Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chapter 4--They Snooze, You Lose_Synopsis

Chapter 4

Ringing CHIMES2

This chapters starts off by recognizing that time is limited and the

curriculum to cover is so vast. Dr. Burmark interestingly cites some

authors to point out that if we as educators were to cover all the standards

then we will have to have K-22. In short, the author states that we need to

be efficient and effective as educating presenters. According to her, to be

effective we need to accomplish the following: 1) get our students' attention

and 2) make the presentation stick. These are by no means easy to achieve

in an age where distraction reigns. Humorously she recounts a time where

perhaps she attracted way too much attention by the way she dressed, stating

that the point is to attract not distract. Dr. Burmark then introduces

CHIMES2, as an acronym that stands for Connections, Humor, Images, Music,

Emotion, Story, and Senses. These items, when used appropriately, should help

us to keep our audience's attention. She invites readers to look at these

and analyze where our strengths reside and where we need to improve.

This chapter made me realized that I have some very natural attributes

to be an effective presenter: Humor and Connection (at least that's what I been

told). Yet, when it comes to Emotion or connecting to various Senses, I could

definitely improve.

Chapter 3--They Snooze, You Lose_Synopsis

Chapter 3

Celebrating Presenters

This chapter deals describes the strengths and weaknesses of the

types of presenters that it also identifies.

This chapter starts humorously by reminding us of dull presentations

where the so-called presenter is just reciting instructions to an audience

that is completely disengaged. This type of presenter is identified here as

the lecturer. But Dr. Burmark reminds us that lecturers don't always are

boring citing Rev. Billy Graham as an example of an engaging lecturer.

The second type of presenter is the entertainer. Which, according to the

author, their performances result in a sort of escapism in which thought

activity becomes suspended. In general the entertainer does not get an

opportunity to get to know his audience as individuals. The third type of

presenter is the motivational speaker which mostly inspires and could

have, some sort of short or long term influence on his audiences. The author

then proposes that the fourth type of presenter, the educator, should ideally

possess all the strengths of the 3 above mentioned presenters. An educator

must present content in a way that allows his audience to be able to then

take it into new situations and people. Dr. Burmark then celebrates Steve

Jobs's great qualities as a presenter and urges us to attempt to be like him

by proving "10 tips from Steve Jobs" pointing out that #1 (have fun) and #10

(present what you love) are the most important. She ends the chapter by

recognizing that the audience's interests affect the presenter's success,

suggesting ideas to try to incorporate the audiences interests and learning


I have no disagreements with this chapter. I find the 10 tips from Steve

Jobs, particularly helpful, being the mac fanboy that I admittedly am. I also

highly value the suggestions to try to make our presentations fit the learning

styles and interests of our audiences.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Here is my week 3 edited copyright presentation

Chapter 2--They Snooze, You Lose_Synopsis

Chapter 2

Creating slides and handouts

You really have very little time to capture your audience's

attention. This should be easy enough by adding comedy and

silliness to your introduction. The problem for educators is how to add

simultaneously a bit of serious information. Dr. Burmark prescribes

that in order to do this you must stay away from the standard

procedure which includes: 1) The presenter creates a series of slides with

bulleted text; 2) The software automatically transforms the slide into

handouts; and 3) The presenter reads the slides to the audience. She states

that essentially these are all 3 slightly version of the same text information.

Dr. Burmark then organizes the chapter by first concentrating on what should

go on the slides. She believes that the best way is to present images on the

slides and to talk about it so that you you deliver the information through both

the visual and the auditory channel. This leaves the handouts to handle black-

and-white text. She endorses giving your audience a black-and-white sheet,

printed on both sides, in which your audience use as a guide to follow you,

and decide what is important to them, but also given them a URL where

they can get more information on the topics and subjects that you are

discussing in your presentation. She also recommends a policy of No

Electronic Devices during your actual presentation, even though there

is evidence that perhaps newer generations are getting better at multi-

tasking; something she seems extremely skeptical of. She finishes the

chapter by stressing the importance that words are meaningless unless

your audience knows what you are referring to. So thus the importance

of images. At this point she also gives her approving opinion towards a

shift towards what the audience gains as opposed to the expertise and

knowledge of the presenter.

I found Chapter 2 to possess new, useful information

for me. I have never even conceived that slides and handouts could

and should be different; not just regurgitating the same information. In

fact, I highly agree with this concept. I just want to remind myself that

these are recommendations that Dr. Burmark puts forward because

in her informed opinion they will work for the majority of audience

members. In other words, there are exceptions, and I suspect that one

will find those students who are very visual and word-driven. Or

what about those that can completely disconnect to the visual cues of a

presentation and actually pay attention to the words coming out of

the presenter's mouth?

Chapter 1--They Snooze, You Lose_Synopsis

Chapter 1

Tweaking Presentations

This chapter begins by relating to the reader the horrifying

experience that it is to sit through your typical Powerpoint

presentation. Having that as a starting point, Dr. Lynell Burmark, then begins

by giving the reader a set of clues that, she assures, will dramatically improve

the look and effectiveness of any presentation. She begins by stating, (rightly so

in my opinion), that backgrounds should not compete with the content; that

they serve as a surface to place elements. It is here that she points out the

importance of color as they increase reading comprehension and learning in

general. But she points out that color that distracts is worse than no color at,

adding also that color should not offend your audience (imagine presenting to

a group of Aggies using white and orange as your theme colors) get the

point. Dr. Burmark interestingly points out that the average slide contains forty

words, hinting that these maybe way too many for your slide to be effective in

delivering information. She points out that an effective slide should be able to

deliver its content within 3 seconds, just like a billboard on the highway. Dr.

Burmark process into some typographical tips such as recommending to use

widely kerned fonts, such as Georgia and Verdana, the use of lowercase, and

varying the leading (space between the lines) as it improves legibility and gives

your audience visual tips on what's more important. She finishes the chapter

by stating that Helvetica should be avoided unless you want to be confused

with the IRS, and that as a rule of thumb you should not have more than two

typefaces on one slide.

I agreed more than disagreed with what Dr. Burmark presented

in this first chapter. I can totally identify with what I snobbishly

consider a lack of taste and minimalistic presentation. We as presenters

need to become better at organizing information to make it visually

attractive to our audience; I couldn't agree more with Dr. Burmark

on this point. Yet, being admittedly a Helvetica fanatic, I don't agree

with her IRS-ish views on the font. But I am not surprised either. As

seen on the documentary Helvetica one can see that this font is a world

of controversy in the typographical world, apparently having its fanboys

and haters at each others' throat.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Here is my Copyright Crash Course presentation on Slideshare

Copyright Crash Course

My experiences for this presentation were a sort of a rude awakening to the realities of academia. I have been so far away from the realm of studies that I have forgotten how time consuming these can be. Nonetheless I welcome them for they are reigniting in me a passion for search and to dive into subjects and readings almost compulsively.
I have long been aware of copyright issues as I follow blogs and podcast that at times deal with them. What I wasn't aware of was the details on what's permitted and what's not, the great options that we have as educators, and the always present risk that nothing is for certain...that nothing substitutes good judgment and common sense.