Last Thursday, I attended Teachmeet Twist – a Teachmeet organised by the Night Zookeeper, Jodie Lopez Collins and Oliver Quinlin and team. As the name suggests it was a teachmeet with a difference and for me the combinations of all the best features of a teachmeet mixed with a bit of “collaborate for change” laid down the blueprint for how to do good Teachmeet.
TM organisers take note a good event needs more than just adding your details to the Teachmeet Wiki
Reflecting back on why I enjoyed it so much and why it worked, I think it was due to the following:
- A good mix of people – the night had industry, advisors, edtech startups, teachers, lecturers and a bit of a first student teachers. it was brilliant to hear presentations from students these were just as inspiring as the more techy geeky talks from Miles Berry or ICT Magic
- Break up the evening with discussion – I wish I had done this at Teachmeet iPad. There was as much time chatting and thrashing out issues as there was sitting and listening to great presentations. We wrestled with tough questions about the state of education and how we tackle issues such as planning projects and accepting new policies. I enjoyed these sessions much more than I thought I would!
- A brief raffle with great prizes including a Raspberry Pi
- A strong back channel – this needs everyone to be aware of the hashtag in good time
- A quick turnaround of presentations resources ,i.e. slides,prezis, videos etc online and accessible in good time
- Good speakers who talk up classroom experience and the inclusion of some new, innovative or downright unusual projects.
Here are my five Take Aways from the event, which I am looking forward to implementing or just trying out with my class.
Slow Writing – an approach (and soon to be app) that focuses on improving writing. i can see how this will be of great assistance with teaching grammar in Year 6 in a meaningful and exciting way.
Here is Laura Sutherland, an inspiring secondary school teacher, talking about how she uses it with her pupils
Miles Berry – Scratch 2.0
Miles has an infectious enthusiasm for Scratch and he gave a brave live demonstration of the new Scratch which will run in a browser and have Kinect style functionality.
Martin Burrett- ICT Magic talked to us about an Augmented Reality plugin for Google sketchup. What a great idea ! Merging 3D models from the warehouse with video to create amazing special effects.
The final resource that I will definitely be taking away and using was Marty the Mighty Nose. This start -up spent most of the evening asking fellow guests to sniff items from their table of cheese, onion, garlic and other nasal treasures. But this made sense when you realised that each of these smells could be a powerful stimulus in your lessons. A visit to the Marty website shows a growing collection of lesson plans using a sense, which I don’t think I have used since I was training to be a teacher. Ideas include Stinky Tudors and Whiffy Plants along with Smelly Poetry. They were also distributing colourful A2 posters of smell related wow words/ vocabulary, though sadly I left mine on my seat!