Darin Janssen’s Weblog

March Teach Us Something

After watching part of the recording, I have to apologize to everyone who sat through my presentation last night and has watched the recording.  I clicked the pointer tool and was using it to point to different things on my slide deck while I was presenting, but it was not showing up for you.  I must have had to actually click on something else to engage the pointer on the screen.

Well I feel this presentation went better than the February one but I still have some work to do with presenting online.  I stumble a lot, but not as much as last time.  That was a plus.  I guess I need to practice what I am going to say even more.  I really need to be more conscious about how much I say “uhh”.  I need to get rid of the verbal thinking because it makes me sound like I do not know what I am talking about.  It is one thing to pause to think, but to verbalize a pointless sound sounds terrible.

I kept referring to Smart Notebook Software as PowerPoint.  This was especially bad because I was teaching about Notebook Software.  I can attribute this to PowerPoint being such a staple word to our vocabulary; much like referring to all snow machines as “Skidoos”  even if they are Arctic Cat snow machines.

I was disappointed with my slides after they uploaded to elluminate.  When I created the slides all the images and text were clear and legible; not so when they were uploaded and converted.  I created all my slides in notebook and then exported them to PowerPoint so they could be uploaded to elluminate.  The slides still looked good in PowerPoint.  My screen shots of notebook were not clear and therefore hard for everyone to clearly see what I was talking about on the screen shots.  At this time I do not know what the fix would be for this problem.  Maybe it has something to do with the actual image quality of the shots before they are uploaded.  Quality must get decreased when the images are converted so I would need to use a much high quality of image in the first place so the image is still of decent quality in the end.

I struggled with the idea of creating a slide deck verses screen sharing.  My experience with screen sharing has not been the best for two reasons.  One is that the screen sharing opens up too big in elluminate.  I then have to scroll left to right, and up and down just to see where the presenter is talking about.  I think that the screen sharing should only open into the same size window as the whiteboard and show the presenter’s entire screen in this space without the need to scroll.  This alone would make screen sharing more effective and I would not be so hard on it.  The second reason is that there is a delay in what the presenter is doing on the screen and what is shown to the viewer.  If the presenter is moving through steps too quickly or is scrolling up and down, the viewer can not see anything but flashes or messed up images.  I realize this is a limit to screen sharing because of the time it takes the data to move over the internet.  Presenters have to be aware and conscious of these problems when using screen sharing.

In the end I decided to use a slide deck because of the possibility of few technical difficulties and easier for everyone to see everything I am talking about.  The problem with a slide deck for this assignment is we were trying to teach about a program.  This is not done easily without a huge slide deck.  It is really hard to visualize what the presenters are explaining to me when I do not have any experience with their programs.  I decided to create my slide deck and use the pointer tool to help explain what I was talking about.  As my apology above states, the pointer did not work for me and thus my classmates did not receive my presentation to its fullest.  My classmates who used the screen sharing, even with its limitations, were able to do a better job of showing their program then I was.  Next time I will have to look at using a combination screen share and slide deck depending on what I am explaining at that time.

Overall, the teach us something lessons were great.  I wish we had more time to do another presentation.  I would have liked to use what I have learned to improve.  Who knows, I may have the opportunity to teach online in the future and I will then use what I have learn then.

Here are the links to the Smart websites I mentioned in my presentation:

SMART Products – http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-us/products/

SMART Training – http://smarttech.com/Trainingcenter/

SMART Exchange – http://exchange.smarttech.com/curriculum.html#Saskatchewan%20Standards

March 31, 2010 Posted by | ECMP 455, Reflection | , , , | 1 Comment

Collaborative Project Rolls On

After our online lesson Jordan and I taught the grade 7/8s we had a few days where nothing was happening.  It turned out Mr. Park was doing some PD so he was not in the classroom.

Some of Mr. Park’s students have uploaded their presentations to Google Docs now but I have not seen all of them yet.  Jordan and I found some problems with one of us being invited to the document and not the other, but in the end it was because the students had typed in our email addresses wrong.  We fixed the ones we have access too, but are unsure about the rest of the class at this time.  I have been able to check out the presentations I have access too and have made suggestions as to how some slides can be improved.  Some of the things I have noticed on the presentations which are easily fixed are with image placement, poor colour combination, writing everything they want to say on the slide, and generally slides which are too busy.

Mr. Park is having some problems now with not being able to edit the slides in Google Docs.  Jordan and I are able to edit the presentations, so it must be something on Mr. Park’s side.  We are trying to figure it out and resolve the problem now.  We are also thinking about a possible plan B.

The project so far has being a great experience for me.  The problems with technical difficulties have been a pain, but nothing every works out perfectly.  With more experience with the tools involved I am sure there would be few difficulties.  The concern I have is all the extra work which Mr. Park and his students have had to do so that the project is collaborative.  I am sure that Mr. Park could have had students fix up their projects in less time than it is taking now.  But, the experience of working with someone other than Mr. Park and to gain insights on their work from someone else will be beneficial to the students in the end.  It would sure be nice if everything worked as easily as we thought they would in the original plans.

March 31, 2010 Posted by | ECMP 455 | , , | Leave a comment