In Nashville — Virtually!

A screen shot that Scott took during the presentation.  The window to the left, with the arrow, is the slide show — via SlideShare.

It’s not every day that I get to do a presentation and stay home at the same time.  Scott Merrick contacted me a couple of weeks ago, describing a workshop he was planning for teachers in the Nashville area.  He asked if I would be available to Skype in to the workshop and talk a bit about Web 2.0 and its implications for literacy.  We tested our Skype connection in the morning, with no glitches, and then scheduled my presentation for 2:00 (east coast time). 

Of course, there were some glitches at 2:00, as I was not able to see my audience, via Scott’s camera, but my iSight worked well, and I’m getting better at presenting into a camera.  Use to terrify me — completely befuddle my mind. 

I re-worked one of my presentations, and uploaded it to SlideShare.  I then added a link to the online handouts blog posting for the session, that clicked out a small browser window, sized for the slides, so that each participant was able to follow along with the slides.

I also set up the Twitteresque chat page for the group, and this is what was interesting.  They participated in the chat, posing questions, making comments, saying, “Hi!” more than any group so far — and I wonder why that was.  Was it because I wasn’t there?  Was it that they didn’t feel the need of courtesy to keep eye contact with me?  Was it that they were all sitting with desktop computers in front of them?  Was it that they had command of the slide show?  I am curious!

After the presentation, I transferred the chat transcript over to a wiki for the group, and inserted a few comments of my own, responding to some of their questions.  All-in-all, it was an interesting experience that I am getting more accustomed to.  It isn’t like being there.  Nothing’s like being there.  But virtual presentations are working.  Who would have thought?

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.