Cahuilla CUE, Google Presentations, Ustream, and K12online All The Time

On Saturday I had the opportunity to drive out to Palm Springs for the Cahuilla CUE Tech Fair. Cahuilla CUE is a local affiliate of Computer Using Educators based in the Cochella Valley. Dr. Lee Grafton, the vice president of the affiliate helped organize the event and a series of CUEtoYOU professional development workshops to follow. She invited me to “keynote” the small event and then lead two 1 hour sessions immediately after my talk. Here’s the “handouts” page (meaning links to the wikis) for all three sessions:

Even though the event was small and the keynote was short, I was surprisingly nervous about this event… I was trying lots of new things:

  • First of all, though it was only 20 minutes, this was my first opportunity to roll out a version of my “Learning to Network & Networking to Learn” topic.
  • Second, for the presentation I created all new slides, avoiding bullets and text for the most part – and focusing on storytelling rather than information transmission. (I was a bit nervous about how fluid I would be and how well I would keep to the strict time constraints.)
  • Third, I used a Google Docs presentation and planned to invite the network in to participate via the chat.
  • Finally, I had also planned to webcast audio and video of the presentation via ustream at – but sadly, the “Go Live” interface wasn’t working on the CSUSB Palm Dessert campus guest wireless network.

Except for the ustream issue (which was something of a relief because I think I was most nervous about broadcasting my first go at the topic) everything went extremely well. In the keynote I think I shared some inspiring ideas without overwhelming people with details, and I hit 20 minutes right on the nose. :)

Also, I thought I’d get limited participation in the backchannel chat because of the early Saturday morning timeslot, but it turned out to be fantastic (short, but fantastic, especially as a proof of concept)… and the folks in the room were actually reading along on the big screen as I talked. I kept the window open and captured the chat using Jing afterwords. Here’s the presentation and archived chat:

Learning to Network & Networking to Learn @ Cahuilla CUE October 6, 2007
Archived Chat

The one-hour wiki session that followed went well, too, and some of “the network” actually followed me into the new presentation. Though this was a quick session and the online participation was minimal really, I think this is a shadow of what is to come at conferences like NECC this year. I expect there will be a lot of virtual session hopping among online (and face-to-face) attendees.

Wiki While You Work @ Cahuilla CUE October 6, 2007
Archived Chat (Warning: A bit of hockey conversation was captured when I archived this.)

Finally, I did a one-hour “Quick and Dirty” Podcasting session to finish the morning. We had lost the online participants by that point, but one of the participants in the session got himself into the Google preso and posted a link to Audacity for Windows users. It was only one person, but it was cool to see it happen despite the fact that I had no time to walk people through it… I just made it available.

Quick and Dirty Podcasting @ Cahuilla CUE October 6, 2007
Archived Chat (Note: still shot only)

For me, this was a successful experiment. At this point I’m planing to use a Google presentation (& chat) for all my presentations and I’ll at least invite folks from the outside to come in (in addition to inviting attendees). Whether anyone shows up and participates will of course be a variable somewhat beyond my control… but I can try to make each event as compelling as possible for both online and face-to-face attendees. Also, I’ll be trying ustream again at my next presentation and hope to make that a part of my routine. Will Richardson has really lead the way with Weblogg-ed TV when it comes to sharing his own presentations and experiences. (I popped into a presentation he made to assistant state superintendents of education yesterday morning… as I was watching David Warlick’s k12online pre-conference keynote, reading my feeds, and – of course – twittering.) It’s getting to the point were we might be able to experience something like the k12onlineconference any day we choose. :)