Once, I thought I would teach High School English. Then, I realized that I loved kids, I loved helping them learn, but I do not enjoy paper work. So, I went back into the family business of trade shows and conferences. What I learned, I mean really implemented, is that logistics and methods are at least 50% of the education process.
A student learns nothing until s/he can do what s/he has been taught.
After you read Jeff’s blog, please read my example of how Conference Organizers can spur better implementation of what they are learning. It’s simple, and all events – from a meeting of nine board members to a humongous Annual – should use it. This is the big idea: during a session at a conference, attendees must teach concepts to other attendees.
How do students and teachers do that?
1. Give students a short and focused overview… and don’t try to teach everything about your topic!
2. Split the learners into small group sessions, and each group has one of three or four topics to discuss.
3. After each group discusses their topic, the groups split up.
4. Each small group member should huddle up with two or more people, each from other groups.
5. In the “huddle”, each person takes a few minutes to explain what s/he discussed in the first small group. All of the people in the “huddle” learn about the topics of the small groups they did not previously discuss.
This method causes each student to teach AND learn. Why? 90% of what someone must teach is retained. Less than 10% of what one hears will be utilized. This begs the question: why do we still have these gaudy, stadium-style general sessions at conferences? I don’t think it is because we learn. It’s for flashy fun… which is good, but not usually helpful. What do you think? You tell me in your comments.
So that I practice what I preach, follow the example… or call me so you and I can both learn from each other!