Overall I really enjoyed the EdCafe experience. Both presenting and being a participant were rewarding as I learned a lot about history and about myself as a learner. I would definitely recommend doing this again because it allowed me to learn a lot of in depth information about history from my peers, and gave me the opportunity to practice my presentation skills in an informal setting.
I learned a lot about presenting and discussion via my participation in the EdCafe. I learned that I am very capable of doing a good job presenting informally and that it is in fact much easier than a formal presentation in front of a larger audience. I found it effective to write down some presentation notes and then informally talk to the small group, making sure to engage them fully. I did so by ensuring that they understood the material and asking questions to engage them in discussion. As an audience member of the EdCafe, I found that it was much easier to learn and ask questions. Furthermore, I found it easier to participate and contribute to the discussion, furthering my understanding.
I feel like I am already a relatively strong presenter and participant during EdCafes. However, I could still work on participating even more as an audience member. I typically find myself asking a lot of questions and starting discussion when I don’t understand things, but I don’t typically participate actively in these types of discussion. I think that this sort of participation could also be helpful to my learning. My presentation skills are pretty solid but could improve more with practice. For example, I think I still need to engage the audience more and not “talk at them”, but have a conversation with them. While I am not necessarily in control of audience participation, I can work on presenting my information in a manner that makes them curious and entices them to engage in thought provoking conversation.