7 Steps to a Flat Classroom: The Presentation

I've given several presentations lately and, although I'm posting these on my personal wiki, I thought some of you would like to see the slides.

Flat Classroom Mashup/ 7 Steps to a Flat Classroom

This was given last night at the Discovery Educators presentation.

Julie and I talking about Flat Classroom 2007 as we mashup Pink and Friedman

If you want to hear Julie Lindsay and I present the first part of this, I have an elluminate recording from today when she and I presented to some teachers in North Carolina. You'll hear Julie and I talk about this year's Flat Classroom project structure, organization, and methods.

You can see all of my slideshows on slideshare – http://www.slideshare.net/coolcatteacher/slideshows.

Putting a little Zen in It
I've been reworking all of my presentations (and changing how I teach presentations), based upon Garr Reynolds‘ amazing book Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter).

Don't be put off by how many slides some of my presentations have, it is more slides, less talking, actually. Think of it as if you're a live narrator for a documentary!

If you look at my presentation from last Tuesday at the Center for Quality Teaching and Learning, the first 14 slides literally take 1 minute and 20 seconds. I did them for my students as a demonstration — and they agreed it is a much better way to present, although it is very different!

It is about using graphically appealing slides along with two other items: speakers notes (detailed notes for me– although I usually practice to the point I don't need them) and handouts (I like to use Google notebooksee mine from last Tuesday.)

Garr talks about not producing “sliduments” but have a “document” to hand out.

My intro:

How I teach Presentation Zen

  1. Demonstrate the technique — I have my students time my intro of myself and ask them to guess how many slides I use.
  2. Elicit emotion with at least one slide – I end the presentation with my picture of the shark (slide #14).
  3. We talk about the principle of thirds, share lots of examples, talk about Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity, and just look at a lot of Garr's work. We also talk about full bleeding off of the page.
  4. We discuss scripting and storyboarding.
  5. I give them super sticky notes and the storyboard pages. They brainstorm about their topic with their group and sketch out ideas on the sticky notes — most use walls or desks to stick them in the order that they think they want. When they are done and have settled on the order, I have them stick it on the storyboard pages and flesh it out a little more. (This is why you need the supersticky notes!)
  6. THEN, they go into PowerPoint — not before!

You can imagine — right now my walls have sticky notes ALL OVER THEM! But, we're getting some great presentations for me to share with you next week!

Slideshows aren't Downloadable!
I've had some people e-mail me about downloading my slideshows. As much as I'd love to give them away, I am now using istockphoto for some of the graphics and need to make sure that I respect the agreement that I make with the photographers there. So, I cannot GIVE them to you to present, however, I CAN share them with you to give you your own ideas. (And yes, I still use creative commons search, however, istock photo is just so FAST and they have great pictures.)

I wish there was a way to easily mark or delineate the slides I can give you and those that are the copyrighted pictures… that is the struggle with these things!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Karen Montgomery February 22, 2008 - 1:05 am

I attended your EdTechConnect session last night. It was great! I learned a lot from you and the backchannel chat that was happening alongside your presentation. Love the Ning, too!

Vicki A. Davis February 22, 2008 - 1:09 am

@karen — Thank you so much. I truly think that the backchannel is one of the most useful tools ever created for teachers and presenters and that we all must learn how to better utilize this tool. It is exciting to see so many excited, fired up educators in the backchannels! Backchannels let everyone be the star, as it should be!

Bengt February 22, 2008 - 10:24 am

Try Flickrcc.


Miguel February 22, 2008 - 6:32 pm

Vicki, I enjoyed your Flat Classroom Mashup/ 7 Steps to a Flat Classroom presentation…even without the words. Thanks for the inspiration!


Bill Gaskins February 22, 2008 - 11:29 pm

Great presentation on the flat classroom. I was so impressed. I too like the back channel.

The back channel took us to a deeper conversation. Fascinating…

I recently attend our monthly meetings with the SC Tech coaches. We had a tech presenter to tell us to close our laptop and leave our computers alone for her presentation. I don’t follow directions real well and continued my live blog (coveritlive.com) during the presentation.

Tech coaches have to change to and learn about 21st century learning. We have a long road to go.

Thanks for all that you do!

Bill Gaskins

Jennifer Carrier Dorman February 23, 2008 - 12:57 am

Vicki, thanks so much for an inspiring EdTechConnect webinar. You and Julie have inspired my own international classroom connections and the opportunity to attend a live session with you was truly motivating. I really appreciated that during your closure you reinforced that it was okay to take small steps. Your collaborations are tremendous and provide me with very defined professional goals. At the same time, they are so well articulated that some might feel that they can never achieve the same. While I am pleased with how my own international classroom collaboration have evolved, I did really struggle with persistent thoughts that it was never good enough and that I was not meeting my own expectations or those standards by which I imagined my students and colleagues measured me. Thanks for both the inspiration and confidence.

theodicy March 6, 2008 - 9:30 pm

Hi Vicki!

I attended your flat classroom workshop at ICE, and found it to be very interesting. Sadly, there is NO way that we could ever implement something like that in our district, since most of the tools that you make use of are blocked from student use by order of the school board. Oh well, at least my own children (at home!) have access to them, and often make use of them.

Anyway, I see you are using a lot of “istockphotos” in your presentations and blog, which are very nice, but can be very limiting in terms of licensing.

Did you know that Flickr has the ability for you to search through all photos that are licensed through Creative Commons? I think since you yourself make use of Creative Commons, your photos should be of the same license, or relatively close to it. It will certainly make it much easier for you to share your presentations with the rest of us!

Anyway, just thought I’d throw that out there.

God bless.

Vicki A. Davis March 7, 2008 - 12:07 am

@bengt @theodicy – Yes, we use flickr creative commons search a lot and I teach that. The one drawback is that I had a very short amount of time to create a LOT of presentations and if one uses flickr creative commons search it takes me 5 to 10 times as long to find a photo of usable quality and even if the photo is licensed creative commons, a lot of photographers have begun disabling the downloads and ability to copy the image. It seems contradictory to their license but it is true!

So, in order to create these presentations in the Garr Reynolds style of presentation zen, I had to resort to istock photo. I do have about half of the photos from flickr, however istockphoto has been a godsend. I don’t allow download of my slideshows anyway.

@Miguel — Thanks! I appreciate your thoughts and encouragement.

@Bill – It bothers me greatly that a person who wants to use technology to enhance learning would ask you to close your laptops rather than using them to bridge the conversation and engage you! That makes no sense. And yes, the backchannels are always amazing!

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