Reform Symposium presenter training – overview


Wow! In the last 24 hours I have facilitated three exciting training sessions for presenters at  “The Reform Symposium (#RSCON3)” If the enthusiasm and committment of those attending is anything to go by this will be a fantastic conference. Despite covering mostly the same ground (we did this three times to try and accommodate as many timezones as possible) the three sessions were very different from one another.

The Sessions

Here are the recording links for the three sessions (all were held in the Edublogs/Elluminate community patrneship Elluminate room). Times are in GMT/UTC if you are not sure which one you attended then (check your timezone here):

First session Saturday 16th July at 04:00 GMT/UTC

Second session Saturday 16th July at 10:00 GMT/UTC

Third session Saturday 16th July at 22:00 GMT/UTC

These sessions were great fun for me as the facilitator although very demanding trying to keep up with all the questions and ensure that everyone was able to take away what they wanted. On the whole I think they were very successful. I have checked through as much as I can to see if any questions were not addressed and haven’t found any obvious ones. If you have one and I missed it then please ask through a comment on this post so that everyone will be able to see the answer.

Anyone who wants to use my map is very welcome. You can access it from Item 4 on my Bits and Pieces page. It is saved as .wbd (to keep the moveable symbols) so you will need to right click and save rather than open it directly.

The powerpoint that I uploaded to the whiteboards is now on slideshare and I have added a couple of slides to expand the info on application share and to explain webtours.

Some Thoughts!

These sorts of sessions are always awesome to facilitate – the thirst for knowledge is just so exciting, and so also is the appreciation and mutual sharing that happens! I always agonise afterwards about whether I “got it right”.

Did I talk too much? Yes almost certainly! Trying to pack everything in to a short time and make sure all questions are addressed is always hard – having text chat is such a help for that as I can pick up questions and try to weave the answers into what I am saying and also anyone else who knows can chip in with the answer.

Were there enough opportunities for people to try things? Almost certainly not! Especially in the last session where we had over 40 people plus a very unhelpful participant who disrupted the session considerably – eventually we removed him.

Did I deal with the disruptive participant in the last session adequately? I don’t think I did, too much benefit of the doubt given! I should have acted to remove him sooner, and this is a lesson learned for me, and one I will always find difficult. I know I am too soft about disruptive presences in face-to-face classes also.

Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts on the sessions or any questions


Training sessions like these are fantastic for me as they keep me thinking and learning the whole time. Stretching me to use all the Elluminate skills and knowledge that I don’t really use every day.

Our Next Regular Webinar

SerendipitybsmallOur next session is an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday July 21st at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday July 22nd at 7am West Aus, mid morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual Elluminate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic of the day.

14 thoughts on “Reform Symposium presenter training – overview

  1. Hi Jo,
    As you know, I attended Thursday’s Fine Focus and all three of these dedicated RSCON3 training sessions. The way you and Phil worked together to deliver high quality learning was impressive! I was amazed at how you were able to deal with people coming and going, tech issues, the constant chat, and answer questions while keeping it interactive and interesting, presenting coherently, knowledgeably and with enthusiasm, was very impressive!
    And BTW I think you dealt with the disruptive guy perfectly well!
    Everyone has come away having grown in knowledge and confidence – I know I certainly have. Thank you!

    • Thank you Clive!

      I’m glad it seemed coherent! I must admit that is often one of my main concerns. Because I am trying to keep a lot of plates spinning at the same time I worry that it might get a bit disjointed.

      The disruptive participant was much more of a problem in our situation where everyone was a moderator than would have been the case in a more usual session. I was able to take away moderator priviliges from that person and mostly remove tools. However it isn’t possible to totally remove all textchat capability – even with no tools someone can text to moderators, and this was just to intrusive to be tolerated.

      It took me a while to be absolutely certain that the disruption was intended. As you will have seen from the previous sessions people do occasionally move the slides – they forget or get carried away in exploring, this always happens with moderator training, and usually a reminder is all that is needed. Anyway all is well that ends well and I agree with your everyone seemed to go away from all three sessions feeling very positive!


  2. Hi Jo and Phil
    Thanks so much for the training sessions I learned loads and feel quite happy to do my session as RSCON3, which will be different now in light of what I learned 🙂 It was a pity about the disruptive element in the last one, I amost left but am glad I stayed, I learned some more useful stuff after he had gone! It is pretty awesome having 35 moderators!

    I would love to join your Thursday sessions but for me they are midnight until 1am – usually getting up at 6 makes that impossible – maybe I will get there in my holiday!!


    • Hi Carol

      Thank you! I’m sorry the disruptor almost caused you to leave and so pleased that you didn’t. I actually found it a bit difficult to believe that someone was deliberately causing problems. People often move slides by accident when they are in moderator training sessions – because they are exploring and they forget not to! Usually all I need to do is just remind everyone a few times.

      Having everyone as moderators can be a bit scary especially when there are so many people – I know of a situation in a conference where a presenter was made moderator for the first time (as he was presenting in the second half of a session) and while “exploring” he accidentally deleted the slides needed for the first half of the session. Very hard for the facilitating moderator (not me thankfully) as she then had to re-upload the slides as the session started.

      Sorry our sessions are not at a good time for you – it is just impossible to get a time that suits everyone. It should be marginally better for you in winter I think? The sessions are recorded and I usually blogpost an overview & recording link in the following couple of days and then tweet this several times at intervals to catch all the timezones.


  3. Hi Jo,
    I would like to thank you for the professional and very friendly way you handled the Elluminate training. It was awesome to see your multitasking, handling at the same time your presentations, questions from the participants and explanations of the tools without ever loosing patience or track! Very impressive. Even though I have done a numer of online presentations I never had such a comprehensive introduction and I learned a lot of new things you can do with Elluminate- but also learned that it is better to stick to the KISS principle, given the fact, that we only hav3e half an hour for our presentations. What I really would love to do is having a test room where I can play around with the functions.
    Thanks again and see you soon at RSCON11

    • Thank you Sigi!

      I am so pleased you found it useful. I find running these sessions immensly exciting and am delighted that you feel I stayed on track. That is the most difficult thing with such an enthusiastic group who are so hungry for knowledge.

      Phil’s help is always invaluable in these situations he is a brilliant co-moderator and often anticipates what is needed, for example in making everyone moderators and then ultimately in isolating our disruptive participant.

      I agree with you on the KISS principle especially in view of the short time frame. However sometimes a video clip or site demonstration is the core of someones presentation so I like to let people know what is possible and what is not.

      There is a practise room now available – I think the moderator and participant links will be emailed to everyone. I don’t want to put the links here in this reply as people who are not presenters might then access the room.


  4. Hi Jo,
    Thanks for the session, which I barely made. Impressive how you managed to see all those questions flying left and right and still answered them! That’s what I’ll have to do in my presentation because that’s what I have in mind: an open workshop, sort of. If I was like how I was that day, I don’t think I’ll survive! LoL
    It certainly shows how my lack of attendance hasn’t helped at all. And, worse, I still haven’t managed to prepare a ppt nor visit the practice room! But, it’s top of my list…or so he says!
    I regret not having attended the previous sessions; oh well, that’s spilt milk now.
    Phil was great, too, silent & effective. I hope I’ll get good moderators to help me on the day! 🙂
    Will try to lurk around on Thursday!

    • Hi Chiew

      Sorry for not replying sooner, life has been a bit hectic!

      I always find it helps to rearrange my screen to get a large chat window when I know chat will be active and/or I need to catch the questions as they go through.

      The other alternative is to have some pre-prepared whiteboards and ask people to post their comments/questions/responses on there, rather as I did at the beginning of the training sessions to find out about specific questions people wanted to address

      Was great that you joined us in Serendipity – trying out the Google + hanout was just great and very Serendipitous learning I think!


      • I know how it is, Jo, so no need for apologies. Yes, I’d figured that out. I watched the recordings of the first two sessions, then did some practice, and I feel confident now. Certainly without the recordings and the room, I’d be at a total lost! Now, to plan the presentation!

  5. Hi Jo,
    just to confirm, I’d like to demonstrate a Flash product, and maybe Silverlight too. Both of these will involve me moving things around, words, dragging and dropping. One thing I’d like to do which could solve a lot of things is if I give everyone an open link so they go to a section on my website and can try the activities for themselves. Then I just talk everyone through and they do the activities themselves. Would this work? Alternatively, I share my screen and they just watch.
    Thanks, David

    • Hi David

      Giving everyone a link should work well, you could make getting to the relevant page faster by using WebTour to take everyone there. If you decide to just give everyone the link rather than take them to the site with WebTour I suggest you put it on the whiteboard as well as in chat – with a lot of people in the room chat moves very fast & links disappear from the standard window quickly.

      Once you have put in the link for the page it will take everyone to the page in their own browser, they can then explore the activities. When you do this it is a good idea to set a timer and then close the web tour when that expires.


  6. Hi Jo,
    Thanks for sharing about Elluminate.
    I am still relatively new to the tool so have already picked up several bites of learning from this post.

    All the best


  7. Pingback: Dare to Care » Blog Archive » Thoughts About #RSCON3

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