Steffan EdCafe Project Reflection

Posted on May 29, 2013 by

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For the most recent project we had an EdCafe. Each student wrote a paper and then prepared a twenty minute presentation and discussion for a small group. Each day in the EdCafe there was a list of the different stations being offered and time for each student to go to two of them every class period. After the presentations the students filled out forms about how each presenter did and how they could improve. This project was my first EdCafe experience. I really liked the EdCafe presentation style and format. I had never done that kind of an informal presentation about a topic that I thoroughly researched.

Through the EdCafe I learned a lot about myself as a presenter. I realized how much it helps to know the material from every angle of the presentation. I set up a rough outline for the presentation and prepared a few handouts and picture slides for the audience. During the informal presentation I was able to change the direction of the presentation at any moment based on the  responses from the audience. I prefer the informal presentations over the standard organized presentations. The audience was able to learn what they wanted through the questions they asked and their previous knowledge. At the end of my presentation I prepared discussion questions to hear the opinions of my audience. In the discussions I learned it is important to pay attention to the minor details of the presentation in order to expand the range of questions. One of my strengths in the presentation was knowing most of the information off of the top of my head. This allowed me to talk more freely and not have to keep looking back and forth at my notes. One area that I would like to improve is the flow of my presentation. My topic ranged for about 100 years so I tried to organize it chronologically but there were a few times I had to shift quickly between time periods.

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I think that the EdCafe is a helpful way to practice presentation skills and learn a variety of information. Instead of sitting through each students powerpoint presentations the EdCafe allowed me to choose which sessions seemed interesting to me. The casual presentation also allowed me to freely ask the presenter questions and discuss topics in a small group. I would recommend the EdCafe as a different way of presenting information to a class.

-Image from Flickr

Taken by Sean MacEntee

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