One of the cool things about the school I work at is the amount of professional development we are supported to undertake. We’re encouraged to try out new things, reflect on our teaching and we have a timetabled hour every week to focus on a topic we are interested in, research and discuss it.
Aside from the in-school opportunities, belonging to a global network of over 160 schools, means that we have the chance to challenge ourselves even more!
As part of the International House Teacher Online Conference 2018, I did a fifteen minute conference presentation: (Not) grading your language in an elementary classroom. The presentation involved live audience participation via a message board so the video is a little strange to watch!
So, here it is, my first online conference!
Watching it back, it isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Presenting online was unlike anything I’d ever done before and I found it quite difficult. You need to look at the camera, but the only person you can see is you. You know you have a live audience, but you can’t see them. You can however interact with them. Imagine standing in front of an audience, and delivering your prepared presentation, whilst also being handed questions and comments from the audience that you are expected to respond to without stopping to read them: it’s just as difficult as it sounds! Thankfully you have someone supporting you, pulling out questions from the message board and keeping time for you. You still have to read the screen whilst presenting, but you don’t have to sift through quite so many messages that are part of people just having conversations!
The live interaction is a very important part of online conferences and it’s something I wasn’t really sure how to handle. It’s certainly something that I will exploit better in the future having had a bit of experience.
The whole conference lasted for a full day and over 25 teachers presented. It was an excellent reminder that technology not only connects people, it connects ideas and thinking.