I'm not sure if I'm getting more critical about presentation styles, but…

… I find it pretty interesting how my reaction to different types of presentations change depending on what the intended audience is. Today was the first of three days of Bibliographic Instruction presentations in my Reference course. Certainly I was reminded of Sean's critique of the blind use of PowerPoint just as Tufte critiqued it in his essay The cognitive style of PowerPoint. I'm not nor ever have been terribly enamored with PowerPoint presentations, which does not mean that I don't like augmenting presentations with visuals or with other multimedia.

None of these PowerPoint presentations were particularly good or bad, of course all had strengths and weeknesses. Generally, however, I avoid PowerPoint due to the following aspect: I often find these presentation tools valuable, but there seems to be too much of the use of PowerPoint as a crutch including reading off of slides, text heavy slides, bullet points, and otherwise less than perfect information.

I realize that these presentations are a bit harder to deal with than perhaps presentations where the audience were actually the real group that is intended to attend such a presentation (LIS studnets are not the group that is the intended audience for the majority of these presentations for example), but still making assumptions that the audience will a) understand certain terms or b) would need/remember certain depth of information presented.

Many other aspects such as being time-conscious, allowing for interactivity, voice projection, appropriate use of quotation, multimedia etc., use of the space of the room, how one presents one's self (including dress, etc.) and much more contribute to the degree of success of a presentation. These are aspects that one needs to be aware of when presenting. I personally under-think, and prepare far less than I would otherwise want to structure for a session to allow for participation, question asking, slower diction, explaining tough concepts etc. This doesn't mean that I under-prepare in general, but rather that I plan for there to be time for questions and other interactive elements, whether teaching. Now none of this means that the presentations that I have seen in the last weeks in classes and otherwise have not been amazingly well prepared and otherwise good — they are. But I think I'm becoming much more aware of these aspects, particularly as I produce more presentations.

As Tufte and Sean remind us, always being cognizant of the tools being used, be they technological, or pedagogical tools, or even the choice of pictures, video, oral presentation skills and much much more. I have often run into technical issues when producing a less traditional non-PowerPoint presentation, but I still continue trying different techniques, depending entirely on the type of presentation I am working on. Sometimes working in a group (of various sizes) is more conducive to good presentations, but sometimes this works as a detriment due to styles and other potential conflicts.

There is something to be said for conventions of fields, environments or otherwise, however. If the expectation is one thing and you want to do another, having good reason for doing so is important. Why use a particular piece of technology unless you have good reason?

Anywho, these musings are perhaps a bit more scholarly than my usual, but I rather think this has been on my mind all semester.

Okay even though I wander the world with a stress cloud overhead…

… I still manage to slot in a bit of fun now and again. Friday and Saturday were no exception, as Trivia Night (we placed in the top 5 or so, as usual, thanks to our awesome Kiwanis Trivia team) was on Friday and Saturday included a Kiwanis project (finishing painting at the Boys and Girls Club Edmonton West) along with Beth's birthday party (yay for Beth! We celebrated two days in a row, as she was part of said Trivia team too… 🙂 )

But yeah, stress is no fun. 🙁 I need more decompression time in between assignments/work/school/etc. obligations and whatnot. I have this darn tendency to do a bit of everything all at once. At least this week is the last week for a while that I'm working two days at the grocery store — I simply need more school time!

Anyway, as much as you may not believe it, I am looking forward to finishing school things at some point in 2012 for a while. I mean 12 years of post-secondary studies is good enough for now, and so after 2012 I aim to work in the more professional realm most likely in some capacity or another. We'll see. But for now, I concentrate on getting each assignment done.

Oh and seeing as I still really like having it, if you want to friend me on Game Center (on iOS devices) please do! I'm ali_kira. I think that my stress defence mechanism this month has been playing iPod Touch games such as DragonVale and Hanging with Friends in short bursts.

On social gaming…

So I really like my iPod Touch. I've liked it ever since JD got it for me, and I guess I mainly use it to play games (or for the internet and whatnot when travelling outside of Canada). Naturally I have a bunch of favorite games, but lately I've been on a bit of a social gaming kick, and realized that I really don't have many 'friends' listed either on my Game Center or who play the same games as me (well with the exception of Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends I guess… those games have a lot of players that I know through Facebook.

So I guess what I'm saying is that if you happen to be in the Game Center world, feel free to friend me (if I know you). My user name is ali_kira.
I play the following somewhat social Game Center games: TinyTower, DragonVale, Family Feud & Friends at the moment, though that may change. I'm on the leaderboards for a bunch of others but I play them considerably less frequently (I really would love to have more friends who play DragonVale to be honest… it doesn't seem to link to Facebook properly for example).

As for Facebook related games I play the following: Words with Friends, Lexulous (only on Facebook as of yet), Hanging with Friends, Family Feud & Friends, and well DragonVale doesn't seem to link properly to Facebook at the moment.

I also play Echo Bazaar (as a Twitter game) but I don't play the Facebook version for whatever reason.

I honestly keep away from most gaming when at my computer — due to the distraction that it poses, which is I guess the same reason I don't play many if any games on my smart phone (Motorola Atrix) keeping the more productive uses of Social media somewhat separate from the more 'fun' uses of it.

I really don't need game recommendations, but if you want to give me any, please limit them to iPod Touch compatible ones for the moment if you actually want me to play on occasion… many games have the ability to be played through the iPod Touch, and while not all are free, I will put paid game recommendations in my AppShopper so I can watch for sales and/or a time when I wish to buy them.

Now back to thesis work and whatnot.