Thursday, February 24, 2011

My First and Second Conference

For the past couple of years I have been working on ideas to present at local conferences. I toyed with ideas on what to present whether it would be beneficial or if it was something that had already been presented so many times that it was old news. I struggled on and off with the dilemma of what to do along with personal issues that have arisen in recent history that have kept me from presenting. Well this year I have finally gotten everything together both personally and professionally enough to be able to present not only once but twice within three weeks of each other.

This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to present at the @ActivCarolina Conference which was held in our school district. In working with one of the organizers of the event we discussed some things that could be done to increase usage of our Interactive White Boards with document cameras in our district. Since I, along with others in our district have made a real push for the integration of document cameras in our district we discussed a presentation that could be done for the ActivCarolina Conference. This then ballooned out to where I could also retool the presentation and take it to @NCTIES, which is our statewide technology conference.

As the time had been drawing nearer to the date of the conferences I have to admit that I had/have been getting more and more nervous that I was forgetting something or needed to add more or take away from the presentation in order to make it as successful as possible. With the help of some of my colleagues I worked to create a Livebinder of resources and information that would go along with the presentation for the attendees to refer back to after the conferences. Now that one has passed, which I have been told was very good. We all know that we, ourselves, are our biggest critics and I always think that I could have done some different or changed the delivery in certain ways. So again I am in that mind set of possibly not being prepared enough for the next presentation. I want it to be perfect, but we all know that we can over analyze the situation and go completely in the opposite direction.

Now I am preparing for the next conference which will be my second ever. It's kind of funny to think back now and after almost 7 years I have never presented at any type of conference. I had never even considered doing it in any way shape or form because I never felt that I had anything real to contribute for my peers that could constitute the opportunity to present at a conference. As I gather up all the items and props that I will need I am still saying to myself, are you ready? Part of me says yes while I am also in panic mode. I think it will go great but there is always that fear of having to drop back and punt.

...but such is the life you live when you present at conferences, whether big or small, tech or not. I look forward to the conference and maybe the possibility of doing this again down the road or next year.

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