Monday, August 1, 2016

Forget Taking Notes. 2 Strategies to Get to Thinking & Sharing Faster

While some outdated educators are hung up on making students sit, stare, and copy down their every word (by hand!), innovative educators know there is a better way. At this year's #NYCSchoolsTech Summit teachers came together to learn about innovative ways to support teaching and learning but they weren't focused on taking notes.  

That's because of two strategies that were put into place that took care of that.  
1) Hashtags & Handles: Everyone knew the conference hashtag, each session had a hashtag, and each presenter's Twitter handle was provided. This means that everyone at the conference was collectively taking notes and able to tag presenters via social media platforms.  They all came to the conference knowing that there would be participants who took seriously the job of collecting what they heard with the world. They knew they could report, respond, or just read the takeaways. Ultimately the report outs can be seen via platforms like and Storify
Visit this link to view the live Tagboard
2) Digital Agendas & Materials: For every session there is a digital agenda that included the session presentation and all materials. Several of the sessions were live streamed. This allows participants to get to the thinking faster: When participants know they have all session notes and materials, they don't need to take notes on what you are saying because they have it already. Instead they are making meaning of what you are saying because they have the materials. Additionally because they have the presentation, they an easily take what they've learned, bring it back to their school customized with their own personal flare. The other advantage for live streamed sessions is that those who couldn't be there in person, could watch remotely and those who had multiple sessions they want to attend, could view later. Love what you learn in a session? Share with others and tag the presenter on Twitter.  
You can visit the session agendas by clicking here or on the image below. .
save image 

Have you attended conferences that provide digital materials, live streaming, and hashtags? If so, how has this changed your experience? Please share in the comments.


  1. These past few months have made me think about the way I'd like to run my PLs this year. I already utilize digital agendas but want to encourage others do move that way. Also how PLOs are run, I'd like to have more virtually streamed sessions captured like I experience at EdCamps, especially after EdCamp global. It was exciting to connect with educators I didn't know at my leisure on topics I thoroughly wanted to learn about! All the sessions were held via lives streaming, Twitter chats or hangouts. Knowing I have the opportunity to browse resources from events I attended or couldn't gives me a sense of freedom and empowerment!

  2. If everyone is tweeting the important takeaways, you never miss an important point because you're too busy typing the last one. Note taking becomes a collaborative project, which is way more efficient.

    1. I do find when I am tweeting away I am missing stuff also. How to tweet and not miss stuff?

  3. The power of digital agendas and materials didn't really resonate with me until I attended an unconference 2 years ago. Wow! I am still using these resources and love that they continue to be updated. It was so easy to share with colleagues and it was personal because it was in the "language" ( in my case Ed Tech language) that I could recall.

  4. I will bring this up to my administration, I absolutley love the idea of "hashtags", this will also be good for out veteran teachers that are not Twitter savvy, connect with the digital world.

  5. You have provided a glimpse into some exciting possibilities. I would be cautiously optimistic about incorporating this tool in my classroom. I love the idea of collaborative note taking--that is an excellent idea to help those who sometimes miss bits and pieces. What do you do with outlier hashtags? For example, I did a quick look at #WVStrong which was a handle several people used to communicate about the devastating floods in early June. Some people had included the tag to sell their wares and others to their political viewpoints. What is the strategy to screen such things out? Still this is an interesting conceptual idea for classroom integration.