Thursday, March 9, 2017

Second seminar photos

My second Freedom Seat Seminar went well, but also highlighted the necessity of getting to places early - and of checking on computers and projectors before doing anything else.

I got to my LCCC classroom an hour and 15 minutes early so I could take my time in setting up the displays - some of which I was going to reference in class. (Three advertisements featuring the First Lady of Firsts, Betty Skelton).

Here's what the room looked like, before I tried to hook my laptop up to the projectors:

Corner view of the two tables I used for my display
Three ads on the right feature Betty Skelton - one of the Mercury 13, stunt pilot and car driver

Brochures from WASP Museum, art, etc

I was told I had 7 students, so I made 7 handouts

Map of Earhart's last flight, class topics, description of an air race, questionnaire
With half an hour to go, I went in search of a bottle of Pepsi. The machine wouldn't take my dollar so I headed down to my car to get change. On the way, passed the LCCC woman in charge of the LIFE Enrichment classes. Asked her to help me set up my laptop.  (Last week, she'd set it up, but I hadn't seen what she did. Also I'd been moved to a room on first floor rather than third)

So I turned on my laptop, and hooked up the appropriate cord. The woman came in and turned on the projectors.  And nothing happened. Projectors were on, but my laptop screen didn't show on the screens.

After 10 minutes of trying to figure that out, I handed her a flash drive that had my presentation on it, and she stuck that into their own computer. Then the screen showed up, but it was full-screen.  I had videos that weren't embedded into the Powerpoint presentation, and I needed to access them.

But the only way to do it was to ESC the presentation, which meant I'd have to start over each time I went back to the presentation.

Then we went up to the room I'd been in last Saturday.  Projectors wouldn't turn on.

So finally she set me up in the room adjacent to that room, which worked just fine.

So then we had to rush down, tell the students - and there were 10, not 7 - that due to technical details we were in room 308, and the woman helped my pack up all the stuff and bring it up to Room 308, where I didn't have time to unpack it and put it anywhere because it was time to start the class.

So the class went well but I forgot to mention the ads in which Betty Skelton appeared, or why she was - and still should be - such an icon.

Lessons learned
  • Always make sure the computer/projector system works BEFORE unpacking anything else!
  • Always bring a backup flash drive! (Even though on this occasion it wasn't needed, I *could* have proceeded with the presentation without the videos if I'd had to.
  • Always make double the number of handouts of the students you're told you'll have
  • Ask people to fill out a questionnaire (checking their knowledge before you teach your class) first, rather than at the end of class, and have them turn it in during break. (8 of my students didn't give me their questionnaires - because the class ran long, it was an afternoon class and they were anxious to get home.)
I still have some tightening of the material that I need to do, and improve my delivery.

Instead of having a set "script" that I'd memorized, I just used each slide as my starting off point to discuss the topic on the slide - and thus, I actually forgot to mention a few things that I wanted to mention - not the least of which was that March 8 was the anniversary of Raymonde de Laroche being awarded her pilot's license, and thus March 8 was Woman in Aviation Day. (Because that's just a once a year event and I hadn't put in a slide about it!)

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