When I read this week’s assignment, I was very pleased to say the least. All of the readings regarding visual literacy has my mind spinning.
For anyone who has been a teacher or presented to teachers, it is understood that teachers can be the worst students. From the detailed, individual accounts that can kill the timing of any presentation, to the learned helplessness, or the teacher with their laptop open working on answering emails, engaging teachers in a presentation is an art form. One I am just beginning to master.
To be fair, as with anyone who works in a school can understand, time is always a factor. To create an engaging presentation takes time and much thought. And to be fair, time is normally in short supply. However, we keep trying.
Within the spirit of modeling new platforms, I recently needed to give a presentation to help teachers get their class websites up and running so I decided to use Padlet:
Based upon the week’s schedule, I had to get a lot of information to teachers quickly (again, the time factor, especially at the beginning of the year) and with a tool that teachers could refer back to when needed – something like a flipped classroom. I thought this would be more a working presentation (many of the teachers have been using this tool for 3 years) whereupon teachers could look at the Padlet, find the information/help and watch the videos or ask another teacher, while I helped the new teachers or teachers who weren’t familiar with WordPress.
However, what I found is that teachers were confused by the amount of information on the Padlet and were not risk-takers when it came to using the Padlet. My assumptions were completely wrong about my audience. I would love to blame the teachers, and maybe I can a little, but really, this one was on me.
In hindsight, I think a simple Google Slides presentation with each slide being a tutorial or information source, would have been more effective and less overwhelming for the teachers. With the pressure of the first day approaching, the comfort of a familiar presentation would have been better suited. So for instance, the layout would have looked something like this:
Slide One: Purpose and Audience (with an image)
Slide Two: Expectations (with an image)
Slide Three: Logging in and URL address (with an image)
Slide Four: How to Create a Password Protected page (with the embedded video)
etc, etc, etc.
So as I continue to create more and more presentations, I am learning that knowing and understanding your audience whilst respecting where they are at with time and skills cannot be ignored. Because no matter how much I would love to blame the teacher, it doesn’t help anyone and quite simply, I would be wrong. As with any presentation, knowing your audience is key and next time, I will try not to make any assumptions.