Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making Presentations Meaningful

This is just a thought that has been rolling around in my head for a long time and I'm glad to finally get it out to everyone!

I realize that I've only presented at 1 conference and have never viewed a live conference before but from the little experience I have I feel like I should throw in my 2 cents worth.

My one and only session went like this:  Molly and I did 4-7 slides about the topic with questions at any time.  Then we had discussion questions put up to get everyone thinking about the new topic we were switching to.  I felt like the best conversations were when Molly and I dispersed into the little clusters of people to engage thinking.  It's surprisingly hard to recall an entire conversation in front of a whole group to reshare our discussion.  We had projected that our small group discussions would take up about 5 minutes out of 40.  They took up nearly 15 minutes.  I'm not bragging or complaining.  I think that's a good thing because they were very engaging conversations.

But the problem I face is this:  When you have small group discussions the other 3/4 of the people who attended weren't included.

The solution I came up with was this:  After everyone gets in and situated and after the introduction we mix it up a little and have everyone move up as close to the front as they can.  It's quite hard to have an engaging conversation sitting 50' away from each other.  The thought had even passed through me that everyone would share their name & district in a round circle discussion.  I know this seems childish but I think it would really help me if I were an audience member.

Like I said before, I've never viewed a live presentation before so I only have the view of a presenter.

Do you think this would engage people more?  Would people be open to this method?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#PassionDriven Conversations: Passion Is Contagious!

Passion is contagious!
Compare passion to a virus. When you are by people that have passion for something, their passion is spread to you.  Thinking on, There are also thousands of different viruses to catch just like everyone has passion for something different.
Let's use me as an example: Why am I constantly in the library, shelving books, cleaning, organizing, Tweeting about libraries, blogging about libraries & librarians?  Because I am PASSIONATE about libraries!   Because the librarian SHARED her passion with me and I have shared my passion with tons of others that would've never come across this role. Between the last 1 ½ years I have helped at our school library I have had 5 extremely different people come and help me do all the above.   Why? Why are they there?  Are they that good of friends?  OR do they truly love helping at the library?  YOU tell me.
Now if you would apply the role that passion plays in everyday life do you think it truly matters?   OF COURSE!!!
If a passionate teacher who took extra time at the beginning and end of their workday to have students come in or meet with students during their planning or study hall time Do you think that student would learn more than if their teacher worked from 8-3 and doesn't allot time to individually meet with students?
Now let's think big corporate world.  Take Walmart for example, Do you ever see them passionate about saving people money?  Or donating to charity?  NO! It's all about the money.  You could argue they are passionate about making money but is that necessarily a good trait or passion to have?   Now look at Verizon Wireless.  They have stores across the country & world but each store is involved in the community. They are passionate about being a positive influence in the community. They sponsor the public library's summer reading program, the schools, & public events.
After reading this you may ask "Why do I care?" 

Because what if everyone was a Walmart company? No personal responsibility, community involvement, passion in their work positions? Do we really want to find out what that world would look like? I hope not!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Edublog Nominations

Best individual blog: John Spencer's Spencers Scratch Pad.  I like this because there is always something new to read about on various topics of teaching & life.

Best individual Tweeter:  Meredith.  If there is one thing that I love hearing about it's what teachers & students do in their classrooms everyday!

Best librarian / library blog:  I absolutely love  Shannon Miller's Van Meter Voice blog.

Best teacher blog:  Angela Maiers' Educational Services inc.  Always challenges my thinking & is one of the 1st places I turn to to find some great thoughts!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What Struck Me...

As I was making my daily rounds in Google Reader I came across a post from one of Mrs. Quam's students.

It struck me because if you can recall from last month I talked about virtually the same thing at #ITEC10.  What I really, truthfully loved about it though was that Meredith was not afraid or hesitant to post this.  She had a twist of reflection with some pointers for her fellow classmates.  A reflection & help to others in the same post, amazing!

If you'd like to read the full article click HERE.  If you'd like to check out some of her other great writing click HERE.

Here is my presentation again from #ITEC10 if you'd like to see it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fellow Followers

here is a mosaic that shows everyone I am following on Twitter.  It doesn't look accurate but it's still cool!

Get your twitter mosaic here.