How can presenters effectively differentiate their instruction?

CUE keeps growing. More and more teachers are catching a glimpse of what can be with technology, and they’re hungry to know more. This year, annual CUE brought together more than 5,000 educators in Palm Springs. And that 5,000 people has a wide variety of knowledge and abilities. 

Many of the people who attend CUE wow me every day on Twitter when they share what they know and do. As I met many of these people this year, I felt like I was meeting ed tech celebrities. I often felt like a timid fan girl, amazed that these people knew my name and would talk to me. 

On the other hand, there are many people who are just getting their feet wet with technology. Throwing out things like “green screen,” “QR codes,” and “AR” can sound like a foreign language. Hearing these things can confuse audience members, even to the point where they’re distracted from understanding the pedagogy behind the tool. 

And so it leaves me wondering, 

how can presenters effectively differentiate their instruction for a diverse audience?



I’ve only really presented on beginner topics. I don’t expect those who know the Google Apps to come to my session on 30 things I’ve done with them, so I haven’t worried about it too much. However, as I start to think of sessions to submit for next year, I can’t help but wonder how to craft sessions to reach everyone, regardless of ability level. 

So if you do present on more advanced topics, how do you still keep it accessible for those who are newer to the education technology space? How do you provide them with the tools/knowledge/information that they need to understand the important teaching practice? When do questions become a hinderance to a presentation? If they do, do you stop them? How do you do that with grace?

I get differentiating for my students because I know them. I know what they need, and I know the language they understand. But adults I don’t know are a different audience. What advice can you offer me for future presentations?