June is conference season, and this year we had a number of people attending regional conferences here in BC. Many of my colleagues in the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Royal Roads attended ETUG in Vancouver, and I attended IT4BC.
My Director, Mary Burgess, had a great idea. As she sat at her computer composing a long email to the unti to debrief them on what she had learned at ETUG, she decided to bring us all together face to face and have an all department session, which she called ‘Show Us What You Learned”.
My colleague Donna Dowling sharing what she learned at ETUG
What a fantastic idea. Yesterday morning, 20 people from my department gathered together and had the session.
Mary started the session by throwing out the question, “who has something to share?” A whack of us threw our hands in the air, Mary put the names on the whiteboard and, for the next 90 minutes, had a show and tell filling in our colleagues on what we learned. We threw out websites and links, talked about reference and resource materials we discovered, played with some new tools, and found out about some new technologies.
I really enjoyed the session. We have a big department, and it is not often we get together as a group and have these kind of informal sessions where we just talk and learn from each other. The loose atmosphere and camaraderie, seeing my colleagues engaged in something other than day to day operations. I loved being able to get a glimpse of the kinds of things that my colleagues chose to amplify and bring back to the larger group. It gives me an idea of what resonates and inspires them.
It also makes me grateful to conference organizers that plan ahead to archive their events, including ways to archive the Twitter backchannel, like ETUG did with their Storify summary.
So, I am curious. How do your colleagues share information you bring back from conferences? Do you have a similar type of event with your colleagues? How do you report back what you learned?