Genius in the Room
I’m thinking about the conversation I’ll be leading at EduCon2.2 in Philly later this month. Earlier this year, I helped to moderate a panel presentation at the National NACAC conference, and although I felt that it went well, I have since found that my thinking about presentations is changing.
One thing that struck me about the largely positive feedback we received on our NACAC session was how unconnected I felt to the individuals giving the feedback. We were in a room with over 200 attendees (in fact, some would-be attendees were turned away!). We were only able to carve out a few minutes for Q&A, because, no matter how hard you try, limiting multiple speakers to a set time limit is a doomed task. (After all, speakers are speakers in part because they like to talk!) So although there was some productive exchange, we spent the bulk of our time in a modified “sage on the stage” set up.
But the best learning situations I’ve ever been in have always had a more conversational feel. And 2008 and 2009 for me have been the years of learning that the genius is in the room. So, faced with a conference at which I’m likely to not know the people in my room, what can I do to go beyond “ice breaking” and move towards “thought revving”? EduCon’s stated preference for genuinely interactive and conversational sessions is part of what made me so excited about trying to lead a conversation there.
I’m hoping that having the folks in my room start off with a little focused sharing about what they already know and what they’re curious about will serve as a kind of rocket fuel to our conversation. I spent the better part of a half hour this morning playing around with the fantastic diagram creation tools on creately.com; I am looking forward to printing off multiple copies of a handout based on the diagram above. And I can’t wait to meet the people I’m going to be learning with later this month!
who encouraged me to write about
my desire to make more space