Today I spoke at my first conference! GREAT15 Global Resources in Education and Technology is a conference that has been produced by Michigan State University’s Overseas Education Technology students for the past eight years. Speaking at a conference is something that I have always wanted to do but have never felt empowered enough to do it. Today I walk away from this conference not only knowing that I have the confidence to speak at a conference but also how to prepare for speaking at a conference. I think that this is the most important takeaway for me.
Confident and relieved. This is how I would sum up my feelings for today. I went into my research-to-practice session with nothing but confidence, well not nothing but confidence I was a little nervous but I put on my lipstick and walked into my session and got it done. (Lipstick is my trigger object. When I put it on it triggers my brain that I’m going to perform and be another person for just a little bit.) I feel like the participants understood the research and how I linked it to teaching students with an IEP. But one of the best parts was a few of the participants were able to see how they can use screencasting within their own practice. Hallelujah!
A few unanticipated problems popped up during the my session. The biggest of which was a projector cut out and would not turn back on. I was about three-quarters through my session and the screen went blue. When we tried to get the screen working again it just didn’t want to work. I took what felt like forever for the screen to work again but was probably only 2 minutes. But my Andy, session partner, and I held our cool and he was able to play around with the cords and get it fixed while I worked with the participants. This was, thankfully, during the work time of the session so the participants were working off of their own computers and it didn’t seem to bother them.
Also, I didn’t give participants a time to be finished with their screencast. Because of the above incident this worked out just fine but when I’m teaching this with my students I can see where I am going to need to give each of them a certain amount of time to finish their project.
I feel absolutely wonderful about the work that I did today and the research that I have done to get me here. My practice has been extremely enriched by this project and my students will be able to benefit from it for years to come.