Scheduling EdCamp Sessions, PAPERLESSLY, with Google Slides Q&A

First of all, is “paperlessly” even a word? Even if it’s not, it’s how we did it during our recent EdTech Summer Camp professional development. 

During the last day of #wccetcamp, we introduced our campers to EdCamp during the afternoon. We only held two sessions, we were short on time in terms of getting suggestions and feedback, and for almost everyone there (about 170 people), it was the first time they had ever experienced EdCamp. 

So instead of breaking out the Post-it notes and the chart paper, we opened a Q&A session on Google Slides. 

I know, I know, it takes the interactivity out of that awesome first part of EdCamp, but I think it’s more important to do the meat of EdCamp, the actual sessions, than to get hung up on exactly how they are chosen. Just sayin’.

Why the Q&A feature on Google Slides for this? Let me lay out the challenges we faced:

  • a small EdCamp with a high percentage of, well, noobs (and I mean that in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY)
  • scheduling had to happen during a 10 minute period between my horking down lunch (you don’t want to see me hangry) and the beginning of the first EdCamp session
  • we had gone very paper-lite for the entire camp and really wanted to keep that up (there were paper nametags/schedules, but no handouts)
Here’s how we did it:
  • During the morning presentation to explain EdCamp, the Q&A link was shared. This was kept open until about 12:30 when lunch was well on its way. 
  • The Q&A link was also shared on the #wccetcamp Google Classroom for easy access.
  • We posted session suggestions anonymously to get the ball rolling.
  • We explained that the Q&A session would be open for suggestions and/or voting others’ suggestions up or down. What I’m saying here is ATTRACTING MAXIMUM ENGAGEMENT by:
          • allowing those not comfortable publicly posting a suggestion to suggest through total anonymity
          • allowing those with no suggestions to vote (in a limited fashion- much like Facebook, you can only like a post once) or down-vote, again, anonymously
For scheduling:
  • We took the total number of sessions we had (16 in this case) and chose the top 16 vote-getters, which are sorted from most votes to least
  • EASY-PEASY-LEMON-SQUEEZY

For awesome instructions on how to run your own Q&A session through Google Slides, check out Alice Keeler‘s blog post: Google Slides: Ask Questions DURING a Presentation

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