Lead, follow, or…do both! The beauty of the “unconference.”

The most successful workshop I attended at an “unconference” began when the presenter didn’t show up.  Seriously.  Then again, he or she was not a presenter in the traditional sense of the word.  He or she was someone who arrived at the workshop with a burning question and put it up on a board at the beginning of the day.  Those of us who filed into the room and patiently waited for the presenter either shared that question or had answers to offer.  And the presenter’s absence didn’t stop us from having a great conversation…

The “unconference” model is one we have found to be tremendously successful for teachers; more and more of our programs are taking elements of the model to maximize teachers’ time before, during, and after workshops–particularly with respect to the invaluable networking that occurs when a bunch of us with common interests or questions get together.  Want some more on the basics of an unconference?  Read on…



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One Response to Lead, follow, or…do both! The beauty of the “unconference.”

  1. bsullivan35 says:

    I think the unconference is a great model for CAIS events because it sets up a great personal learning network. On the topic of learning, I always share with my students what I am about to learn before I depart for a conference. I also assign digital work (and check on it during the conference), which sets up an easy class to leave behind for a colleague substitute. So, during the day, we each know what the other is learning. And one of the fun things about participating in the unconference portion of the CAIS “Teacher’s Sharing with Teachers Helping Teachers: What Works is Worth Sharing” event January 2011 was that I was modeling true learning when I explained everything I learned the next day to my students. That day one specific goal was from my Latin class who asked me to learn about Scratch and see if we could use it in class. I think that there is so much potential with this participant driven design; we can also show our students so much when we come back and shared what we learned with them, and perhaps even more importantly, ask for their suggestions on how to implement new methods before actually doing it.

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