Guidelines for Technology-Based Learning Conference/ Workshop Presentations

During the past few months, I been to numerous conferences.  I have become very disappointed with the presentations. They have been “See the technology” presentations that did not focus on how the technology improves student learning.  I suggest the following guidelines for any technology-based learning presentations including professional development

1. (33.3 %) How does the technology help improve student learning?
Does the presenter identify the specific learning  topic and specific learning goals that this technology helps with?
Does the presenter show at least four real classroom examples from her/his school or district?
Does the presenter  use  examples from real classrooms and not the company’s website that  a professional artist may have spent hundreds of hours creating as a beautiful, but unrealistic, demo?
Does the presenter show  actual learning not just talk about  student learning?
Does the presenter focus on how this technology uniquely helps the students in their learning?  Why use this technology as opposed to some other technology for the same specific learning goal?
Does the presenter focus on the substance of the program, not its glitz?

2. (33.3 %)  Does the presenter show the critical steps that the students go through in using this learning tool from  start to  finish?
Does the presenter focuses on  the critical parts of the program,  not on the minor parts such as  showing every possible  background?
Does the presenter show the critical parts in the  logical order of  student use (from start to finish of the learning) instead of going through the program menu by menu?
Does the presenter only focus on what the  beginning / average  student user would do and not some advanced feature that students would not usually use?
Does the presenter show his/her final product that is the result of what he/she actually did during this workshop?

3. (33.3 %) Does the presenter go over implementation issues,  tricky or non logical things that could prevent the learning from being successful?
Does the presenter know the program well enough to tell critical details such as this  app only records for one minute or a student  cannot erase if she  uses this part?
Does  the presenter  give a realistic time frame  about how much time it takes the students  to do / use this program? Is that time appropriate to the learning level?  For example,  in one program students create an animated mini-movie  of a conversation that takes twenty minutes  to produce when they could do the same conversation with an app camcorder in three minutes.
Does the presenter  mention other programs /apps  that build on this learning to take students to even  higher levels of learning?
Does the presenter talk about how students  collaborate while using this program/ app?
Does the presenter go over how he/she assesses the learning from this program/ app?

Let’s move from the technology whiz  factor  to  the student learning factor!

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation.  My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

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