Every now and then, something comes together so perfectly that it just feels good all the way down to your toes. That was TechTrain for me this past weekend. Chrissy, Kim, Dana, Dennis and I hosted a weekend workshop designed specifically for new users.
The idea came to us in a conversation almost 10 months ago: there are so many great international tech conferences out there, but they go too fast for newbies and are overwhelming. Could we provide a conference designed just for new users? Something that provided a safe, customized environment for teachers to learn the tools and spend the necessary time practicing and feeling comfortable enough to go back to the classroom and implement their learning?
Yes we could.
We just did.
And it was amazing.
From creating blogs and wikis to making slideshows and learning about the Twitterverse, my cohort of ten teachers from various parts of Asia was absolutely phenomenal. Watching them grow in confidence hour by hour throughout the weekend made me a bit giddy, and I loved watching them start to help each other with projects and how good it felt for them to be the ones with the answers.
Each of us guided a cohort of 10-12 people through the weekend, creating that safe environment for the super newbies. Those who had some experience with tools entered the application group and created a digital storytelling project for the newbie groups to view as the culmination of the weekend. This is everyone 'speed geeking' at the end of the day.Such an empowering weekend for both the participants and for me. I think it might be the beginning of a yearly event.