More cuts

July 20, 2010

It was interesting reading a press release from BIS yesterday about closing more quangos.

The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property policy (SABIP), SITPRO (Simplifying International Trade) and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Advisory Body (WAB) will all close in the next year. The British Shipbuilders Corporation will be abolished next year.

What was more interesting were the footnotes.

Within the main body of the press release it said:

The announcement comes as part of the Government’s commitment to reducing the number and cost of quangos and builds on the 13 Public Bodies closures that have already been announced.

In the footnotes it said and my emphasis.

The abolition, merger or termination of BIS funding of 13 Public Bodies was announced on 24 May 2010. Those bodies are: seven Regional Industrial Development Boards: UfI/Learndirect; Learning & Skills Improvement Service; Institute for Learning; Standards and Verification UK; IiP UK; and Hearing Aid Council.

There were three press releases on the 24th May relating to the cuts in funding:

None of these went into any detail about which Quangos would be cut, one of them said:

£80m from closing the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) and other savings in Department for Education quangos.

I have searched previous press releases from BIS and there is no detail on any of the savings to be made.

There is nothing (that I can find) on the LSIS or IfL websites about the cuts in funding.

Thanks to Bob and Seb for the noticing the footnote.

Edit: Screengrab in  case it disappears…

…also frozen the page using FreezePage.

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96 slides in 12 minutes – Presentation Styles

April 14, 2010

At a Becta LSIS Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology Conference at the NEC last year I had a twelve minute slot for a presentation on how the future of learning is mobile.

I did use slides.

Now the accepted model for powerpoint presentations is 2-5 minutes per slide, so if I was presenting according to the accepted model I would have had no more than six slides.

So how many slides did you have?

I used ninety six slides.

Did you really?

Yes I did.

I remember been asked to send a copy of my presentation to the organisers, which I had to do via a version uploaded to the web as it was too big for e-mail. I then got a “worried” e-mail reminding me that I only had twelve minutes and that I might have too many slides. I did in fact cut a few slides, I think initially it was over a hundred… so cutting to ninety six was quite tough!

Even at the event, I was taken to one side and reminded how important it was to stick to the timeslot I had been given.

Then it was time….

I use to have quite light slides when I started doing conference presentations, but was noted by someone else that my slides a few years ago were getting more text heavy… and it was true! I had more and more text on my slides.

So I decided to stop how I wrote my presentation slides and think again about how and what I present.

Most times text is on slides as a crutch to the presenter who may not know their stuff, or certainly doesn’t have the confidence to present without the security blanket of lots of text.

I decided that if I was using words I would use phrases or key words. Where possible I would use images.

So where do you get the images?

Most times they are images I have taken myself or had taken for me. But for a lot of images I use creative commons licensed images from Flickr. There is a wealth of images available on Flickr and they can be used to convey lots of different things. If I can’t find the image I want, I have been known to get the camera and go and take the image. I also upload my images to Flickr, not just so others can use them, but if I am out and about and I want to use one of my images I needn’t worry about having it on my computer as it may be on my Flickr account.

Images are very powerful and can convey and support what I am saying

But what about the text?

Presentations are not about text they are about presentations.

Word documents are about text, so write a Word document or a blog post.

I try to use a small number of words and where possible avoid bullet points.

I have seen too many presentations that consist of bullet points with lots of explanatory text, often too small to read!

But when I post my presentation online…

Come on, really who is the presentation for, the audience in the conference room or the online audience.

Remember that the core audience for a presentation is the live audience in the conference room. It is not the remote audience who will only read your presentation and won’t get the full benefit of your actual talk and any questions afterwards.

If it is necessary to offer a more detailed presentation online. then video or film the presentation. Or how about creating one text heavy presentation for the online audience who won’t hear you and one for the live audience who will.

Anyone who puts loads of text onto a slide so that it makes sense to someone who reads it online (notice the use of the word reads) then they might as well not present their work and just print it out and let us read it.

Presentations that are watched are different to documents that are read.

Use the right tool for the right audience and the right location.

I can’t take all the credit for how I create my slides for my presentations, one of the articles I read gave me a real insight into making a good looking presentation. The article talks about the different presentation styles of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and reading it, it makes a lot of sense to me.

So what of the rules about 2-5 minutes per slide?

If you know the rules, you can break the rules.

So how did I do?

Yup, I delivered all ninety six slides in twelve minutes. Got lots of positive feedback as well. The feedback was on the content of the  presentation and what I said, and not on the presentation slides themselves.

Job done!


The Future of Learning is Mobile Presentation

October 22, 2009

My presentation slides from the joint Becta and LSIS Conference on Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology where I gave a presentation entitled, The future of learning is mobile.

There is an audio recording of the presentation.


The future of learning is mobile

October 20, 2009

At the joint Becta and LSIS Conference on Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology I gave a presentation entitled, The future of learning is mobile.

This is an audio recording of the presentation.

I am hoping to put up the slides when I have more bandwidth.


Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology

October 20, 2009

It’s a busy week this week, though in the main because I am getting asked to do lots of things.

Today I was giving a keynote (and running an exhibition stand) at the joint Becta and LSIS Conference on Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology. My presentation was on mobile learning, though (as you might guess) I covered a fair bit more than just “what is mobile learning”.

I was on just before lunch, prior to my bit we had had LSIS and Becta give their views on embracing technology and a workshop.

liet

Alas (or luckily) I only had ten minutes to do my presentation and using the digital clock on my iPhone I did keep to time.

I would loved to have more time and engaged the conference delegates in conversation and discussion. Well to be honest I did over lunch, where for an hour I chatted and engaged with the delegates on my stand.

As well as showing off a lot of mobile kit (from my bag of crap) I also had bundles of LSN publications about MoLeNET which were taken in their droves.

Went very well, so much so, I never got a chance to eat my lunch!

After lunch I went to Becky Barrington’s workshop on tools that she uses with her staff. Though I know practitioners love to create content, and the tools Becky showed demonstrate how much easier that it is to now, I do question the sustainability of a that model across the FE sector. How can we share all that wonderful content that is being created in various colleges across the country? How can we ensure that the shared content is being utilised effectively and for the benefit of learnings.

We can’t be the only institution who once more will create a series of slides or quizzes on customer service?

I enjoyed Stuart Edwards’ presentation and nice use of this video to prove how social media is having a huge impact on the way we communicate. Glad I didn’t show my video in my presentation as we used the same audio track!

Overall it was a very interesting conference.


It was mobile and was glossy

March 16, 2009

On the 5th February I presented a workshop at the LSIS eCPD launch event. I did blog about this before I gave my workshop and we also discussed it on our snow podcast.

Though it was a workshop, I did have a short presentation that went alongside it.

You can read about the workshop and the background in the “Old Stuff” part of the blog.


e-Learning Stuff Podcast #012: It’s Snow Joke

February 8, 2009

Recorded during the height of the snow at the beginning of February 2009 the panel discuss the role that learning technologies and communication tools can have in supporting colleges and schools that get closed because of the snow.

This is the twelfth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, It’s Snow Joke.

Download the podcast in mp3 format: It’s Snow Joke

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

It's Snow Joke

James is joined by Di Dawson, Lisa Valentine, David Sugden, Dave Foord and is joined later by John Whalley.

Shownotes

  • The view from Di’s office.
  • Ping.fm which can be used to send the same message to various micro-blogging and picture services.
  • Spinvox a service which converts audio into text. Allows you to phone into your blog, convert voicemail to SMS, and much more.
  • Gabcast is a simple way to make podcasts, by just phoning in…
  • Dim Dim is a free to use online conference and presentation tool.
  • Elluminate another online presentation tool which was used at the recent LSIS eCPD Launch Conference.
  • Instant Presenter as used for the MoLeNET online conferences.
  • Oovoo which is an alternative to Skype and can be used for four way video conferencing.
  • Ustream is a online video broadcasting service.

John Whalley’s final comment, as I didn’t give him much notice on the podcast recording.

Thought on one thing to do if it snows – have a series of general podcasts prepared on a ‘non-mainstream’ area for your subject, distributed early in the course.  Ask learners to review if can’t get in to college.

Apologies for the poor sound quality at time on the recording, which we are putting down to the poor weather!