A really interesting article by Henrietta Cook was published into the education world a couple of weeks ago. In a nutshell, Cook points to the findings in a report by Victorian Auditor-General Andrew Greaves.
Greaves said that Victorian schools have spent more than $107million in the last three years, sending their teachers to conferences.
He also noted that “These once‐off, generic events often occur outside the classroom and have limited capacity to explore the diverse needs of every teacher.”
These dollars have been wasted for two reasons.
Firstly, many conferences are geared for the benefit of the organizer not the recipient. Feedback is often provided on how much the conference was enjoyed, but not how much it changed. Organising entertainment and comfort really isn’t so tricky.
Secondly, the challenge is so low in most conferences that they turn out to be the most ineffective form of professional learning. All you really need to do is sit through it to have “done it”.
For this reason, when I work with schools, I refuse to run one-day stand-alone workshops with them because I know that merely enduring a day of training changes very little. I have a bias for change and implementation, and so, schools need to commit to a 3-year transformation if they want to work with me.
But, ironically, I do speak at conferences – for both education and corporate events. I take that bias for change into my presentations and seek to have participants stir in their seats, perhaps even squirm. I like them to feel the discomfort of growth, learning and challenge while I’m speaking.
I don’t want anyone sitting through my keynote speeches unchanged in some way.
You see, it’s possible to design the best environment for learning when you have the chance. But when somebody else designs it, we still have scope to make learning, rather than a numb backside, the outcome.
FREE WEBINAR – “Online Learning”
- You can capture important content and intellectual property.
- People can watch that content multiple times, they can pause or rewind and they can even catch up if they miss a workshop or seminar.
- You don’t need to run the same workshop, telling the same stories and using the same powerpoint slides over and over … and over again.
- We’re not sure how to construct an online learning opportunity.
- We know there are risks, but everyone is only taking about the benefits.
- We’ve always done it the other way.
You’ll know the blindspots and traps to avoid in online learning construction and you’ll have a new way of working that is going to transform not only your effectiveness, but your workload.
Sounds worth an hour of your time? Yeah I thought so. I’ll see you in the webinar … you know … online!