Last night saw the second teachmeet Blackpool courtesy of some stirling work once again from @mr_jim and @tomsale. 140 people turned up for an evening of great presentations from a host of educators from across the country.
As 4.30 approached, the hall at Hawes Side swelled to near capacity. Late comers were relegated to extra seating down the sides as local teachers and the twitter community mingled with a group of European visitors from Lithuania, Romania, Denmark, France and many other countries.
Prof Stephen Heppell kicked off the proceedings as @eyebeams ensured the event was streamed over the net for those who couldn’t make it in person.
We were then inspired, informed, illuminated and entertained by a range of practitioners, teachers and consultants who selflessly got up to share great ideas and innovations.
The beauty of teachmeet is that these ideas are proven in the classroom. They’re presented warts and all, presenters share the problems and benefits as they encountered them. This isn’t about selling you an idea, it is simply about saying ‘this worked for me, you might want to give it a go. You never know.’
The evening was punctuated with a fantastic spread of butties and cakes which I battled my inner demons to leave alone till 6pm! Some people must have been very polite about their portions as the initial order for 120 delegates easily covered a greater number. Following a ‘networking and eating’ break we got back on with some fantastic presentations.
It would be wrong in some ways to single out individual ones but I think everyone would agree that finding out all about Giraffe Class and their tweets from @joga5 was great! Finding out all about Colin and rickrolling from @ZoeRoss19 was unexpected! And @HGJohn’s blogging the world cup was a brilliant, topical idea well worth sharing. I didn’t realise just how much you could do with PowerPoint until @bevevans22 showed us and some fantastic examples of blogging with young children from @jacksloan blew me away. Staff from Hawes Side left full of requests for Purple Mash following @simonhaughton’s presentation and great ideas for voicethread and coveritlive from @primarypete_ and @DeputyMitchell respectively only served to further convince staff of their ease of use and obvious benefits.
All in all a fantastic, inspirational evening that cannot have failed to have left all who attended full of enthusiasm and desperate to try out new ideas back in class.
If you leave teachmeet with one new idea, then it’s worth it. Last night proved the unconference format has a massive impact on practitioners (both those who attend and those who watch online) and huge potential to develop even further, to the benefit of all who care passionately about education.