Friday, July 10, 2009

Video Books

SqoolTube is a site with free video books to view or download. There is not a huge range but authors/titles include Maurice Sendak, Dr Seuss, Berenstain Bears and Curious George. Other sites I've recommended in the past (ie Looky Books and Tumble Books) are now either off line or have a cost so hopefully this one will be a possible replacement.

Thanks to Jacqui Sharp for sharing this and other online literary links in her recent post.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Whole New Meaning to Customer Complaints

This YouTube clip has been created by a United Airlines customer in response to a bad experience he had on one of their flights. It's had over 148,000 hits in two days! I'm picking United Airlines aren't too happy about it right now ....

It also makes me think of the bigger picture here for other organisations. It seems this could place extra pressure on them to provide good customer service or end up on YouTube! Not necessarily a bad thing from the consumer point of view is it?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Presentation Zen Workshop

Woo hoo, I'm here! I was the first person to arrive at the venue (Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington) for the Presentation Zen workshop! In fact I was so early that was here when Garr arrived that got to meet him personally before he went into set up. In case you haven't already guessed - I have been very excited about coming along today! I'm going to write my notes in this post although Garr's presentation style is such that it's hard to do anything else other than listen to him!

The little things matter.

Powerpoint is not for documents. Have proper documents and proper visuals - don't try to kill two birds with one stone.

Express your uniqueness - what makes you/your content different?

Recommended text:
Unlimited - The new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it by Gordon Dryden and Jeanette Vos.

Characteristics of good presentations we've seen:
humour, stories, simplicity,sincerity, passion, unexpected props, good structure, nervous, crass, starting with a question, engaged audience, credibility, not too formal or serious, natural delivery, not perfect

Characteristics of bad presentations we've seen:
reading slides, podium hugger, monotone, clutter, complex diagrams, transitions effects, quiet, going over time, small fonts, too much information

Recommended text:
Brain Rules by John Medina
- see slideshare for a summary

Garr's other blog

100% pure nz clip on youtube - an example of showing a story to get a message across rather than saying it.

- restraint - resist the urge to add more
- multitasking myth - not biologically capable
- time off the grid to prepare - analogue
- structure your presentation about meaning, the big picture, the sport key ideas with details. Don't start with the details.
- wide or deep but not both - choose one and let go of the rest
- make your messages/stories "sticky" (Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath) - all these memorable messages have 6 key elements - simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotion, story

Dr Jill Bolte Taylor(

Storyboarding - can print out blank in powerpoint
It all takes time being more effective and different
Refer to previous speakers in your presentation

Recommmended text:
A whole new mind by Daniel Pink

- the bento (attention to detail, fresh, bite size pieces, inspiring, simple, something for everyone, variety, complete
- decoration is surface
- design is soul deep (Design by Tom Peters)

Hear a message and you'll remember 10%. See a picture and you'll remember 65%.

Lessig method

Simplicity means the achieveent of maximum effect with minimum means - Dr Koicha Kawana

The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda
Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the mean meaningful.

Simplicity - essence space, clarity, profound

Simplicity is not simple. Simplicity good. But simple is not.

Child's mind/beginners mind - willing to take a chance

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few. Shunrya Suzuki

Creativity - Sir Ken Robinson

- conversational
- be natural, relaxed
- use a remote control
- synchronisation
- 1 minute rule (change something every 10 minutes or so)
- use larger tv screens rather than projectors if possible
- never use a podium
- lapel mirocrophone for large audiences
- stand front and centre
- b key (black), w key (white)
- video and audio can be powerful
- no audio for transitions

Kaizen - continous improvement

What a fabulous four hours this has been. To top it off we got a free copy of Garr's book (autographed) and I was the luck recipient of the free Presentation Zen DVD (being the only poorteacher in the room). Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the lunch with Garr as I had to rush off and catch my flight back to Auckland.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I spy

I've taken to reading the Telegraph online every so often as sometimes they have very interesting education reports. This one has tickled my fancy and has caused more than a few smiles when I've shared it with colleagues. It seems MI5 is actively recruiting experienced teachers as spies! I have to admit to being more than a little intrigued at the concept - images of Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench feature prominently in my thoughts! Not sure about the salary though which is claimed to be similar to an experience secondary teacher. Surely a little "danger" money wouldn't go amiss if those James Bond movies are anything to go by?

Go on read it - I bet you can't stop yourself!