Making Connections and Presentations

michelle alumniI’ve been away from my blog for what seems like an eternity — over a month — but it has been rather busy chez nous. On December 2, I successfully defended my dissertation [insert the feelings you may have felt on that day yourself, or the feelings you expect you would feel about that kind of thing…and that’s probably what I felt too…all of it].

Here’s a link to a .pdf version of the presentation that I shared with my committee (and with the very kind colleagues who attended the defense). Also,  here’s a link to a write-up about the technical side of my defense prepared by my friend and colleague, William Cain of the MSU Design Studio. William helped me to think through my approach so that a committee member who joined in virtually was fully part of all conversations in the room.

The next day, I was the guest presenter for the “soft launch” of a new webinar series that we’re rolling out in the Master’s of Educational Technology Program called The Bridge. We learned a lot from this session and have revised the format for future sessions based on this one. We learned, for instance, that a conversation seemed way more engaging than me presenting from a stack of slides.

The day after that, I flew to the Literacy Research Association Conference in Dallas where I was to present this paper (don’t ask me when I finished writing it…you’ll notice the title includes the words “working draft”) based on a single case study from my dissertation. I can’t wait to dig back into this paper and revise it for publication. I think Sarah’s case is important for teachers to consider.

The week after that, I attended graduation. [Photo credit to my awesome colleague, Angelica Kim, for the image included above.]

The week after that we went to Disney World. We needed time together as a family to just play.

The week after that,  it was Christmas, which always involves travel to see family.

The week after that it was back to work getting all things ready for the new semester in CEP 810, CEP 811 and CEP 812.

The week after that it was the Polar Vortex and two feet of snow in the driveway — which I loved (odd, I know), but somehow, it also meant that I just wanted to curl up in a ball with a cup of tea on the couch.

Which brings me to this week — a week for building connections back to the three things that started off this post — the dissertation defense, the webinar and the conference presentation. As I thought about my last month, I realized that I had prepared these three very different types of academic presentations in ways that will inform this week’s highlight: a trip back to Queen’s University, my undergraduate Alma Mater!

This Thursday, I’m presenting at Queen’s with my dear colleague, Leigh Graves Wolf. The day of workshops, hosted by the Faculty of Education this Thursday, January 16, is designed to support graduate students generally, but one particular theme of focus will be the academic presentation. Leigh and I have decided to focus on online presentations for one of our talks because online presentations of one format or another have become an expectation of the academic skill set. And yet, it’s hard to know how to prepare for an online talk, interview, webinar, video… I’ll share the presentation itself in my next post but we will address three big topics:

1) Questions to Ask when You’re Invited to an Online Presentation

2) Technical Considerations

3) Delivery Tips

More to follow!

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