It seems appropriate after presenting a workshop on Blogging for GSU’s FSI (Faculty Summer Institute), to write a blog post about the experience!
I must admit I was nervous about the entire endeavor, I had prepared in the days before the event with a 20+ slide PowerPoint presentation. It was a format I thought would be familiar and comfortable for the folks I would be presenting to. The PowerPoint wasn’t particularly flashy, but it did have a lot of bullet points and information. The day before the presentation however, I became increasingly worried that I would simply be reading off of a PowerPoint (please never do this, generally your audience is just as capable of reading as you are) and boring folks with a long and non-interactive presentation. I was also struck by the irony of presenting on the merits of interaction as a learning technique while using one of the least interactive mediums possible. So, true to my neurotic and indecisive nature I ditched the PowerPoint at the last minute and started anew.
Actually doing the PowerPoint gave me the advantage of being very comfortable with the material I was presenting on, which despite some evidence to the contrary was not a topic I felt I was an expert in, and allowed me a bit more freedom in choosing a new, hopefully more interactive workshop format. I ended up choosing to show the direct sources (webpages) of some of the information I had gathered. So, armed with a day of fervent research and a browser overflowing with tabs I went into the workshop somewhat more manic and loose than may have been appropriate.
The workshop itself was, I think, benefited from this energy. The loose structure allowed people to ask questions they were interested in, and allowed us to discuss topics that were related to social media but weren’t strictly about blogging. Questions of privacy, millennials, and journalism all came up during the workshop. It was my hope that I was able to clearly express the many benefits of blogging while also giving the attendees enough tools to go out and create dynamic blogs. One of the more difficult things about presenting on blogging is the incredible diversity of platforms and mediums with which one can blog. So, I found myself relegated to explaining the different blogging platforms and recommending different platforms and medium based on an individuals interests. On a constructively level, I think perhaps the workshop would have benefited from slightly more structure (although I enjoyed the energy that was brought to the discussion as a result of its lack of structure) and a greater emphasis on the actual minutia of creating a blog (although, that is difficult to accomplish because, again, it varies by platform.
I would be very interested to hear what other had to say! Participate in our poll, or leave a comment below!