D2L UNconference 2010. It’s happening.

D2L Unconference banner

The Desire2Learn UNconference aims to bring together D2L Users to exchange information, improve communications and build partnerships. Designed to immediately precede D2L’s FUSION 2010 Users Conference. July 11th, 2010. 6:30pm – 11:30pm. Chicago.

Visit the event’s website for more information and to get your ticket. This will be a great opportunity for D2L users to learn and share. There are limited tickets available for this event. You don’t want to miss out.

(the site is best viewed in Firefox, Safari or Chrome, if you’re using IE…switch!)

Lifeskill: Learn how to present

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?

Bookmark and Share

Ideas worth spreading

TEDxWaterloo

UofG_cornerstone

What 
is 
TEDx? In
 the 
spirit
 of 
ideas
 worth 
spreading, 
TEDx 
is
 a
 program
 of
 local, 
self‐organized
 events 
that bring
 people 
together 
to 
share 
a 
TED‐like 
experience. 
At 
a 
TEDx
 event, 
TEDTalks 
video 
and 
live 
speakers
 combine to 
spark 
deep 
discussion
 and
 connection 
in 
a 
small 
group. 
These
 local, 
self‐organized
 events 
are 
branded 
TEDx, where 
x=independently 
organized 
TED 
event. 
The
 TED 
Conference
 provides 
general 
guidance 
for 
the 
TEDx program, 
but 
individual 
TEDx 
events 
are 
self‐organized.

What 
is 
TEDxWaterloo? TEDxWaterloo 
is 
an 
independently
 organized 
TED
 event 
that 
will 
take 
place 
in 
the Region 
of 
Waterloo 
on
 February 
25, 
2010, 
running 
from
 2:00
PM 
to 
8:00
PM. 
The 
theme
 for 
TEDxWaterloo 
is
 Tomorrow 
Started
 Yesterday and 
it
 will 
take 
place
 at 
the
 Gig
 Music 
Hall 
in 
Kitchener, 
Ontario 
(137 
Ontario 
St.
 North,
 Kitchener). 
 The diverse
 speaker 
lineup 
will 
consist 
of 
cross‐disciplinary 
thinkers 
from
 the 
business, 
art, technology, 
education, 
social 
justice 
and 
design
 communities.

 Learn 
more 
at 
www.tedxwaterloo.com

And what’s happening at the University of Guelph? I’m arranging a FREE live viewing event via satellite hookup! Come to room 106 Rozanski Hall at the UofG to experience TEDxWaterloo. This event is open to the public. The room has limited capacity, so please don’t reserve a ticket unless you plan to attend. No food or drink will be provided at this event, just comfy seats & great viewing!

Sign up to attend at: http://guestlistapp.com/events/15006

Bookmark and Share

Maybe the iPad *is* what I want?

I’ve been ruminating about the announcement of the coming of Apple’s new iPad.

Worst name ever for a device. Period. Moving on…

I bought a netbook last year, thinking it would fill a certain void in my life. I want something I can take notes on at meetings and conferences, reference sites and gather emails. I’ve tried, and the netbook’s not it. It’s slow, the screen is poor, the battery is weak, and the keyboard is too small.

I don’t think I’m alone here. For students, I think the iPad would be a good solution for note-taking and research.

Unless y’all can think of a better solution…?

Design. Honestly.

Inspired this week by an encounter with A.M. García while at AccessAbility.

Antonio García is a Chicago-based strategist, writer and brand consultant for the industries of design + innovation. When he’s not shaping and sharing the stories and futures of authentic brands, he draws, designs and djs.

Here’s some of what he shared with me about design:

  • Authenticity is critical, especially communicating across cultures
  • Designers need to be observers, translators, communicators, ethnographers
  • It’s about “keeping it real”
  • It’s about more than “keeping it real”, it has to come from the heart
  • Understanding social mores helps align your work
  • Be flexible. Tell stories. Share insights. Be curious. Be worldly. Be inspired.

“Just because something is compliant, doesn’t mean it will be easy to use.”

Derek Featherstone, developer, consultant, speaker, triathelete, accessibility specialist and group lead of the Web Standards Project, had this to say at AccessAbility.

  • Accessibility isn’t just a little piece of a website, it encompasses everything
  • 4 Cornerstones of Accessibility – Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust
  • It’s not just about meeting the guidelines. It’s about understanding the context of use
  • alt text is not just important for people who can’t see
  • Images that support or replicate information on the page do not necessarily need alt text
  • Don’t think visually. Think from a keyboard perspective.
  • First: Develop Content. Next: Build Presentation. Last: Add Behaviour.
  • Think “Progressive Enhancement

Derek can also be found at:

Further Ahead
furtherahead.com

@Feather
twitter.com/feather