Show, Don’t Tell

Last Thursday I offered an ASK training after school.

ASK stands for Author, Specialist, Knowledge, and is a literature based program that ends with a videoconference interview of a specialist or author. The program was designed by Dr. Kettel, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and has been successfully implemented on a large scale in Macomb county. Macomb ISD has mentored us as well as TWICE and others in implementing this program locally.

Usually my ASK training covers what it is, the 13 steps, the various books and programs we offer to our local schools, how to make your ASK program a success, and is generally a lot of talking. This year I wanted to do it a little differently. Partly due to the influence of 123 Jazzing on my teaching, partly due to a sore throat, and partly due to the realization of good teaching: show – don’t tell!

So I brought out a copy of most of the books that we offer and spread them out on tables. After watching the ASK video and reviewing the various books, we did a mini-ASK process. Each person read a couple pages in one of the books. (I really believe in choice with adult training!) Then they journalled a few lines. Wrote their questions on 3×5 cards. Then we split into three groups to pretend we were in an ASK program. We connected in from 3 of our VC systems and simulated the project. Everyone got to ask their question in the recommended format. “Hi, my name is Jane, and this is my friend John. Our question is, In the book, ……”. They got to see how the video switches in a voice activated format. How to mute & unmute. How to have the students stand at the microphone listening until the author or specialist has answered their question.

We covered just about everything in the Making Your ASK Program A Success handout without me hardly *telling* any of it! They experienced it. Cool. Everyone was really excited and signed up for programs right away.

It’s funny how you KNOW in your head what good training should be like, but when you have just an hour and a half you think there isn’t time. Well, there is!

By the way, there may be a few spots left in the TWICE ASK programs. And if I have any in mine (I don’t right now), I’ll let you know here.

And also, if you’re a regional coordinator for distance learning, you ought to be offering these kinds of programs for your schools! Want to learn how?! My online class, Kid2Kid Videoconference Connections, starts next week and includes how to run ASK programs as well as MysteryQuests and other projects. We’d love to have you join our learning community!


About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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