An Open Video Message To Steve Leinwand And Jerry Becker Tutorial from Dan Meyer on Vimeo.

After the third day at NCTM I wrote:

It struck me several times throughout both conferences that we need to counter-program a session across from the “Newcomer’s Orientation.” I’m not talking about “Rolling Your Own Backchannel with Twitter.” Scale that back. Way back. Something more like, “How to Make National Presentations a Lot Less of a Chore for Presenters,” featuring URL shorteners, Delicious, PDFs, basic FTP. maybe You name it.

I wrote that, largely, on behalf of these two presenters, both of whom seemed stymied by the task of distributing resources (links, in Leinwand’s case; PDFs in Becker’s) to a large group.

Note the “virtual handout” solution from Leinwand:

And the paper-chair-piles from Becker:

So I created a quick tutorial introducing them to Is there a contribution you can make to this conference pre-session?

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Thanks for the tip. I am presenting at a conference soon and was looking for an easy way to have links. I had thought about a quick wiki, but this will serve my purposes. Thanks again!

  2. I’ve been sharing the links from my presentations in a dropbox file. This is much easier. Thanks.

    Although, several of the people I shared a dropbox link with ended up signing up for dropbox, so I’ve worked my way up to the maximum 8 GB of free storage for the referrals. That was worth a small inconvenience…

  3. Another idea is to use
    I was preparing for a big session and a wonderful teacher suggested to post my handouts and links at It has worked wonderfully!

  4. Thanks Dan. Typically at content rich conferences, our presenters, who are inspiring others, need help in the most basic of digital presentation. I’m just so pleased that you’d take the time to not only share your idea, but model through video response. I’m a huge fan of many of your ideas.

  5. Thanks for the shout-out Telannia on LiveBinders. I just did a couple of sessions at different conferences and it was so great to have my handout be a little piece of paper with a url! I put everything they would ever need in a LiveBinder. The best part is that I was still updating my handout an hour before my session with great stuff that was tweeted about that morning.

    The first session I did in powerpoint, but the second session I just did right out of the binder.

  6. URL shorteners have been around for a while and you are correct in being surprised about how few people use or know about them. I have used in the past and now use I like because if I create an account (free) I can track how many times people actually used the link I gave out.

    One thing I have notice about using them is that in many cases people don’t quite get them. It looks so foreign that they kind of have a dear in headlights kind of reaction or sometimes they think it may be some sort of spam-ish thing. So you have to give a brief word about url shorteners.

    The flip side to this is there is still a sizable portion of people that like to walk away with something in their hands.

  7. I never do a presentation without making a page for it at my own website. For example:

    Any resources, questions or new ideas that come up during the talk are added when I get home. I hate it when a presenter gets an idea during his talk and then everyone is frantically trying to write down a URL that half the room will probably get wrong. Or the infamous “email and I promise to get back to you…” Most people are really good about getting back to their audience, actually.

    But if I have one place with everything on it, life is much easier.