic while you’re doing each session, they need to do that before hand.

    With good connection, MoM feels like a big digital sandbox that encourages experimentation and reduces anxiety for less technical people.

    The only other thing that stands out for me is having a lot of projectors to share information on. People always seem to get keyed up when they see their tweets, or Prezi or whatever appear on the big screen (like they’re on TV).

    Good luck! MoM should be standard PLC province wide.

  2. Great points Tim! Thanks. As for bandwidth, we have four different networks at our Ed Centre (administrators, elementary schools, secondary schools and guest) and so hope that this will help disperse. The IT dept. has been WONDERFUL helping us prep for this day, so fingers crossed!!! 🙂

    The extra projector idea is wonderful. I hadn’t thought of that. We had thought of putting “creation stations” in the middle of the room for teachers who get going on creating something and want to move away from the station and be able to finish something up. This would work wonderfully with having a few projectors to plug into there… Thanks!

    You also reminded me – we should set up a twitter fall or something like that to share any tweets about the day on the screen. Thanks again! 🙂

    1. Yes indeedy!

      A Twitter visualization is cool – people have loved it!

      We have had a power grid laid down in advance to handle the power. In the first year, we didn’t – so that caused some issues — but — they weren’t insurmountable!

      Fingers crossed for bandwidth. Try to get people to download any needed software ahead of time but i think all software is already there, right.

      Have stuff on keys if you need to get it to someone rather than adding download work.

      Yes. Projectors to make it all explicit – like @brendasherry says in her recent post – http://bsherry.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/taking-the-plunge-online-learning-communities/#comment-171

      Looking forward!
      peter

      1. Thanks Peter!

        We’ve got any OSAPAC disks available where appropriate. Will do a double-check and get some keys ready. THANKS 🙂

  3. This is where we really need to encourage the FOSIT reps from each school With social networking we are never really alone!

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