In my classroom, I don’t use presentations as a form of delivering information to students or as a teaching tool. It is nothing personally against using them, I feel it is more of a disconnect between presentation slides and my personality. As my father describes me when I have something important to say, I tend to walk the prairie rather than get to the point. I have always found presentation slides constricting to my inner ‘go where the conversation takes me’ approach. That said, it is equally beneficial to have my thoughts organized and my objectives clearly stated and sequenced for the benefit of the audience.
Currently, I am offering parent learning sessions at my school. The purpose is to teach parents about the learning approaches used in the classroom and to educate them about the strategies and skills we are trying to teach their children. I thought I would take advantage of this course and use the knowledge gained from this week’s readings and throughout this course to create a presentation for one of my parent sessions; CREATIVITY IN THE CLASSROOM. I want to go from a google doc level of organization to having my audience experience the zen feeling of presentations! At this stage in my digital learning evolution, I am not ready to open google slides and create a zen experience. Currently, the readings have started me thinking about the importance of the context of my presentation. What am I trying to say? What do I want parents to leave understanding? What is the big picture? Without a clear understanding of the context, any presentation is bound to fail or at least come shy of potential. So, I need to be clear about context.
The second thing I discovered is presentations should be simple. Veering towards the side of simplicity rather than complexity is the goal. I like this idea. Too often I find material on the internet and in presentations to be too busy; too cluttered. More is not always merrier! When developing my presentation, I will have simplicity in mind.
The third thing that stood out from the literature was the importance of understanding your audience. Who are they? What questions will they come in with? How will they see the topic? Will they see creativity with curiosity and a smile or will they panic and see it as moving away from the prevalent traditional teach and test method? The more we understand our audience, the better equipped we become at using the technology to address their needs more directly and with greater accuracy and impact. For example, I can see that presenting on creativity would look very different to an audience of teachers than to an audience of parents. That is my next step. What are the tech tools in the world of presentation, which will allow me to effectively target the right audience?