Category Archives: Presentations

What is a Virtual Conference Presentation?

EdMedia 2013 Slides

Click the slide above to open the slide-deck on SlideShare

I recently presented our paper Learning and Teaching as Communicative Actions: New Ways of Learning – Transmedia at EdMedia in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for Leila Mills, Scott Warren, and me. It wasn’t like any conference presentation I had done before because the presentation was virtual. That is, no travel, no hotel cost, no being lost in an unknown city, but managed from my computer, and all green!

Thirty-one papers had been accepted for the EdMedia virtual presentations. These were either posters, corporate showcases, or similar to ours; virtual briefs. The submission process was the same as for submitting to the actual conference in Victoria, except for choosing the virtual presentation option, the final paper was submitted on the same deadline as other accepted papers, and the registration fee was due when all attendees’ fees were due. The first real difference was that virtual presenters were required to upload their PowerPoint presentation.

The presentation space was set up on a platform called http://academicexperts.org/ where each registered attendee receive their own dashboard, i.e., a space where to customize the profile information, upload their publications, a message center, a friends area, and privacy settings. There was also the discussion area that was specifically related to the conference presentation. The dashboard further included a menu bar, which linked to Add to Planner, Discuss, Share, Download paper, View Slides, and Download Slides. All facilitating communication and participation at the conference.

EdMedia Presenter Dashboard
My conference dashboard

Clicking the Download Paper option, the submitted conference paper was downloaded by other presenters and likewise the PowerPoint could be either viewed on the website or downloaded for viewing on the individual’s computer. The upload option for PowerPoint had included either submission of a pptx file or a pdf file. I chose the pdf option to bring down the file size as I had large photos on our PowerPoint. This resulted in the snafu that the presentation did not show online, however, it could still be downloaded. EdMedia had sent out an email mentioning that virtual presenters would be contacted about an optional voice-over recording of their presentation. This never happened, so I was glad that I had added more text on my slides than I would normally do.

The second difference was that virtual presenters were required to post an initial discussion question or discussions starter in their presentation discussion area. This was to spur online discourse around the presentation. The discussion was to be maintained by the presenter throughout the conference. Most active discussions and most recent discussions were shared on the virtual conference dashboard.

EDMEDIA2013-dashboard

Conference dashboard with most active and newest discussions

The conference lasted four days, June 24-27. There was not a lot of discussion going on. One comment was posted as a reply to my introductory discussion prompt, which I replied to, however, beyond that there was no discussion. It appears this was the case with other presentations as well. When I reviewed the most active discussions thread after the conference had ended, the one with most post had ten posts in total with comments from only 3 different participants.

We are still learning to present over computers, and we will get better at it in the future.  With practice more people will start communicating with each other during these venues and virtual presentations do provide a convenient way to get your work out there, and shared with other researchers. The AACE EdMedia and SITE conferences provide virtual presenters with the same publication option, i.e., to index and publish the presentation in EditLib following the conference: http://editlib.org/.

Overall, I am pleased with the virtual presentation and can definitely consider it again as it provided a convenient option to share my most recent work even when my travel funds were limited and for the benefit that I could review what other researchers are working on.

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Presentation slides: http://www.slideshare.net/jwakefield/edmedia2013

The Purely Positive Reviewer Cycle

I am really excited to have been able to be a peer reviewer several times in my first year in the PhD program. Last fall I was able to review ISTE 2011 proposals and I just finished reviewing ISTE 2012 proposal as well. Earlier this fall I reviewed AERA 2012 proposals and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I also get to review SITE 2012 proposals later this month. I have also been a peer reviewer of three books and provided feedback on a total of ten chapters.

Why do I find this so interesting? Well, by reviewing what others propose to submit to conferences and what they write and submit for publication helps me better understand what people within the field work on and I can see where the field is going – I learn what others are interested in. I also learn what standards they hold and what research they are conducting. Knowing this helps me plan my own research and to stay current in the field. I learn the “big” names and whose work to immerse myself more into for further learning.

I love writing. Engaging deeply in reading what others write and from writing several book chapters, journal articles, and conference proposals I have learned a lot. I can identify good writing and continuously strive to write well myself. My writing has definitely improved immensely from reading scholarly work, from practicing writing, and from getting feedback from my professors and peers on my writing. Because of this, I also thoroughly enjoy providing constructive feedback to others to help improve their writing and in an extension the general audience experience. It’s a purely positive cycle!

Back from AERA 2011

Last week I went to New Orleans for the AERA 2011 conference. I had submitted a paper called “What’s Up with Gender and Math Technology – A Gender Gap Persists at the Higher Education Level” together with my major professor Scott J. Warren, Ph.D. and it got accepted as a poster to my delight. Delight, especially because I submitted it in the summer of 2010 when I was taking my very first course in the ECMP Doc program. I realize in hindsight that this was a very brave move for a novice such as me, but my decision was supported by my professor so I just went with it. In a sense, I submitted it because I was angry and wanted to stop being angry, but that is whole other story to be told the day I graduate from the ECMP program. Continue reading

Insight at SITE

Back from the SITE conference in Nashville, where I was presenting with two peers, I have come to insight on how much I have learned in my first year in the UNT Learning Technologies ECMP Doctoral Program. Thinking back to last year, when I was in the Master’s program, I recall what it was like attending and presented at TxDLA in Continue reading