Miguel at Parent Summit

This past Friday (it was also “Wear Your College T-Shirt Day”), I had the opportunity to present at a Parent Summit for a large urban school district (my own). I hadn’t really known about the presentation until Monday, so it was a bit of an excited rush to get all the pieces ready to go. At first, I thought my part would be minimal–direct another staff member to cover the workshop since she is the resident expert on cyberbullying and digital citizenship. But then, it became obvious the expectation was for me to present, and so that changed my focus.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to get ready alone–there were quite a few other folks presenting, minimizing the load for all. “Many hands make light work” as the saying goes.

What made preparing for the presentation so much fun was that there were others I had to collaborate with, all of which I’d never partnered with. In fact, two of the people, I’d only met once a long time ago, and they wouldn’t even be part of the planning sessions…they would just show up and speak! The purpose of the presentation included not only providing valuable information about what to do in regards to bullying (the real topic that needed to be addressed) but also to show the district’s “comprehensive” plan for dealing with bullying. The panel brought together a campus principal, a district guidance and counseling coordinator, a campus counselor, a district police officer and a technology director (that’s me). The person who brought us all together couldn’t make it to the session, which was terrible because she would have been great.

Before going much farther, let me say that we managed to present and only went slightly over the 1 hour time limit. The presentation was fast moving and so many parents in the audience were affirming of the message.

To visually represent the cooperation of the people in the plan, I asked one of my team members to come up with this image (shown below)…it only took her a few moments to do this in Fireworks:

One of the goals I wanted to achieve in planning the presentation was to provide maximum opportunity for the panelists to get their message across. But I also wanted the message to be delivered in a way that was simple and easy for parents–and their children, our students–to “get.” I was thrilled when the panel accepted my suggestion of “5 Steps to Safe Learning Environments” since this is a traditional “list format” that provides structure and makes it easy to organize the content.
Excerpt from 1-page handout

For my part, I decided that the presentation would achieve the following goals:

  1. Provide 5 steps for parents on what they could do right now about bullying.
  2. Provide 5 steps for children on what they could do right now about bullying.
  3. Empower panelists to share their ideas without getting bogged down in multiple slides full of bulleted points.
  4. Embed video–but not too much–that would emotionally connect with the audience.
  5. Provide opportunities for parents and children to connect AFTER the presentation was over with content online.
  6. Make everything available online.
  7. One simple, short web address parents could remember
  8. One page handout (double-sided) with the main points of the presentation.
Oh, one of the fun things about the presentation was pulling an image of a father and daughter sitting next to each other, then using their faces to drive home the step from a parent’s or child’s perspective.

Obviously, there was a lot of preparation…not only did we meet several times, but there were 3 major drafts of the presentation and materials to handout. You don’t get up and present a comprehensive approach on what you’re doing from one day to the next…you first have to have that approach and plan in place and be implementing it…that way, you’re reporting on what’s happening rather than announcing what’s going to happen (which doesn’t sit well with me). Fortunately, we did.

From my office’s perspective, we had quite a few resources that we had adapted, including a 100% erate mandated web-based training that all campus professionals had to go through. We also had curriculum to use with students. You can read a write-up of it in Safe and Sound.

One of the aspects that we didn’t have covered, though, was an online course for parents and students to go through together. To me, it seemed natural to have a resource available online and I wanted parents to have access to it; that’s what I would expect as a parent!

So, earlier this week, as soon as I knew that I wanted this to be a part of the “conversation” and the resources available AFTER the presentation, I asked the MoodleMayhem.org email list members for help. They–Joseph Thibault and Craig Hicks–provided two excellent examples, which I ended up merging and adapting for use with the parents. It’s not due until July 1 (which is when we’re launching online courses for staff and parents) but it did give me the opportunity to “screenshot” what the content would look like. I wanted something like this because I remembered Northside ISD’s Parents411 Moodle course (listen to the podcast). Since I’m still making changes, it won’t be available until July 1.

You can access all the resources here.

Update: A few minutes after posting:
Note: Jennifer Wagner tweeted that she’s doing a similar preso and shared the link – http://www.slideshare.net/JenniferW/digital-footprints-presenttion

Check it out!

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure