Archive for the ‘Teachmeet’ tag
I’ve been lucky enough to get a ticket for the TeachMeet at BETT on Friday, and I’ve put my name down for a 2 minutes presentation.
As we’ve been asked to provide materials in case we don’t get selected, I’m reserving this space now so I can pass the link on to the organisers. If I get drawn I’ll edit this to post either a video or a summary. If I don’t, I’ll add a brief summary of what I would have said.
You can keep an eye on events, including the link for the live stream, by searching for #tmbett2013 on Twitter.
It’s mid way through #tmbett2013 and I’ve just 2 minutes trying to encourage teachers to go for a ‘small parts loosely joined’ approach rather than looking for a single solution that offers everything they need.
There’s loads of great ideas floating around tonight, and in hindsight I think mine may have been a little out of step (check back tomorrow for the other thing maybe I should have spoken about…). It may have been taken as a rant against commercial products, and that wasn’t my intention. My point was simply that we should use the best tool for the job, just as we would in
our personal lives, be that Facebook, email, instgram, Dropbox etc etc.
If you’re a teacher, you should know that’s ok to head for that approach, and all the support you need is a tweet away.
If you’re a company, or a school elearning person, or an LEA PLEASE look at ways to make this as seamless as possible. We’re really lucky in Swansea to have a great team who’ve done some amazing work to get single sign on working, but even just using standard usernames or providing support and training can help make a big difference to teachers, who can go on and make a big difference to their students.
June looks really busy for some great learning events that are coming up. They’re all free to attend and many are variations on the Teachmeet format.
If you’ve never been to one, Teachmeets are informal, for teachers, by teachers events where speakers sign up to speak for 7 or 2 minutes about something that’s worked in their classroom. It’s not a sales pitch and those who attend generally go away full of ideas, with some great personal contacts to boot.
I’ve included links to the ones I can find below (although I’m making no promises that this is all there is).
The one I’m really looking forward to is Teachmeet Wales on Saturday 30th June in Holywell. By holding it on a Saturday and keeping it very informal we’re hopeful we can draw people from right across Wales and beyond, both Teachmeet regulars and those for who’ve never been. Please do sign up if you can make it. If you’re coming from South Wales there will be lift-share opportunities and the rail links are fairly good. If you’ve got any questions feel free to contact me via the comments below or the contacts page on the blog or on Twitter!
Many of these will be livestreamed by NGfL Cymru and the presentations available on their youtube channel afterward in case you can’t make it!
Weds 13th June – WordPress Users Wales meeting - including discussion about WordPress in Education
Weds 20th June – Teachmeet: Raising Standards in Literacy / Codo Safonau Llythrennedd – Ysgol Maes Garmon, Flintshire
Thurs June 21st – Technoteach Bring and Brag, Swansea
Fri June 22nd -2012 CAS Wales/Technocamps Conference: Delivering Computer Science for Schools in Wales – Swansea
Weds 27th June – Teachmeet: Teaching Learning and Tech – Orbit Centre, Merthyr Tydfil
Dydd Mercher 27ain Mehefin – DysGwrdd Cymraeg, Caerdydd
EDIT: Weds 27th June – Teachmeet St Julians, Newport
Thurs 28th June – Teachmeet Achieving Success (FE Focus), Coleg Gwent, Ebbw Vale Campus
Fri 29th / Sat 30th - Camp Wales – Microsoft Training Event, Willows High School
Sat 30th June – Teachmeet Wales, Holywell High School, Flintshire
This page was editted on 12th June to correct the date for Teachmeet StJulians which I has wrongly stated was on Thurs 28th. It is actually Weds 27th as now stated above.
The CAS event on 22nd June was added on 16th. If you know of any other events taking place, please let me know.
Talking to some colleagues at school recently we were reflecting how there were less opportunities than there had been in the past to get together with colleagues from across the school and share ideas around teaching and learning.
So, rather than cursing the darkness, I lit a candle! Having spoken to the Assistant Head we announced a weekly lunchtime drop in session in the school conference centre. It was inspired in part by the ‘TeachEat’ adaptations of the teachmeet format that are taking part in some schools – although we decided to make it even less formal than that at the moment.
We picked the first topic (starters) and sat back to wait to see what happened.
Some great ideas where shared. Thanks to a suggestion from another member of staff we created a Google Site where we’re putting the ideas each week. At the end of each session we pick a session for the following week and head off to start putting some the ideas in action.
I caught up with Ian Addison’s presentation for TeachMeet Midlands on 7 ideas in 7 minutes on Saturday morning, and later on was intrieged by Tom Barret’s ideas that he should follow it up with 7 offline ideas.
I’ve been planning for this week’s ESTYN inspection all weekend, but couldn’t shake the idea and used it as a bit of a brain break now and again to scribble down some ideas. I threw a keynote together on Sunday, and I’ve recorded the audio now. It’s late, so there’s a few more ‘errrs’ and ‘ummms’ than I’d ideally like, but it should give you the idea. It’s actually 7:13, but I blame keynote for not having a timer!
So, for no particular reason at all, I’m pleased to present 7 offline ideas in 7 minutes (and 13 seconds!)
Ian Addison’s original presentation
My #TMCardiff presentation on using flipchart paper in the classroom (shortcut: http://is.gd/flipchart)
There were a few difference to the Teachmeets I’d done before. The random name generator had done it’s work ahead of the meeting, and instead of a projected backchannel (usually Twitterfall or something similar) the second screen had a giant countdown clock looming over the presenters! The backchannel had instead been moved to laptops which were placed on each table running a moderated chat system which incorporated tweets, information about the speakers and votes. All of these combined to create a slightly more formal setting than I’d seen before, but it seemed to suit the event quite well.
It was interesting how few of the audience were on Twitter, and this may have accounted for how little activity there was on the back channel. I suspect this is likely to be a growing feature of Teachmeets as the idea spreads and one of the challenges for the organisers will be how to harness the audience in way that many of them will not be used to, but does encourage the really useful contact and dialogue that has been such an important part of Teachmeets in the past.
The whole thing was streamed via the NGFL Livestream channel, and is available to view again. I think (although I missed the beginning so I’m not 100% sure) that the presentation slides were being streamed directly, rather than relying on a webcam as has been the case with some in the past.
There were some excellent presentations, here are a few of the notes I scribbled down:
I missed the first couple of presentations, but just after I arrived Ceri Williams (@cerirwilliams) talked about some easy ways to help pupils with dyslexia, including:
- Use colour coding for different paragraphs or lines to help students easily locate the relevant section
- Using coloured backgrounds to help students read more easily, and on screen use a deep grey rather than a black as this also helps to reduce glare.
The next presenters talked about using Flipcameras to record students working in PE lessons, and the massive impact it has had on their ability to self-evaluate and improve, as well as providing a useful method for collecting portfolio evidence
Gareth Ritter (@ritzertech) talked about using a podcast station as a hosting platform for students to create videos to help other students learn, and Simon Johns talked aboout using Wallwisher to collaborate between his year 4 class and a school in Hampton.
I talked for 2 minutes about why I would rather have a flipchart than an interative whiteboard and Bev Evans introduced us to the excellent Andrea Mosac site. Karen Newby-Jones talked about using ‘Sticks of fate’ and the problems that can be encountered with them. She pointed out that it’s important to build wait time in after the question to ensure that all pupils are thinking before selecting who will answer. She provided her random selection ppt here, although I think I still prefer the classtools.net one!
Linsey & Kate from the Bishop of Llandaff school talked about ways of incorporating technology into their Art and D&T lessons and Meryl Evans talked about the use of Internet TV to create a ‘real audience’ for year 4. One interesting point she made was that their initial attempts at using parents as an audience wasn’t as successful as using other classes as the audience. It created less pressure and stress but provided both inspiration to the other classes and a desire to build on what the others had done.
Glen Gilcrest talked about his application of Dan Meyer’s ideas about pysdocontext to science lessons, and his problems with a lot of the so called ‘research’ which takes place in schools. It was certainly (for me) the most thought provoking of the evening, and I well worth 7 minutes of your time here (it starts here and finishes off here). Not sure I agreed with everything he said, but it certainly challenged my thinking both in terms of how we set up problems in an individual class, and then how we scale that up.
Bev Evans gave another great idea, using Google Maps to create story trails, which have some great applications not just for creative writing, but across the curriculum and I’m planning on trying out in history before too long
At that point my notes stop as I was supposed to do my next presentation but the slides weren’t working, so I missed Ceri’s second presentation and Karen talking about polls before finally getting up and ad-libbing my seven minutes on handing over the curriculum.
One presentation I was looking forward to which had been on the wiki was by Adrian Jones from St Pauls about his use of Chess in school, which he’d removed as he hadn’t thought it was techy enough. Moving forward it seems to me at least that we need to remember that these events should be first and foremost about practical pedagogy which may or may not involve ICT, and we maybe need to find a better way of conveying that message to would-be presenters.
All in all an excellent evening, and my thanks to everyone involved in organising it, especially Karen and Alessio.
You can read the NGFL Cymru account of the evening on their blog!
I realised the other day that I’ve got a stack of posts that I thought I’d published that are actually still waiting to be finished. Most embarrassing of all is that it included the recording of the sing along from Teachmeet Bev, which I cheerfully announced several months ago would be posted ‘tomorrow’. Hugh apologies to everyone that’s been waiting for this!
The idea for the presentation came from three places. Firstly, my own frustrated inner-rock star, who is so rarely allowed out these days, secondly, the line on the teachmeet wiki that says presenters are welcome to use song (although I’m not aware of any who have), and thirdly, and most importantly, two of my year 8 class from last year. As part of their open history project, they rewrote the words to both ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Telephone’ to be about the Great Fire of London. Having found kareoke versions of the songs on YouTube they came to me to see if we could work out who to record them singing along to them. The presentation owes a debt of gratitude to their ideas, and their willingness to sit around while I tried things out until we got it working 1
In practical terms, to turn your class into rock stars you need to do the folllowing:
- Choose a song, and enter the name of the song plus the word ‘Kareoke’ into youtube. Assuming that an instrumental version of the track is available…
- Use zamzar.com to download an mp3 of the video. Add the mp3 to an mp3 player of your choice.
- Fire up Audacity or Garageband. While listening to the mp3, record the new vocals
- Add the mp3 file you downloaded earlier as a second track, and sync it up with the vocals.
- Adjust the relative volumes of the tracks, add any effects you want and export.
- Bob’s your uncle – one recording of your classes song, with new lyrics.
Now, never being one for an easy life, rather than simply telling everbody this, I thought we’d give it a try. I cobbled together some new words to the tune of Empire State of Mind and, much to my relief, rather than being booed from the stage, everyone joined in and did a great job.
If I was being critical of myself, I would have got everyone to do sing it twice through (so as to avoid the slightly delayed start) and I would have sung quieter. The first is a good tip for anyone doing this in real life, the second is only for people as tuneless as me. I’m also mystified as to how I could get the fifth line to scan perfectly the night before, and again on the train home, but just not from the stage!
Can I say a massive thank you to everyone at Teachmeet Bev for being such good sports, and for the great feedback both from the ‘in-person’ audience and those watching on the Flashmeeting.
Everyone around you’s so friendly,
Ideas, we’ve got plenty
You’re at a teachmeet
Presenters show what they can do
And now you can do it too
Let’s hear it for Teachmeet, Teachmeet, Teachmeet
- It’s worth noting, not content with this, they went off and recorded a video to go with it as well! ↩
I realised the other day that I’ve got a stack of posts that I thought I’d published that are actually still waiting to be finished. I’m going to try and get them out in the next few days. In this case I thought I’d already blogged this, but unless I’m going mad I can’t see it, so I think I must have tweeted the link, but not posted a copy here.
This was my 7 minutes, on using open ended, student-led projects in history.