I am going to be sharing Thinkfinity with a group of educators. Are there any training materials that reflect the look of the new site? The old resources were fantastic! I would like to have similar ones to share reflecting the new look. Maybe they're here, and I'm just not seeing them. Thanks!
Thank you for asking about the prospect of new training materials. How soon is your training?
Many of our training materials may still be used. Some of PowerPoints and document located in the Professional Development Community will be updated to reflect the new site as soon as we have the Help Center documents updated for general member use.
I am delighted that you have found the Help Center on the new site. Please know we are all working to get everything updated as fast as we can.
Unfortunately, it's tomorrow! I have trained several times on Thinkfinity and was extremely comfortable with the old site. I reviewed some things earlier this week and the old site was still there. While I'm excited to learn the new one, I'm very nervous about how to show my audience around the new site. Any tips? Thanks for your prompt response!
I'm going to suggest that tomorrow you be up front with your participants and tell them this is a big change visually for you and you are learning right along with them. Then think what you would have taught them and do the same on the new site, pretty much in the same order.
You would likely tell them about Thinkfinity, the Content Partners, and the Supporting Contributors. You would likely have an interactive ready to WOW them and get them interested in hearing more.
Then take them on a tour of the Thinkfinity homepage and discover the features you know are there. You may even divide up the different spaces (Places, Resources, Help Center, and About Us) and have participants "jigsaw" what they discover on these pages.
Share with your participants that they can view many resources and that there are two ways to search, one is by standards (see keyword and standards under the marquee) and the other is the community search, located in the top right of the homepage.
Point out that they need to join the community to be able to bookmark their favorite resources and participate in discussions. I assume you would then have them register...just look for the red Join Us Today button in the Marquee.
Have them bookmark a resource (point out the bookmarklet located on the Browse > Bookmarks page for easy install).
Encourage them to locate the Community Hub or The Lounge and reply to a discussion that interests them. Explain the difference in purpose of the two spaces.
Have them find a group whose members have similar interest to their own to join, perhaps one of the groups, maintained by the Content Partners, the Online Tools group, the New Teachers group, the list goes on. Let them browse the groups if you like but point out the ones you think will benefit them most.
You will find your own pace and direction. Just remind them that the Help Center is available for them to read our How To documents or if those don't answer a question they have, they may start a discussion question in the Help Center or use the About Us > Contact Us link to get support from a manager or host.
Good Luck tomorrow! Please let us know how it goes as others will have they same fears and we can support each other as we all learn together.
Thank you so much for your suggestions. I have been working to update some of my PP slides with the new look, but I think I will still have some that are the old site. As I have explored the new look, I am able to find all the "old" good stuff I want to show, so I feel better. It was just a shock to stumble on the new site tonight, even though I knew it was coming. I really appreciate your proposed outline; thank you for taking time to reply. Thinkfinity is such an amazing resource that I know that will come through tomorrow even if I can't answer every question about where things are located. Thanks again!
I was so interested in reading Marc's response (all great tips) that I had to look back at your email to remember what I was going to tell you. In trainings, I always keep a "parking list" for questions raised that I can't answer on the fly or ones that just don't fit the presentation at that particular moment.
During breaks, I look to see if any can be answered in the next section of my agenda. If any unanswered questions are left on the "lot" at the end of the training, I always let the person or the group (whichever is appropriate) know that I will get back to them with an answer by email.
Enjoy your training! And to all participants in Amy's training, it looks like she has a great experience planned for you.
Hi... not sure you'll read this before your training, but if so, hopefully this will help a little and if not, maybe it can help some others...
Until we have new training materials available, I would concentrate on a few things that haven't changed too much.
#1 - The great Thinkfinity resources. The resource search feature has been simplified but can still be searched by keyword/s, grade level and/or content area. The search window is prominently featured on the right side of the home page and can also be accessed under the "Resources" tab from any page.
#2 - The Thinkfinity content partners. Most of the content partner sites have not changed and if you look under the Professional Development section (right side under "Places to Explore") you can scroll down to "Training Resources" and find slide sets for each of the content partner sites. This might be useful if you have a group of teachers within a certain content area or elementary. Also, you can visit some of the content partner sites and have your group spend time looking at those sites.
#3 - The Integration Framework. Again, these training materials can be found in the Professional Development area. I always like to spend time in training sessions talking about how one might successfully use resources and tie them to curriculum standards and other classroom activities. The integration framework provides a way for teachers to do this.
#4 - The Community. While the community look and feel has changed fairly significantly, it is still very easy to have the training participants get registered on the site and then you can have them join one of the featured or popular groups. Talk about using discussions as a professional learning opportunity.
Hopefully, we will have new training materials available soon. If anyone creates materials that you would like to share, you could certainly create a discussion thread in the Professional Development area to share them.
In the meantime, maybe the ideas above will help you get started.
Verizon Thinkfinity Community Host
Please sign in to Thinkfinity and scroll down the homepage to Places to Explore. Select the Professional Development graphic. You are now in our Professional Development space. Enjoy exploring it.
As you are looking for training materials, please, scroll down a bit and in the right column you will see Tips and Resources. There are several documents here that are updated for the new site and which may be of use to you immediately.
Now, I'm going to take you to a section that has not been totally updated yet, but let's take a look together. Scroll to the top of the Professional Development homepage and select Content from the space navigation bar. Do you see the 47 Documents there. Select Documents.
Here are all of the resources that have been developed for Thinkfinity trainers. By date you can see where these resources have been updated for you and the most recently updated will be at the top of the list. However, you may find some useful documents leading you to resources you can implement and slightly revise for your own use.
I will put a couple of hosts on these rewrites and see if we can go through each and every one. If there is something you have used in the past and can't find, please let us know. We want to help however, we can.
Thinkfinity Community Manager
Thanks Jane for the information, I just stumbled on this. I feel like that is what I am doing with the new community, just wandering around. If you all kept emails for all the old certified trainers it would be a great idea to send them some kind of help with locating the training materials--like the above post. I am receiving the newsletter but that relates to more than training. I think I will like this new look but the learning curve it steep and I am set in my old ways :<)
We do listen and you are right, Sheila. Trainers need a place to meet and share ideas.
Please join us in the NEW Trainers and Coaches group.
Locate all of your training resources, documents, PowerPoints, and expert trainers, within this group. Share training strategies and WOW resources. Post training plans and resource lists. Ask questions of other staff developers. There is strength in numbers.
Thinkfinity Community Manager
I like to use probing questions a long with manipulatives, even in sixth grade something concrete works much better than a new abstract concept. I find that if they can hold a triangular prism in their hands they will better understand why they need the formula for finding the area of a triangle A=1/2bh x 2 and be able to add to that with the other three sides that they can also see.
So by asking probing questions about a hand held object they are more likely to feel grounded and answer where we go from there, "next we need to find the other three different rectangular faces, or something to that effect.