The stop in Darwin represented the first time I presented in a casino (okay it was a function room above the Sky City Casino), but it was certainly the only presentation room I recall where beyond the muffins was a beach.
When I agreed to do this trip, I knew what I was signing up for in terms of the intensity of the travel, but I am now so much regretting I had but a 24 hour window of time in Darwin. I had offers of going fishing, hunting toads, visiting the far flung communities.. and Alice! I missed Alice Springs, again! It has always been a magical place in my mind– but more so, after hearing about the challenges of time, distance, connectivity, and culture in the Northern Territory, this fly by “blow in” visit is not something I will ever choose again for Australia,
Anyhow, I was again blessed to have another enthusiastic audience in Darwin for their eLearning Showcase event. At least I was not the education minister who got grilled from people tired of poor access to internet. I have no idea how it gets done, some someone needs to light some fires under people who can make infrastructure for high speed networking a reality here. In this case, I will see people are going to be behind the world. Is it a basic human right? No, but for a country wanting to leverage its strengths, it ought to put serious cash behind the things to bridge the ginormous distances and inequities in access.
So this morning was the last iteration of Being There in that Unevenly Distributed Future presentation. I can say now that after 5 or 6 iterations, that the Australian audiences had no problems with my use of a US movie as a metaphor, but even more convincingly, they overwhelmingly know Seargent Schultz.
I did have an unhappy participant in the front of the room. When I get to the section of the talk on “The Internet is Really Big”, it was the Technorati slide on growth of the blogosphere that put her in motion.
Hand goes up: “What is blogging? Why does it matter to me?”
I really the questions of interruption, but was hoping I did not have to explain what a blog was- a simple web creation tool that is reverse chronologically organized, and used many ways, as diaries, resource bullding, project documentation, portfolios, anything.
Mrs Crossed Arms wanted more. She wants that big giant button you click that says, “Apply this to education… make it Apply it to the Classes I Teach”
I needed to move on, as I did not want to get into a discussion about the role and place of blogs, “”t’s all about personal publishing, ” I tried. “How about If I chat with you during the break?”
So as I went, I looked for the “hook” that might thaw this woman’s coolness. So I get to talking about flickr, and let the audience know about all of the great images I find for use in presentation.
So I single her out and ask, “Where do you get images for your presentations, for your class materials? Clip Art?” She shakes her head and says, “I only use my own photographs”.
Ahh -so I counter, “What if you don’t have an image to represent a concept or metaphor? Do you have your own photo of the Grand Canyon?”
“No, ” she states, “I would have no need for that.”
Dead end number two. Not giving up. I ask, “How do you share your images?”
“I print them out and give them to people or email there. I cannot see any use of sharing them online.”
Hmmm. Fuggeddabouddit , I have 60 other people to present to.
Another woman asked me at the end, “I want to know how you can stay on top of all this technology and manage your time.”
This one made me lose my concentration. That was the point of the entire presentation! My message was about giving up this notion of “staying up” or “being expert”, and instead forming, cultivating, using your networks.
I dont think she liked my answer either. I told here that.
Barnum’s Law of Presentations- you cannot please all the people all of the time.
I really did not mind this at all, and actually enjoyed the sense of being challenged.
Another person came up on the break and chided me for advocating use of open content and open tools, yet I was “using the most closed operating system of them all.” referring to Mac OS X.
I tried to explain that I was not an open source religious purist, that I used whatever I had that I can use, whether it is open source or commercial. I tried to ask, “what is it about the Apple OS that you need to tinker with? To me it works so well, I am not needing to change it.” No go.
“What about the things Apple does share, like the Darwin Streaming Server.?”
No go. Oh well, he was not being mean, just trying to make a point. I’l take that.
I use the most closed operating system in the universe and love it. Who wants to fart around with operating systems anyhow? There’s no fun, no creativity there. That’s like plumbing.
Unfortunately, I ended up with about only 15 minutes to give them an overview of the Fifty Web 2.0 Ways to tell a story flying through the wiki at breakneck speed and doing a quick talk over of the 50 (er, 49) tools. It really was a firehose, I am sorry folks.
And then Bing Bam Boom! Sally drives me to the airport, only 24 hours since she picked uo me, and its into the skies to get to Brisbane. So again, it is a day of hotel – taxi -airport -taxi- hotel…
At least there was a nice break at te airport, I ran into the speaker I heard last night in Darwin, Craig Rispin, and we shared some drinks and food at the Quantas Club (thanks to his card). He is really sharp on the whole technology field. A good connection made.
So 24 in Darwin. Never again. No, I want to come back to the Northern Territory, but not for a 24 hour window.