Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chromebooks and the Common Core Symposium, New Jersey

It's interesting when you finally put faces to the names you've seen online for a while. Last week, I presented at the Chromebook and Common Core Symposium. Since I first began participating in communities online about using Google in the classroom, I have crossed paths with some people many times. This week I was finally able to meet many of them in person.

Presenting at the conference was a great experience for me because it was the first time I presented since becoming an authorized Google Education Trainer. I was really nervous going in because I knew that one of the sponsors was the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA). When you see the words "principals" and "supervisors" you know that you are going to have many administrators in your session. This turned out to be true. My session was directly after lunch so people were sitting in the room early. I was speaking with a few participants in the front room while others will coming in. The first three people I spoke with were two principals and their superintendent. Way to make me more nervous before I even start.

Eventually I began and once I got started, it went well. I made myself nervous over nothing because presenting to this room full of administrators was no different for me than when I present to a room full of teachers within my own school.

Things I learned by presenting:

  • You can't assume that people at a conference have background knowledge.
    • Many of the people at this conference were new to Google in general. I had made a wrong assumption that people already knew how to do things and that I was just presenting ways to use those apps efficiently.
  • Don't have a script, be prepared to change.
    • This is something that is repetitive for most presentations. As I began presenting, I realized that certain ideas should have been presented in a different order. I began with discussing Google Contacts, however I should have begun with Google Drive because I kept mentioning forms and spreadsheets throughout other topics.
  • One hour goes really fast when you're enthusiastic about the material.
    • When I created my topic and presentation, I had timed everything out in my head. I was going to spend about ten minutes on each of five main ideas. Once I arrived and actually started answering questions and involving my audience, I found myself running out of time.

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