At our whole staff meeting at the beginning of this year we tested a new system for an interactive training session.
We have some smart IT colleagues and they coded what we have dubbed the “BSN Pulse”. In essence, colleagues logged in with their smart card at the beginning of the session and were sent a login email to their chosen device. They then responded to questions and prompts during the keynote given by Simon Noakes. They also posted generic questions and responses about the key themes for the day and we returned to these in the plenary / wash-up.
BSN colleagues interacting with the BSN Pulse-Meester
We needed to beef up the wifi infrastructure with so many colleagues logging on and interacting at the same time and the preparations behind the scenes over Christmas were significant; it was a great team effort.
Statistics from the audience led the session
The questions needed to be carefully planned and also when they would be asked – so as not to interrupt the flow of the keynote :
What is the most important consideration when introducing new EdTech into the classroom?
This was on display as colleagues logged in at the start of the day during coffee and we returned to these answers throughout.
It was then good to start with a simple tech-check question at the outset:
How are you feeling on this first day back?
1. Where am I again?
2. Incredulous that the two weeks are already over
3. Happy but slightly poisoned by excess
4. Inspired and ready for action
This information generated a bar chart representing percentages; this showed colleagues where we heading with the concept and raised a smile.
Slider – How would you rate your EdTech confidence?
This question generated a number between 1 (not very) – 10 (extremely) and gave us some valuable data about this perception across our different campuses.
Is EdTech better than traditional ways of learning?
2. They complement each other
3. It’s a natural evolution
4. No, and never will be
If you could get away from Social Media would you? – Yes / No
We re-phrased these two questions *live* – to make them better questions
You can see that the role of the BSN Pulse-Meester was crucial. Flipping between keynote slides and pulling up screen shots of statistics gathered or individual questions posted at the whim of the CEO needed a keen understanding of what we were trying to achieve, patience and skill.
Luckily we have this person. He will, for now, Stig-like – remain faceless here…
A different kind of keynote – The Pulse-Meester’s view
It was a faintly nerve-wracking experience and a risk. But our keynote, Simon Noakes, was up for it and sanguine about the chance of failure.
We learnt a huge amount about how this might work at a future event and how we would approach things next time.
Next steps – what we learnt:
- We need to enhance the wifi infrastructure for these events;
- We’ll learn from this first facilitation and design our questions even more carefully;
- The software can be buffed up to include different graphical representations;
- The data generated is genuinely “big data” for strategic decision making;
- It works.
Colleagues’ feedback was warm and enthusiastic. Most had not experienced anything like it at a conference.
One comment was particularly interesting. Because questions were identified with individuals’ names some felt that there may be a reluctance to contribute. My response to this was surprising to some.
I welcome divergent thinking. I’m not a “hunter-killer” seeking to exact retribution for alternative views. If you’re confident of your opinion – name it. I’m hoping the sub-text here is that as a leader, I may not always agree with you but I respect and welcome the debate. There are so many platforms to contribute opinion to now.
We also feel there’s a market value to this software and facilitation. But that’s a story for another time.
Would you like your keynotes / INSET to work in this way?