Teachers As Presenters

I attended an NJ Best Practices conference yesterday (more on that in a future post), and sitting in the audience had me thinking about teachers as presenters.

When I think about doing a "presentation" I don't immediately imagine a classroom lecture. I associate that word these days with presenting at a meeting, workshop or conference. Classroom teachers should be great presenters. In the NJ K-12 world you often do 5 a day for 181 days, so you get plenty of platform skills time. But, not all teachers, at any grade level, get opportunities to present at venues that expose their work to a larger audience.

The Web changed that. Having a website or blog immediately gives you a larger audience, though it may take some time to build one, if that's what you want to do. Many educational speakers now post their materials online for the presentation and allow access to them after the presentation to audience member or those who didn't have the opportunity to catch the live presentation. Presenters offer slide presentations, video, wikis, links, blogs, bookmarks and sometimes entire sites.

I wish I would see more classroom teachers offer their materials online. If not in the interest of open courseware, it would be a good thing for that person's own professional life to get the word out on what they are doing in their classroom. I'm actually not thinking so much of college professors as those in K-12 who don't get as many opportunities to present or attend conferences. That's my real push in this post, and here's some tool information that might get you started.

Teachertube.com offers both a medium and a library of teachers presenting in a YouTube-style format.

I have used Slideshare a few times to post a PowerPoint presentation to the world. At first, my intended audience was pretty small. I posted a presentation and offered the link to it to people who attended my session. But what you are likely to find is that there's a kind of "long tail" effect. There's a small but very interested audience for your presentation. On one of my Slidehare accounts, I posted two Moodle presentations last spring and one of them has had over 5525 views, 21 users marked it as a favorite, 517 downloaded it and 7 embedded it somewhere on a web page. Those are not viral video numbers, but I had presented it originally to about 50 people in New Jersey, so my audience has grown 100 times already.

On Slideshare, you can make presentations public or private, downloadable or not. Of course, in the spirit of open everything, I have to make them public and downloadable, and I've had a few users email me or post a comment that they appreciate that.

More recently I started using the Google Docs presentations feature. If you think about it, of all the "document" types available presentations are the ones that really are created to be shared. The presentations feature is one of the newer parts of Google Docs and it lets you organize, share, and, more importantly to me right here, even present and allow collaboration on presentations.

The slides can be imported from existing files or actually created online using the slide editor. The presentation is filed with any other Google Docs you have made. The cool feature (which is far beyond the Slideshare sharing) is that the presentation can now be shared and edited by several collaborators working on your slide deck simultaneously, in real time. You can also share the presentation while you're actually presenting and an audience could follow the presenter through the slideshow. (The option is to share as a "viewer" or "collaborators." Participants are also connected through Google Talk, so they can chat about the presentation as they're watching. Plus, the presentation feature is available in 25 languages.

Of course, there are lots of other apps that a teacher/presenter can use. You might like Zoho Show (now at version 2.0). Take a look at their online video demo.

I'll also recommend a few books on presentations that I found useful - even if you believe it's not possible to make compelling PowerPoint presentations. You might want to have the library order a copy...


Trackback specific URI for this entry


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
BBCode format allowed
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.
To leave a comment you must approve it via e-mail, which will be sent to your address after submission.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.