I wrote a post earlier in which I explained a conference our school recently hosted called Lausanne Learning Institute of the Southwest. A conference in which we offered a day of general sessions and a day in which fishbowl sessions occurred on our campus with our students. To read that post, click here.
Day 1 of the conference offered a new twist on conference style learning. I have attended many conferences/workshops in the past that have ranged from sit-and-get to general sessions that actively engage and involve the audience. However, I have never attended, nor have I actually heard of, a conference offering a fishbowl type setting in which students are taught in front of your very eyes.
What did the fishbowl day look like?
- 20 educators sat around the perimeter of the room observing while one teacher from various schools chose a topic and taught live in front of the observing teachers
- Teachers from 53 different schools proposed fishbowl topics
- Teachers let us know what grade level they needed, and what prior knowledge the students needed to have before teaching them
- Fishbowl sessions lasted 45 minutes followed by a 45 minute debrief
- 4 fishbowl sessions were offered throughout the day
- Fishbowl session topics included:
- “Being taught by a new teacher, was weird and cool all at the same time! You didn’t know what to expect.”
- “Learning how to use lockboxes was so much more fun than a worksheet. We used math to open the lockboxes instead of just writing our answers down on paper. The teacher who taught the lesson was fun because he not only taught us the lesson, but he connected with us on rap music.”
- “I thought it was going to be hard to be taught by someone we didn’t know, but it ended up being a fun experience.”
- Offer less time during the debriefing periods which allows for more time to network casually
- Ensure there are topics offered for all divisions as well as disciplines
- Continue to focus on hands-on inquiry as well as Makerspaces
- Offer general sessions on tech integration