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An invitation from Ratnaguna:
I’m writing on behalf of the Sikkha Project to invite you to an online training seminar: Leading Dharma Study and Discussion Groups Effectively Online.
The seminar will take place on Saturday, April 25th 2020 at 9am UK and then again at 5pm UK, taking into account the needs of the different time zones. We hope people from around the world will be able to participate.
This seminar will follow on from last Saturday’s seminar, Communicating the Dharma Effectively Online. In that seminar Maitreyabandhu and Sanjay talked about how to actually grow the Sangha at this time and reach as many people as possible with the Dharma – giving much invaluable information about the technical aspects of online teaching, and outlined what the LBC teachers and others had learnt about teaching online so far.
If you weren’t able to be there, try to watch the recording of that seminar before you attend this one. This seminar will have quite a different emphasis and format.
Of all the different teaching formats we in Triratna use, I think it’s true to say that leading a discussion amongst a few people is perhaps the most tricky to do online. When giving a talk, one can mute everyone else. Questions can be asked through the chat box. But how do we lead a free-flowing discussion of ideas amongst a number of people?
I will be leading next Saturday’s seminar with Danadasa, from San Francisco, who has been leading online men’s ordination groups for nearly six years, and has also led mitra study groups online on numerous occasions.
However, although Danadasa will give some very useful tips from his own experience, the emphasis of this seminar will not be on teaching you. Rather, I want to offer a forum in which we can look collectively at the challenges, and to give the opportunity to try things out in small groups; to get used to the format; to practice and receive feedback from our peers; to make mistakes so that we don’t have to make those mistakes in our classes; and to learn from how others lead discussion.
Although there are definite challenges to leading discussion and study groups online, I think there may also be some benefits, and we’ll also explore that possibility on Saturday too.
This seminar is for anyone who leads discussion groups, including Mitra study, other kinds of study, and informal discussion (for instance, after someone has just given a talk) in Triratna.
I hope you’ll be able to participate in the seminar on 25th April at either:
Please let us know if you’re going to come (so that we can have a sense of numbers) by filling this simple form and we’ll sent you the Zoom invitation for the meeting.
Below is a list of supports that we are aware of that are already available to help you teach online. I hope you’ll be able to participate in the seminar on Saturday at 9am or at 5pm UK.
Yours in the Dharma,
On behalf of the Sikkha Project