It’s not often that I am lucky enough to have two lots of publicity about me in the one week, but that is exactly what has happened this week!
Sometime ago – late last year in fact – I was invited by The iwbNet Team to present for a second year at their annual conference: schoolstechOZ. Having already had the experience of presenting for them in 2013, I didn’t hesitate. They are a wonderfully supportive organization and the professional focus they have is second to none. And with headline speakers for the conference in September including Alan November, Judy O’Connell, Stephen Heppell and Alec Couros to name but a few, why on earth would I hesitate?!
So I’ve committed to present two consecutive sessions this year about a topic I am passionate about: PLNs: A game changer! With sessions running for just 50 minutes each, I plan to talk fast, so that I can share as much as I possibly can with anyone out there who hasn’t already discovered the joy to be derived from their own PLN!
As part of the publicity campaign for this conference, it was exciting to receive late last week, this poster created by The iwbNet Team to advertise my presentation as one of the many happening over the three day conference.
As if this wasn’t enough to finish off a week, the first part of last week saw the culmination of some chats I’ve been having with Pearson Professional Learning who, under the leadership of Elizabeth Lonergan (also known to some of us as Libby Howe) approached me to talk on the very same topic! With a full day devoted to this presentation – three ninety minute sessions – clearly I will be able to engage more with my audience and talk just a tad slower!
Listed under the extensive list of presenters, my profile went live earlier in the week and my presentation:
PLNs: Get connected. Grow your network. Accelerate your learning! have been confirmed for April (Sydney) and May (Melbourne) with the possibility of another session in another state still under discussion. I’m also waiting to hear whether I’m to get an opportunity to present for Pearson on my other passion: Engaging Readers in our Schools. An update to my Pearson profile will let you know the outcome of those discussions.
I’ve been really lucky over the last couple of years to have been given opportunities to present at a few different conferences. Once I gave my first presentation, I knew that I’d found something I really enjoyed doing. Being able to share my professional experience with others is satisfying. Knowing that I am able to inspire others to adopt new methods, new routines and new paths is also very inspiring. But most satisfying of all is knowing that I’ve succeeded in sharing my own passion. I strongly believe that
passion is the very essence of teaching and learning!”
Perhaps the best aspect of presenting however are the hours spent in preparation. Yes, sometimes preparation for a presentation can be tedious and involve many, many hours, but because much thinking and reflection is required the side benefits for the presenter provide great hidden opportunities:
- taking time to think – it’s fantastic!
- reflecting on your own knowledge of issues and concepts
- realizing how much you really know about a topic
- acknowledging that you have skills and thoughts worthy of sharing
- providing a focus for your own reading and research
- opportunities to synthesize new thoughts with old as new knowledge is consolidated
- networking along the way with other professional contacts
- figuring out how best to communicate thoughts and ideas; how best to explain a point or share a concept
- sequencing thoughts to be communicated
- planning a logical sequence of slides or examples that illustrate a point
Some time ago, when attending a conference attended by teachers from a wide range of disciplines, some words of wisdom were shared by the presenter:
Consider taking time to “give back”
They are words which have reverberated with me as I consider my own career path. Discovering the joy of learning and the joy of sharing what I have learned are strong motivations for my continued blogging. Presenting at conferences on topics about which I feel passionate would also be fulfilling. My ‘About Me’ page highlights more of my professional aspirations.