Friday, February 29, 2008

Presenting virtually on presenting virtually

I'm going to be presenting a talk on improving presentations in virtual worlds for a virtual conference held in a virtual world. The Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education and Museums Conference will be held in Second Life at the New Media Consortium Conference Center (NMC) on March 8, 2008. I'm tentatively scheduled to present at 11am Second Life Time (US Pacific = 2pm Eastern, local for me). My official topic is "Applying Distance Educational Theory to Virtual Worlds" and I'm going to be talking about how applying constructivist-type educational theory can improve the presentation experience online.

I'm also calling this my "Anti-PowerPoint PowerPoint". Too many people feel that they must have slides, and that the slides must cover everything they are going to say. It's especially tempting to do so when presenting online, because you usually end up posting your slides somewhere, and you want them to speak for you. However, slides should usually illustrate your talk, not give it for you. It's a problem that is just made worse by the technological behavior of slides in Second Life. I've been to several presentations where I never saw the slides, because the images wouldn't show up on my screen fast enough (part of the dreaded SL "lag"). By the time I could start to see the slide, the presenter was going on to the next one.

All my materials--yes, even the slides (all 6-7 of them)--will be posted online. That's part of my message, in fact: making materials available, in several formats, makes sense pedagogically and technologically. It helps your students review and process, aids in accessibility, and helps prevent disaster when the inevitable technical catastrophe occurs. Win/win/win!

After the conference, I'll post the links on this blog.

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