EdCafe Reflection

Posted on May 29, 2013 by

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Small Informal Discussion

During this project, I learned a lot not only about the topic that I researched, but also about presenting to a small group. One conclusion that our class came up with was that handouts were very useful in making your audience understand the information and also to keep them interested. Through my experience presenting, I found that using a handout was useful because it gave the audience a different, visible way to comprehend the information that you are speaking to them. Also, as an audience member, I found that it was hard to keep focused on the presenter when they just talk the whole time versus talking and distributing handouts. Also, I learned that in a smaller informal situation, you have to be very flexible in how you are going to deliver your information, and be ready to stop at any time to answer questions. I gave a pretty structured presentation and a few times I found it hard to get back onto my presentation after answering a question, and I realize that I should have been more flexible and able to jump around a bit with my content. When it came to the discussion portion, I found it helpful to have guiding questions to start off the discussion. Also, to keep the discussion going it is helpful to be able to come up with questions or comments on the spot so that you can keep the conversation going. These skills are important to keeping your audience involved and participating in the discussion.

I think as a presenter, I am fairly strong at keeping the audience engaged in what I am talking about. I was also able to keep the discussion lively, and make sure the audience learned something about deeper ideas during the discussion period, not just learning during the information period. After these presentations, I think I need to work on being able to be more flexible and not as structured during informal presentations, as I mentioned above. As a member of a discussion, sometimes I can be more reserved than I would like to be, so maybe I should work on asking questions when I’m not sure of something and making important comments when appropriate.

Overall I really enjoyed the EdCafe experience. This project allowed me to research deep into one topic, and also learn about many different topics from my peers. I thought the fact that we had to teach a session forced me to really understand the topic well and be able to talk about it freely. It also was a very different way to present information that I had never done before, and it helped me improve on many skills that I haven’t really had the chance to hone before. It was also nice to learn from my classmates for a change instead of always learning from a teacher or through my own research.

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Image from Flickr

Taken by Raimonda Bunikyte

Energy for all panel discussion-1

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