Micropresentations Part II

Steve Hargadon pointed out that the recent Classroom 2.0 conference in San Francisco had several micropresentations. Here is what he says:

“There were three very late “idea” additions to the program that ended up working very well. The first was the idea of holding 5-minute “lightning” round presentations, given by 0201081314.jpgparticipants to showcase a tool they use or an idea for teaching, or by vendors to showcase their products. The idea for these came from the TeachMeet unconferences held in the UK that have seven-minute “micropresentations” and two-minute “nano-presentations.” I'm not even sure if we followed their format very closely, but it was just the idea of short presentations that appealed to me: they don't require so much preparation as to put people off, they allow for bite-sized good ideas to be presented, and they aren't so long as to feel badly if you watch one that doesn't ‘t grab you. I think the participants in San Francisco felt the same way, and my reading was that they really liked the “speed” or “lightning” round sessions, and I plan to do a lot more of them in the future. They have the added benefit of involving more people (very Web 2.0-ish!). I think for them to be helpful, you really have to have time afterwards for individual tutoring and questions, and to try new tools or ideas out. So again, free time is so important.”

Hopefully, we'll see more of these at edubloggercon this year at NECC (it is time to add your name if you're coming) which I plan on attending the Saturday before the conference.

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5 thoughts on “Micropresentations Part II

  1. @Downes — I think as a teacher it is an idea whose time has come. Something has always bothered me about the 2 hour presentations that talk about engaging new tools that have all of the teachers drooling on the desk!

    Thanks for the link — 99 second presentations — wow, that would be tough. The whole idea to synthesize and present in a constrained time period is a great one and one that we should use more often.

    Alan – I would love to see archives of more of these short presentations #1 to prove it can be done and #2 To show their effectiveness!

    I think we should do fast presentations and more hands on time anyway.

  2. I went to a conference last September, which had a similar sort of format; rather than several parallel sessions they had several related papers together; everyone had about 5-10 minutes to present – then, after all 3 or so had presented, a 30-40 minute discussion on them all.
    I thought it worked much better (the conference was looking at teaching Computer Science in Higher Ed) – as most of us shared similar frustrations (engaging first year students; getting students to program; getting students to understand what plagiarism is etc). Rather than the background, it was the ideas for solving the problem that were far more interesting. If you have 5 minutes, that’s all you can do!

  3. Toastmasters International (of which I am a member) assists people in developing presentation skills in a dynamic, interactive environment. I bring this up because the typical speech for TI is from 6-10 minutes long. Delivering in this time window is effective, but challenging if you’re used to being the “Sage on the Stage”.

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