CUE 2012 gave me the opportunity to both learn and teach. I attended a variety of sessions in addition to the session I presented. For those unable to attend the conference or who did not attend these sessions, I wanted to pass along the information I found interesting, thought provoking and relevant.
“Producing Powerful and Effective Presentations” by Ken Shelton
I attended this session to improve my own practice as a presenter. I wanted to learn the strategies, techniques, and methods to produce effective presentations. Here is what I learned:
- Use visuals, not text.
- Never use comic sans. It is too informal for a presentation (like using crayons to fill out a job application).
- High resolution images are a MUST.
- Image must be relevant and carefully chosen.
- Make the most of slide real estate (800 x 600 dimensions).
- Don’t read text verbatim. You should know your points. If you are reading off of your slides, why are you there?
- Presentations are about the human connection.
- Don’t use pre-canned themes.
- If you have a quote on a slide, don’t read it. Give your audience a chance to read it silently.
- Brain processes visual information more quickly than text, so you are more likely to communicate effectively with visuals.
- Effective use of color can help help communicate your points.
- Color can help you tell your story and direct viewer to the most important information.
- “Simplicity is sophistication.” Simplicity leads to clarity.
- The STORY is key to a compelling presentation.
- Use sans-serif for presentations -Future, Rockwell, Optima. Remember that the font you select says something about you and your message.
- Play with font size and color to emphasize points.
- Places to find photos for presentations:
- Take your own photos- no copyright issues and resolution issues.
- “Creative process is therapeutic” – go create images with your own camera.
- Project 365- you make a photo everyday for a year. Each week or month focus on a new topic (i.e. shape, color, texture, metal). This will help you build a diverse photo collection quickly.
- Adobe Photoshop Library is a great tool for saving, archiving and tagging photos.
- Picasso- free image archiving but does not allow for editing in the program.
- Web tools for playing with color: Colour Lovers, Color Scheme Designer, & Adobe Kuler.
- Don’t print and photocopy your presentation…it is a waste of paper. Host and share it online.
- Publish presentations with: Author Stream, Empressr, Slide Boom, slide rocket,HelloSlide, Google.docs, Slide Share.
“iPads, Android Tablets, Chromebooks, & What’s to Come” by Rushton Hurley
Listening to Rushton Hurley speak was like taking a course in effective public speaking. He was engaging, thought provoking and entertaining. Here are some of my favorite takeaways from his presentation:
- 90% students don’t engage in discussion for a variety of interpersonal reasons. However, many of those same students are comfortable engaging online.
- “When kids make something and they know other kids will see it, they want it to be good. When kids make something and they know their teacher will see it, they want it to be good enough.” We as teachers should be supporting students in collaborating, creating and publishing their work, so they take pride in what they have created.
- Free tools are great for teachers, but they are also great for students. When teachers use free tools, it makes it possible for students to also use those same free tools at home.
- “The two biggest barriers to trying new things: fear and time.” Don’t let them stop you from exploring and experimenting. After Rushton’s session, I was tweeting with Jon Corippo who said, “Microfailure leads to Macro success.” So poignant!
- “Kids will push a button to see what it does. Adults will ask what button does.” We can learn a lot from each other…as teachers this is easy to forget. Teaching and learning should be reciprocal.
- Collaborative writing is essential in secondary environment and iPad presents some challenges for writing. It is not the keyboard that is the issue, but rather the interface that can be challenging for complex and collaborative writing assignments.
- “The perfect device is one that does what you want it to do”
- Paper is going away…why not create and post documents online? If some kids don’t have access, just make copies for them.
- Going away…calendar-driven curricula. Why do we assume all students move through a course at same speed?
- We need to teach new approaches to note taking. How many teachers actually teach kids how to take notes effectively?
- “What matters now…Let’s communicate with students effectively, encourage kids, and enjoy what it means to learn.”
I would encourage people to sign up for Rushton’s newsletter, which is full of great information about all things education and technology: http://Nextvista.org/newsletter
This session was unlike the others I attended because it was more of a conversation than a presentation, which I really enjoyed. The session covered the following topics:
- What does it mean to have a personal web presence?
- Why is it important to consciously build a personal web presence online? What are the benefits and/or drawbacks?
- What do we like or find compelling in a website or blog? What elements do we want to incorporate into our own websites? What would we want to avoid?
- How is a personal web presence (PWP) different from a personal learning network (PLN)?
- Should educators market themselves? If so, what is the motivation? If not, why not?
- How is building a personal web presence important to the work we do in education?
Because this was a discussion, attendees had various answer to these questions. Below I have listed some of my thoughts and reflections on these topics.
- Anyone using the Internet is creating a digital footprint, which makes it necessary to be conscious of the way we are perceived by others.
- By consciously building a personal web presence, we open the door to connect with others in our field or who share common interests.
- The main difference between a PLN and a PWP is that a personal learning network (PLN) is focused on helping us connect with and learn from others within our profession. In contrast, a personal web presence (PWP) can help nurture and feed our other interests. For example, as an educator my PLN provides me with support and inspiration related to teaching and professional development. My PWP may help me to learn more about my other interests- travel, reading, cooking and yoga.
- As an educator who wants to be treated as a professional, I realized I need to order some business cards. I asked my PLN on Twitter for recommendations and several people recommended http://us.moo.com. This is now on my “to-do list.”
- We also discussed the importance of having your own website or blog. I realized as I looked through a variety of blogs that I really like websites/blogs that have substantial information. I shy away from websites with ads or ones that are too busy.
- Those looking to establish a PWP should consider buying a domain name.
- When we invest the time to build our own PWP, we can more effectively support students in creating their own PWP. We also model the importance of life-long learning when we teach students how to create a PWP.
I walked away from this conference with exciting new ideas to improve my practice as a presenter, teacher, curriculum designer and professional development facilitator. I expanded my own PLN, which will help me to continue growing and learning! Thank you to all the fabulous presenters I had the pleasure of learning from and to all of the teachers who attended my session.
This Saturday I am off to San Jose to present at SVCUE to continue the journey! Join me. I will be presenting “Fighting Engagement Deficit Disorder” and “Don’t Just Flip Your Classroom, Transform It!“