This morning, I presented virtually at ISTE 2015. Actually, I re-presented a shortened version of a webinar on Narrative Poetry & Digital Storytelling that I presented for the ISTE Digital Storytelling Network in April. As I was preparing and reviewing for my presentation, I realized that in my Kuwait-Saudi move purging frenzy, I’d tossed all of my handwritten notes and commentary.
As I noted in my “Whirlwind” post, we move fast. Perhaps too fast, and in just two short months, though I knew the content well, I was no longer in the same preparatory space as I’d had been when I prepared the original presentation. Luckily, we record our webinars, and so I watched the archive and took notes from myself. This proved interesting, useful and I learned again. This time from myself.
Though I may have archived my webinar for my portfolio, I probably would not have watched it all from start to finish had I not been preparing a secondary presentation. And though I had a detailed outline, it was really interesting hearing myself present, hearing the thoughts I spoke in real time and hearing the connections I didn’t know I’d made. I learned something and revisited a place I’d not been in a couple of months. Additionally, I was able to revise my upcoming presentation and improve upon it.
These two experiences, one of viewing Barkley speak in real time and the other of of going back in time and hearing myself speak as opposed to just reading old notes or journals, has got me thinking that it might be valuable to take video archives of what we do. We advise novice teachers to record themselves as a form of reflection. Perhaps, this should be standard practice.
- What do we look and sound like when we are presenting, teaching, collaborating, etc.?
- What do our planned thoughts look like in real time?
- What is the uncut version of who we are?
- What can we learn from watching a past version of ourselves?
- Can recording and presenting our thoughts deepen our online connections?
As a writer, I know that I do not capture nearly all that I think. I also know that as much as I plan and script presentations, I always go off book. Thus, listening to myself was illuminative. It was also nice to remember the intensity of the passion I feel for the topic, and this is something that words on paper/screen simply can’t do.
Additionally, listening to Stephen Barkley speak, think and pause made me connect with his content in a manner that differed from reading blog posts (though I also love the traditional blog posts).
As we journey further into the digital age, I would challenge us to start recording ourselves live and uncut, at least some of the times. And then, watch it a week, month or year later. Though it occurred by chance in a moment of necessity, it certainly proved to be a wonderfully reflective exercise.