What a fabulous example of effective adult learning I experienced on Fri/ Sat at the AppleITSC Conference here in Auckland. The 2 days sped by with my engagement on full steam for the whole time. One could not help but reflect on what it was that made it such a successful learning experience and how this could or should impact on future adult professional learning experiences that I organize here at school.
Firstly there was a well balanced combination of input from experts and thought-provokers, time to experiment and “get ones hands dirty” so to speak and also time to chat and network with others around you. Catering for different learning styles was well managed and balanced within the physical set up of the space provided. Large bean bags, circular tables and the like were mixed together with couches and singular seats to cater for all. Keyboards and i-phones clicked away as others spoke acknowledging the fact that engagement does not always mean silent eye contact.
Sessions where the learners could make their own choices as to what they wanted to focus on were the norm, allowing everyone to pick and choose their own learning needs. Most importantly experts were on hand to provide support and advice whenever required. This was done for even the ignoramus types like myself, who may have been too embarrassed to ask in other contexts.
Congrats to the organizers, it was time well spent! I will think hard on it, when planning our next PD.