I had a wonderful time serving as a breakout session presenter and the closing keynote speaker at the Oregon RTI conference. Here is a recap of some quick tips that I shared with them. How could you use these tips to strengthen engagement? Talking less and showing more is about getting your learners active and engaged. Remember these quick-tips to make learning sticky!
Tip 1: Use Humor
Humor helps participants to focus.
Humor can have an extremely positive effect on a meetings outcome or learning environment. It loosens up the participants and opens up the brain (Silberman, 1999; McNeely, N.D., Morrison, 2010).
“We’re finding humor actually lights up more of the brain than many other functions in a classroom,” says Morrison, author of Using Humor to Maximize Learning. “In other words, if you’re listening just auditorily in a classroom, one small part of the brain lights up, but humor maximizes learning and strengthens memories.”
Tip 2: Engage in Role Plays
Role-playing creates realistic experiences and engages the brain.
Physical performance is probably the only known cognitive activity that uses 100% of the brain (Jensen, 2005). Role play is applicable to all subject areas and uses spatial, linguistic, and bodily modalities to comprehend at deeper levels (Ginsberg, 2011).
Tip # 3 Let them talk!
If you want your learners to remember and apply the concepts, let them talk. A key question is: In my training, or in my lesson, “Who is doing the most talking?” Most teachers and trainers think they spend little time lecturing. Statistics show the opposite. Most trainers spend about two-thirds of the program lecturing, even though they don’t think they are doing all of the talking (
Bowman, S. L. (2009). Training from the back of the room!: 65 ways to step aside and let them learn. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the brain in mind. Virginia: ASCD.
McNeely, R. (n.d.). Using Humor in the Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/tools/52165.htm
Morrison, M. K. (2010). Using humor to maximize learning: The links between positive emotions and education. New Delhi: Overleaf.
Silberman, M. L., & Clark, K. (1999). 101 ways to make meetings active: Surefire ideas to engage your group. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
What’s in it for Me (WIIFM)
Most participants are interested in the “what’s in it for me.” These are questions they may ask, and I call these questions the Essential 6:
The content that is taught is based on the organization’s overall goals. The audience must be taken into consideration in developing the scope and sequence of what is taught. I
What’s in it for you: Why optimized learning?
Significant learning results in change.-D.L. Fink
Are you a school leader who must provide high-quality staff development for increased teacher or student outcomes?
Has your supervisor asked you to develop training on a specialized topic?
Are you an instructor who wants to maximize participant learning?
Do you have to provide staff development for a lot of people with a limited amount of time?
Do budget constraints impact the type of staff development provided?
Are you tempted to quickly create a slide show, hoping the learning sticks?
There is a faster, powerful, results-driven way!
Convert your expertise, or the knowledge of those you lead, into engaging, effective, inspirational learning sessions using the Active Learning method. Active Learning techniques provide you with the skills you need to go beyond “Sit and Get” to create and launch high-quality training, provide compelling educational opportunities, and leverage the expertise in the organization. When I first started teaching and attending professional development workshops, I soon began to dread the boring, laborious, “important” sessions. I heard a plethora of theory and data-driven research that was often confusing, and the training was delivered in a monotonous fashion. We were required to differentiate or provide personalized learning in our classrooms, yet these very “strategies” were not modeled in our training. Did the presenters not notice that the attendees’ eyes were glazed over? After I had become a campus-based staff developer, I realized that developing and presenting professional learning was a bit more challenging than it appeared. Could I make it entertaining, yet substantive? Could I make it relevant and meaningful? Would I hold the audience's attention? Would the participants learn and apply the concepts? Would my training impact their job performance?
Why does this matter?
Staff development or professional learning should be interactive and immersive. Acton (2017) asserts that student failure plummeted by 35% when Active Learning was used compared to traditional lectures. So why is lecture-based staff development that primary way that teachers receive training.?
With a significant emphasis on standards-based education and accountability, teacher practice has been under a microscope (Jones, Stall, & Yarbrough, 2013). According to Varela (2012), teachers have reported that professional development opportunities are usually isolated, passive, and provide limited engagement for participants. Eddie B, the hilarious comedian often jokes that he is "professionally developed." It is funny and sad at the same time. As educators, we should strive to engage in continuous learning. The issue is usually not the content, but the delivery style. We have to do better when it comes to providing active learning opportunities for teachers and staff. The new form of staff development that has emerged is one that is job-embedded, standards-driven, and results-based (Hirsh & Killion, 2007).
It is vital that schools and districts become learning organizations to ensure that every student achieves. In order for this to happen, school and organizational leaders must lead the learning for effective professional learning. Professional development has been used as a school improvement option to change teacher practices and increase student outcomes.
What is optimized learning?
Optimized learning is significant learning that results in individual and organizational change. When people change, their practices change, and when practice changes, results are obtained. Optimized learning is predicated by shifts in mindset, skill, application, and evaluation.
Acton, A. (2017, June 15). Innovator's Challenge: Punch Up Your Presentations And Get Off PowerPoint. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/annabelacton/2017/06/15/innovators-challenge-punch-up-your-presentations-and-get-off-powerpoint/#60593ce14770
DuFour, R. (2004). Whatever it takes: How professional learning communities respond when kids don't learn. Bloomington, IN: National Educational Service.
Hirsh, S., & Killion, J. (2007). The learning educator: A new era for professional learning. Oxford, OH: National Staff Development Council.
Jones, L., Stall, G., & Yarbrough, D. (2013). The importance of professional learning communities for school improvement. Creative Education, 4(5), 357–361.
Varela, A. M. (2012). Three major sins of professional development: How can we make it better? Education Digest, 78(4), 17–20. Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 1197642568)
Dr. Shera Carter Sackey also referred to as the "Presentation Success Doctor" helps individuals, organizations, and school districts leverage learning through effective presentations and communication for increased success. She would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accelerated Learning is necessary to student growth. According to the Accelerated Learning Handbook by Dave Meir, “Accelerated Learning is the results achieved and not the method used.” Accelerated Learning harnesses the genius of all learners and contributes to their “full human happiness, intelligence, competency, and success.” Old paradigms focused on learners as consumers, and newer paradigms focus on learners as collaborators, creators, integrates the whole body and mind and appeals to all learning styles. Accelerated learning is all about engagement. Research indicates that in, corporate organizational learning, organizations that integrated accelerated learning as a part of their training showed tremendous gains. American Airlines reduced training time for a lesson by 50% and improved retention significantly. Consolidated Edison passing rate increased from 30% to 100%. Travelers Insurance cut training time by 20% and improved test scores by 480% (Meir, 2000). What are the implications for educators? The implication is that teachers and staff developers can save time, and optimize learning by:
1. Creating a positive learning environment focused on results.
2. Making sure that learning is active.
3. Focuses on collaboration versus competition
4. Using multiple learning options that appeal to all learning styles.
5. Integrating contextual learning is focused on “real-world” immersion, feedback, reflection, and evaluation.
How have you integrated accelerated learning in your practice?
Dr. Shera Carter Sackey is a mindset shifting, idea generating, technique teaching, vibrant and authentic, speaking powerhouse that shows audiences how to go from wishing to implementing and achieving their dreams. Dr. Shera is a presentation expert, engagement evangelist, and change catalyst that draws upon her experience as an award-winning educator, CEO, and entrepreneur to energize, enlighten, and propel audiences in business, K-12 schools, universities, and various professional organizations.
Our thoughts shape our future. As leaders, trainers, and teachers, it is important to be intentional about our thoughts which contribute to our mindset. A great way to energize our day is to feed our mind with positive fuel. After all, our thoughts manifest into words, and our words manifest into action. Our actions affect everyone we come into contact with. Please allow these 5 positive quotes to energize your day.
Professional learning should result in a change of knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Continuous professional learning improves teacher quality and student outcomes. Professional development has been used as a school improvement option to change teacher practice and increase student outcomes. One of the most significant issues is that there just doesn't seem to be enough time for job-embedded professional learning. This oldie but goodie shows you how some school leaders have been able find time for collaborative learning. Click the link below to access the article.
The 3 R's of Learning Time