My First Teachmeet (@BETT 2011)

January 17, 2011 at 8:15 am 1 comment


(This video explains what teachmeets are all about)

by Alec Patton

On Friday night, my partner and I went to the TeachMeet at BETT (the UK’s big annual education technology trade show).

A teachmeet is to a traditional conference what that all-night party in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is to a lunatic asylum, only with a structure established by judicious use of social media. It begins with an online wiki that you can use to sign up as an attendee, or to put yourself down to give a 7-minute or 2-minute(!) presentation. On the night (it’s very much an evening event) everyone who’s put their name down to speak gets fed into a sort of digital fruit machine, which randomly selects the next speaker. When a speaker goes over their alloted time, they get a stuffed camel thrown at them. And, naturally, the backchannel was served by a screen collecting all the tweets with the event’s official hashtag (#TMBETT2011).

This structure seriously democratises the whole event (though it was pretty clear who the VIPs were from the response of the crowd and the comperes), while the tight limits on presentation-time keep the focus firmly on practice, rather than theory (because seven minutes doesn’t give you time to say anything except ‘I did something really cool at my school, here it is.’)

You can find out when a teachmeet is coming near you by going here.

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Entry filed under: Education & Children's Services.

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