The Teachmeet that never wasn’t

TMLogoILWLast week was the University of Edinburgh’s Innovative Learning Week (ILW). As part of  my contribution to the range of activities and events that make up this amazing opportunity for staff, learners and the wider community, I thought I’d run a Teachmeet. I was delighted when very quickly, I got some big names signed up to share a bit of good practice and ideas to inform and enthuse: Colin Webster of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (@co1inwebster); John Connell, the EdTech guru, creator of “I am Learner” and innovator behind the CommonLearn concept; and Ian Stuart, formerly @IslayIan, now on secondment to the Scottish Executive and an authority on 1-to-1.


It was with some regret that I had to cancel the event, like many others, due to (I think) the large number of events and the impact on registrations. I decided that 20 wasn’t enough for a viable teachmeet in the context of the University, so called it off. By way of compensation, I switched the venue and the context to a pub in Leith, the Teuchters Landing.


I don’t propose to detail the entire event: what is worth recording here is that it was a brilliant night, with some amazing stories, tech demonstrations, masterclasses, debate over current policy and the curriculum, great ideas and something very characteristic of almost every teachmeet I’ve ever been to – the “buzz” of having shared some truly refreshing perspectives. Some of the ideas I picked up included were Microsoft’s Physics Illustrator (which evidently has been around for years); information about the new BBC Bitesize for National 5 Physics and others; and the SQA’s unconference site on what education will look like in 2020 at which outlines what Education 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 look like – “a bit of brick and a bit of click”.


I’ll leave you with a little quote from Sharon Somerville, a Canadian teacher just back from teaching in the Falkland Islands. This struck a chord with me:

People don’t have problems, they have needs. Meet a need to enable them.


2 thoughts on “The Teachmeet that never wasn’t

  1. Sorry I never made the pub! Sounds like I missed out on a good evening. I’m trying to arrange a Teachmeet in Bradford for the end of March. Here’s hoping that gets cancelled and ends up in the pub too!

  2. It’s funny, @colin_webster:disqus, there’s a lot to be said for context and environment. Teachmeet (the phenomenon) began in a pub. I cancelled the University event when the numbers were about 20 but @IanStuart66 rightly says that some of the best have small numbers. I’ve organised a couple of specialist teachmeets before where the numbers have been about 20-30. There were less than that at the pub last week but it still turned out to be a rich and rewarding event. Good luck with yours, Colin, don’t forget to post the hashtag so we can all follow along!

Comments are closed.