The members of the Curriculum Committee are putting the final touches on the schedule of workshops to be offered during the 2020/21 academic year at Tartu College. We’ve got a lot of returning favourites as well as an excellent group of new offerings. However, there is the potential to make your next year even more rewarding and educational.
We still have a few open time slots and a few good ideas for workshops. What we’re missing are members willing to facilitate those workshops. The Academy For Lifelong Learning is a co-operative organization – volunteers do it all. We have no paid administrators and we have no paid or unpaid experts teaching courses or lecturing to an audience. Our peer learning model depends on the vital role played by Facilitators in researching topics of interest, organizing presentations, and moderating discussions. Facilitators are enthusiasts. If they weren’t facilitating, they would likely be sitting in the class as active participants.
So here we are, asking you to do the same – help lead a workshop that you would probably attend anyway, if it were offered. The time commitment, both before the season and during the year, is not onerous. In most cases, workshops have co-facilitators to share the load and bounce ideas off each other. The learning opportunities are excellent – our Facilitators only seem to be experts because they’ve done some basic research on the topic and come up with a list of interesting topics or areas of interest. Everyone, Facilitators and members alike, gain a much greater understanding from the in-depth analysis afforded by classroom presentations. Please read the Information for Facilitators page on our ALLTO website for more information on the role and responsibilities of a Facilitator.
There are some special benefits and perquisites related to being a Facilitator. The biggest one is a sense of accomplishment and of giving back something of value to our academic community. There is also the financial benefit – Facilitators qualify for a reduced annual membership fee. Finally, there is a free lunch – following the annual Facilitators’ Forum.
Here are some great workshop ideas looking for a Facilitator or two in order to be offered for the ALLTO 2020/21 academic year:
– Great Disasters – A look at great natural, military, and technological disasters. Among the categories the workshop discussions could be drawn from are: Natural World, War, Transportation, Machines, Structures, Nuclear Reactors, Complex Systems.
– The European Union – What do we really know about one of the biggest markets in the world? The workshop could cover the history and organization of the EU, and its impact within its member countries and internationally. This 2020/21 workshop could also take in Brexit and its conclusion.
– All About Australia – We would like members to travel (virtually) to Australia and explore the history, culture, geography, foods and politics of this amazing country. Another aspect to explore could be Australia vs. Canada – these two countries are often compared and contrasted in the media and economics.
– Media: The Big Questions – This workshop could deal with media theories and the big questions arising from these theories. Authors to be discussed could include McLuhan, Marx, Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, John Milton, Jacques Ellul, George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh and others.
– News and Media: Now – This workshop will be dedicated to understanding how “news” is currently presented. Of concern are: the growth of Facebook; the attack on the free press in various countries; the decline of investigative journalism; and the concentration of ownership in the print industry and its impact on journalistic independence.