Friday, February 16, 2018

Making Conference Presentations Accessible

Allow me an excursus here from my usual CI-related posts to address something instructional technology-related (hey, I do have my Ed.S degree in the field) having do with conference presentations. 

We all have attended presentations at conferences where we would have liked to have had more time to digest what was presented or were not able to catch all of the links and resources which the presenter referenced. If we do ask for a copy of the presentation, either we have to get the presentation emailed to us, or the presenter sends a long Google URL link. If we are lucky, sometimes the conference allows for presenters to upload their presentations and handouts to a common sharing site.

Consider creating a website which will house everything related to your presentation! I leaned about this during my recent graduate studies, and I absolutely love this idea. I can upload everything in digital form which allows for my presentation to be paper-free. To see examples of my presentation websites, visit my Presentation page on this blog.

I use Weebly to create my presentation websites, because it is free and incredibly user-friendly. I divide my website into the following sections:
  1. Slide presentation
  2. Handouts
  3. Resources
  4. Contact information
  5. Evaluation (optional)
  6. Video of the presentation (optional)
Prior to the presentation, I will create the site and will upload everything to it. Because I use both Google Docs and Sheets, it is very easy to embed the presentation and handouts to the Weebly. I will usually also create a QR code which links to the presentation and place the QR code on the first slide of the presentation for participants to scan at the beginning if they wish.

  1. Creating a website allows for a presentation to be accessible to anyone at any time (or as long as you keep it up). Your presentation audience has expanded beyond the four walls of your presentation room to now the world.
  2. When someone requests to see my presentation, it is so much easier to give them a web address than a long URL code or to email the presentation. 
  3. Housing my presentations on my blog has allowed for people to view other presentations which I have given in the past.
  4. For my first couple presentation websites, it took me awhile to get the hang of it, but now I have found it quite easy to create a website due to the user-friendliness of Weebly.
If you are giving a presentation some time soon, consider creating a website for your presentation. Let me know how it goes!

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