Clearing My Eyes
Coming from an early childhood background, I tend to gravitate toward lots of bright color. I loved it best when my classroom looked like it had thrown up rainbows everywhere, it was never too much! Now, I’m not saying all early childhood teachers are like me, this was just the type of teacher that I was. So, you can imagine that this week’s assignment was a little difficult for me. How could I pull myself back to be more ‘zen’ in my presentations when I loved the chaos of colors so much????
I decided I was going to take a presentation that I had done in Boston at the Building Learning Communities Conference and begin to revamp that. I watched the Zen Presentation video by Garr Reynolds, I watched Jeff’s video, then I stared at my presentation…*crickets*…
I had NO idea how to revamp it to make it more Zen because I had formatted it in such a way that it was organized by apps that I used in the classroom. Plus, at this stage, I wasn’t quite ready to give up my unwavering attachment to the rainbow. My early childhood ways, led me to believe that searching for photos for my presentations just wouldn’t look “fun” enough for me. My initial instinct was to then pull out my stylus and begin drawing some slides. I mean, wouldn’t that be the perfect way to still maintain my color and get the images I have in my head onto the slides? Here’s my first attempt. Needless to say, I liked it as an image, but wasn’t quite impressed with it as a slide. I thought it was probably going to be too hard to read and didn’t meet the assignment’s goals…not very zen at all. Here is the before and after of this particular slide:
Jeff recommended that we start completely offline, and I hadn’t done that yet. I went straight to my iPad and when that didn’t work I started playing with Haiku Deck to see if I was wrong about the photos. I was still confused so I watched those videos over and over again till I finally realized something…I wasn’t telling a story. Specifically, I wasn’t telling MY STORY. This then finally prompted me to unplug and think about why I had wanted to present on all those apps in the first place? What was it that I wanted to share? The simple ideas started to come to me, there was a reason why I liked each and every app, it wasn’t because of the app itself, but because of what it had helped my students to do to enhance their learning. So what were some of these things?
- Capture thinking
- Show learning
- Create a Global Audience
- Research/Collect information
There are other reasons but these were what I started with. So taking these key phrases, I realized, these were my slides. I didn’t need to include app logos and icons, as Garr Reynolds says, “Handouts can set you free”, I could place all this information in a seperate document to be shared later. All I needed were my ideas about why these apps were effective and share examples.
A Little of Everything
Using these phrases I started to envision slides in my head…very simple slides. I started understanding how I could search for photos that could illustrate these phrases and that would help support the ideas I would be talking about. When there were certain images that I already had in my head, I decided I would create those images myself.
Here is an example of one of the slides. I tried to fight my urges and not be afraid of empty spaces. I also tried out using black as my background, as suggested by Jeff, to push myself out of my comfort zone a little.
For the words “Capture Thinking” I already had an image in my head, so I decided I would draw this one. With a little help from Canva.com, I was able to add the iPad into the image and create the black and white filter. (P.S. Nicki Hambleton and all her wonderful visual notes were the inspiration behind this one! can you tell? :))
Finally, just so I could still keep some of my bright colors and early childhood feel, I drew my own title page and again used Canva.com to help with some of the layout of the text on top of the background.
I don’t know if I I will continue to rework this particular presentation, but I have a few presentations coming up so I may take what I’ve started and continue on to create something I can use. Hopefully this will be my final project! We shall see 🙂