I have attended and presented at quite a few Handheld Learning Conferences. Last year Handheld Learning 2010 was re-scheduled and evolved into Learning Without Frontiers 2011 Festival.
This is a large conference and for a conference with a focus on disruptive technologies and new ways of learning, it in many ways is a very traditional conference with the majority of the sessions been what can only be really described as lectures!
Now is this a bad thing?
Well if you ever talk to Donald Clark then he would say yes!
However if you have ever listened to David White then you’ll probably say no!
Inspirational talks and the whole “eventedness” of these talks can be a useful and engaging learning experience.
As with any kind of learning experience, the process is not always the important bit, it is what you learn from it, is what counts.
So for many professionals a “lecture” can be an inspiring, stimulating learning experience, but not necessarily for all.
So is this the same for learners?
Well I would say no and that means no as in not all the time.
Most conferences only last a couple of days, as a result a few inspiring talks is not the same as a year of lectures for a learners. Inspirational lectures are a key part of any learning experience, however as with too much of anything, just giving lectures all the time will result in staleness and boredom in your learners.