From the “Research Interests” section of my application package:
“My course work will focus on media, technology and literacy. The proposal for my research project is to focus on media-enhanced presentation styles that encourage improvisation and participation. Specifically, I will be examining PechaKucha, Ignite, PowerPoint Karaoke, and Battle Decks events. My final project will explore how these presentation styles can contribute to meaning-making and community building in an educational setting.
My research will focus on these presentation styles as a new type of literary form; a digital, participatory, fluid and multi-modal script. Through an examination of these presentation formats, I’ll discuss how the enforced structure of these styles affects the information presented, suggesting that the rules demand a creative and intentional approach to meaning-making. I will look at ways in which this enhanced script creates a new performative experience, establishing new relationships between the presenter, audience members and external online participants who are contributing to the discourse during the presentation. I will explore the interplay between the live events and the online commentary, examining how the boundaries blur between the "real" presentation and the "backchannel" conversation, and how this interplay can serve to enhance or distract from the intended meaning of the performance.
My research will draw from and advance the work done by Guelph’s Media Education Project and the international Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice research project. I will be working with educators to explore how these presentation styles can be incorporated into course delivery and student assessment. Together with these educators, I will explore the new literacies necessary for students to be able to effectively participate in and learn from these new presentation styles. Beyond the context of the University, I will build partnerships with the technology and arts community and community-based organizations, with the goal of creating a community engaged approach to this scholarship.”
@barrydahl put it well: “Cool – you’re going to get a degree in PechaKucha and Karaoke. I’m looking for a program in slot car racing and ping pong.”
I’ll show him!
In other news, I’ve been doing some reading up on Phillip Beesley who is an architect and a prof at the University of Waterloo.
He spoke at tedxwaterloo this year.
His most recent works are a mashup of architecture and sculpture, and are both creepy and beautiful. I think they speak loudly to what the future of architecture and design of physical space and information can (and should) become, a sympathetic environment responding to the individual who is experiencing it – have a look.
I wonder if he might be an interesting addition to the accessibility conference next year.
I’m starting to come down from a bit of a high after presenting at IgniteWaterloo 2.0.
Videos to be posted soon.
A quick shout out to the organizers and all those who presented. A mighty thanks to everyone who attended as well. Y’all should know that we’re starting to plan for IgniteGuelph, June 17th. Not much to look at on this page yet, but stay tuned.
I’ve been thinking a fair amount about how people learn to do effective presentations. I get the sense that most (myself included), learn by watching other presenters, doing a quick search, and then just doing. I’ve certainly found that the more I present, the more comfortable I am, and the better my presentations are.
I’d like to make the case that the ability to craft and deliver effective and engaging presentations should be recognized as a core competency and built into curriculum in secondary school and higher education. I think that presentation skills are as important as numeracy, literacy and writing skills. From what I’ve seen (and I hope I just haven’t found it yet), there are no training or guidelines made available to students. Unfortunately, the exposure students have to other approaches to presenting either comes from their peers (who tend to have similar skills, approach, & experience) or their teachers/instructors (who have a…range…;P).
Presenting is an art and it requires training and practice. People need to know learn how to develop good visuals, to deliver content in engaging ways, to present to different audiences using different media and with different styles, and (I think this is really key), to know how to adjust a presentation to a different style/media/timing on the fly.
I’m encouraging teachers/instructors out there to think about building alternative presentation styles into their course assignments. What about having students do ignite-style talks? If you teach, what about giving one yourself at the beginning of each week? each class? how about once?
What Is Ignite? (from http://ignite.oreilly.com/)
If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers.
Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then 100s of 5 minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC.
The lineup from November 25, 2009:
- Jesse Rodgers: How to run an ‘unconference’
- Jayne Thompson: Flood Forecasting and Climate Change
- Aden Seaman: How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube in 90 seconds
- Brent Curry: Nudging people onto bikes in the age of the automobile
- David Swart: What do you do with visible spheres?
- Darin White: Meta-Making: A hacker space in 17 easy steps
- Jaclyn Konzelmann: Teaching hasn’t changed. Is it still effective?
- Kevin Thaler: Policing in 2009: Five minutes on twenty years of change
- David Estil: Here Comes the Sun: Solar Energy as development home and abroad
- Simon Clark: Hacking the Hood
- Jason Shim: ‘Til Disconnection Do We Part: A Second Life Wedding
- Levi McCulloch: A Real Fraternity Road Trip
- Mark Connolly: Are you sure that’s an album? Metaphor in product design
- Dr. Matt Renaud: High Altitude Medicine
- Nick Oddson: How Theatre Helped My Career: Improvisational guidelines for work and life
- John Fishbein: Meet the Real Africa
Here are two of my favourite talks from the night:
Next Ignite Waterloo event is scheduled for March 3, 2010. I’ve been asked to present. Mark it on your calendar, and stay tuned.