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July 22, 2009

Just attended a convention for my profession – professional speaking. It’s a convention in the United States that I go to each year and it brings together a lot of my colleagues — 1500-2000 of us. One message that I kept hearing over and over was that the people there were going to the convention for many reasons but that for many the most important was the relationships. In fact, many said that they got as much learning from their conversations as they did from the various plenary and breakout sessions. Some were there solely for the learning and connecting that happened outside of the plenary and breakout sessions.

For many of you, this may not be a surprise, and certainly it wasn’t for me as I feel that way too. It was, however, a nice reaffirmation that learning comes in many forms and that you don’t just have to learn from books, a lecture or other more traditional ways of learning. It also reminded me that one of ways that we learn the best is when we are in a state of play! It is easy to forget that a lot of our most important learning is done before the age of 6 and certainly before the age of 12 while we are playing. And, if we were to look back at our high school and university or college days, we would agree that the professors and teachers that made the course material engaging, were the very best. These professors tended to be the ones who got the teaching awards, and, they get the simple truth that the best learning is play.

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