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The Meeting Place

September 26, 2009

This has been a rather hectic week for me. I’ve spoken at the Scottish Learning Festival TeachMeet, at the first eAssessment Scotland Conference, and took 10 pupils down to the Scottish Learning Festival to tell our Glow story and speak to people on the Learning and Teaching Scotland stand… Rather than try to cram all of that into one post, I’m going to spread my reflections over the weekend, so in this post, I’m going to concentrate on the fantastic TeachMeet.

Just in case you have no idea what a TeachMeet is, I’m going to let Tim & Moby (and Ollie) explain:

This fantastic video from BrainPop kicked off the evening in considerable style. Even better, the TeachMeetCamel had brought John Davitt along to make sure that the timings were (more or less) as advertised… 3951091023_de1038dd51_sso with that we were thrown straight into two and a half hours of intense CPD. I’d be lying if I could remember what everyone was talking about, but the presentations that did make have the greatest impact on me for wildly different reasons, were Tessa Watson‘s clothes line (she was talking about the work she’s doing with STEP: the Scottish Traveller Education Programme), Stuart Meldrum’s DIY visualiser, and Con Morris‘ singing about CPDFind… actually, I’m going to need therapy to forget that last one…

The beauty of the TeachMeet format is that, there is always something to learn. The limited time available to speak, the absence of ‘sales patter’, and the eclectic audience more or less guarantee a great night. The unifying themes being a great belief in the power of education, and the desire to be better at what we do. Where else could you find yourself in a discussion with a primary teacher one minute, an HMIe inspector the next, someone from the SQA, a really cheery Dane from the Danish Education Ministry, followed by a University Lecturer specialising in Games… who was handing out beers at the bar… Truly, there is nothing quite like a TeachMeet!

For my part, I had proposed speaking about “Getting the pupils to learn from themselves”. By all accounts, it was quite well received… although I did have to duck as the camel came flying at me on my last slide… I’ve posted my slidedeck to Slideshare for you to laugh at/download/etc, and after a wee bit of editing, I’ll add the audio so you can sip a beer/wine/irn bru and relive the whole experience — camels are optional!

Finally, I’d just like to add my thanks to Alistair and Clare at BBC Scotland Learning for hosting us in a truly magnificent setting, and the many sponsors who so kindly gave us the means to discuss education and the future until very late into the night!

My next post will be about taking my pupils to the Scottish Learning Festival to talk about Glow… expect it sometime tomorrow!

Picture Credit: The Camel appears courtesy of David Muir. I hope it had a sore head the next morning!
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