Saturday, May 23, 2015

Reflection on Dynamic Landscapes 2015


At the beginning of the year, I listed some goals for myself.  One was to actively practice stepping outside of my comfort zone by teaching workshops for adults, with the ultimate goal of presenting at a conference.  I am happy to report that I achieved this goal over the past two days at Dynamic Landscapes!

While this is something that I'd been wanting to do for some time, I'd been reluctant about presenting to an audience of colleagues. The thought that teachers can be some of the toughest critics was not helping; I was terrified to make myself the center of attention for an adult audience.  With the support and encouragement of other educators, I was able to overcome my fears; I am grateful to Joanne Finnegan and Doug Dunbebin for helping me make the leap.  Thanks to you both for taking this journey with me.

Although I wish that I hadn't been clutching my notes so tightly during my introduction,  my first presentation, "Radical Remixing with Creative Commons," went better than I had hoped.

I was lucky to have a supportive, curious audience of about 15 people. If I'd had more time, I would have shown more examples of places to find Creative Commons licensed media.  My presentation highlighted Flickr as a go-to resource, but there are many other resources for remixing that educators can explore.   Perhaps, I will design and share another presentation that focuses more broadly on Creative Commons resources across the web.

My second presentation, "Delving into DoInk:  Adding Animation to Green Screen Videos to Tell Your Story," was for a slightly larger audience (22 people).  Although the space was not quite large enough to accommodate that many people, all trying to record video and audio at the same time (it was quite loud), I enjoyed this workshop even more.  Unlike the first presentation, which was less interactive, this one was a two-hour hands-on session, allowing me to circulate and talk to people as they practiced and played on their own.  I prefer this type of teaching to the "stand up and yammer" model.  Teaching other teachers in this type of setting is not much different from the way I teach kids, so I felt comfortable.

As a result of this experience, and my desire to continually improve my practice, I am going to be submitting another proposal for VT Fest, coming up in November.  I am grateful to Vita Learn for their support of educators' professional growth.