What Kind of Presenter Are You?

I attended my first rockin Google Summit last weekend which was hosted at Concordia International School in Hanoi. I got Google Certified last December in Sweden and it's been a wild ride. So many of these tools have transformed my classroom in ways that have been inspiring, frightening and humbling. I gave two sessions: one on how to build your PLN with Twitter and utilizing the Super Quiz add on as seen below:



I took away so many great things. Fusion tables are some tools to explore analytics which I'm really jazzed to explore as well as taking steps to get my Certified Trainer Status. Still, I felt some of the workshops were top heavy in "tools" and not enough "pedagogy".

Too many times have I seen a differentiated monstrosity of a project that a student tried to pass off as "learning" when it was actually a product more of their own interests than targeted learning outcomes.

The Intersection
Awhile back, I wrote how good technology integration is coupled with content knowledge, and pedagogical understanding to be effective. Tools alone are useless without practicality, and knowledge of one's students and their learning outcomes. Too many times have I seen a differentiated monstrosity of a project that a student tried to pass off as "learning" when it was actually a product more of their own interests than targeted learning outcomes.

As I'm starting to present more and more outside my school, this is getting me thinking about what type of presenter that I want to be. I've met presenters over the years, some good, some bad, but the best ones had the following characteristics:
  • They showed student learning. These people shared testimonials of students, interviews, data and samples of student work rather than sharing what could be possible. They shared what is possible. 
  • They engaged participants. They asked provocative questions, gave people time to chat and share and were not the "sage on the stage". Often, workshop participants were able to "do" the activities that were being espoused.
  • They're exciting. They're upbeat, talk as if this is their favorite hobby and their ebullient nature could not be denied!
  • They came back to good pedagogy. They talk about good assessment practices, theories of education and encourage people to share these in their disciplines to order to make everyone better. 
  • They make you think. Some of the best presentations have been revolutionary. Attempting a paradigm shift for educators on any topics can be a monumental task and they were careful about how they delivered their message. 
A reminder of where I was back in 2014.
I hope all this serves as a reminder of my growth as an educator. Dan Taylor had some interesting things to say about some of the educators in the Google network: one being Allison Mollica who he thought was the most engaging presenter and was denied her first few attempts to get into the academy. I too was denied on my first application to Google teacher academy. Persistence counts for a lot in this world.

For now, I'll take my own advise. Rethink. Tinker. For my next presentation, I hope to incorporate all of these into my message which I'm going to start working on right now. 


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