The Educator's PLN

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A growing CPD opportunity is spreading across the globe. It has gained momentum through twitter as users advertise meetings for educators in towns and cities around the world.

Teachmeet grew out of people’s desire to share technology to support learning. Two minute and
seven minute presentations allow ‘enthusiastic lurkers’ and fellow presenters
to gain so much CPD in one evening that you would be hard pressed not to allow
it to impact positively back at base! The evenings are advertised online and people sign up
via a wiki, which grows as more people add their presentation titles to the
list. On the evening itself
presenters are selected randomly from the wiki and present to an appreciative
audience who may be presenters themselves or ‘enthusiastic lurkers’ who don't want to present but attend
to gain practical ideas and inspiration to use back in their own settings.

A recent teachmeet in Blackpool saw a number of first time presenters and lurkers gain a great
deal from this unconventional form of professional development. It inspired staff to go back into
their own school and try out new ideas and approaches – something traditional
courses and training often fail to do.

TeachMeet as an ‘unconference’ phenomenon came from a meeting of minds around some French food
in Edinburgh, during the spring of 2005′ (source: edublogs). Since that initial
meeting where @ewanmcintosh and a group of online friends brought educational
opportunity and dialogue into a new, more relevant and accessible format,
teachmeets can be found occurring across the world providing teachers with
personal, effective and exciting CPD.

Teachmeets also sort the wheat from the chaff. Teachers aren’t usually directed to attend as the
sessions fall outside the school day on many occasions, meaning you’re getting
a bunch of truly committed practitioners, prepared to give up a fair chunk of
their own time to develop their learning and practice without being
directed to.

It’s a powerful vehicle for continuing professional development, which is gaining much
attention, attracting professionals who are passionate about their work and are
always looking at opportunities to give learners the best experiences possible. Teachmeet is the CPD of choice for many 21st educators.

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Comment by Michael Shepherd on March 16, 2010 at 3:42pm
Thanks Drew. Hope things take off in a similar way where you are. We have one in Blackpool tonight and are hosting another at school in June. It's certainly gathering momentum.
Comment by Drew McAllister on March 13, 2010 at 3:50pm
Thanks for the concise description of TeachMeet, something I've been hearing about through the EDUtalk podcast I try to catch up on every once in a while. I've found these quick snippets from teachers to be quite informative and interesting, and I hope to pass along those stories to the teachers with whom I work here in the States.


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