I remember attending one or two sessions last year and saying to myself, "Dang, is this really it? I mean I could honestly do this." I made that a goal for myself to present at GaETC 2014. I remember throughout the year though doubting myself. However, it was at ISTE 2014 that I could that passion again. Rafranz Davis (if you do not know about her, please Google her...she is freaking amazing), had a conversation with a few people and myself about presenting. She helped create the spark again for me to want to do so.
I remember some weeks ago, that my proposal was accepted. I chose to create a session entitled: "Let's Groove: What You Can Do With Limited Tools." A lot of thought went into the development of this session. First the title is a play on words from a song by my favorite group, Earth, Wind, and Fire's Let's Groove. I wanted something catchy, but I also wanted to go beyond the traditional format of typical presentations. I did not want to talk at a group of educators for more than 50 minutes straight. We get enough of that type of Professional Development when we are in school. We need more. That's what I wanted to provide.
I wanted to follow a constructivist perspective into my presentation today. The layout was to do a small introduction of the topic and myself. I also wanted to have a chance for educators to interact with one another. Too many times at large conferences, educators sit with only the people they know. Every person in that room has a story and is of value, ergo they have something valuable to share. I decided to mix things up and my goal was to have educators work out various scenarios with problems that educators face with having limited tools in the classroom and the next steps.
Overall, I think my nerves came from looking around the room and not really being able to tell if people were bored with the assignment or not. I was also trying to figure out how engaged people were with the task. As I did walk around, I did notice that people were discussing issues beyond the scenario and were conversing about issues they are facing at their own school in regards to technology. That helped reassure me that I did the right thing with the format of the presentation. However when asking if people would share they said, I felt that people began to become a little nervous and that made me nervous. Comfort seemed to set back in once I began to discuss some of the things I had done in my own classroom. Although, I did not necessarily write out what I did in my own classroom (because I want to make sure paid attention to me and was trying to actually listen to what I was saying), I am glad to people began to take notes. I am also glad people took away that I do not have all the answers and that they are just as capable to producing solutions to challenges that may come. I am looking forward to presenting again and learning from this experience.