One (and a half!) of the most enjoyable and memorable hours at the Scratch conference earlier this summer in MIT was the workshop to showcase ScratchEd Meetup. Attendees were not leactured about ScratchEd Meetup; we were welcomed by Karen Brennan, Alexa Kutler and the team, and launched straight into a typical event scenario which prompted several “I want one of these” moments. Best part was hearing from those from the worldwide network who have hosted meetups in their area – Leanna from Kentucky, Pau from Barcelona, Simon from Tanzania.
ScratchEd has long been an online forum wherein educators who use Scratch can convence. From this has recently evolved the ScratchEd Meetup, an occasional or regular face to face catch up session described as a “participatory professional learning experience”, organised with a Open Space / Barcamp / Edcamp flavour.
Ireland has so many users of Scratch in dojos, code clubs and classrooms around the country, it is a fair bet that many teachers and mentors would enjoy participating in a ScratchEd Meetup (especially topical with the background chatter about Scratch3.0). Plans are currently being incubated, so do keep an eye on the website at www.cesi.ie, the @cesitweets Twitter feed (and probably #ScratchEdMeetupsIE, though it is a bit of a hashtag handful) for details of time, place, and sign up.
For some background reading on the genesis of this peer designed participative professional learning, see this 2012 article by Karen Brennan and her colleagues: http://web.media.mit.edu/~kbrennan/files/Brennan_ScratchEd_Meetups.pdf