Teacher, Know Thy Technology

I have a story for you.

Two years ago, the ACCME started holding Town Hall meetings for the various provider cohorts (MECC’s, academics, etc) that they accredit. The Town Hall’s were a chance for Murray Kopelow and his staff to meet and talk with the different provider groups in a smaller, more intimate setting. It was a nice idea and while I wasn’t blown away by the awesomeness of the meeting, I felt that I got enough out of it to justify attending again. The biggest downside was the inconvenience of flying out to Chicago, getting a hotel room, going to a 3-hour meeting, and flying home again. It was a lot of time and money to invest for those 3 hours.

Last year, as a courtesy to their constituents (and maybe a tip-of-the-hat acknowledgment to the brutal economy), the ACCME opted to hold the Town Hall meetings via teleconference, rather than ask everyone to travel to Chi-Town. Again, a nice idea and I was more than happy to give it a try.

It was awful.

No, I’m being serious…it was a train wreck. The issue? Dr. Kopelow, who was leading the teleconference, didn’t “get” the technology he was using. It didn’t fit his style. He was used to standing in front of a group of people, speaking to them, talking with them, looking them in the eye, engaging with them. He was not prepared for speaking into the souless black hole of the speakerphone with no one to look at and nod their head in agreement or dissent. He got flustered when no one would respond to his questions and flummoxed at how to stem the tide when they did. It was excruciating. I was done after 15 minutes.

So what’s the moral of this story? Or was this just an excuse to take another jab at the ACCME? (Well…yes, but hopefully a little more than just that.)

Read the title again. If they don’t know the technology, it doesn’t matter how good a teacher they are, or how good the technology is, or how good the content is, or what learning methodology your participants most prefer…you’re screwed.

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