Sunday, 25 September 2011

TeachMeet at Scottish Learning Festival


Last week was the Scottish Learning Festival (SLF). I wasn’t able to attend.

A major part of SLF is now TeachMeet. I think it one of the largest and highest profile TeachMeet kicking around.

A huge congratulations to the individuals who gave lots time and a huge effort to get everything in place…………..but……

As an online observer I had several problems:

- lack online participation

- Talk selection

- Ad breaks


Lack online participation

Over the last 18 months more and more teachmeets have been using ustream. This is a great broadcast service but is not very good with the back channel. Previously FlashMeeting was used. This was not as good for the broadcasting as you had limited numbers but the interaction was very good. During breakouts the online session could have one of the topics.

During the tmslf11 the broadcast was switched off during the roundtable discussions. I understand that the pressure is for the faces infront of you but please remember upto 100 people are following online.

Would it be possible to have the webcam feed both uStream and flashmeeting. Then those who want to just watch can do so and those who want t get more involved can also do so.


Talk selection

When was it decided to reduce the number of people who want to share down to the number of spaces that are available?

This means that those who are confident get there names down first and no one else gets a chance to even take a chance.

Yes this does mean that someone doesn’t get selected. I have been the victim of this many times but I think its important that someone who isn’t too sure about speaking can step up and we all get to hear something new.


Ad breaks

All the way through sponsors were mentioned. This, to me, is against the ethos of classroom practitioners sharing.

I won’t mention the one that has been talked about in Twitter with the sales person getting 2 mins.

I think large teachmeets need financial support. This has been talked about at length previously by lots of people.

Its how much positioning this support gets is very important. Personally they should have stuff about and logos online but not mentioned during the event.

I see a place for lots of teachmeets. Large like the tmslf11 but even more important are small, less structured, ones where topics are discussed over a beer. Its a full spectrum inbetween.

Teachmeets are an ethos not a fixed structure.