Saturday, January 9, 2010

ShareFair Post-Mortem

This past Tuesday I attended the St. Mary Parish Technology ShareFair, and it was the first time I was able to be a presenter. As I posted last year, our parish's technology department puts on this fair as an opportunity to learn about new technology and how to use it in the classroom. At the end of ShareFair last year, I told a member of the staff that I wanted to be a presenter at the next fair, and they said sure. Fast forward a year later, and since I was volunteered appointed school webmaster, I was asked to present anyway. With gusto I threw together a fairly decent presentation on Web 2.0 that explained the concept, and loaded it full of websites to use.

My first session only had a couple of people attending it, mostly from my school, and they were a great audience for me to practice on. One of my fellow teachers told me afterward that her head was spinning when it was done, but found several websites she was going to look at later. My second session blew my mind in that I suddenly had twenty people in the classroom--a full house! By the time it was over their heads were spinning also, but there were also questions being asked all across the room and there ended up being a great discussion on giving students assignments online.

Looking back, I probably still managed to go over the heads of a lot of the teachers attending, but I think I was able to balance that with the sheer number of websites I gave on the handouts I had prepared. After presenting at a professional development day last year, I found that no matter how simple I tried to make it, it flew over their heads. What they did respond to was the three websites I gave to them. This time, I took that into account, but I think I went with too many websites. Next time, I think I'll go with fewer websites.

As for the next time, I've got a session up for approval with the Louisiana Middle School Association for their annual conference on using Geographic Information Systems across the curriculum. Haven't heard from them yet, but I'm hoping for the best.

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