Blog 2. Disgrace. And a video narrated power point on my recreational activity: Playback Theatre

AAgh: first annoying thing is how easy it is to accidentally delete when writing  the blog.  I  spent an hour on this, then accidentally closed it and no draft was saved. This while trying to click on other peoples’ blogs to see if anyone had done a video presentation for me to review as requested. And after a few clicks I couldn’t find anyone else’s but had lost my own carefully crafted second blog.  This is the thing… I don’t have time to carefully craft my presentations  … this CPD may help me tweak but my presentations will not become perfectly honed works of art.  There are simply not enough hours in my day.

Aging disgracefully has become my aspiration… getting on with his new stuff has involved swearing, eating choc and drinking gin as well as ” leaning in” as the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron has it in When Things fall Apart; Heart Advice for Difficult Times. But i really am keen on practicing doing things differently and being willing to change my habits.  Hence persisting with this despite reservations. .

Here is my video narrated power point link

Lessons learned so far from doing this:

1) save drafts

2) more is less, power point-wise ( and generally in life)

3) take more photos and store them sensibly and use them judiciously to bring presentations to life

4) I am uncomfortable  with Steve Jobs being advocated as a role model .  Business gurus are there to sell and persuade. I think that my role as an educator should be to incite scepticism and curiousity, not belief and shopping.  And to promote social justice, not neo-liberal capitalism. So, how can my power points do that?

5) I need to think more about using stories in teaching. I know that we  learn and remember though stories, but i somehow cant bring myself to use them in writing or teaching, as I often find them irritatingly anecdotal and insubstantial. Maybe I could think about using story structure, rather than story content.

In response to the questions posed:

  • How do you currently use PowerPoint in your work? for example, do you already use many of its advanced features?

I use it to structure my presentations.. but also as lecture notes, which I think I may stop doing in future, and keep them more simple. I do not use advanced features,  nor even really the simple features, never having had a second of instruction from anyone on how to use them, until this digithings CPD.  I;d love a bit of face to face help in using basic power point. But I have had feedback that I use PP well: I never ever speak to the slides… i simply have them up as signposting and background for those who prefer to read, or using them as prompts for comment.

  • Do you have any examples of good presentations that you aspire to? and what makes them ‘good’?

Providing structure and  overview, signposting and illuminating key points with visual links  make them “good” for me, as well as inclusion of provocations to incite disagreement!.

  • How useful would you find the ‘adding narration’ and ‘slideshow to video’ tools mentioned previously? can you think of examples of where you might apply them in relation to your teaching and subject area?

I’m not sure.  Narration forces the viewer to listen at the presenter’s pace and i fear makes them more constraining. I was irritated at having to watch and listen  when i wanted to go at my own pace. and it wasn’t possible to click back to find the particular slide i wanted, .But maybe narration  could be  useful for distance teaching…or as a way of bring in quotes or commentary from say clients, patients or other professionals in my clinical teaching. I think the trick is not to just say in words what can be read on the slide. And remember :  less is more.

And finally: what makes  a (dis) graceful lesson?


First blog

i turned 60 last year.  I want to  age gracefully,  if I can,  finding a balance between holding onto the values I have cherished and remaining open to  change and uncertainty.  So,  how to age?

One way might be to embrace digital technology with more of an open mind than I have hitherto .  So far, I have spent say 2 hours trying to master this blasted thing, and Flea ( what a name”) has cheering lay promised to help me, but meantime  here I am beetling away at this p blasted thing late at night. And I can’t control the bloody curser.  I fear tht this may not be for me, but am determined to give it a proper try.

Reasons why not abound.  Too time wasting.  Too much stuff already out there in the blogosphere.  i,m too slow. confidentiality issues… As a clinical psychologist I do lot want to splurge too much in the public domain.