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Three Takeaways from the 2021 Content Generation Workshop

Photo of CGW organization team with green swoosh in bottom right hand corner

November 2021

I’ll admit it: I was nervous for our first on-site Content Generation Workshop, which was held November 3, 2021, at our offices in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket. The in-person event sold out quickly, we secured interesting keynote speakers, and the team arranged an exciting day of learning with industry experts. Everyone stepped up to help ensure the over 30 schools registered to attend virtually also had a great experience!

The planning paid off and the day turned out to be a huge success! As a seasoned educator, I should not have been surprised by these takeaways that students have been teaching me for over 30 years; however, the lessons have never been quite blatant as they were on that November 3rd. These are my takeaways. 

  1. Students like a challenge. 

Throughout the day we held three Quick Hit Challenges requiring students to quickly assess the given task, create an appropriate post with visuals and text, and send them to me by the set deadline. 

The first challenge was The CGW Fixer Upper Challenge. Students were asked to take this old post and make it better.  Students only had three minutes to complete this challenge. Centennial High School’s team chose to take a team photo and add “stickers” in the Class Intercom photo editor to brand their photo. Their quick thinking utilizing the CI tools landed them first place for the first Quick Hit Challenge!

  1. Students learn quickly. 

Although these first entries were great, the students readily absorbed the lessons shared by our industry experts on campaign development, branding, video storytelling, and copywriting, and put the lessons to use in the next two Quick Hit Challenges. 

The second challenge focused on quickly generating good ideas for blogs. Students were challenged to find a photo already on their camera roll that made them pause and say “Ahhh.” They were asked to give  an example or two of how it related to their work at the Content Generation Workshop because finding ideas for a good blog can be just that easy.  

This entry from Mort at Nebraska Christian Schools was unique and inspiring: “Content can be anywhere, so just keep looking!” 

  1. Students exceed our expectations more often than not. 

Although I was incredibly impressed with every single entry, the students from Seward High School truly exceeded my expectations with the one minute video they produced over their lunch break. 

The last CGW Quick Hit Challenge asked students to take a photo or video during their lunch break. The post had to showcase food, and the entry had to show how this photo/video helped to tell their school’s story.

Too often, adults are hesitant to empower students to use tools until they are 100% sure how to use the tool themselves. This used to be me. Once I was able to let go of that control and allow students to use school appropriate software and equipment, my eyes were opened to the power in allowing my students to teach me. 

Do you want to learn more about empowering others to create content? 

Author: Jill Johnson, EdD

Over her 30 year career in education, Dr. Jill has served in various roles including secondary ELA teacher, professional development consultant, and high school administrator. After completing her doctoral study, Technology Leadership Qualities in Secondary Principals in Nebraska who Support Student-led Social Media Teams, Jill began her tenure as Class Intercom President.

Jill can be contacted at jill@classintercom.com

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