I was fortunate to be able to present at ULearn this month and really enjoyed the experience. As I am currently in Edinburgh this required additional organisation and communication with the organisers of the Conference. I have just completed my Presenters Survey providing feedback to the ULearn organisers and uploaded my Presenters Materials which finishes the process for me for 2010 and I am happy to say that the entire thing was a complete delight from start to finish.
The process began with my submission to present at the Conference on behalf of my school, Shelly Park, and the Eastnet Cluster we are part of. I was very happy when my submission was accepted and prepared my presentation with the idea of presenting in person in Christchurch. That changed when I had to return to Scotland but as I was still very keen to present I contacted the organisers and asked if it might be possible to still present via skype. Sherry Crisp was very helpful and supportive and assured me that this was very possible. I decided to first present at the Eastnet Cluster Expo to share my findings with other professionals in our Cluster and also as part of my preparation for ULearn.
Presenting at the Eastnet Expo (click here for the link to relevant post) allowed me to prepare for potential technical difficulties at ULearn. I attempted to avoid these by giving my co-presenter, Ruth Aw, a copy of my Powerpoint Presentation along with the video clips I wanted to include and the handout for the attendees so that she had that with her in Christchurch. We practised skyping several times and I successfully shared my screen and maintained effective audio and video contact throughout. However, when it came to presenting the workshop the share the screen facility dropped off. Despite re-starting and logging out of skype I couldn't correct the problem. I continued with the audio and talked Ruth through the slideshow by asking her to click onto the next slide or advance the animations to accompany what I was saying. This must have been a bit distracting for the audience. I think it would have been helpful to have given Ruth my presenter's notes with the slides numbered beside each paragraph and then she would have been able to progress the slides without me. Something for me to consider next time!
I found the audience absolutely fantastic and was thrilled that they had several questions for me at the end. I hope that some will be interested in continuing the conversation either by commenting on this blog or in the Discussion section of the wiki. The feedback about the workshop was very positive and some people said they were inspired to trial something similar within their own school which was encouraging. It would be great to hear how they are getting on and I am happy to answer any questions or queries anyone has about the process.