Posts Tagged ‘Teaching’


Adobe PDF Portfolio

September 14, 2010

At the recent DSI conference, I was asked to give two presentations, “Even Geeks Can Speak” and “$0 to $700 in 60 Minutes”. As with most conferences, they wanted student material and a copy of my slides to hand out to the conference attendees. I have been experimenting with Adobe Portfolio on computer, audio/video forensic reporting this past year and thought it would work great on this project.

What is Adobe PDF Portfolio?

Think of PDF Portfolio as a container. This container can hold numerous formats, such as Word Docs, Spreadsheets and of course PDF files. In this case, I used the container to organize my two class slide’s (which I had converted into pdf’s) and student resource material. As with normal PDF operations, the creator can open, read, edit and format each file individually. Another nice benefit (that has been in PDF files for a while) is the ability to secure my files. For example, I could have given the students permission to view the files but not copy or print them. Adobe PDF Portfolio was included in Adobe Acrobat 9 or Acrobat 9 Pro Extended.

Acrobat has a good tutorial on the individual steps. In my case, the students saw the following splash screen when they double clicked on my class Portfolio;

Clicking on the “Get Started” button gave the students access to the material in my Portfolio.

The slides for the class were easy to access and follow.

For more information on Adobe PDF Portfolio: About PDF Portfolios



Preparing to Teach

August 31, 2010

Giving presentations or talks can seem like a daunting task and many struggle with how to get started. There are a couple of techniques I have developed over the years that help me get off the starting block. The first and most important for me is to set aside the PowerPoint in favor of good old fashion pen and paper. When researching for a brand new class, I start by brainstorming and just jotting notes onto a pad. The following graphic is from a single page of notes as I was preparing to teach a class called “Even Geeks Can Speak”.

After I have reached a point where I think I have enough (or way) too much material, I will then start breaking what I have found into topic blocks. Again, pen and paper work for me.

This gives me a good visual on different areas I can cover and a good starting point for organizing my thoughts as I start to develop my slides and student material. Using the topics, I can then create topic slides in PowerPoint. In the example below, I used a large red circle to make the topic stand out.

These topic slides will eventually be hidden from the actual presentation but as I put the class together, I can easily scan and edit my topics.

As you can probably see from the slide examples, I shy away from using bullets in my presentations. In upcoming blog posts, I will expand on how good clean and simple visuals can be used to make your presentations “pop”.