After helping to organise Teachmeet Bett 2011 a few companies spoke to me and wanted to get in on the Teachmeet bandwagon. Now some will be doing it for promotional purposes and some will be there because they see it as a positive step forward for teachers’ development and networking. The Times Educational Supplement (TES) is the latter of those two.
On the Saturday following Bett I spoke to Magda from the TES and we discussed ways in which Teachmeets could be shared with the thousands of people who visit the TES website and receive the magazine each week. I must point out that although I offered my ideas and my opinions, I did check with Teachmeet founders and regulars such as Ewan McIntosh and Tom Barrett as well. Yes, I helped with TMBett11, but decisions about Teachmeet need to be made by people other than me!
So what will the TES be offering? As part of a revamp of the magazine they will be featuring a calendar of CPD events including Teachmeets. They will also ensure that there is a similar page within the online resources area of their website. I will also be updating my ‘How to run a Teachmeet’ document that many organisers have used as a starting point and this will be shared too. The revamp sounds exciting as they have also announced they will be showcasing a ‘web star of the week’. This is intended to introduce non-ICT people to the world of blogging and Twitter in which many of us inhabit. I have already nominated a few teachers for this showcase and you can too by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To keep up with the huge number of Teachmeets that are happening, there will be a TES logo and email address on the main Teachmeet Wiki which will enable organisers to email the TES so that they can include it in their magazine.
So this all sounds very exciting and it should hopefully mean that more ‘newbies’ attend Teachmeets. As Tom Barrett suggests in his blog post, we should be trying to encourage new people to come along to Teachmeets. Bring a friend or two! Those that have been to a Teachmeet know that they can be hugely powerful.
There are of course some possible drawbacks to the Teachmeet name spreading and there will be events like ‘Teacher Meetups’ or ‘Teacher Meetings’ where similar things are promised but may have a hidden agenda or a sales pitch, but hopefully the Teachmeet name will stay true to the original idea and ethos.
So as Teachmeet moves towards its fifth birthday in May (#tm5), it looks like it is growing up and spreading to the masses. It’s going to get exciting!