Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Personal learning environments

Is he back? Stephen Downes, that is. New posts are appearing on OLDaily that seem to be related to matters other than speaking engagements. It's been very quiet without him - he's like an aggregator with skin on.

Via one of his posts today, I found this link. The slides are fascinating - although there are too many bullet-point slides for my taste, but I find I want to know what the speaker said. I have this thing about a presentation being what the speaker says and not about the PowerPoint slides (see my pontification on the subject, here). So I e-mailed Scott and asked for an mp3 or a transcript. He has been very helpful, but still needs to source the audio for that event. In the meantime, he has sent me this link, that I need to make the time to look at.


Anonymous said...

It's the whole powerpoint as documentation problem. I think audio recordings are probably actually the easiest solution to this in general, though sometimes the speaker's personal notes do just as good a job.

(I was at Scott's presentation in fact - I've been intending to blog something about Plex but haven't quite got round to it yet, and it didn't actually come across as bullet-pointy because of the demo. The audio should be worth the wait!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this feedback. The dilemma facing conference speakers is a very real one, and it is an issue I have had to address more than once when running courses or providing coaching on PowerPoint and/or public speaking.

Part of the problem is that the slides are often made available after the conference, both to attendees and the wider public. The dreaded bullet points are deadly dull to the attendees at the time, but helpful to the wider public afterwards. The graphics driven slides are of enormous help to attendees at the time, but mean little or nothing to the wider public after the fact.

As you suggest, there are a few options:
-a fusion-type compromise
-two sets of slides
-slides+downloadble pdf transcript
-slides+downloadable audio
-slides during, multimedia presentation after

It can be done, but the the visual aids are for the benefit of the audience, not the speaker, which is where most speakers go wrong.

Anonymous said...

I agree - the problem too in practice is that the speaker doesn't always have time to spend on extras. It's one of the reasons universities are so lecture-centric - when it comes down to it lectures are actually quite quick to prepare in comparison with other stuff.

In a previous job working on router software, I had to learn absolutely everything about routers from powerpoint slides from presentations given before I started the job. It was dire!