We can't wait for you to join us for our TechSmart training! Like many of the schools and districts we work with, TechSmart's teacher professional learning has gone virtual. If you are signed up for a CST bootcamp, you may be wondering what a seven hour day of coding training over Zoom looks like! Below we have compiled a few tips and tricks on how to prepare for, and get the most out, of your training experience.
Remote Live Synchronous Learning
Our professional learning days run like a "regular", in-person class. We'll have direct instruction with checks for understanding, group practice activities, and in-person activities. You'll be "all in" and participating with your colleagues online just like you would in an in-person classroom.
We always break for a 1-hour lunch, so that everyone can recharge before the afternoon session.
How to prep prior to training:
- Install Zoom - We'll be using Zoom as our video conferencing software, as it has a variety of built-in features that support remote learning. Before training begins, please download Zoom
- Install Google Chrome - The TechSmart platform works best on Google Chrome, which you can download here
- Set up a second screen - You'll want a second screen, so you can easily see everyone else in the training, the TechSmart trainer, and any content that's being shared from someone else's screen. See details about possible configurations for this on this page
- Set up a webcam - Being able to see everyone's face is important to us! Most laptops have a built-in webcam, or you can use a USB webcam
- Set up a microphone - We want to hear you loud and clear. Most laptops have a built-in microphone, or you may prefer to use earbuds or a headset with a microphone
What to do during training:
- Cameras on - We want to get to know our teachers, since we'll not only be working with you throughout training, but also anytime you need support or help during the school year
- Ask questions - Question are always an important part of learning, especially when learning coding. If you ever get stuck, just following these question-asking-steps:
- Try on your own
- Re-read the directions
- Message the co-instructor
- Ask the lead instructor
- Have fun - Coding is a rewarding and exciting skill, and it's easy for students to get excited about the possibilities of what they can make even after just a few lessons. We hope you have fun learning with us!
What to do if you get behind:
- Message your Instructors - We have taught everywhere from complete beginners to past professional coders, and have plenty of resources available for every level of prior knowledge and comfort. Reach out anytime you need support and we're happy to provide it
- Collaborate with other teachers - You'll be in a classroom full of fellow teachers, who are also preparing to teach this curriculum. Collaborate, share tip and tricks during the training, and we'll provide a Slack workspace for you to keep in touch post-training
- We're here to support! - Even if you feel overwhelmed during training, don't worry! We have created plenty of ways to reach us for help and support. You can even reach out while you're in class answering questions!
What to do if you're ahead:
- Do homework - Each day will have optional assignments listed in the homework section. These are a great way to continue to practicing the day's coding techniques
- Approach the activity as a student - After finishing an assignment, try to approach it the same way you might expect your students too. This is a great way to predict some of the common errors or confusions that will pop up in the classroom
- Message your Instructors - If you've finished both of the previous tasks, message your instructors for more activities or ideas on how to sharpen your skills
As always, let us know if you have any questions prior to your training, and we look forward to working with you!
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