Friday, 11 September 2015


New service piloted by the Virtual Library

Overheads, PowerPoints, slideshows, seem central to today's professional meetings. Visually unsupported verbal presentations are increasingly rare, and written record in the form of published proceedings is becoming very rare indeed other that from 'proper' academic conferences and congresses.

There used to be conference proceedings in Conductive Education allowing those who did not attend to share some of the benefits enjoyed by those who did, but as far as I know there have been none of these for a long time now. This means that there has been no contribution to the cumulative transferable knowledge base of Conductive Education from what is said (and otherwise presented) at its meetings, in the form of what once was an important means of professional communication.

Another routine mechanism was once to drop a line (often in the old days usually on a postcard) to someone whose presentation had appeared in a conference programme, requesting a written copy. It is even easier to do this nowadays, by email, but if you do try it do not be surprised to receive no reply at all, or an offer of a look at the overheads.

There is nothing to say about the ignorance of the former. As for the latter, is it worth the trouble?

Collecting them

I know, Gill Maguire has been wondering what to do about this problem with respect to the online Library of Conductive Education. She has now grasped the nettle and linked some PowerPoint pages into her catalogue – in the (perhaps vain) hope that she will receive some feedback from users to help her judge whether this is worthwhile continuing:

Looking them up

I followed the link that Gill provided to bring up the complete Virtual Library:

Following her instructions further, I then typed the word powerpoint into one of the boxes at the top of the table, the box named 'Media Type'. Click enter and, Hey presto, there is the first of a two-page list of the presentations that Gill is posting as a trial – some old ones but mostly new.

Then all I had to do was to pick something that looked possibly interesting and click on the little magnifying glass at the end of the line. This brought up further details, on what looks like a record card. Click on the blue URL near the centre of the card to display the Powerpoint presentation that you are looking for.

Is it worth it?

Different people will be seeking different things, and have different previous knowledge of the topic. I was unlucky in the first example that I selected. It was not possible to work out what was being talked about without actually hearing what the presenter said to accompany the slides. Not for me, anyway. The second included rather more writing I still could not really understand. The third was a real communication. It brought me to a point where I felt that I wanted to get in touch with the presenter to ask about a couple of points, and make my own comment, rather as if I had been there on the day.

Others may experience these PowerPoints differently. Let Gill know what you think. If there is positive feeling about having such a record available, then she may feel encouraged to continue and extend it:
  • If she does, then those who present in such a way, wherever this is done, might like, to bear in mind that their presentation may be open to a wider audience, and adjust how they make it, with this in mind.
  • And if she does not hear anything...
Drop her a line

And if you have some presentations that you would like her to include as well, let her know that too.

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