As you may be aware, there is a Teachmeet happening in Hampshire in 2 weeks time. If you are aware then you might have seen it in one of the following places:

  • Here on this blog
  • On the Teachmeet Hants blog
  • On the Hampshire BLT page
  • Via Twitter
  • By being my friend on Facebook
  • Through the Hampshire ICT Primary mailing list

So far those are all online forms of communication. They also all require the teachers to be proactive and to either follow me/@hantsblt on Twitter, be my friend or look through the blogs. Even the mailing list isn’t a compulsory thing. This is a list aimed at ICT Coordinators that anyone can sign-up to. I have then posted a few emails out too. So after two weeks of multiple posts and tweets…how many people do we have attending? 28.

If I wrote this post 24 hours ago it would be 21. Why did 7 people sign-up today? My latest post on the mailing list mentioned freebies, prizes and cake. Maybe that helped to convince them!

So how do we get beyond the techy-teachers? How do we reach the amazing teachers that haven’t joined Twitter or been to a Teachmeet before? One answer might be using mail. Paper-based mail.

We have created a flyer and then through the wonders of the Hampshire website, I have copied and pasted the addresses of 196 schools from the East Hampshire, Havant, Fareham, Gosport and Winchester areas of Hampshire and stuck them onto labels. We then spent an hour with our nieces stuffing envelopes, labelling them up and getting them ready to post on Monday morning. Luckily in Hampshire we have a free internal mail system so I can pop the envelopes into that and hope they arrive in schools by Friday. But then what?

Without a named contact for the school, will the flyer even get past the gatekeepers? The office staff. Well we have written a cheeky note to “the wonderful person who opened this letter” asking them to pass it to the head, deputy, ICT coordinator or anyone that might be interested in attending. Alternatively just post it in the staffroom and see what happens.

Teachmeets tend to attract ICT coordinators but maybe this is due to the techy nature of the advertising – through wikis, Twitters and blogs for example. Maybe this paper-based approach will work. Also on the flyer we have asked people to sign-up to the Hampshire BLT mailing list so that we can email them directly in future if there are more events.

A few times throughout the process of making the flyers, going to the shop in the rain to buy envelopes, copying and pasting the 200 addresses and stuffing the envelopes, I did ask myself the question of why. Why are we doing this? Why have we spent 5+ hours on marketing a free event? I think the answer is that we have had our eyes opened to the great world of sharing that exists beyond the classroom through blogs and Twitter and we hope that by having this event, more people will see that too. Maybe I should do a Twitter talk as my presentation?

Anyways….see you all in two weeks for the next Teachmeet.