Monday, June 30, 2008

Reflections on a BYOL

Presented my first workshop under the Bring your own Laptop format. There were 30 participants who came with enthusiasm for learning Google tools. However, it soon became clear that all was not running as smoothly as previous sessions I have held at NECC.
4 of the attendees did not have laptops which put a damper in both their learning and the topic. There was an initial mix-up (on my part) about Google apps requiring passwords of 6 characters, but others now needed 8 character passwords. This hasn't been true for long as I still access them all under a 7 character password. However, for the real newbies, it created a real problem of understanding. In order to try to keep people together, too much time was required to try to get all on board. Thus, the "classroom" was very divided. Then people who had previous Google accounts with saved "cookies", were having issues when trying to register for additional accounts. Ugh!

We never got to the real project part of the presentation and I ended up doing way too much talking. Result - I am disappointed and frustrated. I am certain some of the participants must feel the same.
Conclusion - do not plan on a BYOL where differences in hardware, software and user levels are key to the session.

I have directly communicated with about 20 of the participants and they were quite happy with what they learned. In other words, it worked for some, but not all - unacceptable to me as a presenter. Next year will be better!

No comments: