METC – When technology fails the presenter …

Well it didn't take long for the conference to experience a really unfortunately difficult presentation.  The biggest disappointment was that the room was llllooooaadddeedddddd!  There was not even standing room left… in the beginning… I have never seen a presentation by this particular presenter before, and giving the benefit of the doubt, everything her presentation was based on was not accessible via the web…  Oh there are so many topics here… Ok so what did go wrong…
Let's start at the beginning… The presentation was Digital Students – Digital Tools: Wiki's, Blogs, Podcasts, and more.  So you can imagine the turnout… I was 15 minutes early to the session, and there were NO seats left in a 50 seat presentation hall.  Additionally, all of the prime wall space was taken by standing and sitting attendees waiting with anxious anticipation for the presentation to start…
The first clue something is wrong… Tech Services was there attempting to get the laptop connected and get the the presenters wiki… after 10 minutes… connection made, but for some unimaginable reason, they could not get to her wiki… they could get everywhere else on the web, but not to that particular site…  First wave of departing participants…
The second clue something is wrong… Fumbled punt… the presenter attempted to go to alternate resources with sad success… additionally, I can only imagine the frustration and sense of discombobulation due to not having any of the prepared materials.  While she was flustered at not having ANY of her materials… in the scramble to keep things going she began to shine, by asking audience members for experiences with blogs and wiki's. Unfortunately, with the truggle and distraction of not having the presentation materials she had difficulty stating focused and answering some questions on the topic…  Second wave of departing participants…
Third clue… the wheels have come off the bus and we are going down hill… the laptop she was scrambling with to get to some very powerful content experts sites completely blew up its connection to the net… Now this was really amazing since about 10 people (myself included) were flying wirelessly (I was even dling Office 2007 at the time).  In the end one of the participants was able to get to the presenters site, and volunteered his personal laptop to get something going.
Time of Death… 20 minutes into a 45 minute presentation that could have been very powerful for a number of attendees.  The only highlight for most attendees was the fact that there were a few people in the audience with quite a bit of knowledge on the subject… I feel a bit uncomfortable saying I was one of them, but about 5 -8 people came up to me at the end of the presentation and thanked me for being there, and providing insight… Overall, I was really looking forward to the presentation too, and that was not from a stand point of presenting… but I hope myself and others provided a bit of insight to the 20 or so people who stayed the full time.
For those of you who may venture here, I promise to update both this blog and wiki with some insightful links and information for you to begin to build your knowledge base on wiki's, Podcasts, and blogging.  I will provide one piece of advice immediately… Walk the Walk.  If you are going to be promoting these tools in you classrooms and schools, start using them yourselves :)  Besides it's fun!

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One thought on “METC – When technology fails the presenter …

  1. What a sad state of affairs…. I know how she feels about technology letting you down. i presented at Learning@schools07 in New Zealand last week and fears of that flooded my mind as I demonstrated Skypetalkandwrite. Fortunately I had capable, very capable people working flat out behind the scenes. And it went ok. First rule of presenting i think. Have a plan B,C, and even a D that does not rely on internet connections.

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