(Cross posted from my blog, after writing it I realized that it is actually a discussion question...)

I've just returned from a TV/Video Educators conference. It was a frustrating experience. I am not very good at sitting and listening to people talk. The first session turned out to be a sales pitch. I thought I was going to learn something about the software, instead I was treated to an apple rep telling me how good the software is. Arghh! Thank you very much - I didn't pay money to come to this conference so you could sell me things that I already own.

The second presentation was a typical PowerPoint with lots and lots of text - and no hard or electronic copy of the presentation. The guy had an interesting project to share, but oh yeah - this is a TV/Video conference - how about showing some video...

The third presentation was much better - finally. She provided us with lots of materials (hard copy only) and showed us some interesting video both about the project and video from the project itself. She also left a lot of time for questions.

The final session was another sales pitch, this time for a TV/Video textbook written by the presenter...I went home.

In less than a month I am going to be presenting at the MassCUE conference about my podcasting project. How can I make my presentation interesting for people like me. I have one hour, one computer and a projector. I have some ideas - obviously I'm going to share my podcasts, I've created a wiki for all of the presentation materials, I want to create a podcast of people talking about the project (could be hard to do, since I am now working in a different school), I hope to use Google presentations and allow for some back channel chat and I was thinking about providing some time for people to turn to their neighbor and share some ideas.

What do you think? What was the best 1 hour conference presentation you ever attended? What made it great? Please share your experiences, suggestions and ideas. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Tags: Conferences, Podcasting, Presentations

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Hi, Liz! I'm sure you knew I would have something to say about this! :)

I've started a wiki page on "Conference 2.0," full of ideas about how to make conference better. http://edtechlive.com/Conference+2.0. I personally think Web 2.0 can have a huge impact on meetings and conferences, just as it is in education. Same stuff, right?

I'm happy to say that CUE.org is having me build a lot of these tools for their annual show (including a social network!). I can't wait to report on progress.

Creating separate wikis, in my experience, just makes it confusing to find them later. Take it from me... :)

A number of the ed tech presenters like David Warlick, Will Richardson, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Wes Fryer, and others put their material into wikis. I've even seen Will give his presentations straight from the wiki--which I think he does pretty often now.
Yes, like Steve, I was going to mention Will's wiki approach - it's simple work (oops - it looks simple work), and it beats the heck out of the presenter flicking over 10 slides, or handing out the slide points, and leaving you to recollect the main points. On the wiki, it's all there, including the omissions form the day's presentation and additional links.
I should add that I don't hate all conferences. On the long drive over today I was able to listed to some of the podcasts from the K12 Online conference. The one about cell phones really gave me some great ideas. I opened a gcast account and I am going to try some phone in podcasting. I wonder what made that different. It still was a sit and listen (or drive and listen) experience, but I learned so much and was totally engaged through the whole thing. I guess because it was meaningful and directly applicable to what I am doing.
Interesting. I find that I really enjoy listening to presentations or podcasts, and have concluded that I am a very auditory learner. But I'm also in control. I can listen when it's convenient for me, I can pause and think about something else, etc.
That's a good point. I'm in control of my own learning when I'm listening. In a conference presentation sometimes I "get" it, or I know that it isn't something I'm interested in, after the first 10 minutes. Then I feel stuck there for the rest of the presentation.

Jane Vella has a lot to say about adult learning theory. Her book Learning to LIsten Learning to Teach is a great resource. I took a course on it. I should refresh my memory about that stuff for the conference.

I agree with your line of thought... I have found that the more I get involved in "on demand" material (conferences, wikis, RSS feeds) the less patients I have for material that is not direct and relevant to me. This is why I find myself taking my laptop to all meeting and gatherings of the 1.0 type. I will "check out" if the conversation is something I already know or have heard and connect (online) with my external learning community. However, I still get very frustrated when I have traveled and when I have paid top $$ for a conference mainly because I am away from my family and my time with them is very precious to me. I plan to spend less time at "real" conferences. I am being very strategic about going.

I go mainly to meet interesting people that I know will be attending.

I am becoming very accustomed to being in control as well and learning at an accelerated pace and many conference offer neither.
In my former life I was a Web 1.0 tech presenter (along with teacher, mom, wife, etc), I used ppt but not with bullets. I used Hypersnap to capture all of the websites and made them into slides.. At some of my NECC presentations, I'd show 500 slides in 3 hours. Yikes!! The presentations were always very fast paced, and participants seemed to love it. Here's my philosophy about presentations from the participant's (me) point of view "if I'm not interested, they spend way too much time on it and if I am interested there is not enough time to delve into it" so I did the "presentation with ADHD, unmedicated". I included a hardcopy of links/info and also did an online "workshop" website to allow the participants to go back and visit what they were interested in at their leisure. This "philosophy" was all laid out before I started. Let me know if you'd like to see what this looked like, I can share. N

PS This may not work with Web 2.0 samples. Did you see Dan Meyer's blog series on how to do a perfect presentation? He is much more into the graphic of the slide and the speaker talking, but has some great ideas.

PSS I really don't like the way wikis look. They don't strike awe in visual learners like me.
Yep, so there needs to be plenty of visual in the wiki links.
I sent it to you in a message, let me know if you didn't get it.



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