Have lectures really evolved?
Posted July 16, 2012on:
I get what Jeff Utrect was trying to say in the evolution of the lecture. But I have to wonder, have lectures really evolved? Getting the audience involved by polling them or creating a back channel does not make a lecture any less of a lecture.
During the time it has taken me to draft my reflection, Utrect has a new blog entry on how the lecture as content delivery is dead. This I agree with, especially if the information or content is already available elsewhere.
I also like the quotation in the image above. Simply because someone is talking does not mean that the rest are listening. The traditional lecture is based on the very old model of verbal transmission of information from a sole expert.
In an era of ready access to information, content creation and curation, and access to expertise anywhere in the world, lectures look long in the tooth.
So I think that lectures are almost effectively dead because they are not evolving with the times.
That said, I think that there is a time and place for lectures, just not all the time and in every place. There are folks who are very good lecturers or highly charismatic speakers. Many of them make good money going on the lecture circuit. But these should be the exception, not the rule.
What of TED talks? I think that most are not lectures. At least the good ones are not lectures. They are storytelling sessions. There is no power trip from the speakers. It is about the passion of the speaker and the attempt to move hearts and minds.
Down with lectures. Long live storytelling!