What’s My Line?

Two weeks ago I was able to talk with some educators and people like me in Bend, Oregon at the NWeLearn conference. I had a slot immediately after lunch. That is always challenging time as it feels like nap time. No matter. They had coffee and mid-day dessert and I shared some ideas about the spaces we work in.

As usual, no one sat in the front row. I had to point out to the audience that the fellow filming the event had just told me that empty rows in the front make it look like the speaker is talking to an empty room when viewed in a video. “Hmmmm,” I thought. That is smart. I told the crowd as much and some nice conference goers moved to the front table. One took a photograph.

I have learned that arranging the stuff, and people in a classroom, is my job as an educator. And I spoke to that as I started the presentation.

Now this is the interesting part. I am going to share a version of the presentation with you, but first, I am going to tell you two reasons that doing what I am about to share is valuable.

One. I am sharing much more than a PowerPoint presentation. I am sharing complete paragraphs, images, and links to resources that are explained. And it is in a place that anyone can get to and share. It is on my place on the internet. A place I can control.

Two. I wrote out a lot of what I wanted to say in the presentation in the week leading up to the event. During the live presentation I missed some things and added others. But for me, it was good practice to try to write out the ideas I wanted to express in the talk. I have certainly practiced a whole lot of other talks over and over, but this was the first time I could recall writing so much about a single session.

Anyway, those are two good reasons to do what I did. Now you can go here and see a good part of what I said in the presentation.

I ended with another mention of the Michael Franti line about working hard and being nice to people. It seems it is our job. Our work. And we can certainly use a little more nice in the world today.