April 5, 2009

Inside a Slide Deck

Dan Meyer is at it again. Stirring up trouble and asking hard questions. That’s okay, in fact it’s good. While the specifics of his post might seem targeted at the small number of educators who regularly present at conferences and meetings, I think, and I’m sure Dan would agree it’s for all teachers.

I sometimes post my slides here and even have gone to the trouble to add the audio, after the fact. I usually invite discussion but more so on the ideas rather than the packaging.

I’ll be the first to admit, the more I learn the more inadequate I feel to speak about visual literacy. I’m not trained in graphic design, but have read about it and practiced it to the point where I hope I have something to offer folks. I definitely push this the importance of visual literacy in our own school division.

Dan asked for people to explicitly solicit critique. I welcome it. When it comes to presentations, I subscribe to much of the ideas of Garr Reynolds, Cliff Atkinson and others. I spend hours and hours on each one. I recognize how it can engage audiences and provide some memorable images that can carry with participants beyond the presentation itself.  That said, I don’t think even the most compelling imagery can make up for incoherent ideas and poor delivery. I’m constantly working at all three.

So here’s a ten minute video where I describe why I make the choices I make. It was one take each so excuse the pauses and droning but maybe it will provide some insight. Leave any comments or suggestions. Don’t feel you have to be an expert to comment. Perhaps I haven’t explained something clearly or didn’t address something you felt was important. We can learn from and with each other.