Sunday, June 10, 2007

My First Presentation

Well, I gave my first presentation - Blogging 101 - at RILA on Friday morning. I wish it had gone better, but I do think it went OK.

It got off to a rocky start when people had more trouble than I ever could have imagined setting up a Gmail account. I had anticipated that people would need to do this (as the lesson was on Blogger blogging) and I made sure I could lead them through it quickly, and about a quarter of the class had trouble - and then I knew I was in trouble. This whole process sucked up about 15 extra minutes, and I was sorta freaked by the experience. But, we got through it (though not to everyone's satisfaction - but we had to move on) and the rest of the class went pretty smoothly.

Considering that I overestimated the average participant's computer/internet experience (email was about the limit), I think that many people walked away with a decent basic understanding of putting together a blog - and actually did leave the class with a blog set-up and ready to roll. I hope that at least some of the people keep up with it, and perhaps get some use out of the Blogging 101 blog I threw together as an addendum to the class.

Next time I hope to have a short survey in place (I just could not get my act together enough to do that this time) as I would have liked more feedback than I received.

My "fun" Geocaching "presentation" on Thursday went well in spite of the fact that most people thought the concept "weird" and me "crazy." But I could tell that they really did enjoy the informal show-and-tell and a few asked if I presented classes for "real." Cool.

As for the conference turnout in general, well, I couldn't help but notice that it's the same group of people time in and time out. Which, hey, this is RI, and God knows that library jobs do not change hands often here, but.... And, as the profession grows more divided (and as far as I've seen that division increases daily), the conference becomes mostly a gathering of the veterans with a few new/young librarians thrown in in a vain attempt to "network." I graduated three years ago with 100 (?) other people, and I saw three of my former classmates (not counting two who were on the conference committee - yay them!). Three. Huh.

Anyway, I have lots to say about the "divide," but I'm tired from my camping trip and sick with a cold, so I'll leave it for another time.

6 comments:

Jeff Scott said...

If you have a presentation where the participants will need to set-up an email account, allow at least 30 minutes :) I learned that the hard way when I used to teach Computers II, email, internet, and more. It took at least half the time just to get the email ready. Too bad more librarians are not presenting, but that will change with time.

John said...

Presenting techie stuff is difficult, especially if you have to sign people up to Gmail or Yahoo. I spent an hour helping a patron set up a Yahoo Mail account the other night, she just didn't understand the concept of creating an id and password.

Patricia said...

I was wondering-- what were the problems people had with setting up their google account?

Kaijsa said...

Whenever I've had workshops that required some set-up, I've always been amazed that what seems really straightforward to me is like a foreign language to others. I'm planning a workshop for faculty on RSS readers and I'm hoping I can learn from your post.

Heidi said...

Hi Jessica, I just started reading your blog, I enjoy what you have to say :)

I was just curious, did you do a presentation at a library on geocaching?

My husband and I are geocachers and I haven't heard about any library geocaching programs but I was certainly be interested if somebody's done one to see how and what they talked about.

Paul Capewell said...

Very interesting to read how you got on with this. And it has put the idea into my head to maybe do a class on setting up an email address or setting up a blog. I've never done anything like it before, but I feel like I could (and should!).

This is a great blog by the way. Very entertaining and informative.