Presenting Past the 32 People in the Room

I love this topic. I have two complaints. And I have a few possible solutions.


As a conference presenter, I remember the first time I saw that I could upload a file to some webserver that presumably would share the file with conference attendees. That was cool. Later, it became a thing, and now often softly demanded. I remember how hard it was to go back and find those files from my presentation, let alone other presentations. A couple of years ago I had to call one of the conference organizer folks and ask if rather than a file, I could share a URL. “You mean you don’t have a PowerPoint?” I had to tell them I did not. I just had a website with all the stuff I wanted to share. “Nope” No PowerPoint, no sharing.

Thankfully I had other ideas. And of course, there are conference hashtags and all. So I shared, despite the restraints of the event software.

And the web has evolved and we are smarter. Now it is more normal to share stuff though I think we are still learning. Now we record some of the fancier sessions. We share those and the PowerPoint files.

What if a conference website became just what we are experiencing here in #CCCWrite? After the conference started each session that day would be a brilliant blog post with text, images, videos, links, and the opportunity to comment and share. No log in. Just good ideas flowing down the rectangle before you. Like a frickin’ waterfall of brilliance!

We are making progress. Check out this OER conference schedule and the YouTube recordings of sessions. Pretty awesome start. I suppose I think that at this point in time, we could demand a bit more from presenters and make that good information available to the community.

Personally, my strategy these past few years is to bring business cards I make myself on the printer down the hall. They have a cute picture, the name of the presentation and the URL where all the stuff is. I give them to all the people in the room and often leave then one tables during opportune moments during the conference. Sort of spamming the conference community with my stuff. Maybe that’s not so good.

The websites usually look about like this or maybe like this: Some look like this one and others like this one. I have been trying and for me, they work. Good enough.

I am still learning how to do this. And I like to make fun cards.


For my first presentation of my conference experience at a division meeting, I was allowed exactly three minutes. So was a colleague who had attended some other event. Literally, three minutes. It was on the agenda. Three minutes. I sweated through the experience. The VPAA was there. My boss, in the front row. I was terrified. That was in 2008 (still PowerPoint days) and I had attended the League for Innovations Conference in Denver.

Later that year, I was able to share the experience in a longer session with faculty in our Summer Institute. I was still so pissed about the division meeting that I titled the presentation “Joint Division Meeting.” Here is that presentation.

I was not a faculty, but the person who shared their experiences at the division meeting with me was. As noted, she got the three minutes too. That got me asking questions. If we send faculty or staff to conferences, what do we expect upon return? Well, all these years later I have learned that is varies from place to place. As it should, right. My guess is that we could ask a bit more. And I say that because I think two things.

  1. Asking them to reflect on the experience in writing/video/images is good for anyone
  2. By sharing it with the larger community we all stand to learn something.

I know that teams like mine staffed with people who have the ability to share ideas widely, and in many forms, can help faculty do just that. Maybe we could help those conference goers create not only meaningful exhibits of their experiences, but perhaps help them as presenters by imagineering better presentations?

And these things could all be linked together is some space that is organized and understandable. It would be useful for incoming faculty because it would have some great examples of tools and strategies in the classroom. All kinds of things.

So there. Let’s ramp up our vision of delivering experiences. Let’s play music when people come into our spaces. Greet them. Share ideas that can be expressed in the room we are in, but then past the walls of the conference into the world wide community. Just like we are doing here with #CCCWrite.


Some Presentations about Presentations about Presentations

Over the last year I have been asked to do a few short “How to make/deliver a presentation” presentations for some nursing classes. Originally, the request was for some Pecha Kucha sort of presentations, but the last two have been for more traditional length presentations. Maybe 10 minutes? Not sure, but I was given 15 to 20 minutes to do something. So I did.

I leaned heavily on Garr Reynolds work. I still have not advanced to the “gif only” kind of presentation I know I am capable of, but too chicken to execute. Someday.

I came out swinging in each instance with a clear “You are the Presentation!” chant that was followed by some happy “How We Are Learning to Kayak” story about our new-found adventures in kayaks. I tried to relate the fear of public speaking to our fears of flopping out of the boats far from shore. Knowing of course that we wanted to travel “out in the open water” someday. Without too much anxiety…

I brought my grandfather’s copy of Treasure Island. It was his when he was a kid, the printing is 1922. The original was first published in 1882. I tried to share the value of having tangible things to show and share and touch and smell and stuff. I shared a bit about the rule-of-thirds and using audio/video when useful. I also tried to point out that the crowd/audience is of high value as well and should be utilized. Often, they are the wisest “person in the room.”

Here are the slides.

I was then asked to provide some online content similar to what I had done in person. I have not created anything myself, but put together a few times in Canvas that sell a good song about sharing ideas. Below is the content on the page.

From Garr Reynolds & Presentation Zen

These slides are pretty well done and there are Three Great Tips included in the presentation below.

The links below are from the Garr Reynold’s website and each links to some great content about creating and delivering awesome presentations.






Presentation advice from Cult of Pedagogy

2017 UW | Bothell eLearning Symposium

We completed our Third Annual eLearning Symposium yesterday here at UW | Bothell. We had about twenty faculty and staff from not only the Bothell campus, but Seattle too. It was great to see our colleagues from UW take the time to share their experiences with us.

Our theme for the day was “Learning Everywhere” and our focus was on mobile learning. We shared some stories about the progress of technology, the positive capabilities it brings, and the challenges it creates. As the UW system has recently contracted with Zoom for faculty to get pro accounts, we used Zoom to bring in three guest speakers and we created a course in Canvas so the participants could see how the Canvas app works.

For a quick visual overview you can see all the #uwblearns Tweets here.
You can see most of the Canvas course we used here.

Our Quest to Find the Right Way to Deliver a Day Long Workshop

We did a couple things that we liked. One, was we used Adobe Spark to create some advertising. We used the “Post” feature to create a quick image to include in email, and we used the “Page” feature to create a quick ad sharing more information. Take a look below.

2017 UW | Bothell ELearning Symposium

We had some fancy 11 in. x 17 in. handouts that made the tables look nice and gave the faculty and staff a way to express their ideas using crayons and markers.

handouts used in workshop

We also really chopped up the day. We had five presenters and each had only 15 minutes. Not quite as short as a “spark” or “ignite” session. More TED talk length. After each presenter we had the participants do a 15 minute long activity where they created something. We have included some of that below.

We began the day with Alan Levine sharing some illustrations of the use and power of images in our daily lives. Alan lives in Strawberry, Arizona and has incredible experience with technology, crafting spaces on the web and a deep appreciation for the aesthetic of the web. He created an awesome resource about “Creativity and Connectivity” for our participants here. After his talk, the symposium participants shared images through a Canvas discussion and with others using the ds106 Daily Create.

We had a number of wonderful images taken and shared. We discussed how seeing learning, and the tools available to us, from many angels can help us better understand what capacity they may have.

Our next speaker, Ursula Valdez, brought a variety of wonderful items with her and shared some stories about her students creating images that combined elements to tell stories.

The next speaker came to us from Bristol, UK.

Vivien Rolfe shared her experiences as an open educator and the value of sharing work and experiences, like we are doing right here, with others.

For our activity, we used a video conversation tool called Flipgrid. Here is the conversation.

Our next speaker was Greg Tuke, a faculty here at UW | Bothell. Greg has taught many COIL courses and has a lot of experience with video conference in academic settings. He shared 7 ideas that will help facilitate using video conferencing tools like Zoom.

Our activity following his talk was a look at the “Chat” feature in Canvas. In our experiences, few faculty use the tool. Often, that is because they are simply unfamiliar with it. So we thought a short look at how it works might be useful. As it was almost lunch, there was a lot of conversation about food.

chat discussion in Canvas

For lunch we broke into round table discussions. And we ate.

For our last presenter, we had he participants go to other locations to view the Zoom session by Christina Hendricks from the University of British Columbia. She addressed the challenges and opportunities of mobile tools in both formal and informal settings. It was nice to see all the individual faces in the Zoom room. We are still new to Zoom and we learned a lot about how it works.

We then did a short demonstration of Poll Everywhere and we had some good conversations about how we learn and where we learn that fit well with Christina’s talk.

Then we asked the participants to self-organize into small groups and create something that illustrated their vision of mobile learning. The directions were simple, but asked that they create a video, two images and some text.

Two groups used Spark, one group used a Google Doc, and another a page in Canvas.
Here are the two Spark pages they created.

One group project

Another group project

We dig this video created by one of the groups!

For the last activity we played a quick Kahoot game and we had some nice prizes. Including some nice shirts from the good people at Zoom!

We got good feedback about the day and we look forward to next year!

Of Vinyl Signs and Other Signs

I am lucky to be able to walk to work. I do. Everyday.

I walk along a river and through a park. It is beautiful.

Today, when I reached the campus I made a short detour and stopped by the beautiful roses blooming in the gardens of our Teaching and Learning Center. How wonderful is that! A teaching and Learning Center with a garden! It is beautiful.

I recorded the moment. I shared it.

What a glorious beginning to the first day of summer here on campus.

Even in all that beauty, I left the garden with an ache that I have had most every time I visit the garden. It is this: The sign for the Teaching and Learning Center is a piece of vinyl strung up mostly strait across the front of a lovely old farm house.

It does not seem like an integral or permanent part of the building. It is an after thought. It reminds me of the level of support I have seen at most teaching and learning centers. It reminds me of lip-service to trends in education. Of an award given reluctantly. That is not beautiful. It does not seem as if it is there permanently. It is a temporary sign.

There is a story in there. Enough said.

I wonder how long that vinyl banner will last.