The die is cast. Though I am not entering my home country at the head of an army, I am experiencing a bit of a rush. My personal Rubicon is my long absence from presenting at conferences. Earlier in my teaching career, I presented and even organized conferences. Today, I filled out the session proposal for MassCUE 2012. Perhaps nothing will come of it; perhaps it will be accepted. Regardless, I have taken the mental steps across this particular boundary. If not this conference, then soon.
It sounds like an anti-Spiderman weapon, but actually it can be a good thing. It can also be a deadly, dull thing. I have never presented a webinar, but I imagine that it would be much harder than presenting a conference session. In a live conference setting, one can process a great deal of information from body language to quick check-ins and adjust content and style accordingly. This must be harder for a webinar presenter.
In the past when I have presented, I always try to have my audience walk away with three things. I want them to have time to share with each other, I want them to take something practical that they can implement right away in their classrooms, and I want them to have a nugget to ponder for a while. Hopefully that nugget is a perception changing idea that affects pedagogy and philosophy. I don’t know if I hit on all three each time I present, but those are my goals.
After participating in a webinar today, I don’t feel that I got any of those three things. Coincidentally, I also received an email requesting proposals for a tech conference next year. I might just fill it out. It has been a while since I have delivered a conference presentation. They are a good professional development opportunity and personal growth tool.