Saturday, April 14, 2012

Workshop Preparation

Every time I am asked to organize a workshop I start reflecting upon the previous one trying to understand what was good or bad in order to make it better. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes I just think that it depends on the willingness of teachers to accept ideas especially when they come from someone younger than themselves.

This time I thought of getting my colleagues ideas about what a good workshop is.

My dear friends I would very much appreciate it if you could share your ideas about what makes a workshop a good one or a bad one. What would you like to see and not to see in a workshop.

If we discuss this then perhaps it will help not only me but some of you who also host workshops in their jobs.

All ideas will be highly appreciated. :)


  1. Hi Anna,
    I think you first have to think about the profile(s) of the teachers attending the workshop, then tailor the content and the activities that will be useful to them.

    You say they are older than you. Do they teach in the same kind of institutions and the same age and level groups? Are they fans of the technology in teaching? Are you going to concentrate more on practical tips or include some theoretical discussions?

    I think the workshop is good if teachers feel it was planned for them, if they can use what they learned in their future work.

    My two cents:)
    Looking forward to reading more comments,

  2. Hi Sanja! Thanks for your comment. :) I would like to make a list of useful tips on how to prepare a good workshop.

    I agree with everything you say. Just one question. If the teachers are not interested in technologies (which in some cases is true), isn't it worth introducing it to them? I know that a lot of teachers do not want to go into something new for them because that means planning more, creating and doing more work.

    Some rules from Sanja's post.

    1. Know the profile of the teachers.
    2. Make the subject of the workshop relevant to the participants,
    3. Have more practical than theoretical input.
    4. Give the participants something they can use in the future.

  3. Hi dear Anna & dear Sanya,

    I am also wondering about the same problem! And like you, each time I give a workshop I try and think about what was good, useful, interesting & what was not.

    This is all new to me (this year I gave my first workshops).

    What was appreciated by the trainees was:
    - preparing a web page for them with advice & ideas before the workshop was taking place.
    - preparing an online survey to ask them about their needs & trying to keep up with all the answers.

    But this last point was also negative as :
    - the trainees answered the day before the workshop & I had to add lots of material to my workshop & the trainees thought it was too heavy.

    So: you need enough material but not too much.

    My main problem was that all the trainees had so many different expectations & different levels (it was an ICT workshop).

    I'm eagerly looking forward to your ideas.

    Could you also share yours Anna please?

    Especially as I am giving a workshop tomorrow!!!!!!! :)

    Have a great weekend!


  4. Hi all,
    I agree with what the others have said so far. I really like workshops where the participants get enough time to interact with each other and discuss the ideas together. They should not feel that something they don't understand the point of is being imposed upon them. Challenge them come up with scenarios where it would be an advantage to use technologies. Be upbeat fresh and young by all means, but let the participants have their say too. Be ready for their likely reaction and never, never take it personally. Remember how much the participants benefit from simply being together and bouncing ideas off each other. Don't try to cram too much in. A nice balance is ideal! I like a workshop to be a workshop, not a lecture. :-)
    I hope it goes really well! All the best,
    Annie B

  5. Hi Marie and Annie!

    I am so happy to see you here. Thanks for your advice - it is really useful.

    Marie the idea of having an online webpage for the teachers to use is wonderful. I didn't think of that myself. :) I will get down to that.

    What I am planning to do is to introduce some digital games to the teachers. I want to ask them to think of how this can be incorporated into a lesson plan and I would like us all to work on a lesson plan for that. Then I want to put them into groups and give them a different game and ask them to work in their groups and come with ideas for that game. Then they can compare their ideas, discuss them and come up with a second lesson plan. This is what they can use with their kids after the workshop.

    Annie, if they are not interested in technologies, do oyu think this would be too challenging fort hem or just enough to make them think and warm up to the idea of using technology in teaching?

  6. Oh, goodness, I don't know! But it is always nice to know what is out there and exchange ideas with colleagues about what you could do with it, even if it's not really your thing :-).

  7. I feel the same, Annie. If I don't know something, I want to learn about it and then decide whether to use it or not. :) Maybe it depends on how open-minded someone is. ;)