Critics, Criticism and Learning

As I think of a title for this post I am not sure whether to title it "venting", "criticalness", or what.

I will start by saying that I just came back from a two day conference. A conference that was...different than the normal. It was streamed in from a location somewhere else and we watched from our seats in this big room. To be honest I think many of us came into the conference with a complaining attitude. This was new and not what we "wanted". Honestly I was very critical at times with the surroundings, with the comfort, and with some of the speakers. One speaker didn't present the information in a way that was interesting to me or the information that I had hoped for.

Then came today. I shared a presentation with SimpleK12 about organizing my library. I thought I had good information that some beginners (like me) could benefit from. The backchannel feedback was very discouraging. Some were very critical of a librarian without training both serving in my position as librarian at my school and presenting. Maybe they were right. Maybe not.

It brought me back to my view of the conference I had just attended however. And what we do as participants to learning. We have become critical. Dare I say over critical. We judge quickly, harshly as to how it benefits us, fits our learning, and me...me...me.

Did I miss something from because of my criticalness? Could I have gained something from a presentation that wasn't "my learning style"? Or could I have learned something from someone that is just beginning verses a confident "expert"? Can we learn from the experiences of those learning as they go as well as those that have the training?

We have given ourselves permission to leave presentations when it doesn't fit us. However, is this what is professional? A CEO of a company would not like his manager walking out on him if the presentation that day did not "fit" that individual's learning style or if they felt like a better qualified person should be presenting.

Now don't get me wrong...I believe in experts. I want to hear from experts in the field. I am just asking myself and whoever listens/reads to evaluate our criticalness. Do we shut off when maybe we should (pardon me) shut up and open our minds?

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Following my rant and rave time, I went and viewed the comments in another place....
I do want to say thank you to some of the persons that posted feedback on my Webinar in the TLC. They were positive and encouraging.


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