Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Learning from J

While J was in elementary school, I often used her to review my presentations for work. If she got about half of what I was trying to communicate, we were in good order. If not, it was back to the drawing board to simplify. Keeping material at third grade level is something I take quite seriously and J had been a very useful sidekick. Sadly, J is eleven now and in middle school. 

Quickly, she has outgrown her usefulness as my helper and turned into a vocal critic. I learn things from her all the time - she looks at what I have, is quick to point out how boring it is and how it would make everyone fall sleep. There is no pop, cool color palette or dramatic flair - it is just blah all the way. Why can't I be a little bit more fun ?
She and her friends exclusively use Prezi at school and J is more than happy to sit me down and help me figure Prezi out. Some of the stuff they turn out at school is very neat.There was this one time, I was dealing with a complex visual with a bunch of text in it and J was genuinely shocked that I would not consider the obvious - Thinglink.

I may have lost my trusty sidekick but I guess I could have J teach me how to be less old school and boring at work. I have had co-workers who enlist their middle and high-schoolers to jazz up their dull as ditch-water presentations. I think I may be ready for some of that help from J soon.

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