I had a great time on Friday night at BBC 21CC in Salford at Teachmeet NW. I presented briefly on Google Forms as per my previous blog post and listened to a wide variety of great presentations. I’ve collected all the links and chats from the evening together on the wiki. And, although it went against the ‘talk only on what you’ve done in the classroom’ Teachmeet rule, I did a very brief demo of Google Wave. Let’s be honest, I knew the ever-so-slightly geeky audience would like to see it!
But this got me round to thinking, how do we expand Teachmeets beyond the geeks? Almost every person in that room on Friday was on Twitter, had a blog etc etc.. I emailed all staff at my school on Monday about Teachmeet, a few took the proverbial out of me, a few said it sounded great, ‘but on a Friday night?’, in the end – nobody came.
If you’ve never attended a Teachmeet before, here’s a little Tim & Moby video that explains the concept:
The video itself mentions that each Teachmeet presentation tends to focus on the use of technology, and this is inevitable, based on the interests of those who first set up TMs and those who heard about them and took on the mantle themselves.
I think future TMs should look to lose the technology focus a little. I’d be just as interested to hear a teacher tell me of a great place they took a class to on a trip, a novel way of teaching Maths outdoors, or an interesting use of collaborative learning structures. It’s the format of TMs that is the winner, real staff talking about real pedagogy that worked with real classes.
Friday night is an issue for many staff after a long week, I know it helps those who travel larger distances but perhaps a Thursday would be better. I think that Thursdays, combined with an effort to promote events outside of Twitter would possibly mean you could get a more diverse, although probably more local group to meet.
I think that it’s also a format that should be promoted in school, I’ve sat through many a dreary hour of CPD in schools that would have been far more valuable had it been 15 micro-presentations from my own colleagues. You could doa whole/hald day where every member of staff is asked to bring a 2 minute presentation, and the fruit machine picked out enough at random to fill the time.
What are your thoughts? Don’t get me wrong, I love TMs, I just feel it’s something that needs sharing to a wider audience.
PS: I’m WAY to busy for this to be me volunteering to organise the next Manchester event, I’m just throwing these thoughts out there 😉