Webinar Digital Facilitation Techniques: Keeping Our Most Precious Resources Safe & Secure.

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Leadership in water management via digital facilitation  

As a member of the Water Harmony Global Initiative (WHGI) and research group on Water, Environment, Sanitation and Health (WESH), Dr Zakhar Maletskyi runs global webinars and digital facilitation.

He takes on a facilitator role for both organisations and its related groups, managing workshops and webinars. These events are attended by global researchers, government officials, security experts, not for profit specialists. Together they brainstorm and develop solutions for challenges our world face when it comes to securing and protecting our most valuable natural resources. 

Some key facilitation highlights for Dr Maletskyi include:

  • The Water Harmony Global Initiative (WHGI)’s webinar to further the teaching of water related education globally, with participants attending from Africa, Asia, the EU and North America.
  • Interactive webinar to discuss the opportunities and threats that digital technologies bring to our water source.
  • Water, Society and Climate Change interactive workshop on “Solutions to water & climate change nexus.”
  •  SWARM+ Erasmus project workshop on Strengthening of master curricula in water resources management for the Western Balkans HEIs and stakeholders. 

“As a facilitator, my responsibilities are to drive group work through brainstorming and establish the most prudent solutions to water resource management issues that countries are facing globally.”

Challenges of running webinars & digital facilitation 

Webinar digital facilitation brings many benefits – the obvious ones being a wider, more global audience, time and cost savings from travels, physical venue bookings and materials. 

One of the main challenge of webinar digital facilitation for Dr Maletskyi is interaction, which covers a wide range of further challenges, including:

  • Lack of visual cues and feedback 
  • Lack of engagement 
  • How to build connection between participants
  • How to connect well as the facilitator

With so many digital facilitation options available as well, wading through to find one that presents solutions to all of the above can also be a challenge in itself. The goal was to find a simple visual tool that was process driven that could help engage interaction and collaboration centered around the key themes.

GroupMap creates successful webinar digital facilitation  

Dr Maletskyi came across GroupMap and has been using it to digitally facilitate important workshops and webinars around the world. 

Dr Maletskyi has used GroupMap with smaller groups of close colleagues, and also for webinars, one of which reached 251 participants.  The event targeted Managing risks form digitalisation in the water sector and was a 90 minute webinar session that involved presentations, interactive audience activities and a Q&A session with Panelists:

He explains that before starting up any GroupMap session, he would send participants a basic agenda as part of his PowerPoint presentations. 

In the agenda, Dr Maletskyi includes a brief tutorial on how to use GroupMap  – how to interact with the templates, and how to share ideas. He also used the Survey tool in GroupMap to get a sense of who was participating in the webinars.

webinar polling in groupmap
Webinar Polling

“I found GroupMap effective for my needs because not only was it a familiar tool but unlike other tools it allowed for a step by step process,” commented Dr Maletskyi.  

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Risk Management in GroupMap

“Other tools don’t provide the same level of interaction as GroupMap. It has a clear and concise process, from brainstorming to rating of opinions and ideas and finally the results. This is extremely useful with my groups.”

“This type of interaction hasn’t been replicated by any of the other tools that I have used.”

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Digital Facilitation Risk Assessment

 

Global water management in safe hands 

Dr Maletskyi shared how GroupMap allowed successful interaction with 251 global participants on managing cyber security threat on the water sector:

“It was easy to run the webinar thanks to the simple but effective features of the risk assessment template. The people voted on certain portions of the map for five risks. These were risks that would require management. All the votes organized the risk severity from most to least.”

“GroupMap can neatly organize the large volume of people brainstorming at once, allowing large amounts of information that doesn’t overwhelm the users and facilitators’ screens.” 

Dr Maletskyi commented that large webinar events that require interaction for its success would not have been possible without GroupMap. 

“I use GroupMap with many of the people I work with currently. I’ve had success with GroupMap for webinars and my university work. Now I encourage people who attend my lectures and webinars to use the tool.” 

The ability to gather global information and data in an organized and meaningful way results in time and money savings. It also means quality data could be shared, accessed and analysed more effectively. Action items could then also be added in real time to the top risks and reports generated for the webinar.

Want to try GroupMap for your next online meeting? 

Schedule a demo with a GroupMap team member at a day and time that suits you best or have a go of our easy to use, supported online collaboration tool for FREE for 14 days today. 

Digital Graphic Organizers at Futures Thinking STEAM Workshop Activity

Having to attend yet another Professional Development day can feel a little lackluster. That’s something Jonathan Nalder, Director of FutureWe.org and Digital Learning Coach at St Peters Lutheran College seeks to change. He runs STEAM workshops that challenge the status quo. From introducing the Future Literacies Framework to practical learning activities and using collaborative online graphic organizers for brainstorming, Jonathan has a deep-rooted belief that education needs to prepare students for the future.

Professional Development Day Insights with FutureWe

We take an inside peek into a STEAM workshop presented by Jonathan and his Edunauts (As they called) at the National Education Summit where they explored the future of work. Attendees in the “Creativity” stream engaged with what might make jobs safe or doomed in the near future. GroupMap was used to engage the audience in collaborative brainstorming, discussion and reflection.

Workshop Scenario and objectives

The workshop goal was to help leaders implement teaching strategies to build student capacity to create their own job and be prepared for future vocations.  

Jonathan says he needed “a flexible solution for quick collaboration and group responses that would deliver impactful results both in the classroom for young adults, as well as a viable solution to use at a professional development day future leaders.” “What we need,” he continues” is to allow participants to record their answers, but then discuss and further analyze while seeing other people’s ideas and being able to interact by voting.”

This was the workshop scenario

“The date is now 2035. 30-70% of the jobs have been impacted by robotics and AI. Apps write their own code. Universal Basic Income has replaced the need for ‘work’ to define our lives. Humans are an interplanetary species. Biotech is regularly implanted at birth.”

Capturing group discussions in STEM workshops

People were presented with the scenario and asked to write down what jobs they thought were either safe or at risk of obsolescence. As each person talked and shared, they would write down jobs under each category. But unlike sticky notes and butchers paper, the results could be seen immediately on everyone’s screens. This made it easier to have a lively discussion about what each job. Setting up simple online graphic organizers help your workshop attendees easily share their thoughts in real time in a structured and organized way.

What seems like a straightforward question actually triggers a few reality checks and deep discussions and debates. As Jonathan explains, “ having the ability to make the session collaboration and interactive …, I was able to bring a more democratic approach to solving problems in the workshop resulting in a quick and effective consensus.” exclaims Jonathon.

 

Workshop participants brainstorming with online, digital graphic organizer GroupMap

To round up the exercise and to both add to the collective consciousness, jobs were searched and compared against a public opinion database and poll (willrobotstakemyjob.com). This site was based on a report by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne called “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerization?” where 702 detailed occupations were processed through a Gaussian process classifier to estimate how susceptible jobs are to computerization.

Jobs that were traditionally great starters for teenagers such as Shop Assistants, Baristas (96%) and even Uber Drivers were at risk. Meanwhile, jobs that required the ‘personal touch’ such as mental health workers, teachers, and writers or professional judgment and skill such as Vets, programmers and lawyers (4%) were considered to be safe.

It is hard to argue at this stage that AI could ever replace the more subtle aspects of creativity and human-centered profession but it’s clear that as citizens of the new world, it will be less about manual tasks and repetition and more about collaboration and creation.

Jonathan shared one defining feature that made all the difference for him while encouraging open collaboration was being able to customize his graphic organizers for his workshop activities. 

“Having the preset templates for easy setup, and being able to make the collaboration interactive with voting… meant we could tweak the map to our needs”, Jonathan explains “It’s fast become a standard tool for supporting live interaction and it has allowed this to happen in a speedy way that fits in with what we are trying to achieve – promoting future-ready literacies that help people thrive in a fully digital era.”

The Future Literacies Framework

This process underpins the concept of FutureWe’s Be Future Ready Framework. It encourages activities and lessons that encourage students to explore, relate, design, deliver and share.

 

What stood out to us in the range of skill sets and tools that students need is the need to encourage students to have an open mind and a sense of agency. At the same time, they need to work in a team and understand the collective mindset. Their ability to think, expand their field of vision, give constructive feedback and collaborate and create with others is what would set them apart. Interestingly, these elements could arguably be what is missing in the robotics, artificial intelligence and other automation counterparts. 

Jonathan has now used it at over 6 conferences and events in Australia, USA and Asia and also incorporated collaborative brainstorming into his teaching and leadership practice at his school. “The feedback from the audience has been incredible,” says Jonathan. But beyond workshops, Jonathan has also used it with staff resource planning and professional development at his own school.

I have used GroupMap here at St Peters Lutheran College to gauge staff PD needs with a tiered survey.” explains Jonathan,” they could vote across three levels of support that they thought should be prioritized. We used the 50 responses to them guide our planning and resource allocation.” (Results blurred).

Setting up a GroupMap with audience voting.

We are super grateful to help support teachers managing the challenges of introducing STEM-based activities into their classroom through Jonathan’s workshops. We asked him for his tips for using GroupMap graphic organizers for brainstorming workshop activities. 

 

Jonathan’s tips for using GroupMap for your STEM Workshop activities

  • Ask questions that can’t be Google’d and provoke thought.
  • Play and explore how customizable the templates are, and don’t be afraid to contact the GroupMap team for further help as they are super helpful.
  • Having technology that doesn’t get in the way means you can now have live interactive discussions so allocate more time to that aspect.
  • It’s easy to set up and test your activity beforehand so there’s no reason not to. In fact, I even tweeted it out before and after the workshop.
  • Don’t forget the discussion and analysis of the ideas themselves. This is what builds collaboration and cross-pollination.

 

Want to see how Future-ready you are? Take the Future-Ready Survey now

Want to create graphic organizers for your workshop activity? Get in touch. or find out more.

Community engagement to brainstorm a Science Centre

The mission of the Rockville Science Centre is to inspire a lifelong passion to explore science, cultivate a sense of inquiry, and promote how science impacts everyday life. Following a feasibility study, the Centre was awarded a grant to develop the science centre.  On March 31, they announced the community engagement initiative to gather input have hosted a series of brainstorm sessions to involve the members of the community in planning the new facility. Using the tag line ” Imagine Our Future”, the events connected businesses, citizens, scientists and Zumba enthusiasts to generate ideas to conceptualize Rockville Science Centre 2.0.
Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said “Every year we get a little bit closer to an actual brick-and-mortar building which I think is exactly what we need. All along the way every year, the Science Center has gotten stronger and more engaged and bigger in terms of the people you are bringing in and the activities that you are providing. It’s a huge asset to the City of Rockville and to the County at large.” “When we have a facility, we want you to say, ‘Yeah, I worked on that idea’, because then we will have reached our goals.”
Tracy Dovea key driver of this initiative wrote in this article –  

“RSC does not want to recreate the “don’t touch” model of learning. The RSC will have a didactic – even Socratic – method of teaching and learning based on what the community has been able to input. This would be a centre of continuous learning with the goal of reinventing its content on a regular basis.”

RSC needs the community to build on these ideas to create the Center. Attendees will go beyond whiteboards and sticky notes by using the cutting-edge GroupMap software to collect ideas. 

There will be several tables – each one with a different topic. Participants will be encouraged to pick a table – or start their own! The Big Board up front will display in real time what each table is doing as the community puts together the 0’s and 1’s of the Center. ” said Tracey Dove.

Members of the public including scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs, researchers, teachers, parents, and children were invited to attend a series of brainstorming sessions to share ideas.  In fact, their official line reaches out to teachers, parents, children, accountants architects, zoologists, and Zumba enthusiasts! Participants were asked to pick a topic which included:
  • Facility
  • Outreach
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Content and
  • Programs
Ideas are captured in real-time and displayed on the board at the front of the room.  Following discussions these ideas were then translated into the development of the overall business plan, creating the vision for launching the vibrant science facility to connect with the community in the region. This form of strategy means that community engagement is both transparent, efficient, and in real-time – perfect for any resource-constrained organisation seeking to maximise its productivity.

Jeremy Lu (Co-Founder) and School Business Manager for Science at Curtin University said, “We are delighted that GroupMap technology has such a positive impact in the community especially promoting science awareness and education.”

Programs conducted by the Centre include Science Cafes sessions at a local restaurant, a robotics program including the FIRST Tech Challenge to develop and test robots in challenges, exploration trips off the beaten track, as well as their camps and fairs that bring the community together.

The Rockville Science Center is just one great example of how online brainstorming tools can be used to solve problems and execute on a community engagement strategy to work towards common goals.   You can see their full article on Communities and Education and if you would like further information,  please contact Tracy Dove: RSC2.0@rockvillesciencecenter.org

(Images Courtesy of Rockville Science Centre)

Big Brains for Science – How to get a group to work together

Australian Council of Deans of Science Breakout group brainstorm ways to improve pre-service teaching in an interactive workshop.

The Big Questions:
  •  What essential skills should secondary teachers in Science and Maths have?
  • What complementary skills should secondary teachers in Science and Maths have?
  • What can Science and Education Faculties at University do to improve this?
  • How can Science and Education Faculties collaborate to improve pre-service teaching?
We take for granted that much of the world as we see it is only possible through constant and sustaining scientific research. This knowledge transfer starts in primary and secondary schools and encouraging and engaging students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a growing need. Broad scientific literacy is needed by the Australian community. Full stop!!
Dean Professor Jo Ward, Dean of Science, Curtin University
Following the Annual General Meeting of the Deans of Science across 30 Australian Universities, a plenary session was run by Professor Jo Ward, Dean of Science, Curtin University.

GroupMap was used by the Deans to respond to Treasury announcements targeting sustainable programs to improve pre-service teaching. The question style involved initial segregation between essential and complementary skills for pre-service teachers. Participants then moved towards the key question of what could be done at the Faculty level (Science, Education, and Combined) to best meet the criteria for the funding programs.
The outcomes ranged from statements of intent to suggestions of pragmatic initiatives that mirrored best practice examples. Common themes and goals were shared with the group in real-time and this then formed the framework for collaborative practice discussions. By being able to quickly consolidate information from the group meant that everyone could move through the questions quickly, leaving more time for lunch and networking.
GroupMap is very supportive of improving teaching and learning outcomes, so this initiative was one we could not say no to. It was fantastic to see ideation and sharing by a group of thought leaders who have the potential to continue to improve and enhance Australia’s scientific prowess. Our thanks to Professor John Rice, Executive Officer of the ACDS, and Professor Jo Ward, Dean of Science, Curtin University for choosing to use GroupMap at this event.