I use technology in all of my presentations, or I would run the risk of appearing extremely dry. I've endured the paper-presenting-conference scene and hope to never have to do that again. (For the uninitiated, this is where you write a scholarly paper, submit it to a conference, and if selected, show up at the appointed time and literally read the paper to a captive audience.) Today's more engaging technology-laced presentations are a better use of time, as long as the technology serves the content. Prezi, the popular presentation software with which I have replaced PowerPoint, looks cool with its zooming and spinning, but it also serves as an organizing device. Animated Xtranormal videos and Glogster posters get the "listener's" attention to be sure, but the content has to be ready to take over.
My content is mind maps, content maps, knowledge maps and other examples of visual organizations and explanations of information. Most of these are my own, and most of these are hand-drawn. One of the points I make in my presentation is that these tools are extremely helpful for visual and kinesthetic learners. I believe I am a combination of these and that the very act of drawing these maps and assigning colors helps me remember, organize, and make connections.
My goal is to help my listeners and readers find ways to organize, remember, and schedule and attain higher-level thinking and deeper learning with these tools The hand-drawn techniques will work better for some. The problem is that I perceive, especially through the "perfect storm" of events this week, that there is an aversion to non-electronic learning objects and ideas. The pendulum of teaching has swung to the extreme, a focus on technology rather than learning. I'm hoping that pendulum will come to rest in the center where the focus will be on using these snazzy technologies to create more effective teaching and learning.
Here's a piece of visual technology with a pendulum in it because this post has no other pictures.