Been off on a little jaunt this week. It certainly was the weather for it, as I wended my merry way through Wales and up towards Blackpool. My destination was Hawes Side Primary School for Teachmeet Blackpool – the perfect arena for sharing ideas, innovation and advice. I was keen to go as I am trying to organise my own Teachmeet here in Pembrokeshire and I wanted to have a good look at how it’s done. Apart from watching and commenting on Teachmeets via the internet, while watching a live stream, my only other experience of a Teachmeet was at BETT 2010. So I needed help – and fast.
First things first. Being one of the people who uses an actual photo of myself on Twitter it did seem a little strange when two men I had never met before approached me and called me by name. I was quite safe: it was only Tom Sale and James Maloney, and they instantly made me feel welcome. This is one of the joys of a Teachmeet – meeting up with people you only usually converse with online. soon other people were flowing through the doors of the school giving me a wave and shouting my name. Some even remembered me from BETT 2010 (I thought I’d been very quiet!) and it was great to catch up (note to self – Chris Ratcliffe is the busiest person I know! How does he do it?).
The great thing about a Teachmeet is that everyone has something to share and every contribution is valuable. It doesn’t matter if you’re a technical genius or you’ve got a simple idea and a flip chart: everyone’s contribution offers something to the learning experience. If you want to know more about the dos and don’ts, and how to go about setting up your own Teachmeet event, just visit the website
So, I can imagine you all asking, what did I learn at Teachmeet Blackpool? What was my personal experience like? Overall, I can honestly say I had the best time 🙂 . Everyone was friendly, welcoming and supporting and there were some truly great ideas being shared. Here are just a few things I’ll take away…
- Tom Sale and Jim Maloney could easily replace Ant and Dec as the country’s most lovable double act. They kept the whole thing flowing nicely and were a joy to listen to!
- Zoe Ross has the same guilty pleasures as me (well…maybe not musically). Her presentation about windows Movie Maker, PhotoStory 3 and Chroma Key was certainly one to remember!
- Bill Lord should be on the telly! He has more energy than Lee Evans and Harry Hill put together. Good with literacy too!
- Blogging can make a real difference to how children learn!
- Everyone I chat to on Twitter is really lovely and Dughall McCormick is a top bloke!
- Cover it live looks awesome – thank you David Mitchell
- The new features in Google Earth (especially the clock) look really useful
- Simon Haughton likes Doctor Who as much as my son (that would be a lot, then). Plus he is one of the most enthusiastic people I have ever met and I loved his presentation on Purple Mash 🙂
- I need to start using Myebook and Voicethread because they look really useful (and free).
- Everyone has their own favourite crisp flavour (no…hang on…I knew that already)!
I could go into more detail but really – YOU HAVE TO BE THERE!!! Here’s hoping that the Teachmeet I’m organising in the Summer (I’ll be posting details on the Teachmeet site soon) will be just as inspirational!