I am done.
I give up.
Thanks to meaningful, relevant, hands-on, vote with your feet, create the sessions you need, connect with the person next to you and the room, EdCamp model of professional development that I have experienced, (as well as PD/conferences implemented by ISTE, EdTechTeacher, MassCUE) I can no longer tolerate the "let me lecture at you about best practices, even though I am exhibiting none of them" garbage that passes as professional development and gives PD a bad name.
Now I am not saying that EdCamp is the end all be all model for everyone. "Different strokes for different folks" as "they" say, but after an EdCamp I sure find myself exhausted from doing compared to exhausted from sitting and listening/cringing.
But...because manufactured and/or mandated PD will never stop, I will pass along some tips I hope non-EdCamp PD creators will use to win me back. So below is my plea to corporate PD developers:
- If you have an inspiring keynote, challenge and help participants to take action or create something after it.
- Provide spaces for people to work in groups or alone quietly.
- Let me know in advance the type activity that will occur during a session. For example, let me know if a session is a lecture, requires technology, or involves a protocol that is going to require me talk to strangers.
- Differentiate your sessions. Have beginner, intermediate, advanced sessions.
- Keep the hashtag manageable. Don't use #amazinglearningbroughttoyoubyapublishingcompany2014
- Reduce the price, or at least make sure the hotel doesn't charge me for internet. Also, I don't need, want, or will ever use a messenger bag or lanyard with your logo on it.
- Don't put awards before or after the keynote. I am all for celebrating peoples' accomplishments, but I am here to learn, so make it an optional award session or gathering.