Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Presentation with Optional Paths

I have been piecewise putting together a presentation I will be doing in the early spring at a conference called AGIS (for German international schools). I'm pretty nervous since it'll be the first time that I will be doing a presentation at a conference! My only previous presentation experiences were when I did a PD to my own department back in El Salvador, on utilizing web resources, and when I quickly presented something at PCMI 2011 for what I did with GeoGebra and unit circles.  Both of those were quite informal, I think, compared to speaking at a conference... So, I've given myself plenty of head start to think carefully about the content and presentation format for the talk in the spring. As a presentation newbie, I am nervous about not knowing who my audience will be. As a teacher who tends to lecture minimally in the classroom, I am also concerned about audience engagement as a whole when I speak to them one-sidedly for a stretch of time.

This presentation that I am preparing will be on math projects as a tool for self-differentiation. One thing I decided to do for this presentation is to not assume that all teachers are very experienced with projects, OR that they're completely inexperienced. So, my presentation will start by laying the foundation for why I think math projects are beneficial for students, just to establish a common ground with everyone. And then we go into pivot points, where I'll poll the audience quickly to find out which topics they would like me to spend the most amount of time speaking about. I was inspired by the idea that within powerpoint you can have hyperlinks to other parts of the powerpoint (eg. those Jeopardy-format powerpoints), so depending on their interest, we can click through only certain math projects to discuss them in more details and to spend some more time discussing general project structures, or to click through all of the projects and discuss actual content rather than format and framework of projects.

Here is the powerpoint I've pulled together so far. Please check it out -- using actual slideshow mode -- and give me feedback! Once you see the rounded boxes, you need to click inside the boxes in order to navigate forwards and backwards... (I used the boxes in order to avoid having ugly underlined hyperlinks everywhere.) Not all of the projects are mine, and I haven't filled all the slides in with pictures yet, but I am excited about the overall idea of a presentation that self-adjusts in real-time to the responses and vibes from the audience.

Addendum: I have revised my powerpoint to make it less verbose... Now I think it's 90 or 95% finished! Check it out and keep those suggestions coming! Thanks!!


  1. A quick comment ... Too much text.

    After you finish putting everything into the powerpoint that you want to say (and be expansive and verbose), make a copy.

    One will have all the words in it -- this one is the handout/downloadable version and needs to have your verbal information since people will be looking at it some other time or going back to refresh memory.

    The other ... strip it of all the words that you are going to say out loud ... this one gets projected on the screen behind you as you speak and should not be more than 15 words per slide. Think "visual".

    You will be speaking and you want your powerpoint to complement your speech, not duplicate it.

    The "Role of the Teacher" slide, for example, would be reduced to only the bold-faced words, coming in a click at a time.

    Click. "Creative or Choice Component". Talk about that.

    Click. "Vision". Talk.

    Click "Written Instructions." Talk.

    and get the remote clicker. When it comes to the choice slide, walk over to the laptop.

    Any slide with more than one image could come in one picture at a time so you can talk about each one briefly as it appears.

    If you wind up reading the contents of each slide to me, I will hate you and I don't want to do that cause you're so nice.

  2. Great tip! Thanks!! I did have some reservations about the word count on screen, and I did create this version with the intention that it'd be a downloadable file. But, it really hadn't occurred to me to make a separate version for use in the presentation, so that's very valuable advice. Cheers!