Thursday, January 29, 2009

Technology Workshops - Easy as 1, 2, 3?

Tech workshops are quickies to learn something new or brush up on something you have not used in a while. Having been to a few of these in recent times and getting utterly bored in a good number of those, I was faced with a dilemma since I had to conduct a workshop for a department here at OSU.

So how was I to keep this thing not boring and still be able to deliver these ‘techy’ materials? Though I had conducted workshops in the past, I wanted a new look and certainly not put the attendees to sleep. Once again, I referred to my friend, ‘google search’ and looked up some technology workshops. God there are some awful ones out there! Youtube is loaded with a million bad ones and some good ones too. After viewing a bunch of these and reading several other ones, I was equipped with some really good ideas.
  1. Know your material – (This one’s a gimme!) It’s almost impossible to know everything with tech material, but expect some questions from the group. I pointed out the breadth of the material to be covered and encouraged future sessions.
  2. Keep the group small and manageable – This was you can have an interactive session.
  3. Keep it (slightly) informal – I took the time to know each of them personally and also their tech skills before we began so I knew who would require more/less time.
  4. Tailor the material – Even if you get some or most of the content from various sources, keep the examples and subject matter relevant to your group. I researched actual examples that pertained to my group.
  5. Show the basics only – Whatever level be it, just show them how to get started and have them experiment with the rest on their own. I took the time during the workshop to make sure they got the basics and encouraged them to use the HELP pages or refer to other sources. I took extra time to show them where to get help after the workshop.
  6. Examples of use. I told then stories of how others use them and how others were (also) having difficulty using them in the beginning.
These simple ideas should carry you a long way and make you seem like you know what you are doing! And you do, right?

Technologies: MS PowerPoint, Classroom Management Software, Carmen, Blogs, Podcasts.

Contact me:
Sujan Manandhar
Instructional Aids Associate,
Foreign Language Center
Ohio State University


  1. I had a good experience with this workshop since all the learners were very curious and wanted to get something out of it. Some of them are already using what they learned in their own classes.

  2. good workshop. i wish there were more workshops that we could go and learn at a good pace.