TeachMeet is now a fixture in the Excel Arena on the Friday night of the BETT show. This year chief curator Drew Buddie invited Nathalie Scott and Amjad Ali to compere, and once more Martin Burret was the watchful tech supervisor and saviour (think of a Michael McIntyre [a silent version] / Marcel Marceau mash up – that’s the one!). ‘Action’ Jackson, his guitar and his enthusiasm were on stage also, getting us off our butts and mixing about.
This year the applications to speak were graded in favour of rookies and those who missed out last year – fair move, Drew! Bill Lord gave us a group challenge, via google docs, to get us thinking and chatting during the break.
My top takeaway from the presentations were Rowena Beedel’s idea using a Come Dine With Me format for peer assessment in biology revision (she had me at enzymes), and Louise Stone’s school radio run by digital leaders in a school for infants. She had me at school radio run by digital leaders in a school for infants.
[ Can I hang a thought out here – is is just me, or is there a sort of ‘Excel ennui’ developing? The past few BETTs I’ve been increasingly underwhelmed with the Excel Arena as a venue for a TeachMeet – there is large expanse of anxiety-inducing distance between the stage and the bleachers where most of the audience likes to lounge about. It is Friday night, folk are tired but happy, and straight rows of straight backed seats just don’t call out ‘sit here’ to everyone. All those empty blue chairs must look scary from the presenters’ vantage point also. I long for the round wedding tables of the Olympia venue. It might be just me, but I’d fancy a switch back, if it could be done at no cost, to a venue where we could sit at tables with each other and have the chats.]
Which is exactly what we did when we left the Arena and headed across to Tapa Tapa for the social part of the evening – props to Dawn Hallybone for organising this for us, and to Lucas Moffitt of Knewton for hosting. It was a lovely venue with great company (and top notch tapas – who’d have thought zucchini could be sliced to such translucent thinness?). The exchange between us Irish teachers who’d travelled over, and our UK counterparts, was as good as ever. (And yes, you can all build and ark, sail over and live here with us.)
Thanks to Drew, Martin, Nathalie, Amjad, ‘Action’, Bill and Dawn for your voluntary work on behalf of your fellow teachers. See you all in 2018. 💘 TeachMeet