The more I think about the idea of flipping conferences, the better I like it. And I'm not the only one. Harold Jarche appears to be on the same track. He says, based on several recent conference experiences:
"Observing inefficient, and I believe ineffective, knowledge sharing due to the lack of opportunities to connect before or after the event is rather frustrating. For instance, a problem is presented in a plenary session and participants are immediately asked to brainstorm & give feedback. Why was the issue not presented weeks ahead of time? What can be achieved in 10 minutes of thinking on demand?"
Exactly. The biggest problem will be to get people to actually do the work ahead of time. I have to admit that the (very, very) few times I've been given ahead-of-time homework, I didn't get around to it until the night before the session, and it was obvious that many others didn't do it at all. How can we change our educational expectations from a one-time hit-and-run session to a longer term process that extends pre- and post-conference? It requires a shift in mindset among participants that I'm not sure most of us are ready to make. Or are we?