UCEA Week 01: I gave a bad presentation yesterday
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
I gave a bad presentation yesterday. It wasn't bad because I had poor content or delivery. It was a bad presentation because I didn't sufficiently account for the needs and understandings of my audience. Let me explain...
I'm in Anaheim, California for the annual conference of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), which is the primary association for educational leadership faculty members at large research institutions. In other words, UCEA is the organization for professors that prepare school principals and superintendents. I currently serve as UCEA's Associate Director for Communications. I've been helping UCEA transition from a very static, fairly unhelpful web site to a more robust online presence. This past year we transitioned UCEA to Squarespace and now I am helping them take advantage of its interactive tools and other social media such as Twitter and podcasting.\n
Yesterday morning I was scheduled to give a presentation to UCEA's Executive Committee (EC). The EC is the governing body for the larger organization and is made up of 10 faculty from a number of different postsecondary institutions. You can see my presentation below. I shared various statistics and information about the UCEA web site, Twitter channel, and BlogTalkRadio podcast series.\n
The members of the EC were fine until I got to the recommendations. Then I lost them (at least that's when I think I lost them). The problem was that I've been working with Dr. Michelle Young, UCEA's Executive Director, and she gets what we're trying to do. But the EC hasn't heard from me in a while and to them I might as well have been speaking in tongues. As a group, their level of technology understanding was much lower than Michelle's, perhaps because I've been answering her questions as we've gone along.\n
It was my fault. I know that I need to tailor my presentations to the level of my audience. I've done that well in the past including with the EC but I forgot my audience this time. The end result was a dissatisfying experience for both them and me. Although some of them said to me later that I did a good job, I know they were being polite.
So now I have to remedy the situation. For some that will mean individual follow-up conversations just to clarify or touch base. For others a series of explanatory e-mail updates will suffice. And I'll need to roll up my sleeves with a few and start walking them through the same questions and answers that Michelle and I already have navigated. In the end it will be fine, but now I've created more work for myself work I could have avoided if I'd done what I should have yesterday.\n
I gave a bad presentation yesterday. Lesson learned. Reminder received. Time to adjust, compensate, and move forward...\n
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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