Five Minutes of Fame: New Approach to PD

8th Annual 5MoF.tiff

Teachers often struggle with finding the time to fit in professional development.  Even harder is finding actionable items that a teacher can incorporate into his or her classroom quickly and with mimimal cost and prepration time.  This blog post gives one way on-demand PD can be delivered via “Five Minutes of Fame” events.

Five Minutes of Fame (FMoF) is an event which forces "traditionally prolific academic discussions to be made short and sweet” or risk being gonged off the stage. (As described by the New Media Consortium, NMC)

Learn about some of the most exciting edtech projects in five minute doses.

I recently participated in the 8th Annual FMoF event at the University fo Trinidad & Tobago (UTT).  Here is my title and description:

FMoF description.tiff

Below is my presentation. In it, I illustrate how I use three open-source #edtech tools (Remind, Screencast-o-matic, and Desmos) to increase student engagement, save instructional time, and improve student interest via connections to real life context; in this case, how long it takes an almost-dead cell phone to charge to full.  

As you can see, five minutes is NOT a long time!  Creating the presentation was just as much of a learning experience as viewing it!  I had three main goals:

  1. Introduce faculty to three open-source tools that I use in my classroom:  Remind (for outside-of-class communication), Screencast-o-matic (for creating presentations that demonstrate educational technology, thus saving face-to-face time in class), and Desmos (for joint mathematical modeling via an online graphing calculator and data analysis tool).
  2. Demonstate how these three tools might be used in a lesson to extend the teaching and learning time that students spend engaged with the content, in this case, mathematics.
  3. Give faculty a small taste of what it would be like for their students using these tools as independent learners — particularly, I wanted to illustrate how seemless the technology could be integrated into the learning process.

I used Remind during the presentation the same way I use it in class: to convey information, to give reminders or tips, and to open up lines of communication outside of class time.  I used Screencast-o-matic to actually create the presentation itself and in the same way I use it in class:  to save instructional time by delivering content, context, or  instruction (particularly “how-to” for various technology tools) in an on-demand video that is available to the student at any time and can be used as many times as needed.  Finally, I used Desmos to illustrate how an online activity can be a great component to a face-to-face lesson.  In this case, it could be used as an introduction to mathematical modeling, as a homework assignment, or as a unit summary / preparation for exam activity.

Below is a slide show of various components of the Charge activity including:

  • Introduction of the problem & asking “What do you notice?”
  • Request for a prediction by asking “When will the phone be charged?”
  • Connection to mathematics by having students give coordinate pairs for the information given
  • Extending the mathematical context by having students plot the coordinates as points on a graph
  • Engaging with the mathematics by having students find a function (in this case, a line) that “fits” the data points
  • Using their mathematical model to make a prediction about what percent the phone will be charged at a given time
  • Checking the accuracy of their mathematical model by comparing their predicted result with the actual result at that given time
  • Reflect upon the discrepency, if any, between their mathematical model and the actual data.
  • Interpret various mathematical concepts (e.g. slope and y-intercept) in the context of the given problem
Charge1Charge2 predictionCharge3 mathCharge4 graphCharge5 fitCharge6 predictCharge7 compareCharge8 reflectCharge 8 interpret

As always, I'd love to hear from you.  Especially, I would love to hear if you have experienced attending or presenting at a FMoF event, whether you judge this as a viable way to present small actionable “chunks” of PD, or if you have other comments about this blog post!


LINK for the FMoF video

LINK to join the Remind group

LINK for the Desmos activity

LINK to the images from the Desmos slide show

PDF of UTT's 8th Annual Five Minutes of Fame Program

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Author:  Dr. Diana S. Perdue

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