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#tm5 January 16, 2011

Posted by IaninSheffield in CPD, Inspiration, Musings.
Tags: , , , , ,

TeachMeet is 5 years old on 24th May, we were reminded by Ewan McIntosh on Friday night’s #tmbett2011.  Really!? Five years?  And to think I only learned about my first just over a year ago.  Ewan issued a challenge for us to think what we might do to to celebrate the birthday with TeachMeet’s around the country.  Dai Barnes has already had a few ideas and as a search of the #tm5 hashtag on Twitter will reveal, so have quite a few others.

When I started thinking, I had been inspired by an almost throw-away comment ‘what about a TeachMeetLivingRoom?’ Are there other locations which could act as meeting places?  Although I started off considering unusual locations like ‘KinderMeet’ that’s Kinder as in Kinder Scout the hill, not the chocolate egg!  It could have a Geo-theme perhaps (more inspiration from Dom Breadmore’s TeachMeet Takeover presentation).  But then I got thinking about the idea of theme’s in more detail and wondered about locations that might suit a themed approach:

Tate Britain

from jimmyharris on Flickr

  • MuseumMeet – Science at MOSI or @-Bristol or any of the other science-related venues
  • GalleryMeet – Art/Design at any one of a number of venues, perhaps your local gallery
  • LibraryMeet – English
  • SportsMeet – PE/Sports at a local sports centre or even a larger venue (dare I say football ground?)
  • GeographyMeet – a field study centre
  • SumsMeet – at a maths-focused venue like Bletchley Park
  • ChurchMeet – RS at any one of a number of places of worship
  • MusicMeet – concert venues, recording studios

I’m sure you guys could think of lots more.

Would places like these welcome the opportunity to host an event highlighting some innovative learning approaches delivered by and for a group of teachers? With a little forethought, surely the resources at the host venue could be included within the theme and at some places, there might even be an education officer to help with organisation.  Cost?  Well I’m just not sure here.  Would the venue be prepared to provide a room for free? Might they even be prepared to put on a few comestibles, or given the swingeing cutbacks in this area, is that too big an ask?

I then started to worry that this might be less intimate than some of the suggestions folk have said before.  However a key issue for TeachMeets for me has always been about getting new people involved and sharing the wonderfulness beyond our community.  By themeing the event, maybe it would be more attractive to colleagues with a subject interest, whether from Primary or Secondary, than the more usual generic session.

Any thoughts anyone?


1. richardsw16 - January 16, 2011

Ian – there is a Teachmeet Music and a TeachMeet Museums on Feb 3/4 in London. The Museums one seems to be attracting people from the museums world, and not many teachers so far!

At TeachMeet BETT, I really enjoyed the mix of subjects and primary/secondary. I went to the Collaborate 4 Change un-conference the night before TM BETT, where they had short break-out sessions where teachers could choose from 15 subjects/tables. Really got some interesting discussions going. Not just a teacher presenting from the stage. Might work for different subject areas? – Richard

2. ianinsheffield - January 16, 2011

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your thoughts. After hitting ‘Publish’ on this post I went across to the TM site and spotted … yep! All about timing I guess 😉

You’re not the first person I’ve heard say how well the C84C session went and how useful folks found that particular format (@ebd35). I’m with you on rethinking the format too; perhaps a combination of different styles might suit more people. I must say that I found TeachMeet ETRU (http://edtechroundup.wikispaces.com/TMETRU09) fascinating, where participation was from the comfort of your living room/study/bed … though it clearly missed the f2f touch which is an important part of TeachMeets.

Plenty to think about!

3. Ewan McIntosh - January 18, 2011

I’d resist the temptation to go into subjects or areas that might create a perception that non-experts in a field are precluded. The generalisation is what is attractive – you don’t know what you’re going to get!

ianinsheffield - January 18, 2011

Thanks for the feedback Ewan. I certainly wouldn’t want to do anything which might appear ‘exclusive’ in any sense; we’re of course trying to encourage inclusion. In fact as a (former) secondary physics teacher, I often found out the most interesting ideas which challenged me to rethink things came from colleagues outside my subject area and even more significantly from colleagues in primary. It is indeed their very eclectic nature that attracts me to TeachMeets, but I have to ask myself ‘am I normal?’ (And we’ll leave that as a firmly rhetorical remark shall we!)

I guess what I was trying to do is put myself in the shoes of teachers outside our PLN or the Twittersphere. I guess I thought it might be easier for them to buy in to a ‘known’ quantity, targeted directly at their subject needs. The language teachers on twitter seem to enjoy a thriving ‘specialist’ community, as indeed do the historians, geographers etc . . . whilst also participating entusiastically in the more general ebb and flow.

However I also appreciate that if a ‘MathsMeet’ was announced for example, then you’d probably get few English, RS, Music etc., teachers signing up . . . in fact would there be enough enthusiasts willing to present, let alone attend?

I wonder what *would* attract the average teacher to attend his or her first TeachMeet? What is the factor which might just turn them on?

4. richardsw16 - January 18, 2011

Maybe a mix-and-match – general presentations for everyone, then break-out sessions for individual subjects which would also be easier for people to swap ideas/contact details. Something for everyone.

Things to attract them? Free food/drink(!) and recommendation of a colleague. Challenge all the tweeps to bring along an offline friend.

– Richard

5. ianinsheffield - January 18, 2011

Liking your thinking Richard and you’re spot on the money with ‘personal recommendation’ … if everyone brought one offline friend, we’d soon be into exponential growth … if I remember my maths correctly 😉

6. The H-Blog » Blog Archive » #TM5 – TeachMeet Beyond - February 25, 2011

[…] has issued the #tm5 challenge –  Ian Guest (@ianinsheffield) has a good post on it here: https://ianinsheffield.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/tm5/ […]

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