I LOVE SUMMER. I like thinking about it. I like traveling during it. I like doing meaningful things that help me professionally during it.
What about you? I am guessing you are either a teacher or a school administrator. What does summer mean to you?
My attempt at perfection, fell flat
This last summer I planned, what I thought, would be the perfect opportunity for teachers to do a little traveling, stay in a nice resort hotel, in a resort city, and learn a necessary tool, Google for Education.
Teachers deserve quality opportunities to learn. Yes, I know there are several free online options for that but I really wanted to set up a first-class training opportunity.
A “learning party” complete with special events, amazing meals, first-class accommodations, facilitated by top-level, working educators. I even hired an industry leading Professor to lead the charge. I had 15 teachers and administrators attend. I was shooting for 50, minimum. We had the capacity for 300.
Let's measure the success, or lack of, from attendees
Was it a failure? Absolutely NOT!
Listen to some of the feedback from the 15 in attendance, which was all 5’s and 6’s out of 6:
“I had very limited knowledge, so I learned a lot!! I loved learning how to use slides effectively.”
“I loved how I can make different calendars and it all be connected into one calendar. “
“You all are awesome!” (1 x !)
“Good Stuff! Thanks”
“You are all awesome!!!” (3 x !!!)
“I loved learning about the add-on for chrome like Newsela, Screencastify, Evernote and SeeSaw”
“I think my favorite was just the understanding of how dynamic and diverse the Google Suite is. Some things were new - slides sites - and some I knew well -forms docs - and I learned new things in all of them!“
“Great presentation and friendly, helpful staff.”
The hospitality was amazing! Everyone was so friendly and fun!
Great job for a first-time conference! I am sure you learned as much as we did! Thank you so much!
I can’t walk away from an event that provided so much value. No way! I need to rethink where I may have gone wrong. Maybe I started advertising the event too late?
Maybe we had it too late in the summer (August 2-3, 2017). Maybe everybody was afraid to come to Palm Springs in August? (100+ degrees)
Maybe we needed a nicer hotel (The Palm Springs Hilton is pretty nice!)
Maybe we were priced too high (rooms were $110 a night and the training was $450 to $650 for 2 full days, depending on discounts, and included all the materials, all the meals, the special event and free transfers to and from the airport)
Maybe we need to be more aware of school and district PD spending rules and deadlines and offer more than just credit card enrollments?
Maybe we need to have different levels to meet the needs of the attendees better?
Maybe we should encourage teachers and administrators to bring their families to enjoy the resort life?
We also had 3 instructors which was a 5 to 1 ratio!
A high school teacher, a high school technology coordinator and a College Professor specializing in Professional Develop and Teacher Preparation. Plus, she is a top presenter at CUE, ISTE and others.
Where did I go wrong?
Carolyn, Malia and Josh. The best training team on the planet! See more pics here.
Time to regroup, gather my thoughts and listen
This is the part where you come in. Give me your thoughts, please.
What is the Perfect Summer PD Meeting? Where is it? What does it look like? What will make it not only effective but memorable?
How can I encourage collaborative teams from the same school to attend? I have my ideas but what I really need are yours.
Your words are my fuel to create the perfect summer training meeting, let me give back.
I don’t like working in a vacuum. I want this to be an event that is the beginning of something bigger. I want the 2018 summer training meeting to launch a new era in summer PD offerings. Let’s build the perfect summer training meeting together!
PSS - Please comment and help me do this better. I won’t let you down. Please comment!