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EduSpeak: We're On a Roll!
1997, Jan-Feb (June 11, 2008)
By Doug Ryan, Education Committee Chair

The momentum continues. Not only does the Education and Training Committee's email list now top 25, but the group has held its first meeting.

On Thursday, November 21st, 12 intrepid individuals stayed after the regular Chapter meeting to be present at the true birth of the Committee (and to take home Gary Spizizen's excellent brownies).

You'll recall from the last issue that our plan is to get individuals or groups to give peer workshops on subjects of interest to Chapter members.

The regular members of the Education and Training Committee are to function as a core group to recruit presenters and to act as a resource for those presenters.

So...the main agenda item for the first meeting was to work out in more detail how this core group could best function (i.e., with maximum division of labor and minimum duplication of it). I listed the main tasks that I thought the Committee must do, and, after 30 minutes of open discussion, we came up with the following ideas.

There are enough people interested that the Committee can consist of these 3 working groups, which together cover the main steps in creating and presenting a workshop:
(1) recruiting and coordinating
(2) providing resources
(3) advising

Recruiting and Coordinating Workshops Group

This group will continue to identify topics attracting the greatest interest and recruit individuals or groups to give workshops on them. It is the overall coordinating group: its members can bring together different individuals interested in giving a workshop and can evaluate workshop proposals. It is also responsible for maintaining the official schedule of upcoming workshops on the Chapter's Web site.

Providing Resources Group

This group will help locate and provide the various types of resources needed by those putting on the workshops. Resources include workshop sites, hardware and software where necessary, contact with provider companies where appropriate (for example, with Adobe, for FrameMaker), or with relevant schools or organizations (such as the NCSU Technical Writing or Computer Science programs, or with the American Society for Training and Development for professional skills).

Advising Group

This group will actively help the individuals or groups giving the workshops with questions such as: workshop strategies, format and size; intended audience; budget (workshops are to be generally selfsupporting); and any advertising or promotion strategy.

The Trusty Twelve

After coming up with this plan, the Trusty Twelve put their names down as the initial members of these working groups. It's clear that the groups overlap in their functions, and we may well have to merge, subdivide, or add to them over time. But I think they offer us a good, workable way to get a number of peer-led workshops presented this Spring.

Equally important, we also decided that, for now, the full Education and Training Committee will meet together on the Tuesday evening after the monthly Chapter meeting (which is always the 2nd Thursday).

So, don't miss the chance to help influence what training the Chapter will be providing and how it will be done. There will soon be more contact names, but for now, if you are interested, contact me, Doug Ryan.End of article.

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