Tag Archives: TCEA

Things I Learned about Presenting while at TCEA

Despite my natural introverted-ness, I enjoy presenting.  Attending conferences like TCEA allows me to learn from some of the best presenters out there.  Here are some lessons I gleaned from TCEA 2018:

  • Always show up.  This may seem to be a no-brainer, but both of my sessions happened to be timed at inopportune moments this year.  I was pretty pessimistic about the chance of having anyone in the audience for either one.  However, people did attend.  I found out what it feels like when your presenter does not show up late on Thursday afternoon – and I don’t ever want to be the person who makes people feel betrayed for planning their day around a no-show.
  • It’s helpful to put the shortcut to your presentation on every slide.  I used to just put the bit.ly/goo.gl/tinyurl on the first and last slides, but people who come in late and/or leave early miss out.
  • Teachers like door prizes.  I don’t know about other professional conferences, but all of the educational ones I attend seem to have a lot of presentations that offer door prizes – codes for premium subscriptions, t-shirts, random items from the Exhibit Hall.  This is something I always forget about when I’m presenting.  Vendors are often happy to give you a couple of things to publicize their products, especially if you are using them during the presentation.
  • Include great infographics and step aside so people can take pictures.  Most presenters know that we should be using more images than text on our slides.  I’m envious, though, of the slides that prompt audience members to take out their devices and start snapping pictures like the one from Garland ISD below.

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from Garland ISD PD Roadmap presentation at TCEA 2018

  • Offer a backchannel or other digital way for the audience to ask questions.  As you can also see in the above slide from Garland ISD, they posted a link to a Todays Meet site for us to post questions that you could address throughout the presentation.  This is a good idea (especially if you have a partner who can monitor the backchannel) as it can help you personalize your presentation on the fly and give participants the opportunity to anonymously ask questions.  Pear Deck, which I posted about last week, is another way to invite audience participation.
  • Don’t forget to turn in your handout ahead of time for interested parties to access later.  Yep, I forgot.  But, you can access all of the TCEA 2018 handouts of those who did remember here.  This is helpful for those who missed out on sessions for various reasons or couldn’t access the handouts during the presentation.

If you need more advice, you can always take a look at this presentation, crowd-sourced by Alice Keeler and others a couple of years ago, about what not to do when you present!

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More News from TCEA 2018

I don’t want to overwhelm you with all of my take-aways from TCEA 2018 so far, so I thought I would give you a few new tools I’ve learned about with brief summaries and links to the presentations.   I am really cherry-picking from the plethora of resources I took notes on, so definitely click on any of the presentation links if you want to learn more.

I have a few more things to share in the near future, but I don’t want to be a “dumper” as Jennifer Gonzalez would say.

If you are still at TCEA tomorrow (Friday), I would love for you to join me at my session at 9:15 am in Room 12B.  We will be talking about making global connections, and I could use a few extra audience members to drown out the heckling I will have to listen to from my colleague, Angelique Lackey.  Also, I will be using Pear Deck so you can see it in action!

storymaker
TextingStory Chat Story Maker App

 

Pear Deck

Hello everyone – reporting to you from TCEA 2018 in Austin, Texas!  My partner in crime, Angelique Lackey, and I arrived yesterday just in time to attend a session on Pear Deck in the morning.  JP Hale was the presenter, and he did a great job showing us the multiple uses of this tool as well as how to get started with it.  After we saw his presentation, we decided that it would behoove us to try Pear Deck out on our own presentation – which were giving at 2 yesterday afternoon.

Well, I say “we” decided, but Angelique tweeted this:

The good news is that everything went smoothly and the only regret that I had afterward was that we hadn’t added even more interactive options to our presentation.

What is Pear Deck?  It’s a tool that you can use to invite audience participation as you present.  Anyone with a device and your join code can interact by drawing, adding text, moving icons, etc…  (Some of these options are only included in the Premium version.  Two download a trial copy of the Premium version that will last you the rest of this school year, go here.)  Pear Deck has template slides that you can use, but the great thing is that you don’t have to create your presentation on the Pear Deck platform.  You can import Powerpoint, Slides, and PDF’s into Pear Deck, or you can do what we did- use the Pear Deck Add-On in Slides.

If you have a Google Slides presentation all ready to go, you can just go to “Add-Ons” in the top menu and choose to Get Add-Ons.  This will take you to a site where you can search for and download the free Pear Deck Add-On.  Once it is installed, you can access it through the Add-Ons menu to open a side bar as you work on your presentation.  The side bar gives you buttons to quickly add interactivity anywhere you like in your slides.

As you can see in the image below, we added a Pear Deck feature to the slide that would allow participants to drag an icon to any part of the slide.  During our presentation, we could ask the audience what the hardest part of teaching Design Thinking might be, or what they thought the students would enjoy the most.  We could get instant feedback from over 60 people as each of their icons appeared on our slide. (This picture shows how things looked as we prepared the presentation, not as we gathered responses.)

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Once you are ready to present, you can choose to “Present with Pear Deck.”  Pear Deck will take a moment to process everything, and then provide a slide that prompts the audience to go to joinpd.com and enter the special code to participate.

One thing that I should note is that any special animations or transitions that you may have added in Slides will not transfer when you Present with Pear Deck.  However, that was not a crucial issue for us.

The Pear Deck creator can choose to make the presentation student-paced, allowing everyone to move through slides on their own,  or only allow the audience to see on their devices what you have on the screen.  As you project, you can also decide if you want to show the responses on the screen in real-time by toggling an icon on the bottom right of your screen.  Responses are anonymous, but the teacher can access the names through a teacher dashboard.

We had great fun during a brainstorming activity in our presentation as we scrolled through drawings and text responses. Pear Deck was also an excellent way to give the audience a chance to ask specific questions anonymously at the end so we could respond immediately.

When you are finished presenting, Pear Deck gives you the option to send the entire presentation and responses as a Google Doc to all participants.  This is not only great in situations like ours, but could be wonderful for test reviews in the classroom.

If you want more specifics on Pear Deck, I highly recommend this article by Eric Curts of Control Alt Achieve.  You can learn more about the 21 Pear Deck templates included in the Google Slides Add–On in this post.

Thanks to JP Hale for introducing us to this great tool, and to our patient audience as we tested it out!

 

TCEA 2018

I am excited to attend TCEA 2018 next week in Austin.  I will be co-presenting with my partner in crime, Angelique Lackey, who is our awesome librarian.  The session is on Tuesday, February 6, at 2 PM.  It is called, “Design Thinking – 10 Supercharged TEKS Based Lessons.”  I will also be doing a presentation of my own, “Global ‘Heart’ Warming,“on Friday at 9:15 am.

We hope to see you there!  If you want to meet up, give us a shout-out on Twitter – @lackeyangie and/or @terrieichholz.

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image from iamKat on Flickr

Visit Me at TCEA 2017!

This week, I will be at TCEA in Austin with my fabulous colleague, Angelique Lackey.  We will be presenting together on Tuesday.  Our session is called, “10 Sure-Fire Ways to Light Up Your Curriculum.”  The hour-long session starts at 1:15 in Room 19B.  It is about using the Project Ignite website to introduce your students to 3d modeling with Tinkercad.

On Wednesday, I’ll be solo.  I’ll be presenting, “Code Dread” at 2:30 in Room 13AB.  This session is for anyone who has been intrigued by the thought of using coding in the classroom, but has little experience with programming.

FYI – despite having done numerous presentations I always sound nervous.  Weirdly, the only thing that makes me nervous is knowing that I will sound nervous which, as you can imagine, develops into a nice little self-fulfilling prophecy.  Fortunately, the size of the audience doesn’t seem to impact this, as I am equally as nervous with 2 people or 50.  Unfortunately, medication either makes it worse or makes me slur my words so I’ve learned to just tune out my own voice and never listen to recordings.  Of course, if you attend either session you won’t have those choices – but I promise not to be offended if you walk out 😉

You may not want to walk out, though, because we just found out that we get to use the Qball (wireless, throwable microphone) during our sessions.  So, walking out would mean you not only lose the opportunity of listening to my unique voice, but you would also lose the opportunity to see how horrible I am at throwing microphone balls – a feat I have never attempted, but I am quite certain will bring back flashbacks of the one time I tried to play softball when I was in 5th grade and managed to bonk myself in the forehead.  I will try not to bonk you in the forehead, but there is no guarantee.

In conclusion, you may or may not want to attend my two sessions at TCEA and you may or may not want to take out extra insurance before volunteering to be in the audience.  If you do decide to brave all of these potential hazards I have mentioned, then please come up and say, “Hi!  I am one of the courageous people who read your TCEA post and still decided to come to your session.”  That way I will know not to aim for you when I throw the Qball 😉

project-ignite
Full Disclosure – I don’t look anything like my Bitmoji. Except for the brown eyes and hair. And I do sometimes smile. Oh, and my hair is usually parted on the side. Angelique looks exactly like her Bitmoji. (Don’t tell her she looks like a cartoon, though. She finds that offensive for some strange reason.)
code-dread
I forget where that QR code takes you, so don’t be upset if it’s a dead end. I should probably check that before I present, but I have plenty of time – right?

#TCEA16

For the next few days I will be attending TCEA in Austin, one of my favorite annual conferences.  I may add some sporadic blog notes, but stay tuned next week for detailed highlights!

 

Goo in the Loo and Stuff You Wish You Gnu

This week I am going to dedicate my posts to sharing resources I learned about at TCEA in Austin last week.  I think packing too much info into a blog post is overwhelming, so if you are craving more, feel free to check out my notes (which are not finished yet!) here.

I was chatting with one of my colleagues, Kim Ball (@gttechguru) during TCEA last week, and she mentioned a cool activity she had done on her campus called, “Goo in the Loo.”  This is not as disgusting as it might sound.  Basically, she posted Google tips in the adult bathrooms so teachers could learn more about ways to take advantage of all of Google’s cool features.  Awesome!

Goo in the Loo is an idea that was originally proposed by Jessica Johnston (@edtechchic) as a Google Teacher Academy Action Plan.  You can read more about Jessica’s project here.  She also provides pre-made Goo in the Loo posters on her site.  So, you can easily put this plan into place on your own campus by just printing out Jessica’s awesome, crowd-sourced posters.

I plan to utilize Jessica’s posters, but I also wanted to make some of my own.  Not all of them are going to be Google tips, so I needed a title that was a bit more generic.  In the interest of making a rhyming blog post as well as using a cute graphic that has been declared free to use, I’m going with “Stuff You Wish You Gnu.” (It turns out GNU is a free operating system, but that’s not really where I was going with that.)

Here is a link to my “Stuff You Wish You Gnu”  folder.  I will be adding to it as I create new posters.  Feel free to use and distribute as you see fit!

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