As it turns out, it just so happens that I am in flight as I write this week’s blog, but thankfully not literally by “the seat of my pants” thanks to Air Tran. I guess I am dating myself to use this expression which basically means to, “Decide a course of action as you go along, using your own initiative and perceptions rather than a pre-determined plan or mechanical aids.” “Flying by the seat of my pants” was precisely what I found myself doing yesterday morning as I put the finishing touches on a presentation I will give a conference in Florida this week. I have experimented with Prezi previously but in a very limited fashion. I decided I wanted to do something different for this presentation and launched out and generated something using Prezi – nothing very fancy, yet different from what I have used previously.
The testing came when I revised the version I had already saved on my desktop at work with the help of someone from IT. As most know, you cannot simply save a Prezi presentation on a flashdrive or to your computer, but rather you need to download a zip file and then unzip it in order to get to the Prezi. Simple, right? Not exactly. Having watched a member of our IT office assist me with this earlier this week, I knew that I needed to unzip the file by right clicking with the mouse and then clicking on “extract all”. I did notice that when the IT expert did this, he went through a number of steps in order to finally save the file to my desktop. To my great dismay, I realized that my failure to pay close attention to exactly how he managed to extract and save the Prezi suddenly launched me into an experience of “flying by the seat of my pants.” I panicked thinking that I would never figure out how to save my revised presentation in order to present it offline. Of course, I knew I could always log into Prezi and present but taking time to do that with an entire room of people staring at me was something I very much wanted to avoid. After about 20 minutes of clicking this, that and the other, I finally got it! I would have much rather have had someone sit there with me and take me through the process step by step but I have to admit, the experience of learning how to do this on my own was quite gratifying. I was reminded, once again, that this is often what distinguishes the adult learner as they venture into self-directed learning – the willingness to “fly by the seat of one’s pants”!
Now to help balance this “work” effort I’m going to take a tip from Joanne and share some “fun” with my 9 year old and share a rollercoaster ride in Disney World this week! Here’s to life-long learning and finding a balance between work and fun!