Technology Chopped Champions!

One of our favorite television shows is Chopped on the Food Network.  What an experience to open a basket with four unknown ingredients in it that you must use to create a winning dish!  What if you took that same model to a technology competition?  Well, one of the Geeky Teachers did just that!  She joined the VSTE Chopped Championship at the recent Virginia State Technology for Education Conference.   

Requirements included an application proving that your were a power user.  Teams were selected and met head to head in one room full of judges and other technology integrators and teachers watching ans supporting the competition.  
  • Four secret instructional technology resources were revealed that must be used in the creation of a lesson that ingnites student learning before time runs out.  
  • Each team had to roll two dice to determine their lesson goals.  We got project based learning and productivity.  The other teams rolled for their challenges.  
  • The room had two wireless active panel white boards courtesy of Promethean that the people in the room could watch while the teams were taken to another room to complete their challenge. 
  • Part way through the work, one team member was given 5 minutes to run back into the audience room to ask for help (think phone a friend).  They fired suggestions and when the time was up, the team member had to run back to give the suggestions.  
  • After 30 minutes, each team was given 5 minutes to explain their lesson plan.  
  • The room voted in real time using a google form.  
  • There were judges there who asked questions and were on hand in case of a tie breaker.  
Take Aways:
We accomplished almost a complete lesson in 30 minutes using this format (they kept the documents but we created a personalized learning pathway for students to use as a menu of options for their own voice and choice in learning!  
This could be used as a brainstorming model for training presentations, lessons or new ideas.  I found myself thinking of how our whole team could host a Chopped Championship and within an hour we could whittle down to what we really need in a presentation or lesson.  

Short, powerful, effective!  Brainstorming on steroids!  Loved it!  AND this may be the one and only time that I can be referred to as a State Champion of Anything!  

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