Saturday, August 20, 2011

Next Steps

This past week was pre-planning for teachers, and in my new, moving-into-the-future-that-is-now role of "21st century learning specialist" I was given 2 hours on Tuesday to present "Next Steps." My presentation followed Silvia's one hour, "Curriculum 21- A Deeper Cut."
View more presentations from edtechworkshop
I really like presenting. Although it is a ton of work to think through what I want to share, organize it and create the slides, I find it really satisfying. I also think I'm kind of good at it, and it comes somewhat naturally (after the tons of work and preparation). I'm a talker, a storyteller.
My audience seemed, for the most part, engaged, interested, respectful. I really appreciated their attentiveness. Afterwards, I got a lot of positive feedback, which felt gratifying. My favorite comment was from our MS social studies teacher who said that my presentation was like 21st century therapy. I took that as a compliment.

What I would like to do better (my own "next steps") is to work toward being more of a conversation facilitator and less of a presenter.
Who really likes to sit and listen for 3 hours? My presentation was supposed to be shorter, with time afterwards for teachers to reflect on the prompt in the final slide, "What is your next step?" or another topic from either of the presentations, but both of us went a little long, and we ended up taking the whole three hours to present (with a little break in between).

When I present, I feel like there is so much to say. I definitely do my homework, in terms of preparation (including pre-presentation insomnia where I lie in bed while my mind races and reviews my slides, thinking of all the things I might say). However, if I learned anything at all from Educon, it is that active learning is better than passively listening to a presenter, no matter how entertaining and engaging. I remember in Chris Lehmann's really inspiring session about leadership, 2 Educon's ago, how he threw out ideas, had everyone discuss, and then brought it all back together so that the group could move to the next idea. Like a magician. In reviewing my notes from that session, I wrote " The ability to have these conversations and come to common ground requires a good leader. Get to common ground and then move on."
"Conversation leadership" - it sounds a lot like teaching...

1 comment:

Hannah Still said...

I loved your presentation. Your use of pictures in every slide helped the message to come across clearly. The actual message was eye opening. I loved the quote from Albert Einstein. Thanks for such a great presentation.