Thank you Liz Kolb!

Quite a few months back I put together a proposal for University of Michigan’s 4 TVirtual Conference.  I was knee-deep in blogging with my sixth graders and I figured I had something to share–the bumps in the road, the set up, the success.

So then came the email.  Thank you for offering to present,… you’re in!  Not written exactly like that, of course.

Wow!  Now the real work began.  I hadn’t ever presented virtually before, yet I had attended many online conference sessions and edchats.  My big gripe was when someone couldn’t talk and run the mouse at the same time. 🙂  My turn had arrived.  But as I soon learned, I love the format–diverse subjects, visuals, audio and chat.  Coffee in hand, robe on, learning commence!  And if the subject didn’t offer what you thought it would, you could quietly leave the room.

I learned 3 big things through this experience.  Thank you Liz for the chance to stretch and grow!

1) I picked something I love and know enough about to help someone else, so it was easy to put my thoughts together.  To experienced webinar-ers this is probably fairly obvious, but to the newbie, it saved me.  The whole blogging experience with students was eye-opening, a lot of fun and insightful about how my students learn, think and live.  I would do it again in a heartbeat!

2) Google rocks!  Another no-brainer, but I was blown away.  I started creating my presentation in Google presentation.  But after talking with my moderator we were concerned with delay in streaming from Google to Elluminate.  Now what?  Google has a convenient option–>Download.  I downloaded my presentation to the desktop as a Powerpoint.  It didn’t change a thing!  From one version to the next without a pause, a twitch, a struggle.  I don’t think I’ll ever build a presentation in Powerpoint again.  To the cloud!

3) Humility was my 3rd lesson.  I had four folks in my session room which includes an intermittent visitor with tech issues.  My heart sank.  But as I got rolling, I was thankful for my few audience members and their questions and encouragement.  What if it had been me and my moderator only?  I don’t know that I could have spoken for 50 minutes with no one in the room.  Jim was great, but he was assigned to be there.  Humility settled in and I was thankful for my small group.

So at the end of the experience–Thank you Liz Kolb for allowing me to try something new and providing all the tools and training to make it successful.  I loved it!

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